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The Mouth that Roared


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About the Author

Leslie Twentyman OAM is a prominent youth outreach worker and community activist. He is one of Victoria's best-known social campaigners on issues from homelessness, drug abuse and prison reform to social welfare. In 1984 he founded the Les Twentyman foundation, which has grown to become a vital resource to thousands of Australia's youth at-risk each year. Les Twentyman was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1994, and in 2006 was awarded Victorian of the Year. Robert Hillman is a Melbourne-based writer of fiction and biography. His autobiography, The Boy in the Green Suit, won the Australian National Biography Award for 2005. His 2007 biography, My Life as a Traitor, written with Zarah Ghahramani, appeared in numerous overseas editions and was short-listed for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards in 2008. Hillman has published over 80 titles.


Les is a frontline urban lifesaver, rescuing the drowning from their addictions. If you want to know the truth about Australia, and what's gone wrong, The Mouth that Roared is a compelling read.
-- Chris Smith, 2GB radio presenter
Les Twentyman is a legend, a true guardian angel in the wilds of Western suburbia where so many are forgotten or maligned. Filled with his characteristic humour, wit and knack for telling a good tale, this is a book that should be read by policymakers, politicians and opinion columnists. They might learn something from the Braybrook boy who didn't finish high school, but who truly understands the heart and humanity behind our most vulnerable and voiceless.
-- Alice Pung, author
Les Twentyman is one of the gems of Melbourne life: the perfect example of good people who don't care where you come from or what you sound like. Les is authentic. He is passionate, he cares and he gets it more than just about anyone. His is a story of a bloke who enjoys a laugh, a good time and, by being non-judgemental towards everyone he meets, is able to connect disparate spirits and save lives. That's a story worth reading.
-- Eddie McGuire AM, TV and radio presenter, President, Collingwood Football Club
Les Twentyman's memoir is funny, honest and inspiring. His memories of growing up in the western suburbs are warm and wonderful. A restless student, most likely to disrupt classes with his constant questioning, he has built a life on challenging authority and raising his hand to talk on behalf of those who don't have strong voices. Through football, politics, community work and media, Les has been an outstanding leader and is one of Australia's great storytellers.
-- Paul Kennedy, ABC TV presenter and author"The Mouth that Roared grabs you by the collar and takes you places you wouldn't normally willingly go and leaves you grateful for the experience. Above all, it is Les Twentyman's old-style, no-bullshit storytelling and his distinctive voice that animates this story of his life growing up in a working class family in the western suburbs of Melbourne and his outreach work helping young addicts and strugglers to find meaning and hope. Crucial to his work is his ability to see the world through the eyes of the marginalised."
-Fiona Capp; The Sydney Morning Herald"This is a good read for people with compassionate souls."
-Christine Flood; Warcry"I learnt a lot more about the man I believe is Australia's most famous and hardest working social worker. Les shares a lot of values that I do, we can't ignore the youth problem that we have had for years but there are ways to go about helping these youths rather than just locking them up in the first instance. Well done Les on a great book, every Australian should purchase a copy and read this truly inspirational book if they get the chance, after all there are a lot of social workers in Australia but there is only one Les Twentyman!"
-Brad Crawford; State Manager of AirAsia

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