Which hat and which era? I am currently an educator of primary school children, trying desperately to juggle my obligations to cover the ridiculously crowded curriculum, whilst also encouraging my community to wake up and notice that our futures depend on sustainable practices and massive behaviour change. My passion for biodiversity and nature is spreading, one gardening project at a time. I delight in seeing young children digging in the soil and not recoiling when they touch snails, worms and caterpillars. I delight in seeing the butcher birds, magpies, kookaburras and tawny frogmouths returning to our school grounds. I delight in finding a way to connect with nature in an urban environment that is so removed from my farming childhood. Ah, nostalgia.
Once upon a time | was a young, idealistic journalist, wreaking havoc with my words and biases in a conservative, race-divided coastal community for a couple of years. There were murders, Australia's worst ever bus crash, massive floods and all the usual local, state and national political battles to cover. The animosity between the town's Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, sticks in my mind.
My idealism and activism were gradually worn down as I headed to the big smoke and entered the sweatshop world of news agency journalism, churning out an endless stream of national and international news, shift-by-shift becoming more cynical and physically damaged by the excessive keyboarding, sitting and disruptive sleeping patterns. I once sub-edited approximately 80,000 words in one 8 hour shift.
Becoming a parent in the mid-90s shifted my focus. I took time out, wrote my first novel, rehabilitated my body with a core strengthening program and hours of physiotherapy sessions. The novel was unpublished and I entered the world of primary school education as a literacy tutor and teachers' aid. It wasn't enough. I studied, became a teacher and found out that I'd entered one of the toughest, but most satisfying professions on the planet.
To cut a long story short so that I can get on with publishing my novel, I am now focused predominantly on waging a personal war on single-use plastic and litter. It seems like a relentless and futile obsession most of the time, but I know that other people are also acting and perhaps we can make a collective difference. I am also a keen amateur photographer and spend a lot of time crouched down over small flowers and bits of nature, wielding my trusty Nikon and a macro lens.
I won't go into details about my family life, other than to say that my husband is my lifelong friend; my daughter is phenomenally talented, creative and unconventional; my parents are inspirational and always full of great anecdotes and I have two excellent, reliable brothers. We are, of course, utterly dysfunctional, despite all the love.