100 Story Building is honoured to have the support of many wonderful authors and storytellers, who make our programs so engaging and meaningful to the kids we work with.
We’re proud that three of these authors are also 100 Story Building Ambassadors. As well as working one-on-one with children and young people, our ambassadors inspire community involvement, promote our mission, values and objectives and speak on our behalf.
“Growing up in Braybrook and the Western suburbs, one of the most exciting things that ever happened to me was the opening of the Footscray Library. It was there that I spent hours reading books and realising that a different and larger life could be lived. It is no exaggeration to say that books, and writing, changed my life. They taught me to understand different points of view and gave me insight about how choices were made, which has helped me immensely not only as a writer but as a human being. That is why I am proud to be an ambassador for 100 Story Building – it means a lot to me that kids in the West get opportunities to develop the same love of literature I did.”
Alice Pung is a writer, lawyer and teacher. The author of Her Father’s Daughter and Unpolished Gem and the editor of Growing up Asian in Australia, Alice has received enormous critical acclaim for her writing. Alice’s books are studied in secondary schools and universities in Australia as well as the United States, and she has taught writing workshops to students from the ages of 8 to 80 in Australia, China and the USA. She has a deep passion and empathy for youth issues, and believes in the power of good humour (and not-so-good puns) to help surmount adversity.
“I am absolutely honoured to be an ambassador for 100 Story Building. As a child I never doubted for a moment that I could be whatever I wanted to be, and was lucky enough to have all the support and resources needed to make that happen. 100 Story Building gives less privileged kids the opportunities that many of us are able to take for granted, helping them to develop their writing and communication skills, creativity, self-expression and confidence. It is such an important and worthwhile initiative, run by a crew of fabulously talented, dedicated and enthusiastic staff and volunteers. I couldn’t think of a worthier cause to support.”
Sally Rippin was born in Darwin and grew up in South-East Asia. As an adolescent she studied traditional Chinese painting for three years in Shanghai and Hangzhou. Now Sally lives in Melbourne, where she is an award-winning writer and illustrator of books for children of all ages. She has had over fifty children’s books published, most recently the popular Billie B Brown series, the Hey Jack! series and Angel Creek. Sally travels regularly throughout Australia to speak at schools and festivals and has recently had residencies in Beijing, Singapore, Shanghai and Ghana.
Maxine Beneba Clarke
“I live, and write, in Melbourne’s west, and am delighted to be an ambassador for 100 Story Building. As a young child, I was always lost in words and stories. It’s an honour to think I might play a tiny part in fostering this love of words and the imaginary in another kids. I’m passionate about writing the western suburbs of Melbourne into Australian literature. Sections of my book Foreign Soil are set in a fictional flat above the iconic Dancing Dog Cafe building, and on Footscray’s Barkly street outside Ted’s Cycles. The creative, engaged and exceptional work of 100 Story Building in engaging with young local writers, plays a vital part in ensuring that the future of Australian writing – and reading – is geographically and culturally diverse, which is also extremely important to me, as an Australian writer from a diverse background.”
Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian author and spoken word poet of Afro-Caribbean descent. She is the author of the poetry collections Gil Scott Heron is On Parole and Nothing Here Needs Fixing. Maxine’s short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA Award for Literary Fiction Book of the Year; the 2015 Indie Award for Debut Fiction; and the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. She is the host of The Wheeler Centre’s popular talk series The F Word, and writes for The Saturday Paper. Maxine lives in Melbourne’s west, mostly outside the window of the Footscray station jam donut van. Her memoir The Hate Race and her picture book The Patchwork Bike will be published in 2016.