My father was an illiterate unskilled labourer, my mother had little interest in reading and worked as a tea lady, and I read my first book (cover-to-cover) at the age of 15. (It was Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men').
I've taught in secondary schools and tertairy institutions - Universities and Technical and Further Education colleges. I've had two stints as a secondary school principal, and spent 7 years as a full time educational consultant.
I taught Professional Writing and Editing for 14 years: 1995 - 2008. I published my first book in 1970; it was a series of school textbook entitled Patchwork, and aimed at poor readers in secondary schools. Since then I've published around 70 books. Most have either been textbooks for use in Secondary English classroom and stories for children - prep to young adult.
I'm enrolled in a PhD, and involved in a phenomenological study of writing.
I'm a prolific songwriter and a book of my children's songs, along with two CDs, will be published in 2009. One of my songs was placed 3rd in the 2007 Australian Songwriters Awards, and two of my recorded songs 'made it' on to 'hit parades' in Australia.
At the moment, the major influences in my writing life are Bernie Neville, an Australian academic - author of Education Psyche; Peta Heywood, my PhD supervisor; and my children. I've been very caught up in the ideas of a number of thinkers/writers: Gebser, Laszlo, Romanyshyn, Bernie Neville, Jung ...
In January, 2009, I've returned to full time English teaching at Warrandyte High School. I teach year 8, two year 10 classes and a Year 12.