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The art of kindness


When young writer and illustrator Hayley Frazer puts pen to paper, she channels kindness and empathy. As she moves gently through the world, the 19 year old exudes plenty of both.

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As a child, Hayley never imagined she’d tell stories people would want to read, let alone be a published author while still in her teens.

Hayley Frazer's See The Kindness. The quietly-spoken creative was diagnosed with dyslexia as a child and moved schools multiple times while struggling to find her place in the education system.

“I remember being in Year Three and thinking I wasn’t as smart as the other people in my class,” says Hayley, who attends St John XXIII Church in the Para Hills/Modbury Catholic parish.

“It’s easy for us to think we’re stupid or got the bad flip of the coin. I definitely didn’t think I’d be able to write or publish a book.”

She has, in fact, published three picture books, with more to come.

Among them is Something a Little Different, the story of a teenager called Jonnie who just doesn’t quite fit in. Illustrated by South Australian artist Lauren Eldridge-Murray, the book explores themes of differences, values and courage. It was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia 2020 Book of the Year and has featured in the South Australian and Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge.

Then there’s See the Kindness, a tale of courage and being true to yourself told through the eyes of characters Mia and Kasey on their first day of school. The illustrations by Dinu Udara are as evocative as the words.

“If people were just kind to each other there wouldn’t be so many problems in the world,” Hayley says.

Illustration by Hayley Frazer.

Illustration by Hayley Frazer.

For her efforts, the talented go-getter won the Creative Community Award at the City of Tea Tree Gully’s Youth Achievement Awards 2023.

In addition to putting her own experiences on the page, Hayley speaks at local schools and libraries. Public speaking is a challenge for this humble soul, but

she swallows fear in the hope of doing a smidge of good in the world.

“I talk about my journey with dyslexia,” she says. “I hope that sharing my story might help some people in the same spot as me.”

Hayley also uses visual art to expresses her deep faith, particularly her original drawings linked to writings from the Bible. She creates them using her iPad and Apple Pencil.

“I’m not sure exactly when I started drawing, I’ve just always done it,” she says.

“I was a bit worried for a while that I wasn’t doing enough with the gifts I’ve been given so this is one way for me to do that. I just wish there were more places to share them.”

With supportive parents David and Helen cheering on from the sidelines and with Senior South Australian of the Year Mark Le Messurier and Blair Boyer MP, Minister for Education, Training and Skills, championing her talents, Hayley’s future is bright.

She currently studies a Bachelor of Creative Arts, Visual Effects, Entertainment and Design at Flinders University and hopes to one day work in the animation industry.

Until then, she has more tales to tell. In particular, the deeply personal and entertaining story of her 95-year-old grandfather “Poppy”. Her soon to be released picture book The Magical Tram documents Poppy’s real-life adventures as an Adelaide tram conductor with badge number 647.

“I wanted to go down memory lane with them. He’d always talk about picking up a dog from Mitcham that would wait for my grandfather to give him a nod before he got on.”

“He’s a sweetie pie and he loves telling stories,” Hayley says.

The Magical Tram is due for release in late 2024.


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