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Open Right

Robert Hillman

Author

Robert Hillman has published more than sixty works of fiction and non-fiction. His books feature in school libraries all over Australia and his autobiography, The Boy in the Green Suit, won the 2005 Australian National Biography Award. His publications cover sports, Australian history, nation building, Young Australian achievers, and the plight of refugees and asylum seekers

Where were you born?

In the middle of Melbourne, on a site where a department store now stands. But I grew up in a rural Victorian town that had provided the setting for two novels.

What other jobs have you had?

My professional life has been dominated by teaching in high schools and universities. My most off-beat job was shovelling sheeps’ eyeballs into wheelie bins at a big meat market.

What themes are recurring in your work?

I am attracted to writing about the struggle of the marginalised people of the Australian community, particularly of refugees and asylum seekers.

What have been the highlights of your career?

My memoir, The Boy in the Green Suit, won the 2005 Australian National Biography Award, and My Life as a Traitor, written with asylum-seeker Zarah Ghahramani, was short-listed for the 2008 Prime Minister’s Literary Award.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about drawing attention to the people in our society who suffer social and political discrimination.

Testimonials

The year 11s and 12s that attended the talk were very excited and I think they got a lot out of the talk. It was good for them to put a face to the words on the page of Najaf’s book and it was great to have Robert there to facilitate the talk. The students enjoyed Najaf’s ironic sense of humour and both speakers took time to sign books and meet the students afterwards, which was great.

—M. Dortmans, Flinders Christian Community School, June 2011

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