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Open Right

Huda Hayek

Author, Inspirational Speaker

H. Hayek learned as an adult to embrace all the parts that make her unique. Hayek believes all children, no matter their backgrounds, can do this early and use it as a tool for success.

Where were you born?

I was born in Adelaide and when I was two, my family moved to Perth. My older brothers and sisters remember that I caused mischief with some new small friends on the plane. Then I spilled orange juice all over myself. I like to think at that point, somewhere above the Nullarbor – as a toddler – the orange juice incident was the beginning of something!

What other jobs have you had?

I’ve always loved words and telling stories so my first love was journalism. After this I went into primary school teaching, but really wanted to somehow combine both my writing and working with kids – that’s how the idea to write for children came about! Ingenious! I had a few jobs prior to being a journalist, teacher and author. I was a check out girl, pharmacy assistant, night-filler, and helped design swim-wear. I’ve done it all!

But my fave job has been writing stories for children. I know this is my true calling and understand the wonderful privilege I have of having children read my words.

What themes are recurring in your work?

The main theme in most of my work is ‘embracing difference’. Because difference is wonderful and embracing these qualities within yourself can lead to incredible things!

Other themes in my work include:

  • Sibling love
  • Belonging
  • Family
  • Identity
  • Courage
  • Determination
  • Overcoming challenges
  • Kindness
  • Adventure
  • Embracing and acceptance of others
  • Racism and responding to racism
  • Being Australian-Muslim

What have been the highlights of your career?

The absolute highlight of my career has been the publication of Huda and Me. There have been many highs along the way – meeting all the people (young and old) who love the book, the incredible reviews and invitations to speak about Huda and Me through radio, television, newspaper, podcasts and online.

Other momentous highlights have been to present workshops to groups of children with focus on using their own voice, the importance of embracing their uniqueness and how this can lead to a wonderful opportunities – not just in their writing – but in life generally.

Where have your works been published?

I have been published in various newspapers during my time working in journalism.

Huda and Me is my latest publication through Allen & Unwin.

What are you passionate about?

I am most passionate about working with both children and adults to embrace what makes them different. Each person’s difference is their super-power! I’m also passionate about writing, particularly using ‘own voices.’ I love to show students how using their own backgrounds and experiences in their writing is extremely powerful.

Haven’t I seen you before?

You may have seen me running ‘own voice’ workshops for children. I’ve also appeared on ABC News Breakfast, 3AW, various ABC radio programs, Sydney Morning Herald and Herald Sun. I’ve worked as journalist – you may have seen my byline. I’m also in the education system, and have been for 13 years.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m Australian, I’m Muslim and I’m Lebanese. I’m a mother, teacher, journalist and author. All of these, together, make me whole.

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