Alice Pung is a writer and lawyer who loves teaching. Alice’s books are studied in secondary schools and universities in Australia as well as the United States, and she has taught writing workshops to students from the ages of 8 to 80 in Australia, China and the States. Alice is also an Ambassador for the 100 Story Building Project, a social enterprise which helps promote literature and literacy skills to young people in the Western suburbs.
I was born in Footscray, Victoria, and grew up in the suburb of Braybrook. I attended local primary and secondary schools in the Western suburbs, including Tottenham North Primary School, Footscray Girls Secondary College, Christ the King College Braybrook, MacRobertson Girls High School and Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School.
I have worked as a sales girl at my dad’s Retravision store for seven years, an independent art teacher for children, a pastoral care adviser at a university college (Janet Clarke Hall) and a legal researcher at the University of Melbourne. I currently work as a lawyer alongside my writing career, and often guest lecture at universities.
My first book, Unpolished Gem, became the bestselling book at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival, won the Australian Book Industry Award’s Newcomer of the Year Award in 2007, and was shortlisted for numerous other state and national awards, including the Premier’s Literary Awards in several states.
In 2008, I was the Asialink literature resident to Peking University, China, and in 2009, I was the Australian representative at the Iowa International Writer’s Program, USA. I have held a position as the Writer in Residence at Ormond College, The University of Melbourne, and currently, I am the Writer in Residence at Janet Clarke Hall, The University of Melbourne.
I’m a frequent contributor to The Monthly and The Age and The Australian newspapers. I’ve also had stories published in Good Weekend, Meanjin and Black Inc. Publishing’s The Best Australian Stories.
I am passionate about education for all ages, and I have worked extensively with students at all levels and ages: from primary schools in Brunswick to youth prisons in Wagga Wagga, from university students in China in to seniors writing memoirs in Sitka, Alaska.
I don’t own a television, iPod or CD player.