Max Fatchen

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Max Fatchen AM
Born(1920-09-03)3 September 1920
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Died14 October 2012(2012-10-14) (aged 92)
Gawler, South Australia, Australia
Notable awards Walkley Award (1996)
Jean Wohlers
(m. 1942)

Maxwell Edgar "Max" Fatchen, AM (3 August 1920 14 October 2012) was an Australian children's writer and journalist.


Colin Thiele and Rhonnie Thiele with Max Fatchen standing behind at the State Library's 'Colin Thiele Day' in the Mortlock Library on 14 September 2000 Colin and Rhonnie Thiele with Max Fatchen 2000.png
Colin Thiele and Rhonnie Thiele with Max Fatchen standing behind at the State Library's 'Colin Thiele Day' in the Mortlock Library on 14 September 2000

Early life

Max Fatchen spent his childhood on an Adelaide Plains farm at Angle Vale. He learned to drive a team of Clydesdale horses and did part of his secondary school studies at home, driving his horse and buggy once a week to Gawler High School to have his papers corrected.[ citation needed ]


He entered journalism as a copy boy, and after five years in the Australian Army [1] and Royal Australian Air Force [2] during World War II, he became a journalist with The News and later The Advertiser . He covered many major stories in Australia and overseas.[ citation needed ]

Four decades of writing for children, especially those of primary school age, began in 1966 with The River Kings. His children's poems, such as "Just fancy that", remain popular. He wrote 20 books; his novels appear in seven countries, and his poetry appears throughout the English-speaking world.[ citation needed ]

The River Kings and Conquest of the River were the basis for a TV mini-series, The River Kings , in 1991. [3]

Later life

He died on 14 October 2012 in his sleep. [4]

Honours and legacy

Plaque on the Fatchen memorial at Angle Vale, South Australia Max Fatchen Monument.jpg
Plaque on the Fatchen memorial at Angle Vale, South Australia


By Max Fatchen
Note: This and The River Kings above were the basis of the 1991 television series The River Kings
Note: This may be a revised edition of Songs for My Dog and Other People (1980) above
As co-author or contributor

Andrew Male Other Times Wakefield Press, Adelaide (1997) includes selections from Max's writings, many not previously republished ISBN   9781862543836 [9]

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  1. "Fatchen, Maxwell Edgar – Australian Army". World War Two Nominal Roll – Army. Commonwealth of Australia . Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  2. "Fatchen, Maxwell Edgar – Royal Australian Air Force". World War Two Nominal Roll – RAAF. Commonwealth of Australia . Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  3. Albert Moran. Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series. ISBN   0642184623.
  5. "Fatchen, Maxwell Edgar". It's An Honour. Commonwealth of Australia . Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  6. Votes and Proceedings of the House of Assembly, Wednesday 4 December 1996 [ permanent dead link ]
  7. "Max Fatchen". The School Magazine. NSW Department of Education. Archived from the original on 19 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  8. "Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature: 2020 Guidelines" (PDF).Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. Male, Andrew (1997). Other times : the life and work of Max Fatchen. Kent Town, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press. ISBN   1862543836. OCLC   38537334.