At The Zoo

When I graduated I didn’t get my own class straight away so I taught in a few city schools and for a year at Taronga Zoo, but soon the telegram (important messages that were sent for fast delivery … before we had personal computers!) came and I had to leave the city and head for Bourke where I stayed for nearly three years … but not all the time. Every month I would come home to get a dose of city life! My next job at North Sydney Demonstration School was short lived because I received a phone call from the Taronga Zoo asking me to come and set up a new program – the Zoomobile, a travelling zoo, the first in Australia and there I stayed with Corky, Ding and Monty and a few other odd companions for nearly 8 years.

This was my favourite school. I taught at the Education Centre – when I wasn’t zooming around in the Zoomobile. It was a great time at the zoo meeting lots of celebrities (most people want to visit Taronga zoo when they come to Sydney – even pop stars), and working with the keepers and the other animals there but the best part was teaching children. I taught thousands of children in my years at Taronga Zoo. I sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to monkeys and I even drove Santa into the Christmas Carols at the Zoo. At the zoo there was also lots of television work to do. I would pop up on many different television shows and usually with an animal or three. It was here where I also wrote my first published book, Night Creatures. And this is when I realised writing was fun!

Corky and the Zoomobile

My constant travelling companion corky and the Zoomobile

With Zoomobiling over I returned to the classroom at Dulwich Hill Public School (with my beautiful kindergarten class) for a few terms before leaving the classroom.

After teaching I spent my daytime hours for the next four years working as the National Children’s Development Manager for one of the big Australian booksellers. I travelled around Australia as the children’s book specialist helping people find out how cool Aussie kids books are and organizing kids events. I met other magical children’s authors and illustrators while more and more of my nights were spent writing my books. And this was when I bought my house, a little yellow single storey terrace in Sydney … for me and all my books!