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'If students can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn' (Ignacio Estrada, via Tomlinson)

Vale Kilmeny Niland (1950-2009)

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 14, 2009


I was much saddened to see from The Age Obituaries that the artist Kilmeny Niland had died on February 27th this year.  She was only 58.

Mulga Bill's BicycleWould any of us know the work of Banjo Patterson today, if not for Niland’s wonderful illustrations?  She brought his poems to life and made them appealing for today’s children with bright colours and zany humour.  The Age says that Mulga Bill’s Bicycle has never been out of print, and I still read it to classes who love it!

Other books she illustrated include the enchanting Blossum Possum, Two Tough Teddies, and The Gingerbread Man. Blossum Possum

Her website still shows some of her work, and I hope her surviving family will maintain it somehow because it showcases her enormous talent and delightful sense of humour.

3 Responses to “Vale Kilmeny Niland (1950-2009)”

  1. whisperinggums said

    Ah, I did some work on her Wikipedia page in March. My dad often cuts out obituaries for me from the SMH and I use them to update Wikipedia pages where it seems sensible. She was too young!

  2. Lisa Hill said

    Good for you, making a contribution in a systematic way:) I think that’s important work…and it shows the value of Wikipedia. Apart from the fact that none of the major print encyclopaedias ever included anything much about Australia, it took years for them to update anything.

  3. whisperinggums said

    Semi-systematic anyhow…but it does feel good to get more Aussie stuff out there. I’m often beaten to it by others but every now and then I come across someone who hasn’t been updated.

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