School Visits – MARC Literature Festivals – 2010 – 2019

Buxton Primary School 2013

Eildon Primary School 2018

Back in 2010, spear-headed by author/illustrator Mark Wilson and the then Yea MARC Van Librarian, Libby Ahern, a group of children’s authors and illustrators volunteered to visit Primary Schools which had been affected by the devastating February 7, 2009 bushfires (what was to become known as Black Saturday).

Our aim was to try and provide a little light in the children’s lives as families, communities and townships struggled to return to their normal activities and way of life.

In May 2010 a group of us creators – Mark Wilson, Diana Lawrenson, Marjory Gardner, Claire Saxby and myself, visited Buxton Primary School. Schools involved were Buxton, Flowerdale, Taggerty and Thornton Primary Schools.

We each presented to three separate groups of mixed classes and ages and after a wonderfully rewarding day spent with the children in the Buxton Hall, we vowed we would do it again the following year.

And so we did, and every year since then. The month of our visit has varied over the years and along the way we have visited many schools in the general Buxton area. It seems quite fitting that on Friday we will be visiting Marysville Primary School. (A couple of years ago Diana Lawrenson retired from our group, although she is still involved with us all as creators.)

Separately, as the Assistant Regional Adviser of the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators in Victoria during that devastating period; Susanne Gervay, Claire Saxby and myself were working with Marysville Primary School students co-ordinating book donations from SCBWI members around the world. My house became full of hundreds of donated books for the students of Marysville Primary who had lost loved ones, their homes, school and most of their town in Black Saturday.

Collecting book donations from the Warrandyte Post Office – 2009.


Here’s a sprinkling of some photo memories –  a decade on:

Buxton 2015                                                                   Flowerdale 2014

Buxton 2012


Flowerdale and Acheron 2014                                       Flowerdale 2017


Family and friends are all welcome to Marysville Primary School this Friday, November 29 from 10.00 – 2.30 p.m.

Details below:


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  1. Marjory Gardner Nine years on! Looking forward to doing it all again on Friday with another group of enthusiastic kids and teachers!
    November 27, 2019 at 3:41 pm · Reply
    • corinne Hi Marjory. I think this is our 10th year. Where has it gone?
      November 28, 2019 at 7:21 am · Reply
  2. Trish Trchala Thank you for sharing. I love this story about the importance of Marysville and restoring books back into this gorgeous township and surrounding area.
    November 27, 2019 at 7:12 pm · Reply
    • corinne Thank you Trish. Marysville and that whole area has always been a special place for me too. Briana and I had a few beautiful days there only the week before the fires. It was so green and had it's own water supply. I have never been able to understand how the devastation was so huge.
      November 28, 2019 at 7:20 am · Reply

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