SCBWI USA and International, include Australia East and New Zealand. Established more than 40 years ago in the USA to benefit children’s authors and illustrators, SCBWI now has over 24,000 members across the world in 30 regions including Australia, France, UK, Philippines, India, Singapore, Canada.

SCBWI Australia and New Zealand is divided into two main regions: Australia West and Australia East & New Zealand.

Each region is led by a Regional Advisor and Assistant Regional Advisors, supported by a Regional Illustrator Coordinator and enthusiastic and energetic volunteers.

Susanne Gervay is the Regional Advisor of Australia East and New Zealand with its home in The Residences in Centennial Park in Sydney.

The region is divided into chapters in NSW & ACT, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania & South Australia, and New Zealand who each hold quarterly meetings where members share ideas, news, and hear from industry professionals.

There is a biannual conference in Sydney where publishers, authors, illustrators gather in one of the great community of writers and illustrator events in Australia and New Zealand. There’s a lot of dancing, industry talks, illustrator brilliance at the showcase, contract negotiation, craft and launches  … it’s wonderful.

A snapshots & photos of my life as an author

  • Being part of  a fact finding mission on climate change and literacy with Patrick Dobson father of Indigenous reconciliation in the newest nation in the Pacific Ocean Kiribati
  • Award winning illustrator Frane Lessac in Paris after we spoke at the London IBBY Conference
  • Best selling author Deborah Abela and I at a writers’ meeting in Sydney
  • Catching up with Derek Landy author of  Skulduggery Pleasant Dark Days in Sydney
  • Speaking to kids at the Beijing literary Festival
  • Sharing my books with the children of Kiribati, island atoll
  • The funtastic ‘Authors on the Road’ tour of Northern Queensland
  • A day off touring at beautiful Great Keppel island, Barrier Reef Queensland

The BEST part is sharing story with people of all ages – especially kids and even Oprah (ha!) – from giving an address as an Australia Day Ambassador in the bush, speaking on School of the Air in the Outback, being interviewed by FOX TV in Las Vegas, talking at the Deaf and Blind School, touring with Monkey Baa Theatre Company across the US … everywhere!

My best friends are writers and illustrators who are amazing people.

We talk about our books, celebrate publication, commiserate on rejections, go to each other’s launches, have  funny, emotional, important  times together at festivals, trips, conferences. We travel together on writing tours which sometimes are truly crazy.

Stranded in Melbourne, I ended up sleeping with Hazel Edwards’ huge big pink hippopotamus from her internationally loved ‘There’s A Hippopotamus Eating Cake on the Roof’ – hilarious.

Adventuring with Frane Lessac award winning picture book illustrator who  is nearly eaten by a crocodile in Paris, chased by an out of control toilet in an airport (don’t ask me about that crazy adventure), capturing the bus driver on Rottnest Island to find small furry quokkas (like tiny kangaroos) and stunning bays –  thankyou bus driver hero. (We were the only passengers).

Frane and I had the best time ever on Nami Island South Korea where we were flown to speak about ‘PEACE STORY’ created by IBBY supporting UNICEF where 22 authors and 22 illustrators from 22 countries created stories of peace. I wrote – ‘Remembering East Timor with Love’. Frane illustrated it.  Frane and I wrote on a stone in beautiful Nami Island – ‘War is not brave, but men can be brave in war and in life.’ (my young adult novel – ‘The Cave’ chapter 14).

The North Queensland tour was madly crazy with authors and illustrators from all over Australia in a bus heading North on the road from Rockhampton to Emerald. There was Michael Gerald Bauer, Judith Rossell, Krista Bell, Paul Collins, Kevin Burgemeestre, Julie Fison, Meredith Costain, Elaine Ousten,  Royce Bond and our fabulous MC Ron Day. It was all great until the bus headed off without ME!!!!!! Stranded in Rockhampton, they finally came back for me thanks to brilliant author and illustrator Judith (Jude) Rossell who saw an empty seat. ‘Hey, where’s Susanne?’ Thankyou Jude.

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