Ottley was born at Goroka in the Papua New Guinea Highlands. He has written and illustrated children's books, including many children's information books, and has also worked as a stockman, landscape gardener and creative artist. Ottley's art has been exhibited in Australia and Europe. A classical guitarist and composer, Ottley has studied art and music.
For information about this author's works for children, particularly foreign editions not yet included in AustLit, see Australian Children's Books by Marcie Muir and Kerry White (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1992-2003).
Awards for Works
Home and Away
2008picture book single work Mum is a rehab counselor for people with alcohol problems. Grandma Raynor lives next door. Dad is a driver for Elgas. Then there's me, fifteen, into a lot of different stuff. Music, surfing, animals, tennis, swimming, computer games. And my sister, Claire, and brother Toby. We're a typical Australian family. Barbeques, footy, gardening, school, Holden Commodores. Then one day things change. April 26, Dad burns the toast, yells at Toby, thanks me for cleaning the cab of the truck, kisses Mum and Toby, then he's gone. April 27, the war starts. May 21, the city's in ruins, blackouts nearly all the time, food is hard to find. September 13, Dad's heard news of a boat. We might get out of here yet. September 28, it is just after dawn. A boat from their Navy has found us. We waved and cried and cheered. But then, slowly, we realised they were shouting at us, telling us to go away. September 30, we are in a huge prison, with razor wire all around us. The government says there's no room for us. The Prime Minister says that if they let us out into the community it'll just encourage other illegal immigrants. The Deputy Prime Minister says we're not genuine refugees. The Minister for Immigration says we should have gone through the proper procedures and applied to come here the prescribed way. Apparently there was a queue or a waiting list or something, and we were meant to find an Immigration Office and put our names down to be considered. I guess they're right. I feel terrible about the trouble we've caused them. (Source: Backcover)