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The Adventures of Blinky Bill | © Yoram Gross Films
The Adventures of Blinky Bill | © Yoram Gross Films
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11 Things You May Not Know About Blinky Bill

Picture of Ellie Griffiths
Updated: 21 December 2016
Every Aussie has a favourite character, but ask them about Blinky Bill and we can guarantee this mischievous little koala, created by Dorothy Wall, has a special place in their heart. Beginning on book pages in the early 1900s to film and TV screens before the turn of the century, Blinky has made his boisterous, yet naughty, personality known. We have discovered some things that every admirer should know.

 

1. The first ever appearance of Blinky Bill was in a book illustrated by Wall herself in 1933: Jacko – the Broadcasting Kookaburra, by Brooke Nicholls. After this first appearance, Blinky gained his own book series, first published in 1933 as Blinky Bill: The Quaint Little Australian.

 

Blinky Bill: The Quaint Little Australian | © Angus & Robertson

Blinky Bill: The Quaint Little Australian | © Angus & Robertson

 

2. It is said that many of the adventures this young koala got up to were stories Wall told to her son, Peter, along with stories of Peter’s own adventures. Wall dedicated her books to ‘All the Kind Children,’ including her son, who may have been just as mischievous as Blinky himself.

 

3. All of the original Blinky Bill books are fully illustrated by Wall herself.

 

 

4. Wall drew comic strips based on Blinky Bill, including Blinky Bill’s Escapades (1937). However, due most likely to the rarity and price of paper during the war, these strips were not published.

 

5. Blinky served our nation after Wall decided a new adventure was in order. In 1940, she wrote a letter to her publisher:
‘I’ll have to do my utmost to get a new Blinky book out for next Christmas. I could do a good story with Blinky on National Service, providing the war continues – but I am not that wicked to wish such a thing.’

 

 

6. Even after Wall’s death in 1942, Blinky Bill has continued to entertain children and adults. Also in 1942, a dress-up book was published alongside an ABC book, and a cookbook featured Wall’s original illustrations redrawn by Trevor Hood.

 

7. After gaining the rights to reproduce the characters that appeared in the adventures of Blinky Bill, Anne Keane made a series of collectable dolls featuring soft bodies and ceramic heads and feet.

 

The Adventures of Blinky Bill | © Yoram Gross Films

The Adventures of Blinky Bill | © Yoram Gross Films

 

8. In 1985, the Australia Post issued postage stamps commemorating children’s books that included honouring the nation’s iconic koala, Blinky Bill.

 

9. Blinky first made it to our screens in the ’80s in a live TV show featuring puppet animals in The New Adventures of Blinky Bill, and was followed by an animated movie, Blinky Bill: The Mischievous Koala in 1992. However, it is the popular children’s television series called The Adventures of Blinky Bill, which ran from 1993 until 2005, that he is most well-known for by today’s generation.

 

 

10. By visiting the Sydney Harbour Bridge, you can stop by Blinky Bill – a light on top of the bridge in his name.

 

11. Books about Blinky Bill have never been out of print, embedding him into our nation and hearts.