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Open Right

Claire Saxby

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Social Issues, Storyteller/Performer

Claire Saxby writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction for young people. She speaks (and sometimes sings) about history, humour, our environment, making stories, writing poetry and researching.

Where were you born?

I was born in Melbourne and live here now. In between, I attended nine schools across eastern Australia and in Papua New Guinea and have lived in 23 houses.

What other jobs have you had?

I have been a waitress, a hospital laundry sheet-folder, farmer, rouseabout, election official, letter-sorter, podiatrist and bookseller

What themes are recurring in your work?

I am a child of the sea and considered being a marine biologist. The ocean features in many of my stories. I am fascinated by history, particularly migration and women’s stories and the wartime stories of those who stayed home. I also love to write humourous stories for young readers with strong rhythm and repetition.

What have been the highlights of your career?

I was on a train, sitting opposite a grandmother and grandchild. I told them I was going to a meeting where I would share the first copy of one of my first picture books. The grandmother read it out loud, the grandchild listened, looked and laughed. All three of us nearly missed our station. That’s what it’s about. Co-winning the Patricia Wrightson NSW Premier’s Award for Dingo (ill Tannya Harricks). CBCA Honour book for Koala (ill Julie Vivas). Being guest speaker at a quilting convention where 300 quilters quilted in silence while I shared the history of the Rajah quilt (My Name is Lizzie Flynn). Working annually with students in Papua New Guinea and seeing the changes in their storymaking from year to year.

Where have your works been published?

My works have been published both nationally and internationally, in multiple languages.

What are you passionate about?

I believe in wonder and curiosity and the need to understand our world. I believe understanding builds empathy and tolerance, whether it’s about sharing story or discovering our place in ecosystems.



We wanted to extend our thanks for facilitating Claire’s visit with us.
Our students and teachers had the BEST day listening and learning from Claire. She taught us all so much and has left behind a flurry of students rushing to the library to borrow Claire’s books!!

—P. Solari, St Simon the Apostle Primary School, 2022

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