I tell stories through a mixture of media including: poetry, photographs, storytelling, song, written words and video.
Since moving to Brisbane I’ve become an active member of the wonderful Write Links. This group focuses on writing for children and young adults. I’ve joined QWC and Book Links and hope to meet more writers and readers in Brissie and the nearby coasts.
I’m working on several picture book manuscripts, poetry collections, and chapter books inspired by nearly a decade of living in North Queensland. In 2015/6 I won an ASA mentorship to work with a mentor on one of my picture books.
My first published words for children are several poems soon to be appearing in Sally Odger’s bumper poetry anthology, Singing the Year Prints Rhyming Anthology(Date TBA.)
Previously, I’ve had over 100 articles, interviews, short memoir pieces, poems, stories, and reviews published in a diverse range of online spaces, magazines, anthologies, guest blogs, walls (by permission of course), libraries, and journals. I co-edited Under One Sky, and a collection of After Yasi stories with photographs I had taken in the wider community. I’ve been paid to read my poetry in the past, and that was a wonderful experience. Thank you to the Pacific Wave (2002?) and Tasmanian Poetry Festival (1996). I love contributing to anthologies and chapter books but it’s probably about time I went solo, although I will always enjoy collaborating where possible on projects.
My cultural background, is multicultural, with Indigenous PNG Mekeo background through my mother, and English Australian through my Father, and Baha’i and Tasmanian in my upbringing. Now I would identify strongly with being a Queenslander. Yet, mostly I would want to be considered a world citizen who honours all of her cultural connections, but is not limited or pigeonholed by them. I do connect and feel affinity with the writers of diaspora, and Pasifika background because of the similarities in some of our themes and concerns and these days I also love connecting with writers who write for children and young adults with a sensitivity to diversity, but I also want to write to universal themes we can all connect with and treat them with a sense of the identities that have made me who I am.
I’ve had a diverse range of jobs, as writers often do and maybe should to help them find more stories about the world. So I’ve worked as a university tutor, writing group coordinator, dramaturg, teacher aide, storyteller, youth mentor, group blogger, guest blogger, commissioned photographer, gallery attendant, cultural development officer, researcher, workshop facilitator and arts project coordinator and facilitated community engagement projects like Ripple, The Smile Within, and women’s storytelling projects. I was a contributor to the ABC Open’s Aftermath project and that’s when I began telling lots of cyclone recovery stories.
I completed my doctorate on the Empowerment of Indigenous women through writing in 2004. That’s the short version. The long version is that this was a massive challenge in life, done with three beautiful and active children patiently tagging along on field trips and growing up fast and crawling all over me whilst I typed it up. On top of that their Dad was studying for his PhD as well.
I’m currently looking for my next documentary theme. It could be about hunting for poems, or the amazing story of growing up in Tasmania and travelling all over Australia with three beautiful and active children in tow.
Magic Fish Dreaming was successfully kickstarter funded and will be out later this year.
In 2012 I was awarded an Australia Day senior cultural medal for services to community based on my writing and contributions to ABC Open from the Cassowary Coastal Council and was thrice nominated for a regional service award for Queensland. Thanks to whoever nominated me for these awards, it’s not often you find people who truly appreciate your efforts, but the Cassowary Coast artists and writers made me feel that way and I will always remember them.
I am now tutoring creative writing students at, QUT (Queensland University of Technology.) and the University of Queensland.
I am delighted to be a member of the following groups or directories. Gumbootspearlz is my website.
I am a regular photographic contributor to Nineteen Months.
Visit my website to find out more June Perkins