Dr James Best on the need for risk in teenage lives

Dr James Best took his autistic son Sam on a life-changing journey through Africa, recently highlighted on Australian Story, but says it needn’t be so dramatic a change or trip to develop a teenager’s emotional and life skills. 

A patient of mine, a teenage boy with hair over his eyes and a crooked smile, told me recently that he was shortly to depart to a remote school-run rural retreat for six months, organised through his elite Sydney secondary college.… Read the rest

A day in the life of a publishing dinosaur…

It’s not often we get the pleasure of meeting a dinosaur, especially one who loves books, enjoys visiting bookstores, and spreading a love of reading (and poetry).

If you’re a T-rex dinosaur
who wants to do much more than roar,
chat to the people who make books –
although you’ll get some funny looks.Read the rest

Refugee Week Reading List

Refugee Week and World Refugee Day are an opportunity to raise awareness of the plight of refugees, as well as celebrate the huge positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. With this year’s theme of “With courage let us all combine”, we’ve gathered together a reading list of important refugee stories both non-fiction and fiction, suitable for young and old, to learn of the plight and courage of refugees at home and abroad.… Read the rest

Shelly Unwin on Owning It

Recently published debut author Shelly Unwin (no relation!) discusses the need to “own” your belief in being a writer, and how she came to write her picture book series.

When I had the epiphany whilst reading to my three-year old daughter that I wanted to write children’s books, it came coupled with the realisation that people may think me slightly nuts.… Read the rest

When is a religious community a cult?

Charity Norman muses on Gloriavale, cult leaders and researching for her new novel See You in September.

Some time ago I spent a few days at Southern Star Abbey, a Cistercian monastery in a remote corner of Hawke’s Bay.… Read the rest