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Gabrielle Wang is an award winning author and illustrator of novels and picture books for children and young adults. She was born in Melbourne of Chinese heritage. As a result, Gabrielle’s books are a blend of both Australian and Chinese culture with a touch of fantasy. She has conducted workshops in writing and illustrating around Australia and overseas.
I was born in Melbourne and am fourth generation Chinese Australian. In my twenties I decided to go in search of my ‘roots’ as I did not grow up speaking Chinese and knew little about the culture. I lived in Taiwan for five years where I studied Chinese language and brush painting and then moved to China for two years where I continued my painting studies.
I was a graphic designer in Melbourne. When I moved overseas, I taught English as a second language. Back in Australia I lectured in Chinese at RMIT for nine years before becoming a full time author.
As I am Chinese Australian, my work is greatly influenced by my experiences growing up between two cultures. Recurring themes are – friendship, family, finding your place in the world, fitting in, and the healing power of art. My stories are often set in the real world but have a touch of fantasy and the supernatural.
I am passionate about creating understanding between cultures. Reading fiction allows children to see the world through someone else’s eyes.
Gabrielle has visited our school for the past three years and run her Chinese watercolour painting session with our year 7s. This complements the text that they study at this year level, Chinese Cinderella. Gabrielle is a true professional with a wonderful instructional manner. She incorporates her Chinese heritage into the workshops beautifully and has the students spellbound. The lovely thing about her sessions is that being able to produce a credible Chinese watercolour at the end of the session is well within the grasp of every student.
I just wanted to thank you again for the wonderful workshops you did with the girls. They were spot on in terms of content and variety and I know were an inspiration to all our aspiring writers and illustrators! Sharing so many of your own personal experiences really connected the writing process to the real world for the girls and they all thoroughly enjoyed your stories and hearing about where you get your inspiration and ideas from. Drawing Peng was also a huge favourite!
Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed our author visits by Gabrielle Wang. Gabrielle was just delightful with our students and I know they really enjoyed the sessions. Gabrielle even created a special session for our boys, focusing on their interests and it was just great. It was really lovely of her to do that.