The passing of a great Australian

I was shocked, like many others, of the tragic death of Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter.” In all the news hype however, I was pleased that the passing of a truly great Australian was not overlooked.

Colin Thiele 1920-2006

Colin Thiele, the much loved South Australian author and poet, died this morning. He was the author of over 100 books, many of them for children. He was also very influential in our education system, serving first as a teacher, then as a principal and finally in one of our leading teachers’ colleges training young teachers.

His most famous work for children was the novel “Storm Boy” set in the world famous wetlands area known as The Coorong. This story was later made into a highly successful film. Several of his other novels were also made into films and one of them into a television series.

I only ever had the privilege of meeting Colin on one occasion, that being at a poetry writing conference. I shared a special bond with him; both of us celebrated our birthday on November 16th.


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