20 March 2024

Christobel Mattingley: Life, worlds, words with Dr Melanie Duckworth

A sepia image of a lady behind a counter talking to two young girls who are standing in front of the counter.

‘Christobel Shepley (Mattingley) in Children’s Library, 1953’, Papers of Christobel Mattingley, MS Acc21.014, Box 62, nla.cat-vn2708284

Join Dr Melanie Duckworth as she presents a lecture on her 2024 National Library Fellowship research into award-winning Australian children’s author Christobel Mattingley’s manuscripts, papers, and published works.

Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential.

The talk will be available to view live online via the Library’s Facebook and YouTube pages. You do not need to book a ticket to watch the event online.

Dr Melanie Duckworth is a 2024 National Library of Australia Fellow, supported by the supported by the Stokes family.

About Dr Melanie Duckworth’s Fellowship research

Christobel Mattingley (1931-2019) was a much loved, award winning Australian children’s author, writing more than 50 books, most of them for children, on topics such as social justice, refugees and the environment. Based in Adelaide, she published picture books, poetry, early readers, middle grade and young adult fiction, and biographies. She was an advocate for Indigenous Australians, publishing Survival in Their Own Land (1988), and Maralinga: the Aṉangu Story (2009), in which she worked together with the Aṉangu people to tell the story of British nuclear testing on their lands. Over the last few months, Dr Duckworth has been delving into the National Library’s extensive collection of Mattingley’s manuscripts, papers, and published works, many of which are now out of print, as she begins to write a literary biography of Christobel Mattingley.

About Dr Melanie Duckworth

Dr Melanie Duckworth is an Associate Professor of English Literature at Østfold University College, Norway, but is originally from Adelaide. Her research focuses on the overlapping fields of Australian literature, children’s literature, and ecocriticism, with a particular interest in Indigenous literature and contemporary poetry. She has published widely on these topics, and her recent co-edited anthology, Storying Plants in Australian Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Roots and Winged Seeds, touches upon all of them. Melanie’s project on Christobel Mattingley draws on these research interests, as well as on her memories of Christobel as a mentor and inspiration, and a shared love of Australian – particularly South Australian – beaches, deserts, and trees.

About National Library of Australia Fellowships

The National Library of Australia Fellowships program offers researchers an opportunity to undertake a 12-week residency at the Library. This program is supported by generous donors and bequests.

The details

What: Christobel Mattingley: Life, worlds, words with Dr Melanie Duckworth
When: Thursday 18 April, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
Where: National Library of Australia
Cost: Free, bookings are essential.

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