I published my research in The Australian Poetry Journal, and subsequently delivered lectures and seminars at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, Old Parliament House in Canberra and Curtin University in Perth. In doing so I inadvertently unleashed Queensland billionaire Clive Palmer’s long-dormant poetry on the world, and for this I can only apologise.
During my studies I learned that poetry is a habit that afflicts the obsessive, and obsessions are nothing if not time-consuming. Inspiration is elusive at the best of times, and altogether evasive when competing priorities are afoot. My primary goal since graduation has been to carve out a career that provides time and headspace for writing, and the flexibility required to meet the muses on their schedule.
Studying at Swinburne gave me the flexibility to study part time while working, and also to increase my course load when appropriate to accelerate my studies. This allowed me the flexibility to hold down a job answering phones at The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust in Melbourne. It was challenging work, but helping families in their time of need was immensely rewarding.
“Studying at Swinburne gave me the flexibility to study part time while working, and also to increase my course load when appropriate to accelerate my studies.”
After graduating, I joined the communications team, and was later appointed Manager Strategic Communications. It was an immense privilege to be the custodian of well over a million stories writ in stone across 21 cemeteries. During my seven years at the Trust, my formal training as a professional writer, combined with my poetic sense and ability to ‘think like a writer’, proved invaluable for working in both a complex organisation, and an incredibly sensitive communications environment.
In 2021 I left the organisation to become an independent communications consultant, working fewer hours, keeping my own schedule, and devoting more time to researching, writing and editing my next creative projects.
My work was most recently featured in Groundswell, an anthology of prize-winning poems from the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and is forthcoming in the next issue of Text. I lately completed a poetry manuscript reflecting on my time as a fixture in the Victorian cemetery landscape.”