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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I was born on the goldfields of Western Australia. The family later closer to Perth. We moved to Tasmania about 1948 from a land of heat and bushfires to one of mountains and snow at Tarraleah in the Central Highlands. "Who lived in the wooden huts?" was a question asked many times after leaving the Central Highlands and moving to the North West Coast. In my retirement I decided to find out and a love of writing true stories was born.
Tasmania was short of workers and the government sent agents to Europe to encourage people to migrate. During the post-war years, the Hydro Electric Commission of Tasmania desperately needed workers for their mighty construction schemes. They signed up people from around Australia and sought workers from the pool of refugees in Europe. From 1947 onwards, new and old Australians converged on the central highlands villages of Butlers Gorge, Bronte Park. Tarraleah, Wayatinah and Waddamana.
In 2004, I received an Arts Tasmania grant to travel the State and interviewed some of these migrants. Hydro Tasmania assisted in getting the book into print.
My first book, Echoes on the Mountain, was launched in 2006 at Petrarch’s Book Shop in Launceston, the Hydro Tasmania building in Hobart and the Burnie Bowls Club on the north west coast. The book sold very well and has had a second print run.
My second book, Tasmania - an Island far away, takes a close look at nine nationalities and admits this is just the tip of the iceberg of Tasmania's migration. The Manager of the Migrant Resource Centre in Hobart, who launched the book, summed it up. He said if I wanted to write on all migrants in Tasmania there would be more than 20,000 stories
My latest book is called, Echoes from the Wild West Coast of Tasmania. These are recollections of Frederic George Copeland that were dedicated to his wife, Ella in 1935 about one year before he died. The family called them Pa's Yarns which were resurrected from the Queenstown centenary of the Church of England Church in 1998. From these stories, and with the co-operation of the family, in particular his grandson John Copeland, they have been rewritten, grounded in 19th century research and with excellent photographs, they form this latest book.
This is an authentic and fascinating look at life on the West Coast of Tasmania during this time, 1894 - 1901. Throughout these recollections, a sense is created of what living on the West Coast was like. It was still a time of convict stories, wild rivers and tall gorges, bushfires and lost explorers. These were the days of the Wild West Coast and this story tells how it was won.
I worked for TAFE Tasmania for many years and retired to a love of writing. I am married to Trevor and we have four children and eight grandchildren. We still live on the beatiful North West Coast.