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Open Right

David Lawrence

Author

David is a comedy writer/performer who makes a living out of pretending to be other people. He has written for numerous TV shows including Hamish & Andy, Comedy Inc., TV Burp and Talkin’ About Your Generation, and accidentally became a Children’s author in 2008. Anna Flowers, the three Fox Swift books and the four Ball Stars stories all have sporting themes and use comedy to tackle issues such as bullying and racism in schools.

Where were you born?

I was born in Brisbane but my Queensland links are rather tenuous as two months later we moved interstate. Dad was in the Army, so we were always moving. This meant being ‘the new kid’ at a lot of different schools – it was challenging but also exciting.

What other jobs have you had?

While I was at Uni I worked in a bottle shop, then after graduating went into stockbroking and later became a financial analyst for an oil company. Like most financial analysts, I then moved into writing and performing comedy.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Without trying to be too preachy, the themes of my books include bullying, racism, leadership, teamwork, and supporting others around you. The stories have a sporting backdrop to engage normally reluctant readers.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Having a sold out season with ‘The Man With a Golden Run’ at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It was an autobiographical ‘reality’ show about my attempt to run the Melbourne Marathon – lapsing into a coma at the 39 km mark made the story a lot more entertaining! I am still very proud of the first TV show I ever wrote for – ‘The Big Bite’ (2002) that won a number of awards. It was especially pleasing as we were all unknown writers and performers and Channel 7 took a big risk on us. The show unearthed Chris Lilley, Andrew O’Keefe and most importantly my business partner Jo Gill.

What are you passionate about?

Encouraging kids to read is my main motivation for writing children’s books. There is nothing more satisfying than being told that a kid who is normally ‘allergic’ to reading loves your book.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I have been lucky enough to be paired with champion sports stars when writing my books. Eloise Southby (Anna Flowers) and Cyril Rioli (Fox Swift series) are extremely gifted athletes but they also work and train incredibly hard to be successful. It was great to collaborate on Fox Swift with Jo Gill who did all the illustrations. Encouraging kids to draw as a way of expressing themselves is another goal of the book.

Testimonials

David was terrific! His talk was thoroughly entertaining and inspiring.
He managed to pitch his talk so that it appealed to both the boys and their dads and consequently there were lots of questions from both quarters (and from staff).
We have had a lot of appreciative feedback throughout the day.
I would thoroughly recommend him as a speaker.

—C.Casey, Camberwell Grammar School, August 2014

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