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Sally Rippin

Author, Illustrator, Online - Virtual Visits

Sally Rippin was born in Darwin, but grew up mainly in South-East Asia. As a young adult she lived in China for three years, studying traditional Chinese painting. Sally has over seventy books published, many of them award-winning, including two novels for young adults. Her work includes the highly acclaimed Polly and Buster trilogy and the popular Billie B Brown and Hey Jack! books, which became the highest selling series for 6-8 year olds in Australia within the first year of their release. Sally is Australia’s highest selling female author and her books have sold more than 5 million copies in 14 languages. 

Sally is a popular presenter in schools and at literary festivals both in Australia and overseas and has a regular program on 3RRR interviewing children’s authors and industry professionals. She is a passionate ambassador for the 100 Story Building, Dymocks Childrens’ Charities and also the Australian Reading Hour. Recently, she and Hardie Grant Egmont have collaborated on a weekly program of book-based activities for kids at home at

Where were you born?

I was born in Darwin, but spent most of my childhood in South-East Asia, moving every two years because of my father’s job. As a young adult I lived in China where I studied traditional Chinese painting for three years, then later lived in France for another three. Now I am happy to call Melbourne home – as long as I still get to travel!

What other jobs have you had?

Over the years I have tutored English as a Second Language to students in Australia and overseas. Now, along with my writing and illustrating, I teach a course called Writing For Children at RMIT University as a part of the Professional Writing and Editing program.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Having lived overseas for most of my childhood, particularly in countries where English wasn’t the first language spoken, I am particularly drawn to stories of the outsider or the foreigner. Whether they be stories of migrants or artists, or angels and vampires, this is a theme that recurs in much of my work.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about cultural diversity in children’s literature. Having lived in many different countries the thing I like the most about Australia is our vibrant diversity and I would like to see this reflected more in our books for children.

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