The bank manager who paid off his gambling debt by manual labour.

The 1960s. Life in the bush is filled with busy work days, long hours spent out in the sun working with livestock, planting or harvesting crops, or in the paddock mending or constructing fences, sheds and yards, delving bore drains, fixing windmills or digging new dams so vital water flows.  The weekends however are bliss. [...]

By | February 15th, 2022|Blog, COUNTRY LIFE, Family history|0 Comments

The Last Station – New release. Out 1st March.

Cover reveal! The Last Station will be out March 1st. It's been three years in the crafting, from initial concept to outline (6 if I count the initial idea), numerous drafts, a first chapter that I rewrote 14 times, not to mention the other chapters and a couple of characters who didn't make the cut, [...]

Pinchgut Island became Sydney’s Fort Denison.

In 1788, the convict Thomas Hill was rowed out to a 49 foot high sandstone islet in the middle of Sydney harbour. He was left there for a week in irons, subsisting on bread and water until he caught sight of the dinghy that was to bring him ashore. On his return, it's said that [...]

By | January 24th, 2022|Australian History|0 Comments

Luminous writing & a bounty of authors. Making a noise about Historical Fiction.

What an honour it has been to be Chair of judging for this years ARA Historical Novel Prize. Along with fellow judges Carmel Bird and Roanna Gonsalves it has been a fiendishly difficult task.  The shortlist has recently been announced, and the three wonderful novels in contention for Australia's richest genre-based literary prize are noted [...]

By | September 28th, 2021|A WRITERS LIFE, Feature, Industry Info|0 Comments

A writer’s thoughts: March

A writer's thoughts: I've never been one for soppy love stories. Unless you count the first couple of series of Outlander which matched love and adventure and damn good story-telling. However after the author scurried her characters across the seas leaving Scotland and all those glorious men in kilts to wander the lochs and hills [...]

By | March 22nd, 2021|A WRITERS LIFE, Opinion|0 Comments

The Great Escapologist-Harry Houdini in Australia

The man who defied shackles, chains, heights, padlocks, earth and water nearly suffocated to death when he was restrained in a coffin and buried six feet underground. Harry Houdini the supreme escapologist, survived to tour Australia in 1910. He arrived with his wife and an aeroplane as well an array of tricks that surpassed the [...]

By | February 25th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

Historic Murki Homestead destroyed by fire (Boomi, NSW. Australia)

Yesterday morning the Murki Homestead burnt to the ground. Four generations of Alexanders lived there, from my great-grandfather’s time through to my generation; 1893-2016. It was here that the early beginnings of our business were established, and over the years the house grew to accommodate successive families. Beneath its roof men and women discussed the [...]

History of patchwork in Australia

Quilting and patchwork have long been associated with Europe and the Americas, and the arrival of this particular brand of needlework from the northern hemisphere to Australia came with the transportation of convicts in the 1800s. There is evidence of a woman named Elizabeth Fry giving migrating women material patches so that they could sew [...]

By | September 14th, 2020|Australian Aboriginal Art|0 Comments

The worlds most beautiful war memorial – The Great Ocean Road

The world’s most beautiful war memorial spans 243 kms and was built by men who served during the Great War. The Great Ocean Road was first planned towards the end of World War I, when the chairman of the Victorian Country Roads Board asked the State War Council for monetary assistance. The funds would enable returned soldiers [...]

By | August 31st, 2020|Australian History|0 Comments

How Flinders missed the mouth of the Murray River.

When English explorer Matthew Flinders unexpectedly sighted Frenchman Nicolas Baudin’s vessel at sea near the South Australian coastline on the 8th April 1802, both men were probably a little wary. As far as they knew, Britain and France were still at war. The French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802) were a series of sweeping military conflicts stemming from the French [...]

By | August 24th, 2020|Australian History|0 Comments
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