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Human Library

Saturday, April 13, 10.00 AM-12.00 PM

Friends of the Library logo

You can’t tell a book by its cover

What’s it like to survive a plane crash, perform with an Australian musician honoured for his service to jazz, desperately seek parents, or ride a tandem bike from Canberra to Mount Kosciuszko?

Talk with people from all walks of life at the Human Library.

You will be inspired as you listen to their stories.

The Human Library is just like a normal library, except the books are human and the borrowers interact with their book. It aims to reduce stereotypes and prejudice and to promote respect for human rights and dignity.

A free presentation by Avondale Libraries and Friends of the Library.

Program (TBC)

10 am, Introduction and preface to books
10.05 am, Borrowing session 1
10.25 am, Borrowing session 2
10.45 am, Borrowing session 3
11.05 am, Morning tea
11.25 am, Borrowing session 4
11.45 am, Borrowing session 5



David Hagen
From drag racing as a kid to CEO of the Catalina Centre

David Hagen grew up in Cooranbong where life was challenging. After a few false starts he made his way in the business world in the big smoke, but ended up in Tamworth with his young family. He knows that God was protecting and guiding all the way.

He is now involved ‘back home’ as the CEO of the Catalina Conference Centre in Rathmines on the shores of Lake Macquarie.

Join David as he tells you the real purpose behind running the Catalina Conference Centre.


David Pudney

David Pudney grew up on the northern beaches of Sydney and attended the Mona Vale Methodist church where he met the Morrison Brothers and began a musical relationship that has spanned most of his life. He spent 16 years performing with Don Burrows and has performed with Tom Burlinson.

David has written a number of dramatic productions and composed original music for church worship.

You won’t want to miss his talk about the interesting people he has met and the work he does now.


Ron Bell

Ron Bell was in and out of hospital as a child—appendicitis, tonsillitis, scarlet fever and finally polio. Bullied by both school mates and an alcoholic father, Ron ended up an alcoholic himself. He married Judith but couldn’t control his drinking. He once chased her up the road with a sickle in a drunken fit.
Judith was saved by the local doctor, who sent Ron to rehabilitation. He became a Child Care Worker in a boys’ home and he and Judith have fostered 98 babies.

Ron and Judith received the Medal of Australia in 2007, along with numerous other awards. He knows that without the grace of God he would not be the person he is today.


Joy Butler
Sanitation, Sex and Savannah

Joy Butler is originally from NZ but came to Australia at the age of 18. She has worked in many places around the world, including Zimbabwe, Lesotho and PNG.

She helped set up a KEEP GIRLS SAFE project in Thailand which provides a home and education for girls who would otherwise be trafficked and prostituted. She is a fund raiser for TTT for PNG (Taps, Toilets, Transformation) to improve the appalling state of girls’ bathrooms at schools in PNG.

Joy is currently the President of the National Australia WCTU (Woman’s Christian Temperance Union) and is a tireless advocate for hurting women of the world.


Louise Ginn
1000km tandem bike ride—mother and son

Louise Ginn together with ADRA, developed the Blossom Project in Vanuatu with the aim of helping women make healthier choices.

But money was needed to sustain the project, so Louise organised numerous fundraisers, the largest being a 1000km tandem bike ride with her amazing son Nathaniel in 2015. It took them 10 days, but they raised $50,000. It was so successful that Louse has now established Ride4Rescue and rides every year on the Capital2Koszi mountain bike ride.

With the blessing of God, approximately $25,000 has been raised each year.


Neil Watts
Plane crash survivor and long distance swimmer

Dr Neil Watts is semi-retired but still volunteers in various capacities including Field Director for Volunteers in Action in the South Pacific Islands.

He has worked in countries such as Papua New Guinea, Fiji and the Solomon Islands and has been a church pastor, College Bible and Theology lecturer, healthy living promotor and more.

However he says “I am probably best known as surviving a dramatic plane crash into the ocean at night.”

Neil has a thrilling story to tell of faith and survival.


Lesley Coverdale
Finding Safari

Lesley Coverdale and husband Cliff love to travel! It was on one of their trips to Africa that Lesley saw a little boy in a village with a terribly disfigured face. She was horrified and determined to do something to help him. Lesley found that he had been badly burned as a small child.

Lesley and Cliff were instrumental in having the little boy, known as SAFARI, brought to Australia for life changing operations.

Lesley will be talking about her involvement with Safari—a fascinating and inspirational story.


Jim Hawkins
Finding my Calcutta on a Port Moresby rubbish dump

Jim Hawkins read a statement from Mother Teresa, Find your own Calcutta, that changed his life. Though surrounded by loving family, a steady job and a full life, the daily treadmill made his life seem meaningless.

The challenge from Mother Teresa, plus reading Matthew 25 where Jesus said “Whatever you did for one of these … you did for me” made Jim stop and re-evaluate.

Jim is now a volunteer and VP of Operation Food for Life and has found that working with God has given him new meaning and purpose in life.

You will be inspired by his stories!


Cherie Tipple
Desperately seeking parents

Cherie Tipple trained as a nurse, which gave her a heart for service. She has been on mission trips, worked as a volunteer with church and community and has ministered in hospitals as a Clinical Pastor Educator.

Cherie always knew she was adopted but a medical event at the age of 32 led her to desperately seek her birth parents.

Her adoption story is a journey of investigation, intrigue and ultimately one of great joy. You will be fascinated as you listen to Cherie’s amazing story.


Saturday, April 13
10.00 AM-12.00 PM
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Friends of the Library
02 4980 2129


Avondale Libraries (Lake Macquarie campus)
582 Freemans Dr
Cooranbong, NSW 2265 Australia
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