Oliver Phommavanh


Oliver Phommavanh is a fresh and positive voice for multiculturalism. He’s Aussie born and bred, but comes from a Thai/Laotian background.

His first book Thai-Riffic! was published by Penguin in 2010 (with sequel Thai-No-Mite following in 2012). His second book, Con-Nerd, was released in June 2011, and Punchlines in 2012. Stuff Happens: Ethan was published 2015,The Other Christy in 2016, with Super Con-Nerd in 2017 and Natural Born Loser in 2018.

Oliver has been shortlisted for the ‘Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices’ book award. Thai-riffic and Con-nerd are in the KOALA Hall of Fame. The Other Christy is a CBCA Notable Book for younger readers and shortlisted for YABBA, KOALA and REAL awards, and the 2018 Adelaide Festival Awards of Literature and WAYRBA younger readers.He has presented at the School Library Association Conference, Brisbane Writers’ Festival, Sydney Children’s Festival amongst many others.

Oliver is also a casual primary school teacher (or ‘chaos’ teacher!) and loves to make people laugh as a stand up comedian. If kids are into Morris Gleitzman and Andy Griffiths, there’s an awesome chance they’ll love Oliver’s wacky humour too!

Thai-Riffic! Albert (Lengy) Lengviriyakul, is fed up with being Thai. His parents own a Thai restaurant with the cheesy name of Thai-riffic! and Lengy is sick of being his father’s curry guinea pig, longing to just eat pizza! At school he is a bit of a troublemaker, going to any lengths to hide his background. But when his best friend decides to become Thai for a day for a school project, Lengy stubbornly comes to the realisation that there may just be some pretty cool things about his culture.


Presentations & Workshops

  • Primary
  • Secondary

Oliver uses his stand up comic and teacher skills to deliver engaging talks with a zany edge. He uses humour and drama to communicate ideas about narrative and content, getting students to help him come up with characters which he then uses soft toys to dramatise.

Topics include:

· writing humour (it’s not that ha ha hard!)

· how to become an author in 2342 easy steps

· the inspiration behind Thai-riffic!

· bringing Thailand over to your school (like a Getaway segment without the fancy price tag)

· Asian-Australian/Multiculturalism – how he became comfortable with the cultural cringe


Oliver can also run creative writing workshops, specialising in humour, narrative and the ‘whole story’ process. His workshops are focussed on helping students come up with interesting story ideas so they can leave with interesting idea starters to work on.


“What a hit Oliver was… it was hilarious and one child almost didn’t stop laughing to breathe!”
Whitehorse Manningham Library Blackburn, VIC.