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Mark is an author with a passion for Australian history. He has written many books including: The Legend of Moondyne Joe, The Legend of Lasseter's Reef, Fortuyn's Ghost, Simpson and his Donkey, Ned Kelly and the Green Sash, The Greatest Liar on Earth - A True Story and his most recent books Jandamarra and Midnight - the story of a light horse. Mark's enthralling books aim to encourage an appreciation of Australia's unique myths and legends.
His earlier work, Magic Boomerang, Outback Adventure and Our Big Island, was prompted by an interest in multicultural literature and the unique way illustrated books can assist children to develop an understanding of other cultures. He enjoys working with students of all ages, inspiring and developing their natural curiosity about books and writing.
Mark has twice won the Western Australian Premier’s Award for children’s books, for The Legend of Moondyne Joe and The Legend of Lasseter’s Reef. Simpson and His Donkey was Honour Book in 2009 at the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. Ned Kelly and the Green Sash was the winner of the 2011 Hoffman Award (WAYRBAs). Jandamarra was also short-listed for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2013 and short-listed for the CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.
Mark often collaborates with his wife, Frané Lessac (pictured) and together they have produced many outstanding and award winning picture books, the most recent Midnight - the story of a light horse. As a musician Mark has worked for major record labels and completed numerous recordings for the worlds' foremost recording artists and record producers. He enjoys working with creative people of all ages and backgrounds inspiring them to develop their natural curiosity about books, writing and rhythm.
Mark lists as career highlights camping in a swag in remote Central Australia while undertaking research for a book and being selected as an Olympic torchbearer for the 2000 Sydney Games, in recognition of his work in remote community schools.
The Greatest Liar on Earth was exhibited throughout Term 2, 2013 at The Literature Centre. Then, in Terms 3 and 4, 2013 Jandamarra (illustrated by Terry Denton) was also exhibited. Mark was a very engaging and popular presenter at the Celebrate Reading National Conference - The Inside Story on Quality Australian Literature for Children, held in the grounds of The Literature Centre in September, 2013.
Our Centre has been fortunate to have all the original artwork from Midnight - the story of a light horse on exhibition in Term 1, 2014. On a sunny Sunday in March, 2014 Mark and Frané entertained a huge crowd for the launch of Midnight, as part of our Family Open Day celebrations at the Centre.
In Term 3, 2014 Mark will be presenting our Talented Young Writers' Programme to secondary students in Hedland and Newman, including workshops with Polly Farmer Foundation 'Follow The Dream' indigenous students.