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Oliver Phommavanh

Author

Oliver Phommavanh loves to make people laugh, whether it’s on the page writing humour for kids or on stage as a stand-up comedian. He also shares his passion for writing with the kids he teaches at a primary school in Western Sydney. As a comedian, Oliver has appeared on stage, and on national TV and radio.

Where were you born?

I was born and raised in Western Sydney.

What other jobs have you had?

I’m also a primary school teacher and a stand up comedian. I used to stack boxes at Woolies during high school.

What themes are recurring in your work?

My stories are about growing up, friendship, school-life, celebrating multiculturism and different families.

What have been the highlights of your career?

My book is Thai-riffic!, published by Penguin. I’ve also had a short story published in the anthology, Growing Up Asian in Australia.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about creative writing and getting kids to use their humour to write stories. I’m also interested in the many untold stories of migrants coming to Australia.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

My heart is still fifteen years old, Sonic the Hedgehog is my hero and I have over four hundred plush toys, most of them talk but some of them are quite shy.

Testimonials

Oliver was a huge hit with the kids, and kept them (and teachers) laughing all the while. Importantly though, he managed to convey his love of reading to the kids, encouraging them to be avid readers, and enjoy writing, and keep going doing what they enjoy.

—R. Brockmann, Bexley Public School, May 2013

KSP Writers’ Centre would like to thank Booked Out for lending us the fabulous Benjamin Law and Oliver Phommavanh for our Writers Festival in the Perth hills. Our five events, held over a weekend in April, were all well attended, especially our Literary Dinner where Ben delivered an insightful and engaging keynote speech. Feedback from guests has been overwhelmingly positive. We are incredibly happy with the high calibre professionalism and delightful presence of all our guest writers. They lifted our Festival to a new level of success. Absolutely satisfied!

—S. Coyle, Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre, May 2013

Just wanted to say how much our school thoroughly enjoyed Oliver’s visit last week. It was all that we’d hoped for and brilliant motivator for the start of the year. I’ve had so many positive remarks from teachers, students and our parents. His ability to connect to the students on both a large and small scale (workshops) was exactly what we were after at Enfield. We look forward to his next novel with big smiles.

—L. Sharpe, Enfield Public School, February 2013

They loved it! The kids were still talking about it the week after!

—M. Hoult, Norfolk High School, April 2012

Our school loved Oliver. As Thai students, they felt an instant connection to a Thai author who writes in English. Then, as soon as they met him and heard his hilarious presentations, they fell in love! He is an inspiring role model as the ‘cool nerd’ Asian author. He is funny and smart and a really nice guy. I recommend him and we are happy that our students from ages 7-15 got his message: ‘Read, read, read…and write, write, write’ in order to become a better writer! Thank you, Oliver, and thank you Booked Out!

—M. Lojek, Concordian International School, March 2012

A huge thank you to Oliver for visiting our school!  His workshops and discussions about writing and first book, Thai-riffic, coupled with his energy and humour have really inspired our students!  We’re very much looking forward to seeing Oliver again next year!

—Ruth Smith, Sheldon College, June 2011

The students loved Oliver’s visit. He presented two very lively sessions to Year 3 and 4 students, who were totally captivated for the entire hour. He included lots of humour, but also some fabulous key points about reading and writing. His books have flown out of the Library since his visit, and even though we have multiple copies of all of his books, they all have waiting lists! This is always a great sign following an author visit.

—M. Caluzzi, Ivanhoe Girls' grammar School

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