In The Age Melbourne Magazine (2011) I was named as one of Melbourne’s 100 most influential, inspirational, provocative and creative people. In 2017 I won the Regional Achievement & Community Awards: Life Activities Clubs Victoria and Henry Carus & Associates Senior Achievement Award.
My life’s work can be summarised by innovation, creativity and reflection, in particular I am proud of my part in:
- Helping to transform the South Australian Writers’ Centre from a low-key organisation to a major cultural organisation of that State. The Board I chaired carried out significant and long-standing reforms, many of which are still in place including the use of a specifically designed premises.
- Helping to establish Creative Writing as a discipline in the Australian university sector significantly contributing to the development of its teaching and research agendas. I have published in this field and co-founded and co-edited for nine years with Nigel Krauth the scholarly journal TEXT. My creative PhD was the first in the country and I pioneered the genre of the creative PhD Exegeses.
- Helping to transform the village of Clunes from rural decline into a prosperous International Booktown utilising community, culture and the principles of cluster tourism. This innovative transformation has attracted considerable attention, including the OECD (Paris) July 2014 and ABC Landline November 2015. It has involved re-thinking perceived wisdom across a range of concerns including commercial benchmarking, community resilience, community art practice, life-long learning, and notions of sustainability. It has also involved the formation of partnerships with all three levels of government, NGOs, private enterprise and community groups. In 2020 ABC Back Roads made a program about Clunes Series 5, episode 12
I am presenter for the What I Wrote television series on Australian writers
I run the print office of Snodger Media
In 2020 I collaborated with Catherine Gough-Brady on the short film 70+ which can be viewed here www.vimeo.com/snodgermedia/70plus
I was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1948 and currently live in Clunes, rural Victoria.
I was educated at Loreto Convent, Adelaide, and studied at the University of Adelaide; Flinders University; Exeter University, UK; and Deakin University. I have an honours degree in Philosophy, a Masters in Educational Linguistics and a Doctorate in Writing.
I have taught and researched Writing at the University of South Australia, Griffith University and Deakin University.
I have been published in a number of genres including children’s picture books, adult radio drama, self help books, writing and crime fiction.
I am a hobby ceramicist making functional table and cook ware. I enjoy working with local clays and materials.
Summary of Artistic/Cultural Boards and Committees
Committee Member and Chair – South Australian Writers’ Centre 1993-5
Committee Member – Brisbane Writers’ Festival 1996 –1999
Member of the inaugural and subsequent management committee for the Australian Association of Writing Programs. 1996 – 2000
Member of Judging Panel and Chair – Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, Emerging Writer Category 1998 -2004
Founding Member of Creative Clunes Inc (from 2007), Chair (20012-14)
Artistic Director of Clunes Booktown Festival 2007-2012; 2014-2015
Awards and Recognition
2011 The Age Melbourne Magazine (2011) one of of Melbourne’s 100 most influential, inspirational, provocative and creative people.
2016 – Clunes Female Citizen of the Year
2017 – Winner Regional Achievement & Community Awards: Life Activities Clubs Victoria and Henry Carus & Associates Senior Achievement Award
I am convinced that to be human is to be a muddle of contradictions. So while I possess confidence I am also riddled with doubt. In just about every major decision I have made I have felt fear. It’s a fear, not so much of failing, but of succeeding.