Born 1942 in Sydney, I lived in Mosman until I was ten, then Canberra until I was fourteen when we moved to Armidale, NSW. I completed high school and attended university there. In 1962 I married and flew to England where my husband undertook a PhD at Sussex University while I did my third year exams long-distance and went on to have a baby called Genevieve.
On return to Australia, I lived with Ian Macdougall, a leading antiwar activist at that time. We had twins, Ben and Hannah in 1969. In 1970, Women’s Liberation arrived and changed my life profoundly.
I have had a life of political activism – Ban the Bomb, Vietnam, Right to Choose, Women Against Rape in War, Close Pine Gap, Close Nurrungar, and support for Indigenous causes. My working career was as an educator – high school teaching (English and History), the School Without Walls (SWOW) in Canberra, Literacy teacher at the Institute for Aboriginal Development in Alice Springs, Equal Opportunity Officer at the University of South Australia and then director of SPECTRA Consultants, training in harassment prevention, marginalization awareness, team building, maximising human relations in all its forms in the government and community sectors. Alongside my activism and teaching, I always wrote, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.
I live in Canberra in the same blocks where I grew my children and one of my daughters now grows my grandchildren – the closest we can get, it seems to me, to village-living in a modern urban setting. Familiarity, autumn leaves, the Brindabellas, the National Library, world-famous visiting lecturers, multitudinous parrots and all those cycle paths – what’s not to like?