Frances Maber OBE-Author and Educator



  • Awarded an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) in 1979 for services to Education.
  • At just 36 years of age, in April 1974, she became the WA State Director of the Commonwealth Department of Education. She was the first woman to hold such a post and she remained in it for 10 years then was asked to move to Victoria.
  • She was also only the second woman to hold the position of University Registrar
  • Born in England (maiden name M Frances Moncrieff).
  • Married for 46 years to William F Maber, with whom she worked.

  • Frances was educated in WA and has a BA (English Literature and European History) and a Diploma of Education.

  • She was a high school teacher for 6 years, before joining the Commonwealth Office of Education and as it grew and flourished, so did she.

  • The Commonwealth Government was determined to encourage children to stay at school longer so scholarships were created first for young people in years 11 and 12 and then in Technical Education, then for tertiary study and finally special grants for indigenous youngsters. Frances was involved in their administration and negotiated growth of the schemes with State Authorities and educational institutions. She found engagement with the difficulties surrounding educational opportunities for Aboriginal children of particular concern, an interest that she retains.

  • Her potential was recognized and in 1984 Frances was asked to move to Melbourne to take on the role of Director of the Department's Victorian office. After just three more years she was appointed to the post of Director of Public Relations and Parliamentary Liaison in Canberra. Not long after, the Commonwealth Department of Education was amalgamated with the Department of Employment to create DEET - the Department of Employment, Education and Training. Frances resigned and moved back to WA.

  • After three and a half year as Registrar at Murdoch University, she took early retirement in 1991.

  • Frances began writing stories for the children of friends and family in 1966.




  • Publications

    Published by the Edith Cowan Writers Centre

  • Lovelines 2005 - Clothilde

  • The Adventures of Joondy 2006 - The Bush Angel
                                                                  Two Rainbows
                                                                   Kangaroo (Verse)

    Self Published from 2006

  • 2006 Willit's Friends (1st edition with b/w drawings)

  • 2007 Willit the Wombat Grows Up

  • 2008 Willit the Amazing Wombat

  • 2009 Willit's Friends (2nd edition)

    (All Willits books are illustrated in colour and b/w by artist A Hills)

  • 2009 CD of Willit's Friends

  • 2015 Bush Surprises - Rhyming fun for Young Readers Artists J and A Hills


    To date approximately 1000 CDs and 700 sets of Willit Books can be found across Australia, many of them in WA schools. The aim is to help children understand the wonder of the Australian bush and the importance of caring for our native animals and plants. Frances has an ongoing concern for endangered creatures and plants, particularly Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats. In 2004 they were nearly extinct - only 113 left. Things are better now with a population of over 200. Her books can be found in Australia Zoo and similar locations. Internationally they are lodged in the British Library and in some local English libraries and schools. They are also at Kensington Palace as part of Prince George's library.






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