Firstly - thank you. When I was initially asked whether I’d accept honorary membership my first reaction was, honestly, utter bewilderment - why me? Especially when I look at other recipients before me - Mem, Phil, Janeen - I just don’t see myself in the same shelf at all …
But it did get me thinking about my writing/illustrating journey, although really, I feel like I’m still just starting out …
I also started thinking about that journey in terms of this year’s book week theme - Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds - in the sense that place has played a very big part in the directions I’ve taken - in particular travelling and living in Asia - and the way that I’ve transformed the places/worlds that I’ve spent time into the other worlds which appear in my illustrations.
So I’m just going to give you a brief rundown.
Let’s start at the beginning. As you can see from the picture I was a very melancholy and underfed baby.
I grew up in a household of books and bedtime stories. Reading or being read to was always part of my life.
As an ‘afterthought’, coming along fourteen years after my three siblings, I grew up much like an only child. I spent a lot of my time alone transforming, in my imagination, my world into new and other worlds.
When I was young I used to make little books and give them to my friends at school. The only one I have left is possibly the first. A story that I wrote and illustrated when I was five. The story isn’t very long, because I didn’t know how to write many words at that stage. I typed it on Dad’s old typewriter. The ‘O’ key didn’t work, so I had to go over it and draw in all the ‘Os’ by hand. It was heavily influenced by the Dick and Dora readers we had at school, so much of it is about how much fun it is to play with Dick … but there was also part of the story where I fell over in the mud …
… because I was being chased by a big fat pig.
So - starting with somewhere I knew, my own back yard, and something I’d experienced, falling over in the mud, I had added some imagination and turned it into a story. And that’s largely what I have continued to do in both my stories and illustrations. My Mum and sister also appear in the illustrations, and I still sneak people I know into my illustrations from time to time.
My first published book was a maths book I illustrated for Rigbys when I was still at college (now Uni SA) (not counting the 100% plagiarised recipe I had published in Possums’ Pages many years before - copied word for word out of my copy of Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.)
After I graduated (Bachelor of Design (Illustration)) I accidentally got myself a job as a Graphic Designer at the University in Darwin. I also started freelancing for Design Studios and Advertising agencies, which became my bread and butter income for many years. Books were always my first love though, so I began pursuing publishing work, by sending my portfolio around and visiting editors in person. I had illustrated a number of readers for educational publishers, when I had the idea for Edgar’s Eggs. It was based on an old wive’s tale which says that you must crush your eggshells before throwing them in the bin, else witches might steal them and sail out to sea and stir up storms. I had drawn all the pictures but, as I was an illustrator not a writer, thought I needed to get someone else to write it for me. My partner was an advertising copywriter, so was the obvious choice, but as time passed and he never seemed to get around to it, I figured the energy I was expending nagging him to do it could be more profitably spent actually writing it myself, and so that’s what I did. I ended up dedicating the book to him in gratitude for his slackness, as it started me out writing as well as illustrating.
Two more books followed in quick succession. What Sort of Day? a book about colours and emotions, and Cherrystones, a book of numbers.
Just after I completed the artwork for Cherrystones, we moved to Singapore and that was when
other worlds began to have a bigger and more direct impact on my work. My first Asian themed books grew out of not being able to find any books to explain to my young children the many diverse festivals and celebrations we were seeing around us. This series of three books, Come to the Party! Chinese Festivals, Indian Hindu Festivals and Malay Muslim Festivals, were created in collaboration with another Adelaide expat in Singapore, Suzanne Lauridsen.
They were published in Singapore, and it was while I was seeking an Australian distributor, I was commissioned to write the first of a series of information and activity books, Key into Indonesia. Key into Japan and Key into China followed, as well as India Kaleidoscope.
The Most Beautiful Lantern also had its beginnings in that period. At age four, my son wanted to have the most beautiful lantern in our neighbourhood lantern parade for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. We spent a very long time looking at literally thousands of lanterns in every imaginable shape and colour before he settled on a beautiful sun lantern. It was a paper lantern, and on the night of the parade, I lit the candle inside, hung it from a stick and impressed on him the need to be careful. However, he was wildly excited, and only four after all, and began running around, the lantern began swinging on the end of the stick and … I’m sure you can guess what happened … This isn’t the ending I chose for the story, and in subsequent years, we always bought plastic, battery operated lanterns …
While working on the illustrations for this book that I was fortunate to be granted an Asialink residency in Malaysia, at Rimbun Dahan, close to Kuala Lumpur. The house I lived in with my children for four months found its way into the book as the Moon Palace, home of the Moon Goddess Chang-O.
While I was there I also worked on the finale draft of the novel, Hungry Ghosts. This began, again in Singapore, with seeing offerings for the ghosts left outside homes during the Festival of Hungry Ghosts. The idea is that while ghosts, the unsettled spirits, are free to walk the earth for a month, people must make sure they are kept well fed and entertained, otherwise they might hang around and haunt you for the whole year. Offerings are left out to dissuade ghosts from coming inside and rummaging through pantries and fridges. My story incorporates the legends and traditions around the festival, and also draws in part on my own experiences of living in ‘another world’, Singapore, but in reverse, with the protagonist Sarah coming from Singapore to live in Adelaide.
My production slowed a bit as I spent the next many years as a single mum. When my daughter was five, she drew a picture of me sitting at my high desk with my back turned to her, a small forlorn figure at the very edge of the frame. The caption is ‘I was hungry and asked my mum for something to eat, but she said, ‘Not now, Molly. I’m busy working.’ I kept this on my pinboard for years, as a reminder to attend to (and feed) the children now and then.
I continued (and continue) to do commercial work. The largest commission I’ve ever had was an illustration for the Singapore Zoo. It was used as a mural in the Zoo shop, on buses and all manner of merchandising. My most unusual commission to date has been painting a life-size baby elephant sculpture as part of Melbourne Zoo’s 150th birthday celebrations.
I also make lino prints, cards and other bits and pieces (the most recent is dove and magpie earrings) which I sell through various outlets including Om Meet the Makers cooperative, Urban Cow and the Fleurieu Arthouse. My lino prints and artwork have been finalists in art prizes including the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize and the Adelaide Parklands Prize.
The most recent group exhibition I was involved in was ‘Weird Adelaide’, a tribute to Barbara Hanrahan. My contribution was a print of Don Dunstan in his famous pink shorts. Next year I’ll be giving him another outing as part of a solo exhibition of ‘South Australian Icons’. I have also facilitated many community and collaborative art pieces, such as murals and mosaics at schools and kindergartens, and footpath/playground art. I especially love personal commissioned artworks for birthdays, weddings and other celebrations.
This is one of what I call my ‘procrastination drawings’ when I really should be working on other things. This large ink drawing incorporates something that represents each of the one hundred varieties of eucalyptus native to South Australia.
I said to someone recently how I tend to lead my life by following my nose. It really has been the case. It’s funny how one thing often leads to another in quite unexpected ways.
For example, I’ve done many jungle illustrations over the years. The first was a season poster for Territory North Theatre Company, then a full page magazine ad, ‘Surround Yourself with Life’s Rich Tapestry’ which was a jungle dotted with semi-hidden animals and birds. There is a jungle scene in The Most Beautiful Lantern, which was used by the agency pitching (and winning) the Singapore Zoo commission. Applied to Zoo buses, it was spotted by a local publisher, who wanted a similar image for the cover of a book she was about to publish. After chasing buses through Singaporean traffic for days, she managed to track me down. Following the initial novel cover, I illustrated a few picture books for her, and then the ten books in the Diary of … series. This was followed by the Susie K series, and we are currently collaborating on a new series, as well as a graphic novel adaptation of the original Seeds of Time novel which began our relationship. There is a jungle in One Step at a Time, (written by Jane Jolly) also in Papa Sky (also by Jane, in this case cloud forest) and in my most recent project, The Rainbow Thief.
So I thought I’d finish off with a sneak preview of what I’ve been working on for the last year and a half. As you may be aware, in 2020 I received the Max Fatchen Fellowship, to work on The Rainbow Thief.
It actually began much, much longer ago. 28 years in fact, when I wrote the first draft sitting on a beach in Goa. The initial idea was purely visual. The protagonist wakes to a day that is devoid of colour. She convinces her grandfather to take her to the beach, but it’s grey and gloomy there as well. She then embarks on a journey, travelling through a series of landscapes - across the ocean, through a jungle, over the mountains etc. After finding the colour (in the form of stolen and imprisoned rainbows) she retraces her steps through the same landscapes which are now vibrant with colour.
The concept went through many, many iterations over the years. From a long myth-like epic, to a short picture book and many variations in between. I could never quite work out just how to do it, but my belief in the core idea remained solid. One day I was walking the dog along the river near home, and it all leapt fully formed into my head. As an eighty page wordless picture book.
It then took another couple of years before I had the time and headspace to actually get it down on paper, which I was able to do during a May Gibbs creative time fellowship in Brisbane.
As I developed the dummy I realised how many layers the story had acquired over the years. It now had a much greater and richer emotional depth, and had acquired layers of meaning and varying interpretations which it hadn’t had initially.
And so many of the places I’d travelled to had found their way into the images. Nepal and India, in particular Ladakh (probably my favourite place in the world) and the deserts and desert cities of Rajasthan. Also Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, walking the Larapinta Trail in Central Australia and the Overland Track in Tasmania to name just a few. The Grandfather character is based on my own lovely Dad.
It then sat in a drawer for another couple of years. I managed a couple of the finished drawings but making a living continued to get in the way. Until the fellowship essentially bought me the time to devote to it. Despite the COVID disruption lack of distractions, in the form of many cancelled workshops and exhibitions, instead of the six months I’d cited in my application, it has taken me closer to eighteen.
Whether it will ever get published I don’t know. To be honest, for the time being at least, I’m not too concerned, I’m just happy that it’s out of my head and more or less complete. It’s not as perfect as I’d like it to be, but you could go on fiddling forever. I remember Shaun Tan being asked how you know when something’s finished, and he said that you should always stop before you think it’s done.
So that’s what I think I’ll do with this talk.
Welcome everyone and thank you for joining us to celebrate our 75th birthday dinner.
In 1944 Dorothy L Riddle took charge of School Libraries for the SA Education Department, and in 1945 she spoke at a Library Association of Australia (SA Branch) meeting about Children’s Book Week activities held in the USA.
From this talk, a small and enthusiastic committee began to organise a Children’s Book Week for 1946 and out of that grew the CBCA SA! Tonight we have present a number of past committee members and I particularly wish to acknowledge our two recently retired secretaries Nola Uzzell and Judy Miller for their outstanding contribution over many years to the CBCA SA branch. Thank you, Nola and Judy.
The aim of the CBCA SA branch is to engage the South Australian community with quality literature for young Australians and to encourage children's reading through a variety of opportunities and community-based activities.
In 2021 we have provided a fantastic program to share the love of children’s books and reading:
In the October school holidays we are proud to be organising Storytime Sessions at both Para Hills Library and Carrick Hill Stables for four- to eight-year-olds.
In November we are presenting our Creative Connections literary adventure for both children and adults proudly hosted by many of our local authors and illustrators offering a speed-date with their books.
Thank you to this year’s committee for your tireless work over many hours – this is what makes these events not only possible but also a reality. Our committee is a collective of passionate volunteers who bring their vast experience and energy to this wonderful organisation to promote beautiful children’s and young adult’s literature to South Australian audiences.
Tonight’s 75th Dinner would not have taken place without the fabulous organisational skills of committee member Kate Moore. Thank you Kate. Thank you to Jarmer’s Kitchen for providing us with this lovely venue and being so flexible with unforeseen changes. Also thank you to our hosts, Nathan & Amanda and to Anna, Caitlin & Karyn for their assistance with registration and raffles.
This year’s spectacular door prize and raffle prizes could not have happened without support from our generous sponsors: Greenlight Comics, Scholastic Australia in particular Anne Cameron, Dillons Norwood Bookshop, Pegi Williams Bookshop and Pat Pledger from ReadPlus as well as substantial donations from Katharine England OAM, ALS Library Services and Hachette Australia. Thank you also Becky from Becky’s Literary Bookings and both Becky & Mike from Shakespeare’s Bookshop who have continued to support us throughout the year.
Another important role of the CBCA SA is to support South Australian authors, illustrators and publishers, and those who provide children’s literature services in schools and the community. It is great to see so many amazing creators here this evening as well as Mark from the PRC, Wendy, Sue and Annette from SLASA, Josie and Belinda from Raising Literacy Australia and Anna from Midnight Sun Publishing. Our aim is to continue to foster connections with like-minded groups to encourage the love of books and reading for younger generations.
My final duty this evening is to present our out-going President Jane Moore with a gift of appreciation for her wonderful leadership. Jane has worn numerous hats this year. She has stepped aside to focus on her role as Vice Chair of the CBCA National Board as well as remaining Director of the CBCA SA Branch. Jane is the person behind the films for the BOYA awards and we are grateful for her energy, talent and vision. The gift for Jane is a ‘hot off the easel’ original Mandy Foot painting of a pony with a cupcake - very fitting for our 75th birthday dinner. Thank you Mandy.
Please join me in thanking Jane for her contribution to the CBCA SA community.
Thank you and please enjoy your evening.
Kathryn Beilby CBCA SA President
This year, the CBCA SA Branch celebrated 75 years since its inception with a fabulous evening in the Function Room at Jarmer's Kitchen. The night was filled with great food, door prizes, raffles, and an entertaining speech by the newest addition to our list of celebrated South Australian luminaries, Sally Heinrich. We also met South Australia's latest judge in the CBCA Book of the Year Awards, Sarah Forrest. To rub shoulders with all the local authors, illustrators, and doyens of the children's book industry, become a member and come along to all our future events. They are always a lot of fun and a great way to meet people who love children's literature.
The CBCA SA Branch were privileged to host the Children’s Book Council Australia Book of the Year Awards. The announcement was made at Government House in Adelaide, where the His Excellency, the Governor Hieu Van Le AC and Mrs Le hosted a Reception to announce the award winners.
After the formal announcement, the SA Branch’s video went live on the CBCA website to showcase South Australia and the award-winning books, with their authors, illustrators and publishers. Congratulations to all winners and to the CBCA SA Branch!
Sami Bailey, author and Illustrator of “The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals” and “The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals”, shared with the conference audience her story of hopes and dreams being fulfilled in the most wondrous way. Sami started her journey as an author/illustrator through her art and study in animal drawing. She also had the opportunity to travel and see the Proboscis Monkeys, which fascinated her. She entered her artistic drawings of the Proboscis Monkeys into a competition at the Australian Museum and won, later including those drawings in her Ugly Animals encyclopaedia.
Sami’s story of becoming an author/illustrator demonstrated the importance of having dreams and believing in your ability to reach them. With a little spark of magic, luck and a lot of hard work, she illustrated and wrote two informative and amazingly presented books. Her story is inspiring and her books, filled with weird and wonderful animals of the world, are amazingly illustrated with interesting information about each animal.
Public Libraries 101
Librarians, Karyn Stephens and Caitlin Hadrill, introduced and explained many on-line features of the modern, digital public library system. Whilst many users are familiar with the Libraries SA OneCard system, it was interesting to see the full benefits of apps such as Libby, and to learn about the availability of e-books, e-audiobooks, and limited but free access to external websites such as Ancestry.com. There is also a growing range of ezines available as the digital world of public libraries expands in many directions.
Overall, a very enlightening presentation.
Everything You DON’T Need To Know About Poetry with Mike Lucas
Mike Lucas shared his passion for poetry and how we shouldn’t get caught up with the technicalities! He explained that poetry should be about expressing your ideas, emotions or experiences. Mike guided us through writing poetry of our own, focusing on how the writing flows when read aloud. He creates engaging pieces of poetry, including the annual Book Week Poem and his latest book, “Let’s Build A House”, where his background in engineering comes into play. He was a joy to listen to as his excitement for writing left me feeling motivated to write and teach about poetry in my own way.
Embedding Indigenous Perspectives Across the Curriculum with PJ Edwards
PJ Edwards is a Teacher Librarian at St Aloysius College and she is passionate about embracing indigenous perspectives in our daily lives. She spoke about how we need an ‘anti-bias lens’ in order to listen deeply, move away from cultural appropriation, have humility for ours and others’ opinions, and to trust each other. PJ gave us a wealth of ideas to move from ‘safely’ teaching to ‘bravely’ teaching about indigenous culture and perspectives. She has built a wealth of resources and explained that she examined the perspectives she was missing in her collection and continues to introduce the missing lenses. PJ explained that anyone is able to embrace indigenous perspectives, as there are print and online resources for all ages. She began my path to be braver in embedding indigenous perspectives in my teaching practice.
Makey Makey and Scratch Are Not Two Cartoon Characters with Jason Coleman
Jason Coleman is a teacher at Prince Alfred College who demonstrated how to apply coding and Makey Makey to present student thinking in exciting ways. He took an Inquiry approach to build student engagement in learning to code using Scratch. Jason showed us how Makey Makey’s six commands can do interesting things, including playing audio recordings. His students made posters with elements connected to a Makey Makey programmed to play their book reviews aloud! It was impressive to see Jason teach a variety of coding functions in Scratch to use with Makey Makey devices. I was inspired to explore different Scratch commands with my students.
Manga Mayhem with Mel Phillips
Mel presented a fascinating workshop on manga. Manga may be an acquired taste, but Mel is a passionate manga reader and thus the students at her school have every opportunity to explore. She defined manga and how to read it. Manga are Japanese comics. Chapters are published weekly and combined as a Tankobon which is what we buy. You read Manga back to front and right to left. There are two main styles: action and romance. Both are fantasy worlds which show Japanese culture highlighting cultural differences including honorifics such as bowing. Translations provide explanations of cultural aspects.
Mel made useful suggestions about how librarians could include manga in their collections. Age appropriateness is a consideration. Librarians could keep the manga section separate, buy 2 copies of the first book of a popular series to test take up and then buy the first ten in the series. The presenter then talked about series that are popular in schools. For primary, possible choices could be Haiquu (Boys volleyball team), DragonballZ, Yotsuba (a feisty 6 year old girl), Fluffy, fluffy Cinnamoroll (for young girls –about a dog), Astroboy, Pokemon and Chi’s sweet home. Many Manga stories are made into anime productions which can be viewed through streaming services such as Crunchyroll, Netflix and Funimation.
An interesting genre to dabble with and explore. Beware- some people get hooked!
Sustainability with Ian Boyd
Ian discussed the broad concept of sustainability from a philosophical point of view and questioned whether schools will continue teaching the subject in the current way. He also discussed the well-being of children who feel helpless in the face of the complexities, and their sense of impending doom when the environment and ecosystems are discussed in depth.
He offered examples of excellent past and present books that have been published under the banner of “eco-literature” including “Dog Runner” by Bren MacDibble, and other books that define the current trend in dystopian literature. Considering his own writing, he looked at how to approach this genre (sometimes called “faction”), being conscious of the responsibility towards youth, to not present a hopeless view but to somehow present hope within a factual framework. To educate and to entertain whilst writing narrative is a challenge for authors addressing this field. Ian’s presentation gave the audience a lot of food for thought. It was interesting to have an author share his concerns about the responsibility of creating material for children about serious issues from his perspective.
Running Book Clubs With
Wendy Jeffrey, East Adelaide PS teacher librarian, gave a helpful insight into how to run a successful book club with students.
She recommended starting with one targeted group first and she provided book related food to make the event even more enjoyable.
Wendy states Sheena Cameron's "The Reading Book" provides all the guidelines and support material you need.
Wendy encourages each group to provide a name for their group and a list of group rules.
"Running Book Club" attendees watched a movie of Wendy's students participating in the book club discussions and were able to check out the boxes of support material provided to each group.
Thank you Wendy for providing inspiration for starting a book club with students.
Poetry in motion with Janeen Brian
I knew that this would be fun when I saw the circle of chairs for participants. Janeen’s opening to the workshop, and it really was a workshop, was to show us how to perform a story in a poem. Her performances inspired us with the use of tone, volume, accents, movement, and interaction with her audience. We were a very attentive audience ready to get creative and to be in on the fun. We could feel that careful planning had gone into the session to first draw us in and then to convince us that we too could take an audience on an exciting journey through poetry. Thank you Janeen.
Interview with Kunyi June Anne McInerney
Kunyi’s book was new to me. Sadly, some of her experience was not. Her beautiful book tells her personal story of being taken, as a child, from her family, her community, and her country. Importantly it also tells us about the inventive games and fun created by the children growing up together, the places where they played and the adventures they had but this does not take away from the cruelty, sadness and pain. It is a privilege to hear these stories and to meet the author and I thank the conference committee for organising this and Kunyi for her willingness to share.
Character Design Workshop with illustrator Mandy Foot
Mandy began her session with a read along of her picture book Lucy and Copper. The story follows young Lucy and her childhood pony, Smudge. As Lucy physically outgrows her beloved pony, the readers follow Lucy along the bitter-sweet journey of grieving the cessation of childhood, but finding optimism in newfound growth and individuality. Mandy explored the often delicate relationship between the written and visual narrative. She expressed the necessity of visual narrative in providing contextual information for the reader, often filling the gaps in the written narrative. To conclude, Mandy held a mini illustration workshop to take us through the process of character design, demonstrating that characters (both people and animals!) can be highly expressive and animated, thus adding richness to the narrative. Mandy Foot’s creativity, love for animals and appreciation of natural environments was a pleasure to experience at her creative workshop.
Create with Canva
Kate Moore shared her experiences with the free online creation tool Canva, and demonstrated ways that this tool can be utilised by both staff and students to create visually engaging creative pieces, both in digital and physical formats. Though this interactive workshop, Kate walked us through the process of creating promotional materials, such as posters and pamphlets, that are ideal for use in the classroom. Kate demonstrated that Canva is a particularly useful tool to use for classroom assessment as a differentiated learning strategy, or simply for creative projects. Additionally, this highly intuitive creation tool can be used by the novice creator for more complex projects, such as illustrated picture books. With its large selection of free templates, including posters, magazine covers, brochures, and catalogues, Canva is the all-rounder web-tool every educator needs to know about! Thank you Kate for introducing us all to this excellent resource.
This year’s Shortlist Celebration was a casual get together for all those involved in the creation of the Shortlist film, mingling with the management committee of CBCA SA. The evening began with a moving Welcome to Country by Micky O’Brian. While sharing drinks and a great spread of finger food, we listened to branch president, Jane Moore, describe the many ups and downs and unexpected curveballs thrown at the crew during filming. The night concluded with a presentation of the final movie, but we were held in suspense upon learning that we would have to wait with the rest of the country to find out which books had been shortlisted.
We were delighted to be able to hold Night of the Notables this year after it was cancelled due to COVID in 2020. The event was well attended. Fortunately, we were able to safely spread out through the Burnside Ballroom to enjoy drinks and nibbles. Five wonderful presenters – Nola Uzzell,
Katrina Germein, Julia Baldwin, Eileen McCabe and Kathryn Beilby entertained the audience with their expert opinions on the best of the Notables BOYA books. Each presenter chose a different category and prepared a slideshow to accompany her talk.
Attendees were also able to access these slide presentations after the event. Night of the Notables is a terrific way to help us learn about the best of Australian Children’s books and build interest in the CBCA Shortlist and CBCA Book Week.
We are extremely grateful to the Burnside Library staff for their support.
2020 will go down as the year when the COVID epidemic waylaid plans for functions, activities and meetings as we flexed with ever-changing restrictions aimed at ensuring the health and safety of our patrons, members and committee.
Our annual Night of the Notables in March was the first event to be cancelled. This was followed by the cancellation of our exciting plans for hosting the National CBCA Shortlist Announcements at The Sanctuary Adelaide Zoo in child-centred experience featuring workshops with our premier South Australian authors and illustrators and an animal handling experience in keeping with the CBCA Book Week theme “Curious creatures, Wild minds”.
The national hosting of the CBCA Book of the Year Awards to be held at Government House and hosted by the Governor and Mrs Le also had to be cancelled as travel restrictions, quarantine uncertainties and social distancing made face to face gatherings impossible to plan and execute.
South Australian children’s authors and illustrators were also impacted by COVID restrictions. More than 20 had new books were released, but opportunities for launching and promoting were negligible. The SA Branch planned a massive mini-launch for more than 15 new South Australian children’s books, but this also had to be cancelled to accommodate COVID restrictions.
We are looking forward to a better 2021!
CBCA SA members had an evening with Australian author Gina Newton. Gina writes entertaining and informative books for children about Australia’s unique biodiversity. She trained as a marine biologist, zoologist and science communicator. Gina is passionate about helping children become excited about, understand, and care for Australian wildlife and the environment.
Gina’s book Amazing Animals of Australia’s National Parks (2016) won three prestigious awards, including the CBCA Eve Pownall Information Book of the Year, in 2017.
She has also written two Blossom Possum picture books, and her most recent releases Combat Wombat to the Rescue and Hold On: Saving the Spotted Handfish.
Thebarton Senior College was selected as the South Australian winner of the ‘Homestead’ Street library donated by Street Library Australia and the Children’s Book Council of Australia.
Thebarton’s submission highlighted how the Street Library would support the Branch objective of putting books in the hands of children and young people from disadvantaged communities. Students come from diverse backgrounds representing more than 70 cultural groups.
Many have come to South Australia under refugee programs. Because a proportion of students are adults and parents, the reach of the Street library will extend into homes and families across the metropolitan area.
Thebarton has an active student voice group who will provide leadership in decorating the Street Library and managing the project after CBCA Book Week in conjunction with the school library.
The Committee took the decision to fund a further Street Library to Naracoorte South Primary School to assist in its push to improve literacy and foster a love of reading across the community.
We look forward to hearing about the progress and needs of both Libraries once they have been launched.
Opportunities will exist in the new year for members to contribute to maintaining a quality collection of used books for both schools.