Gabrielle Wang

Gabrielle Wang is a children’s author and illustrator. She was born in Melbourne of Chinese heritage. Her great grandfather came to Australia during the Victorian Gold Rush in 1853. As a result, Gabrielle’s novels are a blend of both Australian and Chinese culture with a touch of fantasy. Her first novel The Garden of Empress Cassia, won the 2002 Aurealis Award, was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and was a CBCA Notable Book. Her second novel The Pearl of Tiger Bay was shortlisted for the 2004 Aurealis Award. Her other novels include The Hidden Monastery and The Lion Drummer, which has been named a Notable Book in the 2009 CBCA Book of the Year Awards. Her latest junior novel, A Ghost in My Suitcase was released in February this year and her first young adult novel, Little Paradise, is due to be published in March 2010, as well as a picture book, The Race for the Chinese Zodiac.

‘Being from a migrant background, I was very keen to work on this project. The students were brilliant and their stories totally inspiring. It was a great privilege for me to work with them.’ GW.

For more detailed information visit her website at:

Daan Spijer

Daan Spijer was seven when he came to Australia with his parents and two younger sisters. He was born in Israel; his parents and sisters were born in the Netherlands. Speaking Dutch in the street had people stare. Australians were suspicious of difference – they still are.

Daan worked as a lawyer, a social worker, a therapist, a computer programmer and was CEO of a medical college for eleven years. He now writes almost full-time. Through his writing he explores difference and how people deal with it, as well as issues of social justice, integrity, the impact of big business on our lives and how people can take responsibility for themselves. He has won awards for his short stories, poems, essays, plays and photography. Some of his work has been published, and several of his plays have been performed.

Daan loves teaching. He is thrilled when he can lead others to new insights and stimulate their desire to learn more. It is also through teaching that he learns most himself – asking questions and finding novel answers.

Daan’s weekly columns and book reviews can be found at: