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Jackie French


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‘Author, ecologist, historian, dyslexic and honourary wombat (part time)’ – that’s Jackie French’s job title, according to her own website.

Jackie French writes novels and non-fiction; fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction and ecology; for adults and for kids. Over the course of her career, she’s written a dizzying 140 books. Loved by Australian kids for picture books including the Diary of a Wombat series and Queen Victoria’s Underpants, she’s a passionate advocate for dyslexics and children’s literature and has served as the Australian Children’s Laureate.

Jackie has won countless awards across various genres, including the NSW Premier’s History Award. Her latest novel, Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies, is about a secret finishing school for young women during World War I.

Join us at Montalto Vineyard for a wide-ranging conversation with Jackie French and host Wendy Orr, covering historical fiction, children’s literacy and an extraordinary life in literature.


Jackie French

Jackie French is an award-winning writer. She was the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2014-2015 and the 2015 Senior Australian of the Year. In 2016 Jackie became a  Member of the Order of Australia for her  contribution to children’s literature and her advocacy for youth lit... Read more

Wendy Orr

Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer who now lives on the Mornington Peninsula. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films starring Jodie Foster and Abiga... Read more



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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.