David Bateson

David Bateson (b. England 1921 d. Sydney 1998) Also published as Rex Mellick

David was well-known among the Network of Children’s Authors and Illustrators, a loose group which met regularly at the Journalist Club near Central Station, Sydney in the 1990s. He was a quiet, unassuming man who kept his private life to himself, though after his death we learnt that he was married to Edna who lived in the Blue Mountains (in the 2000’s); he had a son, Paul and a daughter, Jo. David became the group’s self-appointed photographer and would take photos at meetings and festivals, etc. and then give those he snapped a copy of the photo with full details about who and where on the back. He always refused payment.

David was a member of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), Storytellers Guild, Fellowship of Authors (FAW) and the Children’s Book Council of Australia (ASA). His interests include the ocean, theatre, photography and bush-walking.

David frequently had children’s poems published in numerous magazines, especially the NSW Department of Education School Magazine. Represented in many anthologies, he was a talented poet who deserved his own collection. In 2015, I (Di Bates) published a poem of his in Our Home is Dirt by Sea (Walker Books Australia), and co-dedicated the book to him as a tribute to his kindness and talent.

The following list of his works can be viewed at http://www.austlit.edu.au/austlit/page/A30845?mainTabTemplate=agentWorksby (AustLitEd website)

Jack and the Beanrocket : A Musical Adventure David Bateson, New South Wales : David Bateson , 1991 single work musical theatre children’s

Phantom skateboard David Bateson, Victoria : Macmillan , 1997 single work children’s

This Side of Terror David Bateson , London : Robert Hale , 1959 single work novel

Shoot to Live David Bateson , London : T.V. Boardman , 1951 single work novel

Night is for Violence David Bateson , London : Robert Hale , 1958 single work novel

The Big Tomorrow David Bateson , London : Robert Hale , 1956 single work novel

It’s Murder, Senorita David Bateson , London : Robert Hale , 1954 single work novel

I’ll Go Anywhere David Bateson , London : Robert Hale , 1959 single work novel

I’ll Do Anything David Bateson , London : Robert Hale , 1960 single work novel

The Man from the Rock David Bateson , London : Robert Hale , 1955 single work novel

Insomnia Street David Bateson , Burnley : Jasmit Publications , 1953 single work novel

The Soho Jungle David Bateson , London : Robert Hale , 1957 single work novel

The wobbly little house David Bateson , New South Wales : Murdoch Books , 1992 single work children’s

Niffo Nox and his socks David Bateson , Sydney : Murdoch Books , 1994 single work children’s

Stardust on My Face David Bateson , Bondi : Pick & Choose Books , 1993 selected work poetry humour

The Welcome Strangers David Bateson , London : Rupert Hart-Davis , 1964 single work novel

The boy with the golden surfboard David Bateson , London : Carousel , 1973 single work children’s

Poppa Pete’s Pizzas David Bateson , Vicky Kitanov (illustrator), Fremantle : Plantagenet Press , 1995 single work picture book children’s

Cresta Come Home David Bateson , Tricia Oktober (illustrator), Slacks Creek : Future Horizons , 1998 single work picture book children’s

The Topshots David Bateson , South Melbourne : Macmillan Education Australia , 1997 single work children’s fiction children’s

Steps to Danger David Bateson , Cremorne : Eldorado Publishing , 1994 single work children’s fiction children’s adventure

Poem “Shower on hill-crest,”, David Bateson — Appears in: Poetry Monash , no. 29 (1990)

Footprints on Sand Dunes:  “We walk on sand dunes,”, David Bateson , 1989 single work poetry — Appears in: Poetry Monash , no. 26 1989; (20)

Magazines for Schools David Bateson , 1990 single work column
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children’s Book Council of Australia , vol. 34 no. 1 1990; (9-10)

Let Stalk Strine:  “Professor Afferbeck Lauder,”, David Bateson , 1983 single work poetry satire  — Appears in: Oz Shrink Lit. 1983; (76)

The Trend-Setter: An Encounter with Three Voices in “You can’t.”, David Bateson , 1989 single work poetry — Appears in: Redoubt , November no. 7-8 1989; (141-146)

“My day is stolen; Five minutes to go, breakfast;”, David Bateson , 1990 single work poetry — Appears in: Poetry Monash , no. 29 1990; (20)

Miracle along the Bellangong Rex Mellick , [ Melbourne ] : Cheshire , 1974 single work children’s

The Gumnuts’ Year Vicky Kitanov , Vicky Kitanov (illustrator), Pymble : Angus and Robertson , 1993 single work picture book children’s

The Children’s Book Council of Australia Judges’ Report 2007 single work column — Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children’s Book Council of Australia , August vol. 51 no. 3 2007; (5-12)

The Children’s Book Council of Australia Judges Report 2009 2009 single work column — Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of The Children’s Book Council of Australia , August vol. 53 no. 3 2009; (4-10)

An Arc of Australian Voices: An Anthology of Writing Jim Kable (editor), Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1990 anthology poetry short story prose criticism biography young adult

Compiled by Dianne (Di) Bates

IMAGINATION CIRCUS   

Imagination Circus –
a magnificent place to be;

With eyes closed tight
what things your mind can see!

An acrobat with rubber knees
can leap ten metres high;

The bearded lady sprouts some wings,
takes off and starts to fly.

An elephant rides a mini-bike,
squirting the tamer with ink;

The fire-eater’s friend is a dragon,­
and they both have Coke to drink.

A lion sits beside you,
eating a bag of chips,

a tiger shares your orange,
spitting out the pips.

Imagination Circus –
a magnificent place to be;

And the greatest thing of all is,
you get inside for free!

© David Bateson
From Our Home is Dirt by Sea, ed Dianne Bates (Walker Books Australia, 2015)

Kim’s Collection

Kim collects all kinds of things:
lolly sticks and can-top rings,
coloured straws,

jagged stones,
plastic cartons,
old white bones.
When the beach has jetsam there
Kim will fossick everywhere:
soggy seaweed,
(salty smells),
tattered feathers,
broken shells,
bits of cork and empty tins,
dry sea-urchins, fishes’ fins,
chunks of charcoal
from some fire,
lengths of string
and tangled wire.

Marble pebbles, smoothed by ocean,
screw-top lids from sun-tan lotion,
half a twisting
birthday candle,
old false teeth,
a battered sandal.

Some folk scorn the weird selection
Of the things in this collection;
others love
to touch and see them,
find such fun
in Kim’s museum.

© David Bateson
From 100 Australian Poems for Children, ed Clare Scott-Mitchell & Kathlyn Griffith (Random House, 2002)

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