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Archie Fusillo

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

Archie is one of the most in-demand and successful presenters of author talks and workshops in Australia. Archie’s versatility means he can communicate to, and cater for, a range of abilities and interests. The fact that he was a teacher and features writer probably helps.

Archie is in demand for residencies across the country. Contact Booked Out to organise a residency for your school or library, or to discuss arranging a booking for a network of schools in your area.

Where were you born?

I was born in Melbourne, Australia.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Family, mateship, the migrant experience, and adolescence. In particular, the focus of much of work is on the ways these elements interact in the lives of young people – the resulting tension, the importance of their roots.

What are you passionate about?

The need for all young people to learn to read and write, and through literacy to have the chance to realise their potential.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Having the first novel published, getting gigs at various writers festivals; and winning a Book of the Year Award.

Where have your works been published?

My short stories have appeared in many Australian magazines and journals. My books have been published in Australia, and a few in the United States and China.

What other jobs have you had?

I have worked as a secondary teacher, features writer, a copywriter, and in the public service as a courier.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Perhaps — I speak regularly at writers festivals and cultural events right across the country, and tour schools regularly.


Our school selected 25 students to participate in a workshop with Archie. The students responded well to him and felt that Archie listened to them and was very encouraging to them with their writing. He took time to read the writing of the students and showed a genuine interest in them and their work.

—N. Brown, Kolbe Catholic College Greenvale Lakes, August 2017.

Archie’s presentation was perfectly tailored to needs of the overall program and today’s session – covering leadership in the community, what it means to be a leader, setting goals, being a project manager, and talking about what individuals can bring to the group. It set up the students really well to launch into their project brainstorming and planning in the second half of the session. I had great feedback from the other teachers and youth workers that were there as well.

I am very appreciative of Archie’s time and effort into putting his presentation together, it was fantastic.

—R. Mihelcic, Wyndham Youth Services, May 2017

Just wanted to thank you for arranging Archie’s visit to our schools. In chatting to him, it occurred to me, that while we have used your agency a number of times, I have never given feedback to you about the success of the speakers you have provided.

Archie was a wonderful speaker and had everyone, the Year 7 boys and all the teachers, enthralled from the beginning. In the fifty minutes he spoke to our group, he elicited laughter, awe, sadness and empathy. This was the perfect springboard for our boys’ creative writing and really underlined the effectiveness of having an author visit.

Can I also say that your agency has made it very easy for our school to provide these rich experiences for our students. You have made the process very easy for us.

—D. Sheppard, Curriculum Coordinator, St Joseph's College, 2017

The students enjoyed the more motivational part of the session. It suits the time of year: we want our students to feel calm and confident in starting the year, and Archie’s talk really reinforced that.

—K. Cozens, McKinnon Secondary College, February 2016

I would just like to commend Mr Archie Fusillo on his Writing Workshop at Ilim College Boys Campus. The kids were thoroughly engaged and took away a lot of good information from the workshop.
The fact that Mr Fusillo has been a classroom teacher is a great advantage as he clearly understands students and class dynamics…his advice and insights were invaluable.

—A. Turcinovich, Ilim College Boys Campus, August 2015

Archie Fusillo entertained and engaged the students with his high energy sessions that he tailored to individual groups of students. His understanding of the process of writing was vast, allowing him to share that knowledge with the students.

He has written far more than we were aware of and has many stories to tell. His focus on immigration resonated with the students who had their own stories to tell and his strong connection with family was very poignant.

It was a pleasure to have Archie as our author-in-residence for Library and Information Week. He is humorous, easy going and fitted in to our Halean environment.

—A.Ainsworth, Hale School WA, May 2015

(Archie) gave our audience of close to 200 students and staff a real wake up call.  Telling us about growing up Italian in Melbourne in the ’70s caused some of our staff to reach for the tissues, and made students listen carefully to the message of appreciating your family and not taking them for granted.  His touch of humour brought about lots of giggles without losing the importance of his message.  A truly inspiring speaker – we would not hesitate to have Archie visit our school again.

—M.Koutras, Lyndale Secondary College, August 2014

We have been using Archie Fusillo now for more than 10 years with one week residencies in Years 8, 9 and 11. He has focused on creative writing, short story writing and poetry.

Archie is always extremely well-prepared and always gives the students more than is expected. The week programs we run are a mixture of whole year level lectures, single class and small group group workshops and individual one on one tuition.

Each format is highly successful because of Archie’s experience and preparation.

—A. Trueman, All Saints Anglican School, August 2013

What a successful day we had with Archie!

Each of the three groups of students absolutely enjoyed themselves – some of them even admitting that they thought it was going to be boring (such a teenage word!) but that it had been fun. Students were surprised by how much they could write and they noted that the quality of what they wrote was something they were pleased with.

We had some books for Archie to sign and give to students in each session; those who were lucky enough to receive one were very appreciative. We did target one student who is always out of class and in some sort of trouble. Archie had a chat with him, gave him a signed book and wished him well. The look on the student’s face was one of amazement and interest. I have spoken to him since – he is half way through the book and realises what a special gift he was given…we are hopeful this encounter and the reading of The Dons may be the thing which helps to let this young man see there are positive choices he can make in his life.

Please put us on your list for next year. I would really like to organise for Archie to attend our school again.

—K. Brindal, Para Hills High School, August 2013

On Monday 27 August, Library Staff organised a visit by author Archie Fusillo for the Year 9 students. Archie was a fantastic speaker who had the students laughing, thinking and very moved by his many animated anecdotes about his life, growing up and writing. My students loved this activity and we all returned to our classroom enthusiastically sharing our responses to his presentation.

—R. Lowes, English Teacher, Rowville Secondary College, September 2012

Last Friday, Archie Fusillo visited Mercy Regional College and talked to and worked with our Year 8 students and staff.

I would like to highlight to you what a wonderful day we shared with Archie. He delivered a humorous and inspiring presentation and workshop to our 100 Year 8 students – and the staff were equally impressed! Our students laughed and reflected on his lively talk, providing them with a rich experience that can only deepen their comprehension of ‘The Dons’, the text that they are currently studying.

Thank you for assisting with the planning and organisation of the day. We would highly recommend Archie Fusillo as a guest author and hope that you will note this for future reference.

—M. O'Loughlan, Mercy College, August 2012

The teachers at PSC have never seen the students at these levels so engaged as when they are listening to Archie, a respectful audience for a full 60 minutes. He is funny, witty, sympathetic and engaging. “They were eating out of his hand”.

Archie has covered many issues in relation to why he writes, what he has written, the process his writing goes through before it is published, his awards, his books and where the characters have come from, his life and prominent characters in his life. He pitches his sessions to suit the age group and their interests. Totally intriguing and interesting.

The feedback from our students and staff who attend his talks and workshops is the reason we will book him again for our Year 7 and 9 students in 2013.

—J. Lawrance, Pakenham Secondary College, August 2012

It would have to be one of the toughest gigs in town: on a Friday, all of Year 9, spread over three sessions, in the theatre, listening to an author, someone who writes books! But Archie Fusillo had us all, including teachers, riveted and engaged in what he had to say about growing up in Fitzroy (before it was trendy), being the son of Italian immigrants who could speak little English, being at school and not fitting in, mateship, family, tragedy and how you go on and what is really important in life. His stories made us laugh and at times brought a tear to our eyes. He reminded us of the magic and power of stories. What was lovely to see was the students who thanked him for his talk and who came up to him in the yard to say, “Thanks Archie.”, “Thanks mate.”

—J. Hulett, teacher/librarian, St Helena Secondary College, August 2012

May I say on behalf of us all how much we enjoyed Archie’s visit yesterday. Our Year 7 and 8 boys are still talking about him today — no mean feat for that age group! His speech at the opening ceremony of the World Debating was very special. Some of the student delegates even gave him a standing ovation.

—M. Forbes, Teacher Librarian, Moreton Bay Boys' College, April 2012

Archie was fabulous — once again! Thank you for your help with all the arrangements. It was great to work with you and Archie. I just wanted to thank Archie for his amazing speech yesterday which was an inspiring, though-provoking and exemplary way to open the WIDPSC.

—L. Cadzow-Andres, WIDPSC Committee, March 2012

It was by far the most enjoyable we have had in a long time … and of course, this was enhanced by the involvement of Archie Fusillo. Archie certainly touched the minds and hearts of our entire staff. He was real, he was reflective and shared a reality check with us all. Staff felt connected by his delivery that was attune to the thread of our day’s focus. Of course, Archie himself was open to working so well with us to ensure this was the case. What a treat for our teachers!

—R. Pimpini

Ciao Archie,

Thanks so much for your wonderful presentation yesterday to our Year 8 cohort. The students were highly engaged, interested and very much captivated by what you shared. We were so honoured to hear about your beautiful family and the precious memories you have of your grandmother and parents. I always shed a tear when I hear the story of your grandparents’ illness and of course, the story of Nunzio.

I cannot thank you enough. I will definitely see you back at our school, CRC Melton, very soon. I look forward to reading your new novel when it comes out in a few months time. Until then, tante belle cose.

Wishing you well.

—C. Russo, Languages Coordinator, Catholic Regional College Melton

We had Archie Fusillo attend our Year 12 Study camp at Federation University in early Feb. Archie engaged the audience of students and teachers immediately with his humour and enthusiasm. Archie told stories from his childhood which allowed the students to relate to his struggles as an adolescent whom had no confidence to succeed in high-school due to his minimal ability to read and write. Archie’s story was one of those ‘success stories’ and for any school looking to build resilience and a growth-mindset for their students, I highly recommend Archie to make you laugh, at times want to cry and also walk out of the session feeling prepared to make a change, or simply know that when at first you don’t succeed, you must try again.

—C. Smith, Hoppers Crossing Secondary College, 2017

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