I am a versatile writer whose work has been published in newspapers, journals, magazines and books in Australia and overseas and whose plays have been performed nationally and internationally and translated into Turkish and Tamil.
Writing for me is a tool that can be used in many ways, depending on the story. Sometimes it needs to be a play, sometimes it needs to be an opinion piece or even a song, rhyme or cartoon.
As a former journalist and journalism trainer, I was best known for my column A New Life Journal, published in The Age from 1993 to 1997, and in Quality Time Magazine from 1997 to 2002, and for my work editing and reporting for the Accent pages of The Age on issues affecting women.
After leaving The Age in 1995, I conducted my own freelance business for 14 years, writing and illustrating across the government, corporate and community sectors and working as a journalism trainer and course writer for News Ltd.
My cartoons have appeared in numerous books and publications and have been included in several exhibitions, and my cartoon archive is held at the State Library of Victoria.
For the past 10 years, my focus has been playwriting and memoir.
Since its premiere in Melbourne in 2015, my first full-length play e-baby had been produced every year to critical acclaim, with productions in Sydney, Hobart, Ohio and London. Sadly, productions in Columbia, Missouri, and in Spain have been postponed due to Covid-19.
e-baby, which is about the relationship between an infertile woman and the surrogate she hires, has also been translated into Turkish.
d-baby, my second full-length play, which is about a donor-conceived teenager searching for her true identity, has had successful readings in Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart.
d-baby was also a finalist in the 2018 international playwriting competition New Works of Merit, based in New York. It is a companion play to e-baby, but not a sequel.
My short plays have been produced in Australia, Singapore, London and Scotland. Two have been translated into Tamil.
My latest show Uked! – The first play-along ukulele musical enjoyed two sell-out seasons in Central Victoria in 2019 and is now licensed by David Spicer Productions for others to produce. Covid cancelled plans by Libretto Productions to produce the show in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2020. Growling Grin Productions is hoping to produce it in South Australia in 2022.
Uked! celebrates the power of the humble ukulele to connect communities, while exploring ageing, loneliness, and identity in a fun interactive way.
I strongly believe in the transformative power of stories and theatre, and enjoy writing plays that make people think, laugh and cry.
I live in Castlemaine, in Victoria, Australia, and I am married with two adult children and a grandson. And yes, I play the ukulele.
Thanks to Leonie Van Eyk for this lovely portrait and for the one on my home page.
My chair is a George Heppelwhite, from the late 18th Century. After his death in 1786, his wife Alice continued the business. Some believe that many of the designs attributed to him, were actually hers.