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Robert Newton works as a full-time firefighter with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. His first novel, My Name is Will Thompson, was published in 2001. Since then he has written six other novels for young people, including Runner, The Black Dog Gang and When We Were Two, which won the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and three daughters.
I was born in Townsville, Queensland on an army base.
I currently work as a full time firefighter with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Before that, I had a string of jobs. I worked as a groundkeeper on a golf course and a builder’s labourer.
We moved around a lot as a family. By the time I was twelve I’d been to eight schools. I suppose that sort of restless lifestyle taught me a few important lessons in life. It taught me about friendship and what’s it like to be an outsider.
Books. I love the idea that there are kids everywhere getting lost in all sorts of different stories.
I wanted to be a trumpet player when I was younger. I’ve also got a black belt in karate.
Robert was fabulous, the kids loved him, he was so patient and kind in answering all their questions and even signing some of their books for them. He came off a night shift and still managed to wow the kids. My hat is off to him for managing that.
Robert was a really engaging speaker and our students very much enjoyed his visit. They were engaged through his prepared talk and also through his responses to questions. One student commented that Robert’s response to questions was a really full and thoughtful. He arrived on time, was relaxed about his presentation, was happy to sign books, have photos taken and to chat to sutdents.
Robert Newton’s presentation was extremely interesting and entertaining and the students were very engaged. They asked lots of questions at the end and many stayed behind to get their books signed. In fact the time we allocated for the presentation was not long enough.
The students loved him. He’s really engaging and was great at encouraging young writers to have a go.