I have a very strong commitment to children’s literacy advocacy and am honoured to be an Ambassador and a lead author in the Writer in Residence Program for the education support charity, Ardoch. This program started off three years ago as a pilot, and has since expanded to include more authors and schools, thanks to the generous grant from the Readings Foundation. To date, I have co-authored three amazing middle grade fiction stories in the Ardoch Writer in Residence program: Pencil Pandemonium (Sunshine Primary School), Freddie the Famous Ferret (Melton Primary) and Super Astro Chicken and the Giant Red Tomato (Mother of God Primary, Ardeer).
I believe all children have the right to become engaged, literate members of society – irrespective of their postcode. And I’m particularly passionate about children receiving free access to picture books before they start school – especially those in communities with less resources. It goes without saying that I’m a HUGE fan of libraries everywhere! And when I’m not writing, I’m able to raise awareness and funds for the work of Ardoch through my socially conscious small business, DEED bags.
I’ve absolutely loved spending the past ten years being involved in many literacy support projects for children, which have included: ● classroom story-writing workshops ● writer in residence workshops ● library readings ● clothing, food and book collections ● a fund-raising gala with my novel The Shoe Princess’s Guide to the Galaxy ● own a word campaign ● regular volunteering at the The Book Bunker, Scholastic Australia Children’s Library, at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Melbourne ● plus reading and craft sessions for the children’s cancer charity Koala Kids, at both RCH and Monash Children’s Cancer Centres, as part of their ‘Book Club’ literacy programme. I particulary enjoyed my volunteer work at the children’s hospitals, as it dovetailed beautifully with my first career as an Occupational Therapist.
During the story-writing workshops, I’ve independently published several fun titles with schoools, such as: Have You Ever Seen a Blue Banana?, The Parrot and the Scarecrow and Treasure Island. And as Ardoch’s ‘Writer in Residence’ in 2016, I conducted a 5 week series of story-writing workshops with Grade 3 and 4 children at Sunshine Primary School, in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne. We had an immense amount of fun writing, illustrating and publishing the story book Pencil Pandemonium and were also lucky enough to have the Star Weekly Newspaper at our book launch!