I completed a Diploma of Family History through the University of Tasmania in 2018. Researching family history has become a passion, and I delight in helping others uncover the stories of their ancestors.
I achieved a BA (Hons) from Griffith University in 2009. My thesis, The Transformative Effects of the Steam Locomotive in English Literature, combines my passions, literature and steam engines. Documenting life in New Zealand’s railway settlements frequently features in my short story writing. The Gold Coast Writers’ Association launched a compilation book in October 2020 in which one of these tales appears.
I’ve co-written two books, one advising parents how to help their autistic children and the second to assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to communicate more effectively. My co-writer on ASD and I have almost completed a third book. This will assist teens with ASD.
Great-Grandma Elské’s Bamboo Cane was published by Ocean Reeve Publishing in 2017. This is a children’s picture book which documents an incident that occurred when a local lady lost her Tai Chi cane. While embracing principles in Australia’s Early Years Learning Framework and New Zealand’s Te Whariki, Early Childhood Education Curriculum the book demonstrates the value in an elderly person while highlighting the joyous traditions that occur within caring families. It was a joy to write.
In 2018 I participated in an author expo which culminated in the writing of the compilation book Get Known Be Seen – How to Write Your Book and Leverage It. Each author’s story appears as a chapter. This lead to writing reviews for The Disruptive Author, the magazine produced by the publisher of the compilation book. https://www.facebook.com/disruptivepublishing
In 2019 I wrote articles for two local publications, Sandgate Guide and Redcliffe Guide.
In addition to the book for autistic teens, current projects include a second children’s picture book and a biography documenting the childhood of two Australian women; sisters, now in the seventies.
I’m currently writing articles on NDIS and ASD for the Plan Management arm of aVers Cloud Solutions
See me interviewed by publisher Ocean Reeve at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDipBXHj4uU
Great-Grandma Elské’s Bamboo Cane
An incident that occurred in my Tai Chi class inspired this delightful tale.
Elské lost her bamboo cane. We’d walked across the road to my car to see if it was there, but it wasn’t.
Elské said she had owned the cane for over fifty years and it upset her greatly she’d lost it. She said, “I feel like I ought to confess to my mother”. This inspired me to write the story for children, though I smiled at the thought of explaining to small children that a 95-year-old woman didn’t really have a mother tucked away somewhere.
All the students in the class looked for the cane and Elské eventually found it, but you can read all about that in the book.
Readers need to know that Elské doesn’t need the cane to assist her mobility. She uses canes and swords to practise Tai Chi, as all the students do. I reveal a second reason at the end of the book for Elské’s attachment to the cane.
It’s a multi-generational story that highlights family tradition while demonstrating value in the elderly.
At ninety-nine years old, Elské still attends Tai Chi classes weekly, though she said to me recently, “I’m having a bit of trouble with my twirls now.”
The book embraces principles in Australia’s Early Years Learning Framework and New Zealand’s Te Whariki, Early Childhood Education Curriculum.
Rhonda Valentine Dixon