Lover of Social History
Natural and Cultural heritage protector
Explorer of places and cultures
Blogger and Writer!
There are probably more labels that apply to me, professionally and personally. I find I’m usually juggling a few at once, so I become an Environmental Educator/Lover of Social History or a Ranger/Interpreter. But I have managed to spend years working in these fields and so am one of the fortunate people in the world whose passion is their work.
I have been able to work extensively in these fields in Victoria and Queensland over the last 30 years. I am an experienced teacher in the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. I have worked as a Senior Conservation Officer in Interpretation for Qld Parks and Wildlife Service planning on park programs and activities, written information and displays for many stunning and awe inspiring parks in South East Queensland.
My work as an Environmental Educator at Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre has seen me create science, geography, history and sustainability programs within Moreton Bay and its islands and in Brisbane. I have also been involved in research on ‘pedagogy of place’ to understand more about the connection we can build between people and the places around them.
‘Professor’ Daley Donnelly and I conducting archaeology programs on St Helena Island
I have been fortunate enough to work on St Helena Island in every possible role – as tour guide, ranger, environmental educator, interpreter and instructor. I have interpreted history through the creation of the museum, training of tour guides, researching historical information, answering public enquiries, creating signage and designing programs for school students. My favourite journey has been creating history programs with talented actors, to bring history alive through drama and theatre at Fort Lytton National Park and St Helena National Park so as to connect deeply with people in ways that see them taking action to protect our remarkable heritage.
Now there’s a new label! I’m venturing into a new area for me, and I’m excited. I have done extensive research on the island’s warders, which will be my speciality. I have also created this blog as a forum where I can find my voice, build ideas and share things that myself and Lauren have discovered along the way. I will be writing the stories that appear on this site.
I was born and raised in Wynnum and Manly before escaping “across the creek” to theRedlands.
I began my working life as a legal secretary and after 30 odd years decided that I had had enough of the legal world and that I would follow my passions of local and family history. As a mature aged student, I undertook an Advanced Diploma in Local, Family and Applied History and whilst undertaking that degree had a light bulb moment where I decided to become a librarian and in particular a local history librarian. So once that first degree was completed, I embarked on a Bachelor of Arts (Library and Information Science) and followed that up with a Masters in Information Studies (Records and Archives Management).
It was however very hard to break away from the legal world as before I had even completed my librarianship degree, I was lured to a large Gold Coast law firm as its legal librarian. Once again though I wanted to break away from the world of law librarianship and managed to secure work for Parmalat (Pauls Milk) and then the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service as a librarian. Once again though I was lured back to law librarianship and worked for the Federal Court of Australia and then the Queensland Police Service.
Currently I am employed by my local Council’s library service and am still waiting for the elusive local history librarian role!
I am a long-standing committee member of the Wynnum Manly Historical Society and until recently was on the committee of Oral History Queensland.
As I mentioned previously, my passions are local and family history and I have been researching my own family history and my husband’s family history for more than 35 years. I love researching in an attempt to unravel the past, solve mysteries, break down those brick walls and generally keep the memory of the past alive.
I am very excited to be part of the St Helena Island Community project. My great great grandmother lived on, and was buried on, the Island before it ever became a prison so I have a strong connection to this beautiful Island.
Our hope is that this journey’s research will build a deeper understanding and appreciation of St Helena’s unique history, while build a community of people that are united in their interest in and protection of St Helena Island.