Gabrielle Wang

Gabrielle Wang is a children’s author and illustrator, who uses her books and role to create a greater understanding of different cultures and people in Australia. Gabrielle is also the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2022–23!


[Gabrielle Wang:] It’s important to have as much representation of different people in my novels, because that’s what Australia is.

I’m Gabrielle Wang, and I’m a children’s author and illustrator.

I got into writing children’s stories because I loved art all my life and I love telling stories, and I love children.

I started out illustrating picture books. Didn’t get anywhere, didn’t get anything published, and basically gave up until I had a dream one night.

The dream happened to be about me growing up in a shop, living on top of a shop and my parents selling Chinese goods. All of a sudden, this story came about, and it became my first book, The Garden of Empress Cassia.

The main character was not Chinese at all, because I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself into being a Chinese-Australian author. But then I thought no. You know, I think it’s really important that I tell my story, because Australia is such a diverse, cultural place and we all need to tell our individual stories in order to show that everybody belongs here.

I think that it’s important for children to see themselves represented and also to include a mix of cultures in my work, because that will give children reading a greater understanding about whom we are and what we’re made up of.

Once there’s an understanding, once there’s a meeting place, then all the barriers get dropped aside. We all need to feel like we belong in a country—that’s what Australia is.

For Gabrielle Wang, respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual is an important Australian value.

Learn about the Australian values.

This post is also available in: 简体中文 (Chinese Simplified) 繁體中文 (Chinese Traditional) Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese) العربية (Arabic)