story, science, technology and creativity

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Yeee ha! I’m jumping aboard Russ the Story Bus this year. Hope you can too!

I’m thilled to announce that I’ll be part of this year’s super-fun Russ the Story Bus lineup of children’s book creators…

This will be the second time I have toured regional New South Wales with an enormous automobile for company.

My first vehicular love was the Shell Questacon Science Circus semitrailer

…but perhaps this incredible bus can bust that record!


Stupedenous artwork by Sophie Beer, image by Prudence Upton

Part-library, part-artwork, part-stage and departing this week, Russ the Story Bus will tour schools in Greater Western Sydney, North Coast Regional and the ACT right through till mid-December.

Also touring with Russ, just to hold his metaphorical hand, if not steer his literal wheels, are Sophie Beer, who created the amazing artwork that adorns Russ’ sides, and a bunch of other fabulous children’s book authors and illustrators that make me swoon and wish I could stowaway for the whole tour:

Nicki Greenberg, Sandy Fussell, Jeremy Lachlan, Rebecca McRitchie, Martine Murray, Yvette Poshoglian and Damon Young….

And me!

We’ll be bringing stories, adventures, excitement, creativity and fun…and a whole bus-load of fabulous storybooks and children’s novels.

I’ll be touring for just one week of this epic journey – from November 26 to November 30 – and I can’t wait!

There’s more information on booking a visit for your school here. But you’ll have to be quick. This is Russ’ fifth year of touring, so if you miss out in 2018, try again for 2019.

And if you’ve been lucky enough to snag a booking—HAVE A BALL!

I hope to see you bus-side very soon!


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Why I ran away with the circus (and how you can too)

Shell Questacon Science Circus 2001

Me on tour with the Shell Questacon Science Circus team.

I adore science and innovation: thanks to science, I have light bulbs, a fridge, and a sense that the world is a wondrous place and incredible things can happen.

Do you have a science degree, and an itch in your feet? Join the circus!

In 2001 I joined the Shell Questacon Science Circus, and I’ve never looked back.

Want to apply? All you need is a science undergraduate degree and a willingness to tour Australia with a bunch of other new performers. After an incredible, stretching, social and educational experience, you’ll come away with a Masters degree from the Australian National University, and a wild bunch of memories.

Oh, and did I mention the scholarship?

Shell Questacon Science Circus 2014Merryn McKinnon joined the circus with me in 2001. She’s now Dr Merryn McKinnon, and a lecturer at the Centre for Public Awareness of Science at the Australian National University, and she’s helping to recruit a new troupe of performers.

“The Science Circus is an amazing opportunity,” says Merryn, “and one I have never regretted. It opened my eyes to possibilities I never even considered. The skills and experiences I had in the Science Circus have allowed me to try lots of different jobs, all around the world.”


My experience mirrors Merryn’s, and that of dozens of other science circus alumni. Since graduating, I’ve worked as an editor, journalist, teacher, presenter and science writer, in countries all over the world.

I joined the circus for the excitement and the challenge, and I came away with so much more.

So, if you’re a science undergraduate, and you care about spreading the word of science, and you want to have the experience of a lifetime, apply for a Masters in Science Communication Outreach, and join the Shell Questacon Science Circus.

It’s important work, and seriously good fun.

Shell Questacon Science Circus alumni 2001

Spot me far right with the yellow funnel, and Merryn in the centre with a Dalmatian growing out of her elbow.