As an engineer, I used to sit opposite the News Desk, thinking how I’d rather write stories than broadcast them. After retraining as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), I taught literacy and numeracy to adult migrants. My students came from Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, many of them former refugees. Through their experiences, I realised that the road to successful resettlement is often long and difficult.
A story began forming in my mind, the story of our response to people in distress. 2016 marks 40 years since the first wave of Vietnamese refugees came to Australia – a good milestone, I thought, for reflection.
In 2015, I threw caution and my day job to the wind. Now I spend my days interviewing people and writing their stories, stories which I am weaving together to form a larger narrative for a book.
I post updates on the book’s progress here. Occasionally, however, my thoughts on writing, gardening and life in general nudge their way in. My guiding principles as a writer of creative non-fiction:
Feel deeply. Think clearly. Write truthfully.
Samples of my writing Champions Published in the Borneo Post, 5/6/2013. Alongsiders Published in Asian Beacon, 3/7/2013. Chapter 2 Excerpt from Fish in the Well.