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Hesba Brinsmead, 1964.
Hesba Brinsmead Hesba Brinsmead i(A35558 works by) (birth name: Hesba Hungerford) (a.k.a. Hesba Fay Pixie Brinsmead; H. F. Brinsmead; Hesba F. Brinsmead; Hesba Brinsmead-Hungerford)
Born: Established: 15 Mar 1922 Berambing, Blue Mountains, Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 24 Nov 2003 Murwillumbah, Murwillumbah area, Far Northeast NSW, New South Wales,
Gender: Female
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Hesba Brinsmead was a highly significant writer of fiction for children and young adults. Born at Berambing, an isolated settlement in the Blue Mountains, Brinsmead used her early experiences in her Longtime books (most particularly in Longtime Passing, Once There was a Swagman, Longtime Dreaming and Christmas at Longtime).

Brinsmead's primary schooling was conducted by correspondence and she later attended a small church high school at Wahroonga, Sydney. A lack of finance led to her abandoning a teacher training course, however she still found work as a governess and schoolteacher. After saving from these and other jobs, Brinsmead paid for a course in journalism and began publishing novels in the 1960s.

Brinsmead's first novel, Pastures of the Blue Crane, appeared in 1964 and won both the Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award and the Dame Mary Gilmore Award in 1965. This book set the tone for many of Brinsmead's future works with its strong message about the environment.

In 1972, Brinsmead published Echo in the Wilderness, a novel highlighting the threat to Lake Pedder, Tasmania. Over the next decade, Brinsmead was active in the movement to save the lake from flooding. Although unsuccessful, the campaign inspired Brinsmead's 1983 book, I Will Not Say the Day Is Done.

Brinsmead married Reginald Brinsmead in 1943 and bore two sons, Bernard and Kenneth. The family lived in Victoria's Mallee district (prior to the birth of the boys) and in Melbourne, and eventually settled on the Tweed coast in northern New South Wales. Although divorced from her husband in the 1990s, Brinsmead remained close friends with him. She continued to live at Terranora until 2001 when debilitating osteoporosis (from which she had suffered for many years) forced a move to a retirement village in Murwillumbah.

Most Referenced Works


  • Tapes of interviews recorded with Brinsmead are held at the National Library of Australia.

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Longtime Dreaming London Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1982 Z855797 1982 single work novel young adult

'Teddy, the youngest of the Truelance family continues the narrative begun in Longtime Passing. The story begins on a night at the end of World War I. Family members are followed as they change, move away, marry and have children of their own, returning to their home at Longtime only for brief periods.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1983 shortlisted CBCA Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year Award
y separately published work icon Once There Was a Swagman Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1979 Z913514 1979 single work children's fiction children's

'During the Depression in Australia an old swagman, Mr Brodie, stays at the Truelance farm for a while and is befriended by nine-year-old Teddy.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1980 highly commended CBCA Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year Award
y separately published work icon Longtime Passing Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1971 Z668192 1971 single work novel young adult

'Longtime is a place in the Blue Mountains where Edwin Truelance built a house, Letty, his wife, planted a garden and their five children had a world of rain-forest and bushland to explore. Then more people came.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1972 winner CBCA Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year Award
Last amended 26 Oct 2018 11:54:02
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