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Human Library

Saturday, October 7, 9.30 AM-12.00 PM

Human Library

What’s like to be homeless or a cop on the streets? What’s it like to seek refuge or to compete at the Paralympics? 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 aims to reduce stereotypes and prejudice and to promote respect for human rights and dignity.

Presented by Avondale Libraries.

What is a Human Library?

A Human Library is just like a normal library, except the books are human and the borrowers interact with their book.

Human books are available for borrowing.

A borrower (who could be an individual or a group of individuals) and their book go to a quiet area and talk.

After 15 minutes, the book returns and is available for another borrower.


1. Policeman
Phil Hannah.

2. Former drug-user and homeless person
Tracey Richards was nearly killed in a car accident and started taking drugs as a result. This led to her ending up homeless and discouraged on the streets of Newcastle. But Tracey has spunk and she went for help, which eventually enabled her to kick her addiction. She now works for the homeless and people with addictions.

3. Archaeology enthusiast
Dr Wayne French has been to the Middle East many times and has collected an impressive array of artefacts. He will show you some of his favourites. He might even tell you about the project he is working on—that involves a truck full of amazing artefacts!

4. Paralympian
Liesl Tesch has done many things in her life. It all started with a terrible accident when she was only 19 but she has not let her disability stop her. Liesl has an impressive array of medals and stories to share.

5. Motorcycle enthusiast
Graham Weslake grew up on Norfolk Island which gave him a wonderfully free and adventurous upbringing. The spirit of adventure has never left him as he motorcycles on holidays around Australia. Ask him to tell you of the accident that nearly took his life.

6. Gospel singer and pastor
Grego Pillay comes from South Africa where his family were of Hindu heritage. He loves to sing and has recently made an album. Grego will share his journey with you, from South Africa to Australia.

7. Clown
Have you ever talked to a clown? Graeme Fraunfelder did clowning at the Summer Olympics and currently works with MisFits in Tasmania. He has some fascinating stories to tell of his clowning adventures and of how clowning actually benefits people.

8. Project Strong Woman
Statistics for the abuse of women are alarming. Shauna Ryan wanted to help women be strong and to believe in themselves. She is the founder of Project Strong Woman which aims to celebrate women, encouraging them to see beauty in every story. Shauna has an amazing story to tell.

9. Local historian
Marian de Berg knows a lot of fascinating facts about “Sunnyside”, a home built in 1895 in Cooranbong that was the home of Ellen White, pioneer of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The museum next door houses an extensive and unique collection of artefacts and handicrafts from the South Pacific, described by renowned curators as the best collection in the Southern Hemisphere.

More human books coming.


9.30 am, Introduction and preface to books

9.45 am, Borrowing session 1

10 am, Borrowing session 2

10.15 am, Borrowing session 3

10.30 am, Morning tea

11 am, Borrowing session 4

11.15 am, Borrowing session 5

11.30 am, Borrowing session 6

11.45 am, Borrowing session 7


Saturday, October 7
9.30 AM-12.00 PM
Event Tags:


Avondale College of Higher Education
(02) 4980 2222


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