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.


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.


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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