• New Taipei

An Inspiring Speech Brings Young Hearts Closer - The Australian Best-Selling Writer, John Marsden, V

“If there are two journeys in life, one is the journey toward knowledge; another is the journey toward wisdom. Which journey will you pick?” asks John Marsden at the speech with the students at Young-ping Senior High School.

John Marsden, a writer known as the master of Australian youth novels, was invited to Yongping Senior High School on May 8. More than 400 people, including the teachers, the tenth graders, and the community members attend the speech. He shares his life experience and the skills he uses in writing with the students. Through a role play with the scenario that a principal called a student in trouble to come to the office, John and Shawn, the volunteer student, have an improvisation with the changes of status stance of high, low, and equal which highlight the speech and amuse the teens.

The books written by John Marsden are sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. The "Tomorrow War" series is his masterpiece, winning him the Australian annual bestseller award and the Australian Library Association annual book award. Moreover, the series was selected by the American Library Association as the good book list in the second half of the 20th century. The book is so popular that it was adapted into a movie, “Tomorrow, When the War Began” in 2010.

John Marsden’s talent in writing was found by his teacher when he was an elementary school student. He was determined to be an author at the age of nine. He studied in the military school for seven years and then he took law lessons in the University of Sydney, which led him to drop out due to the boredom of law. In the next ten years, he tried many different jobs but it could only strike a balance of his living. At the age of 28, he took some courses in teaching and then he knew being a teacher was the best suited job for him. Now, he is a principal of two alternative schools and he is a teacher and a writer as well.

Principal Liu Shu-fen of Yongping Senior High School says that she appreciates the opportunity offered by the Australian Office Taipei who invited John Marsden to visit Taiwan and the New Taipei City Government, cohosting the speech together. The students can not only get a closer contact with the well-known international writer but read his books in the classroom, donated by the Australian Office Taipei for 11 sets of books for 11 classes. She believes the importance of international mobility and international competence due to the era of the global village. She expects that the school can lay a solid foundation for all the students and allow them to understand the world not only from the classroom but outside the classroom. She hopes that the students at Yongping can relate or connect the real knowledge from the theory to the practice, which echoes the quotation that John Marsden mentions at the beginning.