“My mum was a passionate teacher so I grew up immersed in the stories of her day”
I love this photo of my family. It immediately takes me back to my childhood. I am the second youngest of six children. My mum was a passionate teacher so I grew up immersed in the stories of her day, the lives of her students and the teaching books that covered the kitchen table after dinner. I remember wanting to be many things when I grew up – a chef, an architect and a writer. But as soon I was given the chance, I did work experience with my kindergarden teacher, Mrs Laverey, and just like that- I was hooked on children and teaching. Children are full of energy, enthusiasm, imagination, creativity and surprises. And teaching is such a creative and unpredictable journey.
My dad is a great storyteller. He had a whole repertoire of original stories which he told to us and we hung on every word. Willy the Whale, Sammy the Seahorse, Hungry Harry… I knew all these stories by heart, line for line. This was the beginning of my love of words, books, stories and writing. I learnt some of my most valuable childhood lessons from the characters in these stories. When I started my family, I finally had the opportunity to study professional writing and indulge my passion for words and writing. I love teaching creative writing, philosophy and I think storytelling is one of the greatest ways to connect with people – children and adults alike.
I’m married and have two daughters – Molly and Neve. We live by the bay in Melbourne, Australia with our ‘old girls’ (Bantam hens) and our latest addition – Mackenzie, a rather adorable Spoodle. I love the beach, cooking, travelling, entertaining and laughing. And of course, it goes without saying that I love talking! We all do! Try and get a word in around our dinner table!
Teaching has been so much more than a job for me…
I have enjoyed many different teaching positions over the last 25 years from Early Childhood to V.C.E classes in both the public and private sector. When it comes to teaching, I see myself very much as a facilitator. I research best teaching practice and innovative content ideas, gather materials…that is, I set the stage. The rest is up to the students. The children in my workshops quickly learn that their ideas, opinions and interests are central to any program. I have a BEd majoring in Special Education and have specialised in E.S.L (English as a Second Language) and Gifted Education. I have presented many popular writing and philosophy workshops in both Melbourne and interstate for G.A.T.E.WAYS. (Gifted and Talented Education).
In 2010, I combined my passion for writing, storytelling and creative thinking to launch my own business- Write Away With Me . I now develop and present creative writing and philosophy programs for students in Prep to Year 7 and offer storytelling and literacy incursions for both Early Childhood and Primary Schools.