Max Fatchen

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

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

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 High School studies at home, driving his horse and buggy in once a week to Gawler High School to get his papers corrected. Later 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 became a journalist with The News and later The Advertiser. He covered many major stories in Australia and overseas. He began writing for children in 1966 (The River Kings) and has been writing for them ever since. He wrote 20 books; his novels appear in seven countries and his poetry throughout the English-speaking world. He wrote for children in the primary school group.

His book The River Kings was produced as a TV mini-series in 1991.

Three of his books have received commendation in the Children's Book of the Year Award. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1980,[3] the Advance Australia Award for literature in 1991, the Walkley Award for journalism in 1996,[4] the Primary English Teaching Associations Award for children's poetry in 1996 and the SA Great Award for Literature in 1999 and the 2003 Centenary of Federation Medal for service to the community in journalism, poetry and writing for children. He was made Inaugural Life Member of SA Writers Centre in 2004 for long years of support, encouragement and ambassadorship for the Centre. He has also written lots of children's poems like 'Just fancy that'

He died on 14 October 2012 in his sleep.[5]


  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. ^ "FATCHEN, Maxwell Edgar". It's An Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Votes and Proceedings of the House of Assembly, Wednesday 4 December 1996
  5. ^

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