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!
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!
More on the Carolinas later but Pam Vaughan (official photographer for the New England conference last weekend) has just sent me oodles and poodles of photos … so if you don’t want to see piccies of me in action – then look away now! There are photos of me with friends, of me panelling, photos […]