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Laureate 2016-2017 Leigh Hobbs


"I enjoyed criss-crossing the country visiting schools, Libraries and Literary Festivals and it was terrific to meet so many innately hilarious and enthusiastic kids. And, to meet their teachers and very importantly Librarians – that is when schools were lucky or wise enough to have one. Highlights were visits to indigenous communities attending the Bologna Book Fair. Hopefully there are a few more children who enjoy creating for the love of it.

“The whole two years was marvelous."


Leigh Hobbs is an acclaimed artist and author known and loved for his children’s book characters Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Mr Chicken and Mr Badger.

Leigh's Laureate Focus:
Libraries and teacher librarians are vital to children developing their love of reading and creativity

Leigh focussed his Laureate program on supporting the valuable work that teacher librarians do in school libraries by inspiring children to read, and love stories.


"Libraries have played an enormous role in my life. Reading and exploring history and art is something I have been able to do because of libraries."


Leigh’s book characters like Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona the Pig and especially Mr Chicken enjoyed travelling around Australia, and the world, with Leigh when he was Laureate.

“I am absolutely convinced that every single school not only needs a library and a teacher librarian, but the kids at every school deserve one. It was in the school library in Bairnsdale that I discovered the books which changed my life.”

About Leigh

Though he works across a wide range of mediums, Leigh is best know for the children’s books he has written and illustrated featuring his characters Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona The Pig, Mr Badger, The Freaks in 4F and Mr Chicken. A highly successful animated TV series, based on Leigh’s Old Tom series of books has been screened in Australia and Europe.

Go to Leigh's website!


Here's some videos on Vimeo about Leigh:

That's Me: Horrible Harriet

That's Me: Old Tom

That's Me: Mr Chicken

That's Me: The Freaks

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