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Meeting the Hon. Ted Baillieu

Last night the Hon. Ted Baillieu spoke to the Camberwell Historical Society about Sir John Monash.

Ted Baillieu is Chair of the Anzac Centenary Committee, established to commemorate Victoria's involvement in World War I. He was also the 46th Premier of Victoria. I was lucky to be able to meet him and give him a signed copy of Backtracks

Backtracks books donated to local aged care facilities

This week I donated fifteen copies of Backtracks: Recollections of Remarkable Australians to local aged care facilities.

Many aged care facilities in Australia have small libraries or reading rooms, but no budgets to purchase books. All of the facilities were very grateful for my donation. At one local facility I heard of a woman who had once dined with Walt Disney, and with Queen Elizabeth, at dinner parties in her younger years. Please consider donating a new book to an aged care facility near you.

Rotary Club of Canterbury talk

Many thanks to the Rotary Club of Canterbury for inviting me to speak tonight. I enjoyed talking with you about oral histories and my Backtracks book, but I also learned of the great things Rotary Club does locally, nationally and internationally. Thank you also for the kind gifts, and for making a donation to Interplast.

Photo taken by Sue Clifford, Rotary Club of Canterbury

2017 speaking engagements

I have a number of speaking engagements scheduled for 2017. Please contact the appropriate organisation if you would like to attend.


30 January 6pm for 6:30pm Rotary Club of Canterbury, 2 Rochester Rd, Canterbury

7 February  10am  Camberwell Probus Club, St Faith's Anglican Church, 8 Charles St, Glen Iris

24 February 11am Combined Probus Club of Tunstall, Nunawading Uniting Church, corner Whitehorse Rd and O'Shannessey St, Nunawading

Book signing and sales at Dymocks Booklover VIP Christmas event

I had a lovely time sipping a glass of bubbly, signing copies of my book and meeting other authors at the Dymocks Booklover VIP Christmas event in Camberwell last night.

I enjoyed meeting and chatting with the other authors at my table, including Tracy M Joyce (Altaica and Asena blessed), Tess Evans (Book of lost threadsThe memory tree and Mercy Street), Katherine Brabon (The memory artist), Leigh Hopkins (Two decades naked) and Emma Gee (Reinventing Emma).

Thanks again Henk Kelly-Kobes and Kat Kelly-Kobes at Dymocks Camberwell for putting on the event.

At the table with Tracy M Joyce, Tess Evans, Katherine Brabon, Leigh Hopkins and Emma Gee

Camberwell Dymocks Booklover VIP Christmas event

The Camberwell Dymocks Booklover VIP Christmas event is happening this Thursday, from 6 to 8 pm, at The Well.

I'll be selling and signing copies of Backtracks, and fourteen other authors will also be there ready to sign their books too.

More information is available at the following link:

A brief moment with Jodi Picoult

I was lucky enough to be able to give Jodi Picoult a copy of Backtracks at tonight's Dymock's Literary Club event in Camberwell.

Jodi was here to speak about her new book, Small Great Things. It was an interesting evening, with a very big crowd of about 200 people. The publication of her book, the subject of which is race and prejudice, is very timely, given recent events in the US presidential election. 

Talks at Probus clubs in 2016

A big thank you to all of the Probus clubs where I've given talks over the past year.

  • Probus Club of Chatham
  • Mens Probus Club of of Mt Martha
  • Blackburn Probus Club
  • Mont Albert Probus Club
  • Combined Probus Club of Blackburn South

You have warmly invited me into your speaker's halls, horticultural centres, RSLs and other venues and I've enjoyed meeting you all.

Backtracks book at the Little Free Library at Peaks of Otter, USA

Two weeks ago, while travelling along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, USA, I came across a Little Free Library.

This one was located at the Peaks of Otter Lodge. I left one of my Backtracks books at the library. Since returning to Australia, I’ve looked up the Little Free Library, an American movement that started small in 2009 and now has over 40,000 little libraries around the world.

It is a great cause and, having surpassed their initial goal of building 2,510 Little Free Libraries, as many libraries as the Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, they continue to promote literacy and the love of reading by helping people, and communities, build Little Free Libraries around the world.

Check out their website for more information:

Upcoming speaking engagements

I have a number of future speaking engagements. Please contact the appropriate organisation if you would like to attend.

3 August  10am12 pm   Probus Club of Chatham, Salvation Army Citadel, Bowen St, Camberwell
9 August  9:30am–12pm  Probus Club of Mount Martha, Mount Martha House, Dominion Rd, Mt Martha
11 August  10am–12pm  Probus Club of Blackburn Central, Manchester Unity Hall, 8 Main St, Blackburn
14 October  10am–12pm  Probus Club of Mont Albert, Box Hill RSL Club, 26 Nelson Rd, Box Hill
2 November  10am–12pm  Combined Probus Club of Blackburn South, City of Whitehorse Horticultural Centre, 82 Jolimont Rd, Forest Hill

7 February  10am–12pm  Camberwell Probus Club, St Faith's Anglican Church, 8 Charles St, Glen Iris

Author talk at Newport Library at the Substation

When I was a postgrad I used to take the train from Ballarat to Melbourne and, in those days, it used to pass by the dilapidated substation. The neo-classical brick building always reminded me of the comic hero Batman's 'Batcave'. The Substation has been restored and houses the library, a community-based arts centre and a terrific ballroom. Thank you to all who attended my talk today at a such beautiful location, and to Librarian Sarah Lavelle, who took the photos.

Book soon to attend my author talk at the Newport Library at The Substation

I'll be speaking on Thursday, 5 May, at 2:30 pm as part of the National Trust Heritage Festival 2016. Bookings can be made here:

Backtracks book at South Australian libraries

Did you know that South Australia has a 'one card' library system that links over 130 libraries across the state? Did you also know that the system holds 22 copies of Backtracks: Recollections of Remarkable Australians

Visit the Libraries of SA website to learn more, or to reserve a copy of my book if you are local.



Twitter: @LibrariesSA


Book signing and sales at Dymocks Camberwell

I spent a wonderful evening with about 20 other authors at the Dymocks Camberwell Annual Booklover VIP Christmas Event on Thursday, 19 November.

There was great food, drinks and camaraderie at the event as we chatted to other authors, and to potential customers, about our books and writing. Thank you to the owners and staff at Dymocks Camberwell for making the event possible.

Me with Pauline Toohey (left) and Ann Turner (right) at the event

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