The small girl was excited. The shape of the birthday gift suggested that it might be a new book. And it was!
Years later, now as a woman in my eighties, a new book still brings joy. Books on family shelves and the bookshelves of friends, in libraries and bookshops, books to read and later books to write. Attempts to write my own stories began as a child and I discovered the joy of trying to use words to paint a picture and tell a story.
In my early twenties, as a young teacher, I travelled in 1961 to the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. I worked for the Methodist Church as school teacher and then as Christian Education worker with special interest in youth, village women, literacy and translation. Here was an amazing world of communities who were only just learning that another world, the rest of the planet, existed beyond the high mountain ranges that ringed their valleys. Every day was an adventure. I was bursting to share the stories of everything that I was witnessing. I wrote – many letters, short articles and then my first book. That led to an invitation to write short booklets on historical figures for a syllabus in Papua New Guinea schools. This introduced me to a fascination in history, and church history in particular. By the time I returned to live permanently in Australia in 1978 I knew that, if possible, I wanted to write more.
Since moving to Canberra in 1979, now with husband Ron and three children, my world has been made up of a number of spheres of interest. A rich family life. Engagement with my Uniting Church community at local, regional, State and national level through committees and Boards, including a term as Moderator of Synod of NSW&ACT (2000-2002) and serving as Chair of two UCA Assembly (national) committees. I have had a continuing connection with my former interest in Pacific communities and cross-cultural action, through church life and community development. Opportunities for travel, often well off common tourist routes.
And writing. It was many years before I gained the confidence to put ‘Writer’ in the space marked ‘Occupation’ on forms. Since my first published book in 1972, I have produced another ten published books, nineteen chapters in other published books, a Master’s thesis in 1996, plus a range of articles, academic conference papers, studies, liturgical material and private family histories.
This site introduces this writing. It has been organised into books, history and worship services, including studies for groups.
Torn Between Two Worlds, Kristen Press, Madang, PNG 1972
Currency Lass, Albatross Books, Sutherland, NSW 1985
A Bridge is Built; a story of the United Church in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, (with A.Harold Wood), Commission for Mission, Uniting Church in Australia, 1987
Certain Lives, Albatross Books, Sutherland, NSW 1989; OpenBook (reprint)1999
No Fixed Address, Albatross Books, Sutherland, NSW 1991
Whereabouts Unknown, Albatross Books, Sutherland, NSW 1993
A Very Long War: the experiences of the families of the missing men of the New Guinea Islands, 1941-1995, thesis submitted for Master of Arts with ANU 1996
A Singular Woman, OpenBook Publishers, Adelaide, 1999
A Very Long War, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne 2000
Pacific Missionary George Brown, ANU E Press, Canberra 2013
Live Peace, Acorn Press, Melbourne 2015
A Complicated Courtship, self-published 2018
Chapters in books
The Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography: 1730-1850 Donald M. Lewis Ed., [1993? Walter Lawry?]
Australian Dictionary of Evangelical Biography
‘The Body of Christ’ and ‘The power of a simple invitation’ in Australian Stories for the Soul, Strand Publishing, 2001
‘Communities of faith’ in Volunteering Visions, Joy Noble and Fiona Johnston, Eds, The Federation Press 2001
‘A small butterfly’ in Australian Stories for the Heart in Strand Publishing 2002
‘Words fail’ in Australian Stories for the Spirit, Strand Publishing, 2003
‘Searching for dad: unsolved mysteries of the war’, in Steven Bullard and Tamura Keiko, Eds, From a hostile shore: Australia and Japan at war in New Guinea, Australia-Japan Research Project, Australian War Memorial, 2004
‘Wait, there’s more’ in Inspirational Australian Stories, Strand Publishing, 2004
‘Changing designs in the weave: developments in Wesleyan Mission policy in the Pacific’ in Peter Lineham, Ed., Weaving the Unfinished Mats: Wesley’s Legacy – conflict, confusion and challenge in the South Pacific, Proceedings of Wesley Historical Society (NZ) 2005
‘Counting the years: celebrating generations of multicultural links’, in Helen Richmond, Myong Duk Yang Eds, Crossing Borders: Shaping Faith, Ministry and Identity in Multicultural Australia, UCA Assembly 2006
Response to ‘The Australian Character’ by Robert Linder in Shaping the Good Society in Australia, Stuart Piggin, Ed., Australia’s Christian Heritage National Forum, Macquarie Centre, 2006
‘Partnering for Prosperity’ with Kerry Enright, in A Prosperous Future: Papua New Guinea, Jonathan Ritchie and Michelle Verso, Eds. Crawford House Publishing, Adelaide 2015
‘Papua New Guinea Wantok’, in Bill Gammage, Brij V. Lal, Gavin Daws, Eds, The Boy from Boort, ANU Press 2014
‘Wesleyan Methodist Missions to Australia and the Pacific’ with David Roberts, Methodism in Australia: a history, Eds Glen O’Brien and Hilary Carey, Ashgate UK, 2015
Foreword for reprint of Alan Tippett, The Christian: Fiji 1835-67, Ed. Doug Priest, USA,2015.
‘Mary O’Reilly: ‘a mother in Methodism’ (1856-1933)’, in William Emilsen and Patricia Curthoys Eds, Out of the Ordinary: Twelve Australian Methodist Biographies, MediaCom Education Inc, Unley 2015
Kakokunaru kishibe kara : Ōsutoraria to Nihon no Nyūginia-sen / Sutību Burādo, Tamura Keiko hen (過酷なる岸辺から : オーストラリアと日本のニューギニア戦 / スティーブ・ブラード, 田村恵子編) “From a hostile shore : Australia and Japan at war in New Guinea” (2004), chapter; edited by Steven Bullard and Tamura Keiko
‘Portrait of Women in Mission’, South Pacific Journal of Mission Studies Number 14, July 1995
Monthly columns as Moderator, for Insights magazine, journal of UCA in NSW, 2000-2002
‘Still missing’, Wartime: the Australian experience of war, (magazine of Australian War Memorial,) Issue 16 2001
Book Review, Ruth Prescott and Peter Marshall (eds), ‘Living Faith in Public Life: Fifty two Australian Voices’, Uniting Church Studies Volume 7, No. 2 August 2001
Book review, Paul Chilcote, ‘Her Own Story: autobiographical portraits of early Methodist Women’ Abingdon Press 2001, in Uniting Church Studies Volume 11, No. 1, March 2005
‘Trash or Treasure: the Joys of the Chase amongst Uniting Church Archives’, Church Heritage: Historical Journal of the Uniting Church in Australia (NSW/ACT)Volume 16 No. 4, September 2010
‘Missing but Not Forgotten’, Wartime: the Australian experience of war, (magazine of Australian War Memorial,) Issue 53 2010
‘Wednesdays with Alan Tippett: a gift of wisdom’, Australian Journal of Mission Studies, Volume 8 No. 2 December 2014