BiographyAuthor and educator John Marsden has had quite an impact on Australian society. His early educational experiences, at The King's School Parramatta, and the University of Sydney, gave little indication of the direction his life was to take. A decade of drifting through jobs grotesque -- looking after a mortuary at night, jobs unique -- caretaking Australia's oldest building, and jobs mundane -- delivering frozen chickens to the butchers' shops of Sydney, similarly seemed to be going nowhere in particular.
However, at the age of 28 John began a teaching course, and the years he subsequently spent in the classroom proved powerful for both him and his students.
In 1987 John's first novel, So Much to Tell You, was published. The recipient of many awards, it gave a new flavour to adolescent fiction in Australia. It also launched John upon a spectacular writing career, which sees him now as one of Australia's all-time bestselling authors. His series of adventure stories for teenagers, commencing with Tomorrow When the War Began, continues to powerfully affect readers of all ages.
From his experiences in the workplace and in schools, John has developed an understanding of creative thinking and effective communication which audiences in Australia and overseas have found illuminating, inspiring and sometimes confronting. His famous "three minute writing lesson" has for many people profoundly changed their understanding of language, and enabled them to communicate effectively on paper for the first time.
Five years ago, John started his own school (Candlebark.info), just north of Melbourne. Capped at 100 students, from Prep through Year Nine, Candlebark offers new approaches to education and has long waiting lists. John's ongoing interaction with young people means that he is uniquely qualified to speak to audiences about issues that affect Australia's next generation.