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April 1, 2024

Member Spotlight: Sally Rippin

We’re thrilled to share our April Member Spotlight features Sally Rippin. Sally was recently announced as the 2024-25 Australian Children’s Laureate!

Sally Rippin is Australia’s highest-selling female author and has written over 100 books for children, including the Billie B Brown and School of Monsters series, which have sold more than 10 million copies in eighteen countries. Sally has also published a book for adults, called Wild Things: How We Learn To Read And What Can Happen If We Don’t.

What inspired you to begin a writing career?

I have always written, for as long as I can remember. At school, English and Art were my favourite subjects and teachers would read my stories out loud in class. It never occurred to me that I would make a career out of writing, but it was never something that I was going to be able to let go of either. Originally, I thought I’d be a painter, and went to Art School in Melbourne and Shanghai, but then I had the misfortune of marrying a French painter when I was very young. Very quickly, it became apparent that there was not enough room in the house for two painters, so when I had children, I turned to illustrating instead, and wrote stories to accompany the pictures. This is what eventually led me to the place I am at now. 

What does it mean for you to have been appointed the 2024-25 Australian Children’s Laureate?

The opportunity to travel around the country talking about the things that mean the most to me; literacy, creativity and better supporting our neurodivergent kids in the classroom,  and to hopefully meet other people who feel as passionately as I do about these things. My mission statement is: All Kids Can Be Readers and aside from the above, I also want to destigmatise the sharing of stories through as wide a range of mediums as possible, particularly for those kids who may struggle to read conventional books. Audiobooks, comics and graphic novels are all valid ways of sharing stories and still give kids the opportunity to develop empathy, emotional intelligence and thinking skills. 

What do you know now that you wish you’d known at the start of your career?

If something comes easily to you, it may not necessarily mean it is facile. You may have just been lucky enough to find your writer’s voice. And perhaps there is no need to keep banging your head against a wall in the hopes of writing something ‘clever’.  

Which Australian authors/illustrators have been influential for you?

Alice Pung for her unpretentious intellect and natural voice, and Shaun Tan for his sheer virtuosity. 

Why do you think it’s important to be a member of the ASA?

To keep the writing and publishing community connected, up to date, and accountable.


Find out more about Sally Rippin at