Like most writers out there, I really love to write. This passion started when I was very small, when I developed a love of books, and I remember writing my first proper full stories when I was about nine years old.
So I've been writing for over four decades now and my biggest regret is those early masterpieces no longer exist to look back upon. My own girls write now and where possible, I'm keeping copies on my computer so four decades from now they can look back on their early writing efforts with pride.
Over the years, I have explored many genres within writing, which was a great apprenticeship because it not only taught me a lot about writing but it also drew me to the area of writing that I love most - children's literature.
Children don't tend to look critically at things like adults do, and fully appreciate what the imagination brings to life in words. Once children enter their teens, they start to think more critically and some may even start to imagine less, leaving the fanciful tales from their childhood behind as they mature.
My greatest wish ever was to see my name on the cover of a book, and in 2005 this happened with the publication of two of my novels for children - "The Balloonatic!" and "Finders Keepers" - which are aimed at my favourite 8-12 year old age group. I have since had further books published.
So that's me and that's what I do. If my stories can take young people out of the realm of ordinary, everyday life and into the incredible realms of the imagination, even but for a small time, then I will have achieved my goal.
People become celebrants for different reasons. For me, it was a desire to combine my writing skills and my love of public speaking and help people celebrate their life's special occasions with ceremonies that people would remember for the right reasons.
I became a celebrant in December 2003 after changes to legislation that opened up the very closed marriage celebrant system in Australia. I completed the mandatory marriage celebrant training required by the Federal Attorney-General at that time, and later went on to complete a Graduate Diploma in Civil Ceremonies at Monash University - currently the highest form of celebrancy qualification in the world and held by about 100 celebrants in Australia.
During my initial study, I realised that my own wedding ceremony in 1995 - by one of Australia's most prominent celebrants - was less than ordinary. There had been little consultation with me, no rehearsal or even an offer to rehearse, and after the wedding I had to ask for a copy of my ceremony which was handed to me as several sheets of paper containing a 'cut and paste' job from what appeared to be the celebrant's standard 'one ceremony fits all' resources. Not impressed, to say the least. So I was determined that when I became a celebrant, none of my clients would have that kind of celebrant in me.
While I awaited registration in 2004, my first ceremonies were 'non-legal' general ceremonies including namings, renewal of vows and commitments.
I was formally registered as a civil marriage celebrant on 2 September 2004. I later trained in funeral celebrancy and added this to my ceremony repertoire. In the ensuing years, I performed hundreds of civil weddings and general civil ceremonies. I feel so privileged to have been a part of so many people's lives.