Border Mail Column Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Earlier this year when I gave my new short story collection the title of The Only Constant, I couldn’t forsee how prophetic this would be and that my end of year preparations would include readying for a move away from Albury to Sydney.
The move may not be permanent – more of a sabbatical than a final farewell – but there is a still a sense of sadness mixed in with the excitement of what lies ahead, and even some irony when I think about my initial response to the news, just over 24 years ago, that I would be moving to Albury.
Unhappily uprooted from my settled life on the mid north coast of New South Wales I came here with my then husband and two young children, one still a baby, but day by day I found despite my initial resistance, I was putting down roots, personally and professionally.
As I opened my heart a little more I found, and was offered, opportunities to be involved in a number of community and business organisations and to return to my profession of journalism starting work on a casual basis with the ABC then CO FM in its newsroom and later presenting morning and breakfast programs.
Casual work at Prime television lead to full-time work and in my 16 months with the station I made many invaluable contacts including one that later lead to me working as a senior media officer with the Australian Olympic Team in Sydney and Athens.
I left the station to have time at home with my younger child, but this period turned out to be short because I had the opportunity to lecture at Charles Sturt University – my Alma Mater – and later that year took on the position of Main Street Coordinator, now the Albury Central program.
I have had rewarding work with Wodonga and Albury TAFEs and a highlight has to be coordinating three Write around the Murray festivals for AlburyCity.
However, the intent of this column isn’t to present a curriculum vitae, but rather to illustrate that if you are open, this is a community of opportunity that can nurture you.
By far its greatest gift to me has been the chance to grow as a writer and the acknowledgment that even when I earn my keep through other employment this is who I am.
Since picking up the threads of my creative writing life in 1998 I’ve released two collections of short stories and have had writing included in anthologies including New Albury Writing released in 2002.
And each fortnight for the past two and a half years I’ve been given the privilege (and sometimes indulgence) of having the space to comment and reflect on happenings in our community and beyond, covering topics as broad ranging as the impact of technology on our lives, my passion for art and education to my disappearing chooks!
I have also shared the emotion of becoming a grandparent, and have been deeply touched by the warmth of responses I have received from many readers over this time that I think reflects that despite all of the big world events that grab the headlines, it is those events close to our hearts and homes that resonate the most.
And it is because of the needs of my heart that I am leaving – but also to enrich my writing life through further study and advance the novel-in-progress.
So it’s adieu for now. I wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas and fruitful 2013 and you can always catch me at my blog.