My Story

It all began in 1872 when my great-grandmother booked a passage on the wrong ship to the wrong country. If she had been able to read and write, she would have known the difference between America and Australia ... and I might never have been born! But here I am, a fourth-generation resident of the Wide Bay District in Queensland, Australia, where I grew up in the medium sized regional city of Maryborough.

According to my mother, I wrote my first poem at the age of four. There is no surviving evidence of this, but mothers are never wrong! What I can say with certainty is that from a very early age, an appreciation for fine music, art, literature and poetry was instilled in me by both parents. As time went by, I wrote poems on a variety of subjects, across many different styles. Some I shared with family and friends, but most were stored in a shoe box, never seeing the light of day.

For many years my husband Rod has encouraged me to "do something" with my ever-growing stock of verses, but as it is with working ladies, life is busy. Besides, I doubted that anyone beyond family and friends would be all that interested!

However as we've grown older, we have spent more time travelling by caravan across many regions of this vast country, visiting places and learning their history ... and meeting people and learning their stories. Inevitably our travel adventures have inspired more poems, this time with a distinct Australian theme - so finally, I decided to take my husband's wise advice and bring my verses out of the shoe box and into the spotlight!

Since late 2011 I have been privileged to win a number of national and regional Awards for my written work, and Rod and I have won prizes for poetry performance. From 2012 to 2019 we were regular guests on ABC Local Radio Wide Bay 100.1 FM - in Rick Whittle's Saturday Breakfast program, presenting our original poetry to a wide audience across our region.

In 2014 I retired from the electricity industry after 43 years in the workforce. I continue to write and perform my poetry in a variety of settings - from historical celebrations and bush poetry festivals to informal gatherings. Rod and I specialise in duo recitals - often performed in period costume in recognition of our long heritage in this region and the historical content of many of my poems. Check us out in the Photo Gallery.

During the years 2014 and 2015 I was privileged to win two of the most prestigious prizes in Australia for traditional written verse - the Babies of Walloon trophy for the 2014 Ipswich International Written Poetry Competition, and the Bush Lantern trophy as Queensland Written Bush Poetry Champion for 2015. In 2017 I won first prize in the Humorous Section of the Australian Written Bush Poetry Championships. In 2019 I won the biennial National Henry Lawson Award for traditional rhyming verse. The year 2020 brought brought first prizes in three major competitions - the Sutherland Shire Literary Competition (traditional rhyming verse section), the Bronze Spur trophy for bush verse, and all three sections of the Toolangi CJ Dennis Written Competition - poetry, short story and poem written for children.

In 2021 when I added the coveted Blackened Billy trophy to my collection. This award, now cemented in Australian Bush Poetry tradition for over 30 years, was traditionally associated with the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and is now held in conjunction with the annual Banjo Paterson Festival in Orange, New South Wales. My winning poem Bittersweet Harvest was subsequently published in RM Williams Outback Magazine, one of the competition's sponsors. Most recently, in 2022 I was awarded the 51st Bronze Swagman trophy for written bush verse.

My debut CD An Australian Journey was released in 2012. In late 2015 my book of original poetry Lady of Lines, was published by Xpress Publications.
In 2022 another long-held ambition was realised with the publication of my debut Australian novel Sonnets from The Sheoaks.

My free one-page electronic poetry newsletter
eLines, which has been published monthly since 2012, can be delivered confidentially to your email inbox. To receive this, or for further information and/or enquiries please Contact Me

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