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Open Right

Nikki Gemmell

Author, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Social Issues, Storyteller/Performer, Women's Rights

Nikki is known as Australia’s most honest author. Whether it’s her provocative novel The Bride Stripped Bare; After, her non fiction book about the euthanasia death of her mother, or her highly popular column in the Weekend Australian magazine (which tackles many issues pertinent to educators and students,) she gets the nation thinking. She’s also written two series of books for primary aged school children.

Where were you born?

I’m a proud ‘Gong girl’ from Wollongong – the steel city.

What other jobs have you had?

I’ve been an actress (blink and you’ll miss me in Home and Away, decades ago) as well as a waitress and a shop assistant and the chick behind the sausage counter at David Jones food hall (the dream was ‘Ladies fashion’ –  but I got stuck me in ‘Ham.’) I’ve also been a broadcaster for the ABC and the BBC, most well known as a newsreader on Triple J. And over the past 8 years I’ve regularly appeared on the Today Show.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Honesty. Women’s issues.  Emotional and sexual development. Teenagers. Teaching. Fairness. Where we are now as a nation. Euthanasia. Seeking serenity and quiet. Writing (fiction, non fiction and poetry.)

What have been the highlights of your career?

The highlights of my career have always been the interactions with readers – whether that’s 80-somethings who regularly read my columns and want to tell me what’s what, teachers who say they’ve read out my work in class as examples of thought-provoking writing, or school kids dressing up as Coco Banjo for Book Week.

Where have your works been published?

All over the world – I am published in 22 languages.

What are you passionate about?

Children, writing, reading, equality, social issues, Australia.

Haven’t I seen you before?

You may have seen me on the Today programme, or caught my profile picture on the Weekend Australian magazine, or glanced at me on the back cover of a book in a book store, or watched me at a literary festival, or heard my voice on Triple J many years ago.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m passionate about encouraging kids to write – I love what comes out of their brains. Often they’re natural writers and don’t even know it. They just need to be taught how, and then let rip. It’s glorious to witness.

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