Jackie French AM describes herself as an Australian author, historian, ecologist and honorary wombat (part-time).
She was the 2014–15 Australian Children’s Laureate and 2015 Senior Australian of the Year.
Horace the Baker’s Horse, based on one of Jackie's grandma’s stories and inspired by a horsedrawn cart in the National Museum’s collection, won the 2016 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Children’s Literature.
Jackie shared objects that shaped her life, including her platypus wedding ring, in issue 12 of The Museum magazine.
Platypus wedding ring
‘Bryan and I met at a folk music evening in Canberra. We were not impressed.
He thought I looked sophisticated — I had dressed in my go-to-the-city best — and he joked about climbing the Netherland’s highest mountain. I thought: ‘That is what he thinks is bushwalking?’
But I was having an open house that Christmas and invited the whole table.
As he climbed the garden steps I saw a man who belonged in the valley. He saw a ‘bottomless teapot and endless plate of choc chip biscuits’.
It was love at second sight. The others left. Bryan stayed, declaring we would find a platypus if we watched the pool late at night. (There are no platypuses in Majors Creek.) It was a ruse to get me into the creek on a misty midnight.
He never left.
A year later we designed our wedding rings: a platypus curled on a silver band. Braidwood silversmith Christoph Altenburg cast it for us.
He later asked if he could borrow one back to make a mould of it. It was a bit disconcerting to see our rings replicated on others’ fingers.
We still celebrate National Platypus Day.’