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Helen Chebatte

Author

Helen is an author and an actor. Using both her performance and writing skills, Helen brings dual knowledge and understanding to the art of expression.

Where were you born?

In the bustling city of Beirut, Lebanon, in a tiny apartment my parents shared with my grandparents. I was three years old when we moved to Australia.

What other jobs have you had?

I was a hairdresser for many years and met lots of interesting people in the different salons I worked. However after realising the arts was the place for me, I became a professional actress, working in film, television and theatre, as well as a drama teacher, teaching students from kindergarten to Year 12 and now also a writer, writing children’s books.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I seem to have a soft spot for cultural diversity and Australian identity.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Having my book published was incredible, as was winning the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Frustrated (now Aspiring) Writer’s Mentorship Competition and receiving the inaugural Charlotte Waring Barton award. However my best highlight was hearing how a group of male teenagers, who’d never been interested in reading, read my YA novel Bro.

Where have your works been published?

Bro is my first novel but my articles have been published in CBCA iRead and The Norwest Bulletin.

What are you passionate about?

Multicultural representation in both literature and film. We are an exciting society of cultural diversity and I’d love to see that mirrored more in the arts. All people need to feel they have a place in this world, especially children.

Haven’t I seen you before?

Maybe you’ve seen me as a witness in a court room drama, or the unfortunate victim of a murderer. Is it possible you’ve seen me dressed in costume and speaking a different language? If you’re a fan of film and television then chances are you have, in one of the many roles I’ve played.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m a big fan of Christmas.

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