News Release

Colin will celebrate his 80th Birthday on Wednesday 16th November 2000

The district of Eudunda will celebrate Colin Thiele’s 80th birthday on the 17th and 18th November 2000.

Colin has been an active and prolific author and educator of poetry, articles, plays, talks, radio programs, adult and children’s books. Movies such as “Storm Boy and “Blue Fin” are based on his stories. He has influenced many children, adults and teachers with his kindly and caring manner.

Colin’s first full-length book was written in 1958 while on a long sea trip, “Sun on the Stubble” was based on the district he grew up in – the Eudunda area. This great book has been read and enjoyed by most children in South Australia during the 60’s and 70’s as part of their English studies. He has not restricted his writings to this area, with many about the sea, including his latest book, released this year called “Sea Caves”. Movies such as “Storm Boy and “Blue Fin” are based on his books.

Some recent examples of how prolific and popular he is: –

  • Colin has just released two new children’s books in his 80th year, both storming to success.
  • On the Internet searching for “Colin Thiele” found 325 occurrences where he is referenced by works.
  • One recent listing (on the Internet) is The Wilderness Society, Environment Award for Children’s Literature, the year 2000 Award Winners, Colin as listed in the Recommended Australian Environmental Children’s Literature, Fiction section for his book High Valley.
  • Colin is often quoted in other people’s works. In the title “The changing face of the Murray” by Peter Muirhead (Adelaide) in 2000, Peter Quotes “The evocative words of Colin Thiele in his book Storm Boy vividly encapsulate the wild beauty of the area that is the Coorong: ” (he then quotes that verse).
  • Colin has won acclaim for his works in both Australia and Overseas, winning many awards.

The district of Eudunda is very proud of Colin Thiele as a person and for his achievements.

In his honour: –

  • We have erected a statue of Colin and “Mr Percival” (the Pelican) (sculptured by Chris Radford) in our town’s beautiful Centennial Gardens.
  • In 1999 we unveiled three silhouette figures, one for each entrance of the town, of “Gustav and his dog”, characters which epitomise the forbearers of our district and written about in one of Colin’s books.
  • I now invite everyone (Australia wide) to come and celebrate with us and join in the activities for Colin Thiele’s 80th birthday on
    Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th November.
  • If you are unable to attend we will share with you some of the experiences on our web site at this web site.
  • Colin Thiele had planned to attend the celebrations through the generous sponsorship of Qantas who is also celebrating its 80th birthday this year. Unfortunately, due to ill health Colin can not actually attend in person, but will follow our celebrations with modern technology.


  • Eudunda Quilters Patchwork and Quilting Exhibition, 10 – 5pm Friday 17th & Saturday
    Come and see excellent examples of country quilting.
    CWA Rooms, Railway Parade, Eudunda. Admission – Gold Coin donation, Devonshire tea available.
  • Colin Thiele Performances, 11 – 12:30pm Friday 17th.
    Students from our local schools performing a variety of entertainment with a Colin Thiele theme.
    Eudunda Institute, Bruce Street, Eudunda. Admission $2.00
  • Celebrationary Lunch, 12:30pm Friday 17th.
    Catered by the Eudunda Heritage Committee,
    Eudunda Institute. Bookings by pre arrangement Phone ???????, Cost $6.00
  • Art Exhibition, 12 noon Friday 17th, continuing on Saturday.
    See work by local and visiting artists. Some artwork will be for sale.Eudunda Clubadmission Free.
  • Unveiling of the Julia Creek Police Station, 2:30pm Friday 17th.
    The Julia Creek Police Station was the first mounted police station north east of Gawler.
    Two local artists have created a monument in dedication of this historic site. Come for a scenic drive out into the area where Colin Thiele grew up and take part in this slice of local history.
    Gumvale, Ngapala, (north east of Eudunda – maps available on official program), Free.
    Please drive carefully on these dirt roads.
  • Family Picnic and Fun Day, 9 – 4pm Saturday 18th.
    Come and join in a family picnic in Eudunda’s beautiful Centennial Gardens. Listen to local people tell their stories as well as taking part in the festivities of the day.
  • Colin Thiele Movie Showings, 10 – 12 noon, Eudunda Institute, Bruce Street, Saturday 18th.
  • Raising of the Time Capsule, 10am, Saturday 18th
    Relics of the past will be on view, Eudunda Hospital, Free, Morning Tea available.
  • Eudunda Toy Soldier Museum, 12 – 2pm Saturday 18th.
    A fantastic world of miniature toy soldiers and collectibles, Bruce Street, Eudunda, Gold Coin donation.
  • Eudunda Heritage Gallery, 10 – 4pm Friday 17th & Saturday 18th.
    The gallery houses a complete collection of Eudunda’s local unique history. You can have a quick browse but we recommend that you can spend many hours looking at their displays,
    Bruce Street, Eudunda, Gold Coin donation.

Note: Meals will be available at our two local hotels and the club, all situated in the main street.

For further information please contact Carina Brown or Peter Herriman

This program is bought to you by the Eudunda Community, Business and Tourism Association (ECBAT) and the enthusiastic residents of our district. We wish to acknowledge our generous sponsors. QantasCountry Arts SANational Bank, Wesfarmer Insurance (Dennis Feltus), Eudunda Agencies, Country Fabrics ‘N’ Things, Liebichwein, Eudunda Club, Regional Council of Goyder, Creative Insites, Eudunda Bakery, Central Artists Supplies.

We have had more generous sponsors help since the above article – we wish to acknowledge them too:-

Transport SA, Smith Snack Foods, & Lothian Books