Joined Apr 9 2011
Kooralbyn qld Australia
When I was born I was as light as a feather.....which really tickled my Mother's fancy. That was way back in 19@# in Clermont, central Queensland Australia, to typical “Aussie Battler” parents. The larrikin inherent in the people of the post-war outback community, flourished in me, a freckle faced, carrot haired kid. My father was a poet in demand in the pubs and work campsites, while Mum was undoubtedly related to the original “Aunty Mame”. (Quite an actress.) Dad’s transient work as a plant operator eventually dictated a move to the “Big Smoke” (Brisbane), where my brother and sister and I could have a stable education. While Dad galloped around on bulldozers, we lived with Mum, and waited for the rain to periodically chase Dad home for a few weeks. It was the highlight of our lives when he appeared unannounced on our doorstep, as he would give us each, a whole shilling to spend at the pictures! I spent most of my waking hours scheming to run away, back to the bush to Dad.
As a young woman I was in little theatre, singing, and dancing, and also studied at art school. I married young and had 3 daughters, and adopted a baby boy. My first marriage ended after 20 years. So did my second one. (I’m a stayer, not a sprinter.) I am now Grandmother to a brood of 10. I have a career background in writing sales training material, and in training and motivating specialty sales people. I was Sales Manager for a large furniture company, responsible for figures for 11 stores with 25 staff . I then established my own furniture & service business, which I ran for 7 years, which gave my 2nd husband a job. In my early forties, we chucked it all in, sacked all the kids, and bought a caravan with “The Wandering Wordsmith” painted all over it, and headed for the outback. In 1994 we attended a bush poetry concert in Beaudesert, where I discovered that I was not the only person left still writing ballads…kindred spirits…what JOY! The great Bob Miller took me under his wing and took me to Tamworth’s “Fireside Festival”, where I met more of these strange creatures known as “Bush Poets”. I was in Heaven! In 1995 I won the inaugural “Australian Ladies Bush Poetry Championship”. I repeated my win in 1996 and was therefore the first Australian female featured performer from this competition, at the 1997 “Cowboy Poetry Gathering” in Elko, Nevada, USA, and at the “Autrey Museum Of Western Heritage” in Los Angeles. I was Reserve Champion at the Winton championships in 1997 and 1998. I received the “Australia Day Cultural Award” in 1997, for “Services to Bush Poetry, and the Promotion of the Australian Identity”. This unique identity is something I encourage all poets to strive to nurture & protect, by using our powerful craft. After studying my craft, I received a number of literary awards including the “Henry Lawson Society” (NSW) and was runner up in the “Blackened Billy” awards in 1997, and won that competition in 2001. I was featured on television in “Brisbane Extra”, and “Totally Wild”, and appeared on “Australian Story”. I won Winton’s ‘Bronze Swagman Award’ for written verse in 2007, with a poem called ‘Waltz…in the courtroom’. I crafted it in Britain, during a bout of homesickness, & it portrays the chaotic courtroom scene that would have eventuated, had the swaggie in ‘Waltzing Matilda’ been given a trial.
I now enjoy teaching and flamboyantly presenting my works tailored to individual groups, such as corporate and political functions, youth organizations, depression support groups, etc. I conduct adult and children’s poetry writing workshops, and judge /compere/ perform in Australia and overseas. I have been published by Pan McMillan, and the ABC, and have produced 2 poetry books, 3 CD’s and 2 cassette tapes of my work, along with a poetry writing instructional booklet. I am intensely interested in seeing people reach their potential, and in conveying the asset that poetry is, to personal development. I am keen to pass on the support and knowledge that many Bush Poets have given to me during my time within this marvellous group of creative people.
I now live in the idyllic little country community of Kooralbyn Queensland; a picturesque valley in the Scenic Rim of the Border Ranges flanking Queensland & New South Wales. I lost custody of my dog & my beloved property, ‘Fairymeade Cottage’ in my divorce. I am now fully occupied with survival, & renovating my little country home myself, & have learnt very quickly how to use a power saw, & how to successfully argue with motor mechanics.....and of course, writing.