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Lolo Houbein Lolo Houbein i(A28605 works by) (a.k.a. Lolo Johanna Germina Houbein)
Also writes as: Penelope Ashe ; Periwinkle
Born: Established: 1934 Hilversum,
Western Europe, Europe,
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 1958
Heritage: Dutch
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Lolo Houbein came to Australia at the age of 24 with her husband and children after growing up against a backdrop of famine and war. She matriculated as an adult in 1969, and continued her education through the University of Adelaide, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Australian Literature, Anthropology and Classics in 1975. She continued her studies at the University of Papua New Guinea, and gained a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from the Adelaide College of Advanced Education in 1978.

Houbein has returned to her native Holland several times, and has travelled in the USA, England, Europe, Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific. She has been an office worker, an importer and a research assistant. She has taught creative writing, and English as a Second Language to adult migrants and refugees. Houbein has been involved in organizations concerned with social welfare, overseas aid, human rights and environmental repair. From 1967, her major continuous involvement has been with Tibetan refugees, as a sponsor and a writer.

Houbein notes that major influences on her work include World War II, children, travel, Asian philosophies and the environment. Her fiction has won a number of awards, both in Australia and Holland, and includes the 1980 South Pacific Association Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies(SPACLALS) Short Story Award for Short Fiction. Houbein's work has been performed at the Troupe Theatre, Adelaide and at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in New South Wales. She has read on radio, and at schools, universities and numerous writers' events.

Houbein has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of Australian and international periodicals. She has also written in the genres of biography, travel and education and, in 2008, published the gardening book One Magic Square: grow your own food on one square metre (Wakefield Press).


Most Referenced Works


  • Houbein shared the pseudonym Penelope Ashe with other authors.
  • Author writes in these languages : ENGLISH; DUTCH.

Affiliation Notes

  • Born elsewhere; moved to SA

Personal Awards

2002 Order of Australia Member of the Order of Australia (AM) For service to literature as a writer and through assistance and encouragement of writers from non-English speaking backgrounds, to the welfare of refugees and migrants, and to the environment through Trees for Life.

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Lily Makes a Living Hard Yakka [pre-publication title] Rydalmere : Hodder and Stoughton , 1996 Z94565 1996 single work novel young adult
1995 commended The Fellowship of Australian Writers Victoria Inc. National Literary Awards FAW Jim Hamilton Award As Hard Yakka.
y separately published work icon Vreemdeling in de Spiegel : Autobiografie van een Nederlandse Emigrante ( trans. Frans Bruning )expression Amsterdam : Balans , 1988 Z828368 1988 single work autobiography Lolo Houbein left the Holland of her war-troubled childhood to live in Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Her spiritual journeying has been guided by intuition as she searches for an ancestry so scattered and elusive that fact and imagination mingle in the telling. Belief in the relatedness of all human beings has led to her meeting people of many races, including the Dalai Lama.
1988 winner Dirk Hartog Literary Award Amsterdam
Last amended 18 Aug 2008 10:19:44
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