Paul Jennings, AM, is a celebrated author who has written more than 100 stories and sold more than 10 million books. He has been awarded a Life Time Achievement Award from the Children’s Book Council of Australia.
Paul, who moved with his family to Australia from England in 1949 when he was six years old, was a teacher, speech pathologist and lecturer in special education, language and literature before turning to writing.
Unreal! was published in 1985 and in 1989 Paul became a full-time writer. He started writing while living in Warrnambool and after moving to the Dandenong Ranges for 10 years he returned to his home by the sea in 1999.
Paul is passionate about recovery and providing hope for people whose lives are affected by alcohol and other drugs and mental health.
He says he feels incredibly honoured to be invited to stand with the staff and supporters of WRAD as a patron.
“Most families in our society have been afflicted in some way by the scourge of addiction,” he said. “The Covid crisis has made their problems even worse. The need for a residential recovery facility in Warrnambool is absolutely essential. I heartily endorse the efforts being made to establish one and encourage everyone to support this wonderful work.”
Uncle Archie Roach, AM, was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2020, named as 2020 Victorian Australian of the Year and has been at the heart of Australian music for decades. His songs speak of what it is to be human, people’s struggles and hopes and dreams and he continues to be a powerful voice on social justice and Indigenous welfare issues.
As a young child, Uncle Archie moved to Framlingham Aboriginal Mission in south west Victoria where his mother had been born but at age two, he and his sisters became part of the Stolen Generations when they were forcibly removed from their family.
His song, Took the Children Away from his 1990 award winning debut album Charcoal Lane, brought international attention to the impact of the removal of Indigenous children from their families. In 2000 the song received a Human Rights Achievement Award.
Archie released his memoir and accompanying album, Tell Me Why in 2019 and in 2021 launched a new online series Archie’s Kitchen Table Yarns that feature emerging First Nations songwriters and musicians.
Archie says he is proud to be a patron of WRAD. “Recovering from alcoholism is part of my story,” he said. “It's so important for people with alcohol and drug problems to have a service like WRAD that they can access for help. Rehab, as well as my music, saved my life."
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