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13 March 2003

A writer for young adults whose books feature Vietnamese culture in Australia is spending three weeks at the National Museum of Australia this month as the 2003 resident 'Writer in the Museum'.

Ms Hoa Pham the Museum's May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust fellow will present Museum workshops, work with University of Canberra's education students, and give writing workshops in Canberra schools.

  • Hoa Pham will tell fantastic stories about ghosts, poltergeists and mythical spirits this Sunday, 16 March in the Bunyip Room of the Museum from 10 to 11.30am and from 2 to 3.30pm.
  • Hoa Pham will be joined in conversation by children's writer Elizabeth Honey at a free public forum in the SAS Visions Theatre at the Museum next Sunday, 23 March, from 1.30 to 3.30pm. Children's book illustrator Michael Salmon, known to Canberra children for his book The Monster Who Ate Canberra, will also speak. Before the forum, from 12 to 1pm, children can watch Mr Salmon at work on his illustrations in the Museum Hall.

'We are very pleased to have Hoa Pham participating in this program, which aims to encourage kids to tell — and illustrate — their own stories, ' said Denise Fowler, from the Museum's Children's and Family program.

The Museum works closely with local organisations — the University of Canberra, the ACT Writers Centre, and the Children's Book Council — to develop innovative programs with writers and illustrators, she said.

A performance residency at the Museum, also this month, involves Thor Blomfield from Legs on the Wall company, who is working with playwright Alana Valentine and others to develop a performance work on the Great Levante, one of Australia's most successful magicians whose story features in the Museum's Eternity Gallery.

Hoa Pham Born in Hobart, Hoa Pham now lives in Melbourne, where she works as a postgraduate studies adviser. She has written four novels, three for young adults. Her adult fantasy novel, Vixen — the story of a Vietnamese spirit who flees from Vietnam to Australia, the land of the 'new gold mountain', attracted wide critical acclaim. While in Canberra, she will work on her new young adult novel, Dream Mapping.

For more information please contact Sandy Forbes at the National Museum on 02 6208 5301 or 0408 679 308 or email

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