Nearly a century ago, in a short but fierce battle, Victorian/Australian soldiers saved the French town of Villers Bretonneux from invasion, + afterwards Victorian schoolchildren paid to rebuild the town’s destroyed school. The grateful Villers Bretonneux has kept its promise to ‘Never Forget Australia’; the town is a shrine to Victoria + Australia.
Almost a century later, when much of Victoria was devastated by the 2009 February firestorm, schoolchildren in the rebuilt Villers school paid to rebuild the destroyed Strathewen Primary School.
Such poignant gestures speak volumes about the beautiful + genuine friendship between Villers + Victoria, + I am honoured to be illustrating a children’s book about the Villers story.
The (as yet untitled) book is being published by One Day Hill, + distributed by Scholastic, in time for Anzac Day 2013.