Melina Marchetta, Schools & Citizenship address

Melina Marchetta, Schools & Citizenship address

Days of being an author – is called crazy-good and up-for-air.  Madly frantic!!!!

Racing from KINGS School, to TARA Girls School to Murray Farm Public School  to share my I AM JACK books and ‘Elephants Have Wings.’  The librarians are so hospitable – I got well fed and lots of coffee and I got to share my books with gorgeous kids.

Then it’s Gleebook shop Book Launch of Alice Pung’s first young adult novel – Laurinda – launched by my friend and colleague Melina Marchetta. Both Alice and Melina are Room to Read Writer Ambassadors like I am.  We’re all on a mission to get books to kids in the developing world.

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Then it’s off to a fabulous Indian restaurant with the Room to Read team led by Jennie Orchard and stayed too late because I was having a great time.

Highlight was the citizenship ceremony at Woollahra Council. I addressed a packed house overlooking the beautiful harbour. Purple-blue jacaranda trees heavy with flowers greeted em and I got to hang out with the Mayor Of Woollahra Toni Zeltzer. Loved the gold chains and warm welcome by Toni and all the Council staff but more than that – I had the privilege of addressing 36 new Australians – from Hungary, Germany, Malaysia, Turkey, Pakistan …

I am an Australia Day Ambassador – it’s something I love doing. I’ll be flying to speak in Tamworth this year on Australia Day.

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It was moving addressing the 36 new Australians and their families and friends from countries as diverse as Thailand, Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, UK  … Pakistan.  The Pakistan young man and his 3 young friends were beside themselves that they became Australians today.

I loved speaking to them about our immigrant country that embraced them all and I did a show and tell and held up my Order of Australia.

They loved it. I loved it and it was very special. Made me think about my parents and their journey here.

I'm a writer committed to kids in particular. Adults are good too. Want to bring hope through story to my readers. Awarded an Order of Australia, Lady Cutler Award and a Lifetime International Award for Literacy for my body of work, spreading literacy is really important. I'm head of SCBWI Australia East & New Zealand, patron of Monkey Baa Theatre, Ambassador for the Premier's Reading Challenge, Writer Ambassador for Room to Read ... among other roles. I also love heritage and adapting to enhance the lives of people today, which is why I restored The Hughenden Hotel 1870s and The Residences Centennial Park - the only homes in the parklands which are open now for accommodation, events and lots of nature.

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