Author Tony Williams Comes to Pak College Year 11 History Class

01 Jun Author Tony Williams Comes to Pak College Year 11 History Class

We were fortunate to have Tony Williams, a New Zealand author, comedian, poet, director and filmmaker, come and speak to our Year 11 History class about his experiences as an author; in particular how he conducts research in order to write. Tony is the author of over 50 published books including “How to Write or Tell any Story”. 

“I was asked to come in a talk to the Pakuranga College students about research and I highlighted the importance of research, how the All Blacks use it to win matches, how it can get you a job or help you pass an exam, how one of the richest men in the world Warren Buffet has used it to amass a $70 billion fortune. How research is an adventure of discovery. One of the best ways to do research is to read lots of books on a subject, but my advice is to do so with a dictionary close by to look up any unfamiliar words, then you don’t get trapped into misunderstandings. Clarity of comprehension in this way also enables you to clearly see the truth of what you are reading.”

Read below to learn what Pakuranga College student Kathryn, had to say about this awesome opportunity;

“What I took from Tony Williams’ presentation to my History class was that doing research can sometimes create the greatest knowledge you can have. He told us that he wrote a whole book about coaching a rugby team just from researching about it and not knowing much about it prior. It was amazing knowing how he could write these books, by getting first hand information from interviewing people or getting second hand information by spending hours at the library and simply reading books.

Mr Williams shared many of his personal tactics for researching and gave us advice about how we could incorporate these within our school work. He talked to us about different research skills in different ways. He had a lot of different books to show us as examples. They varied from children’s books about rugby players, to books about Anzac soldiers. We could tell from this that he was a very experienced writer and we were able to take inspiration from the contrast of genres he wrote about, and use that to further understand how to research for different situations.

He explained to us that when interviewing someone, we should always keep their words exactly how they said it, to keep the character and personality of that person. We were also able to get a better understanding of how he did his research, and we thank him for taking the time to come to speak to us.”

– Kathryn Cunnold Year 11 History

There were three main things that the students were able to take away from Mr Williams Presentation according to Adele Siljeur, History teacher at Pakuranga College

They are, that in his experience as an author;

  • Research gives one knowledge, not merely information.
  • Reliability is how you judge a source by how real it is.
  • Key ideas attract people’s attention.

All of which can be applied to students school work and future education and work.



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