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Rosalie Ham


Rosalie Ham achieved a Bachelor of Education (majoring in Drama and Literature, Deakin) and a Master of Arts, Creative Writing (RMIT, 2007). Rosalie teaches Literature at Trinity College, University of Melbourne.

Where were you born?

I was born and raised in Jerilderie, NSW, population 1000. Small communities work together and look after each other  and it’s easy to know everyone else’s story. Therefore, I learned about the power of secrets and maintaining an equilibrium, hierarchy and loyalty. Being a farmer’s daughter, I had a fabulous outdoor childhood and learned to contribute and do my fair share.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Retribution, how to make a life worthwhile, unresolved grief, humour, the clash of comedy and tragedy which results in irony. Small communities and the relationships within, the effects outside influences have on these communities.

What have been the highlights of your career?

The Dressmaker adapted to film in 2015 film starring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Hugo Weaving and Liam Hemsworth along with a stellar Australian ensemble. The Dressmaker was produced by Sue Maslin, (Film Art Media and also from Jerilderie, NSW). Jocelyn Moorhouse directed and adapted the novel for film. The Dressmaker won several AACTA awards including Australia’s Favourite film (2016), topped the box office and the costumes were exhibited throughout Australia. Rosalie Ham, her friends and family were extras in the film, which proved a valuable place to be to meet one’s own characters and see them bring themes alive.

The Dressmaker (novel) was on the VCE Readers list for Literature (2002-2006, & 2010-2013) and has sold over 200,000 copies worldwide. It was short listed for the 2001 Christina Stead prize for fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary awards,. It was nominated for Vision Australia’s Braille Book of the year as well as the Booksellers Association book of the year award.

Where have your works been published?

Rosalie has also had stories published in magazines and newspapers including Meanjin, The Age, The Bulletin and Invisible Ink. The Dressmaker was published in 14 countries including UK and USA.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about books and book sellers, publishers, good literature and the keeping our own unique publishing industry thriving (keeping parallel import restriction in place)

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

After a vibrant and dangerous rural childhood and adolescence, I spent most of my twenties travelling and working at a variety of jobs in Europe and South America. When I am not writing, I teach literature at Trinity College (Foundation Studies), University of Melbourne.

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