May 13, 2023

Meet The Author

Get to know the author of St Jude’s latest book, The School That Hope Built

Meet The Author: Madeleine Kelly, the author of The School That Hope Built, spent nearly six years at St Jude’s.


Madeleine was inspired to become a writer by her father, John Kelly, who is a published poet. Her childhood memories include her parents reading her and her siblings classic authors like Charles Dickens and C.S Lewis before bed.

First Impression

Madeleine first heard about The School of St Jude from her teacher when she was 16 years old. The teacher showed the class an episode of the Australian Story about St Jude’s which marked the beginning of Madeleine's interest in the school. 

Start of a six-year adventure

Madeleine arrived at St Jude’s in 2017 shortly after completing her university studies and ended up spending the next six years of her life at the school. She took on several roles in the Marketing department, Alumni Office, and later as a Communication and Editorial Specialist. 

Start of the book project

Gemma approached Madeleine with the idea of writing a book in 2021 after supporters suggested the idea during a recent Australian Tour. Madeleine felt “nervous” at first but honoured that she could be trusted with such a magnificent story.

The writing process

Madeleine wrote the entire book while living in Tanzania at the school. She would dedicate the early morning hours to writing and the afternoons to interviewing people and editing her work. 

The writing experience 

Madeleine spent many hours interviewing St Jude’s stakeholders from all walks of life. She describes connecting with people from around the world who share something special about St Jude’s as a humbling and incredible experience.

A fun fact

Madeleine has a twin sister who barely looks like her!

Dive into the enthralling and inspirational 21-year journey of The School of St Jude. Pre-order/ Get your copy today. 


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