Sydney School of Education and Social Work events – 2014 Archive

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Sydney School of Education and Social Work Artists in Residence in conversation


22 October 2014

The Sydney School of Education and Social Work invites its students, staff, alumni and friends to an "In Conversation" with its 2014 Artists-in-Residence, illustrator Donna Rawlins and author Simon French.

The event will be hosted by Professor Robyn Ewing and will be followed by an audience question-and-answer session  and book signing.

Because numbers are strictly limited, places in the event will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The school is proud to welcome Simon and Donna Rawlins, as Artists-in-Residence for 2014.

Both bring a wealth of experience to their inspirational teachings and will be running workshops throughout October 2014 for alumni and friends, students and staff.

Registrations are essential for each event, all of which are free.

Event details

  • When: 5.30–7pm

  • Where: Common Room, Level 4, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
    Education Building A35
    Click image for interactive map.

  • Cost: Free

  • Registration:

  • Contact: or +61 2 9351 6329

  • Speakers: Donna Rawlins has spent her entire working life specialising in the creation of children's books. She has worked in the publishing industry as a book packager, commissioning editor, designer and art director, and is currently a senior designer and art director at Walker Books Australia. She has also illustrated many picture books, written by some of Australia's most celebrated children's writers such as Simon French, Margaret Wild, Morag Loh and Nadia Wheatley, as well as writing her own texts.

    Donna has taught children's book illustration independently in Melbourne and Sydney and also with illustrator, Wayne Harris, where they have team-taught for Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education for over two decades. Donna continues to visit schools, running workshops for children and their teachers.

    In addition to her two picture books with Simon French, Donna is best known for her picture books My Place (with Nadia Wheatley), The Kinder Hat and Tucking Mummy In (with Morag Loh), My Dearest Dinosaur, Robber Girl, Babs the Baby and Fog the Dog, and Seven More Sleeps (with Margaret Wild), Jeremy's Tail (with Duncan Ball), The Firefighters (with Sue Whiting) and her own titles, Digging to China and Big and Little. Her books have won a variety of awards including Children's Book of the Year — Younger Readers for My Place.

    Simon French was born in Paddington in 1957 and grew up in Sydney's outer western suburbs. Always a reader and a writer, Simon began composing his first chaptered story at age 12 at the start of his high-school life. Inspired by his real-life peers, and the teachers they variously loved and loathed, his story became, in time, his first children's novel: Hey Phantom Singlet was published in 1975 when Simon was in his final high-school year.

    Since then, Simon has continued to write realistic fiction for 9–13 year olds, and his back catalogue now includes Cannily Cannily (1982), All We Know (1986), Change The Locks (1991), Where in the World (2001) and Other Brother (2013). He has collaborated with fellow 2014 school Artist in Residence Donna Rawlins on two picture books, Guess the Baby (2001) and What Will You Be? (2007). Two of his short stories, "Peace & Quiet" and "Promise" have been published in anthologies.

    Over the years, Simon’s work has garnered him a number of awards, including Australian Children's Book of the Year in 1987 and the NSW Premier's Literary Award in 2002. His books have been published in Spanish, Catalan, French, German, Danish, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. In tandem with his writing, Simon has worked full time as a primary school teacher for more than 30 years, as well as nearly five years in a children's refuge. Donna and Simon have a seven-year-old son and live in the Hawkesbury region north-west of Sydney.

    Professor Robyn Ewing is Professor of Teacher Education and the Arts in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work. She is currently national president of the Australian Literacy Educators Association (ALEA) and vice president of Sydney Story Factory.

Sydney School of Education and Social Work Artists in Residence in conversation with Professor Robyn Ewing

Where Common Room, Level 4, Education Building A35, Manning Rd, University of Sydney
Education Building A35
Click image for interactive map.


22 October 2014

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