As a broadcast engineer in Sarawak, Malaysia, I used to sit opposite the News Desk. A huge white board with a list of the day’s stories hung on the wall behind the editor and his team of journalists. One day, I realised that I would have liked my name to be on that board, to be writing stories about people and places, instead of writing emails about replacement circuit boards.
When I moved to New Zealand for my husband’s training, I resigned from the TV station, happy to become a full-time mum. From 2007 to 2015, I wrote a monthly parenting column for the Borneo Post. I began interviewing friends and experts in various fields. Interviewing people and writing became my way of trying to understand the world.
After retraining as a teacher of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) in 2008, I taught literacy and numeracy to adult migrants in Australia, where we now live. Many of my students were 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 Australia’s changing response to refugees since the Vietnam War. In 2015, I won an Emerging Artist Mentorship grant from Arts South Australia for this story. I post updates on the work’s progress here. Occasionally, my thoughts on other subjects manage to nudge their way in.
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.