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Mem Fox Mem Fox i(A2591 works by) (a.k.a. Merrion Frances Fox; Merrion Frances Partridge)
Born: Established: 1946 Surrey Hills, Box Hill - Burwood area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Female
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Mem Fox was born in Melbourne, but her father, grandfather, great- and great-great-grandfather were South Australian. Her parents sailed for Africa when she was seven months old, to serve as teachers with the London Missionary Society in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

After attending schools in Bulawayo she spent three years at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London, 1965-1968, where she met her future husband, Malcolm Fox. They married in 1969, and in 1970 came to Australia to live. Their daughter, Chloe, was born in 1971. Mem taught at Cabra Dominican College, and later completed a degree in Arts at Flinders University (1977) and in Education (SA CAE, Sturt, 1978 ) and a Diploma in Language Arts (1981). She began teaching at Sturt CAE in 1973, and was made  Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Flinders University, in 1995. She retired from teaching in 1997.

She wrote the embryonic Possum Magic (as "Hugh, The Invisible Mouse") while she was a mature-age student at the university. The story was rejected by publishers nine times over five years but finally, reduced from three and a half pages of single-spaced typing to one and a half pages, double-spaced, it became the best-selling children's book in Australia's history, with sales of over a million. She helped set up the SA Storytellers' Guild in 1982, and performed on two storytelling series on ABC TV. Several of her readings of her own stories have been recorded on audiotape.

As well as the awards listed below, Fox has won the Advance Australia Award (1990), and Children's Magazine Award (1993). She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993, awarded Flinders University Chancellor's Medal in commemoration of the Centenary of Women's Suffrage in 1994, and presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Wollongong University in 1996. Many of her children's books have been published in the USA, and several have been translated into other languages. As well as writing for children she has also written her autobiography (Mem's the Word) and books and articles on teaching and writing.

Most Referenced Works


  • Mem Fox was awarded the SA Great Award 2001 for Literature in 2001.
  • In 2005 Mem Fox was made an honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador to Australia. Other honorary ambassadors were Bryce Courtenay, Andrew Denton, Geoffrey Rush and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
  • Voted number 3 in the Booktopia Top 50 Favourite Australian Authors for 2018

  • Mem Fox was chosen for the Australia Post 2019 Australian Legends of Children's Literature stamp issue . 

Affiliation Notes

  • Born elsewhere; moved to SA

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Cat Dog Melbourne : Puffin , 2021 21963543 2021 single work picture book children's

'Join an unlikely animal trio for some irresistibly funny antics in this read-aloud gem from bestselling, award-winning and much-loved author Mem Fox and acclaimed illustrator Mark Teague.

'There is a cat in this book.
There is also a dog.
And there is a whole lot of crazy stuff going on ...
Right?' (Publication summary)

2022 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Three to 5 Years
y separately published work icon The Tiny Star Melbourne : Puffin , 2019 17342259 2019 single work picture book children's

'Once upon a time, although this happens all the time, a tiny star fell to earth . . .

'This touching and timeless story combines, for the first time, the talents of world-renowned author Mem Fox with the heartwarming illustrations of Freya Blackwood. These two luminaries craft a truly unique and moving story about the journey of life, to be cherished and shared for generations to come.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Three to 5 Years
2020 shortlisted Booksellers Choice Award BookPeople Book of the Year Children's Book of the Year
2020 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Children's Picture Book of the Year
2020 shortlisted Indie Awards Children's
y separately published work icon I'm Australian Too Lindfield : Scholastic Australia , 2017 10711594 2017 single work picture book children's

'I'm Australian! How about you? Many people from many places have come across the seas, to make Australia their home. How Australian is that?' (Publication summary)

2020 shortlisted REAL Awards Picture Story Books
2018 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Three to 5 Years
2018 shortlisted CBCA Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year: Early Childhood
2018 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Children's Picture Book of the Year
2018 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book Early Childhood
2018 shortlisted Indie Awards Children's
Last amended 26 Feb 2020 13:48:18
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