John Marsden on The Art of Growing Up

John Marsden holds a very special place in the hearts of many Australians, most notably as the visionary author behind Tomorrow, When The War Began and the series that followed.

Join us for this special evening sharing in John’s vision of what might be possible if we reassess the way we educate and nourish our young people in the art of growing up.

Globally in the 21st Century, humanity is facing a crisis of disconnection and social collapse, highlighting an urgent need to reimagine our relationships with ourselves and the world around us. Rote learning and exam results may lead us to having impressive CVs that get us through the door into traditional careers, but it’s the stuff of life—the adventure, the mistakes, the wrong turns—that bring us the pivotal opportunities to unlearn and to flourish with the resilience and curiosity that makes one’s journey fulfilling. How would you change the childhood you had if you could? What would you share with your parents and teachers today if they asked what were the best and worst experiences of those years? What held you back, what brought you joy?

John Marsden has spent his adult life engaging with young minds—through both his award-winning, internationally-bestselling young adult fiction and his work as one of Australia's most esteemed and experienced educators. As the founder and principal of two schools, he is at the coalface of education and a daily witness to the inevitable and yet still mysterious process of growing up.

Join us for this special evening event as John calls for an unlearning of the systems which no longer serve us, and a timely and necessary vision for the art of growing up.


6.30pm          Doors Open
7.00pm          Event Begins
8.15pm          Audience Q&A
8.30pm          Event Concludes & Book Signing

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'What’s the future? It’s a blank sheet of paper, and we draw lines on it, but sometimes our hand is held, and the lines we draw aren’t the lines we wanted.'

John Marsden

About John Marsden

John Marsden
has written more than 40 books, mostly for teenagers and children, including Tomorrow When the War Began, So Much to Tell You, and Letters from the Inside. He has sold over five million books worldwide, and has won every major award in Australia for young people's fiction.

South of Darkness, written for adults, won the Christina Stead Award for Best Novel of 2015. In August 2019, John's newest book, The Art of Growing Up, a non-fiction work about education and parenting, will be published.

John's passionate interest in education led him to start two schools, Candlebark, on a vast forested estate near Romsey Victoria, and Alice Miller, at Macedon, a Year 7-12 school with a particular emphasis on the creative arts. The two schools enrol 380 students in 2019.

About Monty Badami

Dr Sumant Badami (or Monty as he is known to most) is an Anthropologist and the Founder and CEO of Habitus, a social enterprise that uses Anthropology, Emotional Intelligence and Educational Psychology to re-humanise schools and communities. Apart from being a passionate educator at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, he is a celebrant, jazz singer, martial arts instructor, an Honorary Associate at Macquarie University and an officer in the Australian Army Reserves.

Monty is driven to understand our diversity and adaptability in all its shapes and forms; from how we physically evolved to become this completely weird and flawed species to how, in spite of these flaws, we managed to populate nearly every square inch of the planet and thrive in so many different ways. In essence, he spends his time deepening his understanding of how we communicate with each other; how we relate to other people and groups; and how we understand ourselves and our place in the world.

He has spent most of his research living with the Paniya, a marginalised indigenous group in South India, who were slaves until quite recently. However, he is now working closer to home, where he helps teachers, students and parents to embrace their humanity and make meaningful changes in their lives. He also works closely with men and boys, using his anthropological knowledge to challenge the norms of toxic masculinity as well as other stereotypes of class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and race.

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John Marsden on The Art of Growing Up


Major Event
When and where:
  • Wed 6 Nov 2019 7pm - 8:30pm
    NSW Teacher’s Federation
, 37 Reservoir St, 
Surry Hills NSW 2010

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Full price: $45
Concession: $36
+ booking fee 

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