Mem Fox was born in Melbourne and grew up in Africa. She went to drama school in England, and came back to Australia in 1970, aged 22. She claims that growing up outside the country and returning at 22 gave her a unique perspective on Australia, and a passionate love for it.
In 1983 Mem became Australia’s best-selling writer. She has remained a preeminent writer for children for an entire generation. Possum Magic, her first book, is still available in hardback after more than 30 years and has become a beacon in children’s literature for millions of Australian families.
Mem Fox is a retired Associate Professor of Literacy Studies from Flinders University, South Australia, where she taught teachers for 24 years until 1996. Her focus on literacy is legendary: how it is best learnt by reading to children for the first five years of their lives; the effect of literacy, or the lack of it, on the individual child; and its enormous benefits for the economy of the country.
Mem has written over 40 books for children, many of which have become international best-sellers including Time for Bed, Where Is the Green Sheep? and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, a copy of which was Australia’s official gift to Prince George, the royal baby. Mem has also written several non-fiction books for adults, including her renowned book for parents: Reading Magic. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Mem’s book: I’m Australian Too, takes her back to where she started: her passion for Australia. In writing it, her hope was to spark spirited discussions about Australian-ness, create an awareness of Australian immigration over the centuries, and begin to calm the rising racism in this country.