Blood Soaked Soil

Cut from the same cloth

All families have good times and tough times. All businesses that last deal with headwinds as well as tailwinds. Every life has light and shade. 

The Batrouneys, as individuals and as a family, have faced adversity and have also experienced great joy. Merlvic had wins and losses. What has made the difference in the end is togetherness. The ethos of loyalty, love and family values has provided strength in the darkest hours and ensured happiness has been shared in the good times.

This has been one episode of the Batrouney story, another link in the sturdy family chain that extends back through time and geography. A new chapter is already being written. Every minute of every day, new links are being forged by family members. The business of life continues …

All families have good times and tough times. All businesses that last deal with headwinds as well as tailwinds. Every life has light and shade. 

The Batrouneys, as individuals and as a family, have faced adversity and have also experienced great joy. Merlvic had wins and losses. What has made the difference in the end is togetherness. The ethos of loyalty, love and family values has provided strength in the darkest hours and ensured happiness has been shared in the good times.

This has been one episode of the Batrouney story, another link in the sturdy family chain that extends back through time and geography. A new chapter is already being written. Every minute of every day, new links are being forged by family members. The business of life continues …

A Caravan Holiday

The pictures and diary of a Wartime Artist

To Four Mile Creek and beyond

Edith and George Rial lived much of their lives in the southern Riverina region of NSW, Australia. Their parents and grandparents typified the ambition, optimism, and achievements of those who came to Australia in the mid-1800s, some voluntarily and some as a result of minor crimes in England. Their story is one of hard work, large families, property success and failure, and the loss of sons in the Great War.

Fine Spirit and Pluck

Step back in time as everyday Australians are plucked from their homes in the outer suburbs and rural fringes and plunged into the fray of World War I. Their stories have remained untold for a century but are contained now within these pages, written by family, friends, and historians, keen to bring the memory of their loved ones out of the shadows.

There’s the unusual gift sent by a faraway soldier as a declaration of love, the military medal recipient who would return to build the Fairfield RSL, the Arthur’s Creek orchardist who left behind an unknown fiancée only to be “discovered” decades later by the family … and so much more.

Yarra Plenty Regional Library have gathered stories from the municipalities of Banyule, Nillumbik and Whittlesea in Melbourne’s north – stories that help connect us to our past and offer a sense of place in the community in which we live, and which exemplify the fine spirit and pluck exhibited by every Australian.

Fine Spirit and Pluck: World War One Stories from Banyule, Nillumbik and Whittlesea is a poignant collection of snapshots into the past, an anthology that commemorates the Australian spirit and which is sure to touch every reader.

Step back in time as everyday Australians are plucked from their homes in the outer suburbs and rural fringes and plunged into the fray of World War I. Their stories have remained untold for a century but are contained now within these pages, written by family, friends, and historians, keen to bring the memory of their loved ones out of the shadows.

There’s the unusual gift sent by a faraway soldier as a declaration of love, the military medal recipient who would return to build the Fairfield RSL, the Arthur’s Creek orchardist who left behind an unknown fiancée only to be “discovered” decades later by the family … and so much more.

Yarra Plenty Regional Library have gathered stories from the municipalities of Banyule, Nillumbik and Whittlesea in Melbourne’s north – stories that help connect us to our past and offer a sense of place in the community in which we live, and which exemplify the fine spirit and pluck exhibited by every Australian.

Fine Spirit and Pluck: World War One Stories from Banyule, Nillumbik and Whittlesea is a poignant collection of snapshots into the past, an anthology that commemorates the Australian spirit and which is sure to touch every reader.

A light at the end

Diagnosis to Recovery

In this inspiring story of recovery, Emma vanderHoeven relates how after 25 years of working as a nurse, wellness coach and health practitioner, she found herself on the other side of the healthcare system when she herself received a life changing diagnosis.

This was a life-changing experience that not only changed her views on life but revealed to her a whole new insight as to what it means to recover from disease.

In Diagnosis to Recovery, Emma shares her personal journey from being diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer with a poor prognosis to regaining her health as well as the mindset tools she utilised to not only navigate her recovery but to do so in a state of gratitude and achieve the life she had always wanted.

It is well known that the way we think affects our lives and health, yet there is more to it than simple positive thinking. If you are facing a chronic illness, then Diagnosis to Recovery is your guidebook to utilising your inner resources to reach a brighter future.

This book is a must-read if you are ready to not only heal from any disease or diagnosis but enter a state of mind that will transform and heal your life!

In this inspiring story of recovery, Emma vanderHoeven relates how after 25 years of working as a nurse, wellness coach and health practitioner, she found herself on the other side of the healthcare system when she herself received a life changing diagnosis.

This was a life-changing experience that not only changed her views on life but revealed to her a whole new insight as to what it means to recover from disease.

In Diagnosis to Recovery, Emma shares her personal journey from being diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer with a poor prognosis to regaining her health as well as the mindset tools she utilised to not only navigate her recovery but to do so in a state of gratitude and achieve the life she had always wanted.

It is well known that the way we think affects our lives and health, yet there is more to it than simple positive thinking. If you are facing a chronic illness, then Diagnosis to Recovery is your guidebook to utilising your inner resources to reach a brighter future.

This book is a must-read if you are ready to not only heal from any disease or diagnosis but enter a state of mind that will transform and heal your life!

JEWEL

It wouldn’t happen to them … until it did. Jewel is an autobiography of how one son coped with the devastating blow of finding out that his mother, Julie, has breast cancer. But that’s only the beginning, as the cancer comes back more and more aggressive each time, eventually taking Julie away from her family forever. 

Dylan Smith details his mother’s cancer battle with raw honesty and a grim sense of humour. A touching tribute to a much-loved mother, and a must read for anyone who has had to witness their loved one battle cancer

It wouldn’t happen to them … until it did. Jewel is an autobiography of how one son coped with the devastating blow of finding out that his mother, Julie, has breast cancer. But that’s only the beginning, as the cancer comes back more and more aggressive each time, eventually taking Julie away from her family forever. 

Dylan Smith details his mother’s cancer battle with raw honesty and a grim sense of humour. A touching tribute to a much-loved mother, and a must read for anyone who has had to witness their loved one battle cancer

Your Grandfather Married My Grandmother – A Shipley Family History

My story starts in the newly formed Kingdom of Great Britain in the early 1700’s with my 5 times Great Grandfather John Shipley. He was born in Epworth Lincolnshire a small rural village 143 miles north of London. In the late 1880’s our story moves to nearby Thorne a market town and thence to Doncaster the major town in the area. I was born in Doncaster in 1943. In 1951 my family migrated to Melbourne Australia where I spent my formative years.

The curiosity to find out about where we came from, I believe, exists for all of us. For the best part of my life I craved information about my ancestors. My parents did not talk to me about them, nor did I ask them. We were very private people. 

My ancestry journey officially started in 2007. By this time my parents were long deceased. With hindsight what I wouldn’t  have given to ask them questions.

Using internet search engines, I was able to construct an interesting and informative story. But like any good story there is always a twist. Something that I did not see coming. I found ancestors that I didn’t know existed who provided me with valuable information including a very special cousin, Dianne, who helped me open the doors to this new vision. She has also written her own special chapter in our story. 

Unfortunately, Dianne passed away before the publication of   this book. I know she would have enjoyed reading it.

My story starts in the newly formed Kingdom of Great Britain in the early 1700’s with my 5 times Great Grandfather John Shipley. He was born in Epworth Lincolnshire a small rural village 143 miles north of London. In the late 1880’s our story moves to nearby Thorne a market town and thence to Doncaster the major town in the area. I was born in Doncaster in 1943. In 1951 my family migrated to Melbourne Australia where I spent my formative years.

The curiosity to find out about where we came from, I believe, exists for all of us. For the best part of my life I craved information about my ancestors. My parents did not talk to me about them, nor did I ask them. We were very private people. 

My ancestry journey officially started in 2007. By this time my parents were long deceased. With hindsight what I wouldn’t  have given to ask them questions.

Using internet search engines, I was able to construct an interesting and informative story. But like any good story there is always a twist. Something that I did not see coming. I found ancestors that I didn’t know existed who provided me with valuable information including a very special cousin, Dianne, who helped me open the doors to this new vision. She has also written her own special chapter in our story. 

Unfortunately, Dianne passed away before the publication of   this book. I know she would have enjoyed reading it.

Happily Made

How did a wide-eyed young woman from Sweden come to live in Australia and end up as ‘The Monkey Lady?’

Happily Made is a tale that weaves through Sweden to Jerusalem, America to Australia and then unexpectedly to rural Cambodia with four young children in tow. 

In this honest, vulnerable and at times heart wrenching memoir, Veronica shares her unconventional life with authenticity              and bravery.

It is the coming of age journey of a naive young woman who at times encountered overwhelming adversity to become both a fierce mamma bear and the playful entrepreneur she is today.

Veronica’s story is one that needs to be told…it beautifully depicts her unravelling, the lessons she learned and the people who  shared her adventure. 

How did a wide-eyed young woman from Sweden come to live in Australia and end up as ‘The Monkey Lady?’

Happily Made is a tale that weaves through Sweden to Jerusalem, America to Australia and then unexpectedly to rural Cambodia with four young children in tow. 

In this honest, vulnerable and at times heart wrenching memoir, Veronica shares her unconventional life with authenticity              and bravery.

It is the coming of age journey of a naive young woman who at times encountered overwhelming adversity to become both a fierce mamma bear and the playful entrepreneur she is today.

Veronica’s story is one that needs to be told…it beautifully depicts her unravelling, the lessons she learned and the people who  shared her adventure. 

If I bend

Conscientious Objection: A Personal Story The Vietnam War Years

This is my personal story of struggling with my conscience during the time of conscription and the Vietnam War. Selected in the first ballot during 1965 I was a bewildered and confused nineteen-year-old. I was also morally outraged. I was outraged by Australia’s invasion of Vietnam. I was outraged at the very idea of conscription. I was aghast at the very thought of belonging to the military machine. I complied with the National Service Act and sought temporary deferment to complete university studies. Upon successful completion I applied to be registered as a conscientious objector based on my long held Christian pacifism. This is my story of what happened from 1965 until 1969, and how I narrowly avoided conviction and jail for at least two years. The book is dedicated to all men and women of conscience everywhere and from any time.

Mind Tricks

Grace, grit, guts

Grace, Grit, Guts is a stirring step-by-step account
of self-discovery, healing, recovery, and transformation. Follow Tracy’s journey on her relentless quest to heal from her tumultuous life, and how she takes her life from ground zero to a life of contribution, authenticity, and freedom in every sense of the word.

Grace, Grit, Guts is a compelling story of survival; a
woman who endured it all, and who is now dedicated to helping others survive their own personal journeys.
Tracy shares her tools for climbing back from rock
bottom in this inspiring and practical book that can be utilized by anyone who has been knocked down, but has the strength to fight their way back.

Tracy O’Malley recounts her journey with a gritty
emotional honesty and genuineness that will leave no reader untouched.

Grace, Grit, Guts is a stirring step-by-step account
of self-discovery, healing, recovery, and transformation. Follow Tracy’s journey on her relentless quest to heal from her tumultuous life, and how she takes her life from ground zero to a life of contribution, authenticity, and freedom in every sense of the word.

Grace, Grit, Guts is a compelling story of survival; a
woman who endured it all, and who is now dedicated to helping others survive their own personal journeys.
Tracy shares her tools for climbing back from rock
bottom in this inspiring and practical book that can be utilized by anyone who has been knocked down, but has the strength to fight their way back.

Tracy O’Malley recounts her journey with a gritty
emotional honesty and genuineness that will leave no reader untouched.

My Son Leigh

Don’t call me Mother

LUPUS

I didn’t have time to be a moody, sullen or ungrateful teenager. I had skipped that station. I was fast-tracked to a place where having perspective and wisdom were needed if I was to join this army of chemical warfare and be at peace with the uncontrollable changes that had happened to me …       I was lucky because for the first time since I had become unwell, I was able to take medication that was trying to save my life. I didn’t want to let my army down. And so, my new life as a Lupus Warrior had truly begun.”

In 1989, inexplicably, Rachel Lea went from being a quiet but energetic, conscientious and healthy fourteen-year-old girl to being incapacitated, bedridden and with severe chronic joint and muscle pains. Suffering from a mysterious, debilitating disease, her struggle to find solutions to her ailment was fraught with distress, misdiagnoses and experimental treatments. 

Rachel chronicles her journey from the first appearance of symptoms to a confirmed lupus diagnosis, as well as her ability to adjust to life with an incurable, chronic disease as a teenager. With the loving support system of family that lifted her up, Rachel found hope and perspective in achieving her dream of becoming a secondary school teacher. Lupus = Lift Up, Persevere and Use Strength is a raw, moving and uplifting memoir – essential reading for Lupus Warriors, members of their support systems and for those who want to learn more about lupus and a Lupus Warrior’s fortitude in living life with courage, always trying to find the silver lining.

I didn’t have time to be a moody, sullen or ungrateful teenager. I had skipped that station. I was fast-tracked to a place where having perspective and wisdom were needed if I was to join this army of chemical warfare and be at peace with the uncontrollable changes that had happened to me …       I was lucky because for the first time since I had become unwell, I was able to take medication that was trying to save my life. I didn’t want to let my army down. And so, my new life as a Lupus Warrior had truly begun.”

In 1989, inexplicably, Rachel Lea went from being a quiet but energetic, conscientious and healthy fourteen-year-old girl to being incapacitated, bedridden and with severe chronic joint and muscle pains. Suffering from a mysterious, debilitating disease, her struggle to find solutions to her ailment was fraught with distress, misdiagnoses and experimental treatments. 

Rachel chronicles her journey from the first appearance of symptoms to a confirmed lupus diagnosis, as well as her ability to adjust to life with an incurable, chronic disease as a teenager. With the loving support system of family that lifted her up, Rachel found hope and perspective in achieving her dream of becoming a secondary school teacher. Lupus = Lift Up, Persevere and Use Strength is a raw, moving and uplifting memoir – essential reading for Lupus Warriors, members of their support systems and for those who want to learn more about lupus and a Lupus Warrior’s fortitude in living life with courage, always trying to find the silver lining.

To Cancer with Love

After her own diagnosis, Taryn Claire soon discovered that people craved an understanding and awareness into the nitty gritty details that come with a cancer sojourn. Everyone was curious and interested in what was happening behind closed doors.

She started a Facebook group to keep her close family and friends abreast of what was happening, and the group grew to include the support posse of others traversing the cancer countryside, seeking information for how to best support their loved ones.

One in eight women in Australia are diagnosed with breast cancer and yet it’s barely talked about in a frank and direct way. Statistically, someone near and dear to you will go through cancer in some capacity at some point in time, and you will find yourself at the coalface.  

Taryn Claire gives permission to be a voyeur into her voyage, through a series of diary entries that sparkle with humour, warmth and honesty.

After her own diagnosis, Taryn Claire soon discovered that people craved an understanding and awareness into the nitty gritty details that come with a cancer sojourn. Everyone was curious and interested in what was happening behind closed doors.

She started a Facebook group to keep her close family and friends abreast of what was happening, and the group grew to include the support posse of others traversing the cancer countryside, seeking information for how to best support their loved ones.

One in eight women in Australia are diagnosed with breast cancer and yet it’s barely talked about in a frank and direct way. Statistically, someone near and dear to you will go through cancer in some capacity at some point in time, and you will find yourself at the coalface.  

Taryn Claire gives permission to be a voyeur into her voyage, through a series of diary entries that sparkle with humour, warmth and honesty.

Go my way

A story of cricket but not just of cricket. Death, politics, travels abroad, family, Christianity, heartbreak and triumph are all part of this story.

Life is full of ups and downs. There are plenty of both in this book.

A story of cricket but not just of cricket. Death, politics, travels abroad, family, Christianity, heartbreak and triumph are all part of this story.

Life is full of ups and downs. There are plenty of both in this book.

The Wye, Sep and Pat

A police woman’s song

‘Whose beat do I walk to? My own beautiful, honest, strong, whole beat. Much music, gratitude, and love have brought me to this point. It all started with “The Explosive Hits of 74”, and I unexpectedly found that record again some 36 years later.’

Pauline Hamill has come to a peaceful point in her life and would like to share that place with you. Walk with her through her story of life, love and policewoman-ship.

This book will resonate with anybody who feels unanchored in life, looking for peace and fulfilment.

‘Whose beat do I walk to? My own beautiful, honest, strong, whole beat. Much music, gratitude, and love have brought me to this point. It all started with “The Explosive Hits of 74”, and I unexpectedly found that record again some 36 years later.’

Pauline Hamill has come to a peaceful point in her life and would like to share that place with you. Walk with her through her story of life, love and policewoman-ship.

This book will resonate with anybody who feels unanchored in life, looking for peace and fulfilment.

All the days after

Local teacher Sue Gunningham waits impatiently for news of her
long-time partner Barry, who has been caught in the savage bushfires
on a day that that would later be known as ‘Black Saturday’. 

‘It was still hot. The soft drink cans would have to be cooled before Barry could open them. I wished I had brought some ice in a little Esky to keep them cool.
Still, I had not realised it would all take this long. At least I had brought the drinks. I fleetingly wondered if I should have brought some food for Barry as well.

Up ahead of me I saw the police officer get out of his car.

Little does Sue realise that the loss of her partner is just the beginning of her own battle to not only find the strength to go on, but to cope with ongoing police interviews, disputes over legal entitlements, sessions with case workers and psychologists, and participation in a Royal Commission inquiry. On top of this Sue has to fight a frequently overwhelming bureaucracy in order to identify and keep Barry’s remains, and preserve the memory of their love. 

Raw and compelling, this story of the aftermath of a natural disaster will resonate with anyone who has suffered through devastating grief and emerged on the other side.

‘I would like to congratulate Sue on not only her story and her courage, but the quality of her writing … This book should be required reading for everyone setting out to “help” those faced with the trauma of disaster, grief or other events which test people to their core.’
Dr Rob Gordon, clinical psychologist, and emergency and trauma consultant for over 20 years

Local teacher Sue Gunningham waits impatiently for news of her
long-time partner Barry, who has been caught in the savage bushfires
on a day that that would later be known as ‘Black Saturday’. 

‘It was still hot. The soft drink cans would have to be cooled before Barry could open them. I wished I had brought some ice in a little Esky to keep them cool.
Still, I had not realised it would all take this long. At least I had brought the drinks. I fleetingly wondered if I should have brought some food for Barry as well.

Up ahead of me I saw the police officer get out of his car.

Little does Sue realise that the loss of her partner is just the beginning of her own battle to not only find the strength to go on, but to cope with ongoing police interviews, disputes over legal entitlements, sessions with case workers and psychologists, and participation in a Royal Commission inquiry. On top of this Sue has to fight a frequently overwhelming bureaucracy in order to identify and keep Barry’s remains, and preserve the memory of their love. 

Raw and compelling, this story of the aftermath of a natural disaster will resonate with anyone who has suffered through devastating grief and emerged on the other side.

‘I would like to congratulate Sue on not only her story and her courage, but the quality of her writing … This book should be required reading for everyone setting out to “help” those faced with the trauma of disaster, grief or other events which test people to their core.’
Dr Rob Gordon, clinical psychologist, and emergency and trauma consultant for over 20 years

Inherited Touch

There is a risk in telling another’s story especially when passed down through the family and there are many layers to a life that each person may only glimpse part of. It was with trepidation that Judith took on the task of peeling back the layers – smells, memories, photographs, family tales, official records – to trace the stories of her ordinary, imperfect female forebears.  Partly to give them voice, when women’s stories are often forgotten or ignored, but for a greater part she admired their resilience, their ability to maintain their balance when life’s challenges left them teetering on the brink of an emotional abyss.  She wanted to demonstrate how resilience can be nurtured within a spirit of community connectedness, through a sense of belonging.

As Judith gathered the women and their stories to her she realised she was being gathered in as much as she was gathering.  Her story weaving through the stories she was recording.  Facing her own emotional abyss, she experienced the nurturing of a community of women who understood    the journey.

There is a risk in telling another’s story especially when passed down through the family and there are many layers to a life that each person may only glimpse part of. It was with trepidation that Judith took on the task of peeling back the layers – smells, memories, photographs, family tales, official records – to trace the stories of her ordinary, imperfect female forebears.  Partly to give them voice, when women’s stories are often forgotten or ignored, but for a greater part she admired their resilience, their ability to maintain their balance when life’s challenges left them teetering on the brink of an emotional abyss.  She wanted to demonstrate how resilience can be nurtured within a spirit of community connectedness, through a sense of belonging.

As Judith gathered the women and their stories to her she realised she was being gathered in as much as she was gathering.  Her story weaving through the stories she was recording.  Facing her own emotional abyss, she experienced the nurturing of a community of women who understood    the journey.

The tales of Disco chook

One Hundred Years of Euroa and District Cricket

Holy Cow

Part memoir, part message, Holy Cow!! is a story with a whole lot of heart. Nationally-acclaimed dairy farmer Gregie Dennis writes of life as a fifth-generation dairy farmer in the beautiful Scenic Rim in Queensland, and how his passion for the industry has seen him weather the highs and lows of life as an Australian farmer.

From his incredible boyhood on the family farm, going on to earn the title of Master Breeder, and battling both the broken system that’s leaving farmers empty-handed, and personal struggles with depression, Gregie’s insights and expertise demonstrates how one man with a desire to do his best can start a revolution.

Holy Cow!! digs deep into the supermarket price wars and how consumer behavior can save Australian farmers, and analyses how our simple daily actions can be changed for the greater good.

Part memoir, part message, Holy Cow!! is a story with a whole lot of heart. Nationally-acclaimed dairy farmer Gregie Dennis writes of life as a fifth-generation dairy farmer in the beautiful Scenic Rim in Queensland, and how his passion for the industry has seen him weather the highs and lows of life as an Australian farmer.

From his incredible boyhood on the family farm, going on to earn the title of Master Breeder, and battling both the broken system that’s leaving farmers empty-handed, and personal struggles with depression, Gregie’s insights and expertise demonstrates how one man with a desire to do his best can start a revolution.

Holy Cow!! digs deep into the supermarket price wars and how consumer behavior can save Australian farmers, and analyses how our simple daily actions can be changed for the greater good.

The village and the snake hole

The Turbulent Antal Years

International Dancer

Enter the world of dance and follow Pamela on her travels as she dances in 21 countries across             two decades. 

Find out what goes on behind the curtain as she faces a range of obstacles – from successes to stage fright, difficult directors and gruelling rehearsals, dancing for royalty, to homesickness, culture shock, heartache, lost love, dieting, injury and abuse.

It’s a story of self-discipline, determination and never giving up – all while getting to see the world.

Enter the world of dance and follow Pamela on her travels as she dances in 21 countries across             two decades. 

Find out what goes on behind the curtain as she faces a range of obstacles – from successes to stage fright, difficult directors and gruelling rehearsals, dancing for royalty, to homesickness, culture shock, heartache, lost love, dieting, injury and abuse.

It’s a story of self-discipline, determination and never giving up – all while getting to see the world.

Finding your inner Gold

What would you attempt to do if you knew that you couldn’t fail?

A lot of us are scared to be subjected to change or try something new because we are quite happy with the status quo or feel that we may not be good at it or look silly, so why change what we are comfortable with?  Some of us are challenged to find our inner gold because we fear digging deep into our heart to find out what it is we really want.

What if your life was thrown into chaos with the diagnosis of a chronic illness, would you be able to continue and even try something new.  Carol Cooke was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis but has gone on to embrace the changes in her life and take on new challenges that people half her age wouldn’t even want to try.  She has gone on to win Paralympic Gold and become a World Champion.

In this her updated book she shares her secrets to finding your own inner gold, overcoming adversity, accepting change, finding your hidden courage and creating a winning mindset.  She truly believes that if you dare to face your fears and believe in yourself you can overcome anything.

What would you attempt to do if you knew that you couldn’t fail?

A lot of us are scared to be subjected to change or try something new because we are quite happy with the status quo or feel that we may not be good at it or look silly, so why change what we are comfortable with?  Some of us are challenged to find our inner gold because we fear digging deep into our heart to find out what it is we really want.

What if your life was thrown into chaos with the diagnosis of a chronic illness, would you be able to continue and even try something new.  Carol Cooke was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis but has gone on to embrace the changes in her life and take on new challenges that people half her age wouldn’t even want to try.  She has gone on to win Paralympic Gold and become a World Champion.

In this her updated book she shares her secrets to finding your own inner gold, overcoming adversity, accepting change, finding your hidden courage and creating a winning mindset.  She truly believes that if you dare to face your fears and believe in yourself you can overcome anything.

It’s in our blood

Maurie Considine started Secon Carriers in 1969 on a handshake deal with Jim Seide. With an intention to secure a future for his young family, Maurie never dreamt at the time that it would turn into a multi-million-dollar business that now supports many families.

In It’s In Our Blood, Maurie recounts the ups and downs, hard work and determination that has seen Secon continue to steadily grow. 

The past fifty years have seen massive changes, from using fax machines, handwritten paperwork, tray trucks and hand packs/unpacks, to computers, GPS tracking, computerised racking, forklifts and Super B trailers. Technology is constantly evolving, and so is Secon.

Family is an important part of the culture and a key factor in its success. It is thanks to the five boys, Maurie’s sons, who helped build the business that continues today.

Gambling is in the Considine DNA, but this story is about taking calculated risks mixed with self-discipline and a few words of wisdom thrown in for good measure.

Maurie Considine started Secon Carriers in 1969 on a handshake deal with Jim Seide. With an intention to secure a future for his young family, Maurie never dreamt at the time that it would turn into a multi-million-dollar business that now supports many families.

In It’s In Our Blood, Maurie recounts the ups and downs, hard work and determination that has seen Secon continue to steadily grow. 

The past fifty years have seen massive changes, from using fax machines, handwritten paperwork, tray trucks and hand packs/unpacks, to computers, GPS tracking, computerised racking, forklifts and Super B trailers. Technology is constantly evolving, and so is Secon.

Family is an important part of the culture and a key factor in its success. It is thanks to the five boys, Maurie’s sons, who helped build the business that continues today.

Gambling is in the Considine DNA, but this story is about taking calculated risks mixed with self-discipline and a few words of wisdom thrown in for good measure.

Starting Over

Travelling with Cardboard Paul

This story is a journey of love, laughter, tears and friendship whilst keeping promises and moving forward.

In May 2016, Paul was deteriorating, the melanoma cancer had taken over his body and conversations of the future were discussed. Paul had asked Michelle what she would do when he was gone and Michelle promised Paul that she would travel to all their favourite destinations as they had planned.

Michelle explained to Paul that she would get a life-size cardboard cut-out, pack him in her suitcase and take him out and take photos together at all the famous landmarks.

Paul laughed and said, ‘You’re not really going to do that, are you?’

Michelle said, ‘Yes, I promise I will.’

This promise became a reality when in May 2017, twelve months after Paul’s death, Michelle booked a nine-week tour around the USA and Europe from August to October 2017. She originally booked tickets to see Paul McCartney in New York and it snowballed from there.

On her journey she met many people curious about the cardboard cut-out; touching complete strangers with her story and along the way discovering her true self, changing her life forever.

Join Michelle on her journey carrying a 5 feet 9 inches cardboard cut-out of her beloved late husband, Paul, travelling through USA and Europe, visiting famous landmarks, creating memories and discovering herself whilst meeting some amazing people.

This story is a journey of love, laughter, tears and friendship whilst keeping promises and moving forward.

In May 2016, Paul was deteriorating, the melanoma cancer had taken over his body and conversations of the future were discussed. Paul had asked Michelle what she would do when he was gone and Michelle promised Paul that she would travel to all their favourite destinations as they had planned.

Michelle explained to Paul that she would get a life-size cardboard cut-out, pack him in her suitcase and take him out and take photos together at all the famous landmarks.

Paul laughed and said, ‘You’re not really going to do that, are you?’

Michelle said, ‘Yes, I promise I will.’

This promise became a reality when in May 2017, twelve months after Paul’s death, Michelle booked a nine-week tour around the USA and Europe from August to October 2017. She originally booked tickets to see Paul McCartney in New York and it snowballed from there.

On her journey she met many people curious about the cardboard cut-out; touching complete strangers with her story and along the way discovering her true self, changing her life forever.

Join Michelle on her journey carrying a 5 feet 9 inches cardboard cut-out of her beloved late husband, Paul, travelling through USA and Europe, visiting famous landmarks, creating memories and discovering herself whilst meeting some amazing people.

Book of Inspirtion

Into remission from overwhelming fatigue

Since being diagnosed with post viral syndrome in 1994, Frank has remained moderately to severely affected by this illness. In recent years, he was struggling with a relapse and was experiencing a slow deterioration in his health.

Things changed dramatically in September 2019 when he had a stroke. In a remarkable turn of events, he defied medical expectations and a seemingly miraculous return to robust health resulted.

CFS is a debilitating illness that not only affects the patient, but also family and friends. Therefore, Frank’s son Nick has included his thoughts on what it is like to live with a father who has this invisible chronic illness.

This book is the result of over two decades of personal experiences and research into chronic fatigue/pain disorders. These are a range of controversial illnesses commonly referred to as: post viral syndrome (PVS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).

Since being diagnosed with post viral syndrome in 1994, Frank has remained moderately to severely affected by this illness. In recent years, he was struggling with a relapse and was experiencing a slow deterioration in his health.

Things changed dramatically in September 2019 when he had a stroke. In a remarkable turn of events, he defied medical expectations and a seemingly miraculous return to robust health resulted.

CFS is a debilitating illness that not only affects the patient, but also family and friends. Therefore, Frank’s son Nick has included his thoughts on what it is like to live with a father who has this invisible chronic illness.

This book is the result of over two decades of personal experiences and research into chronic fatigue/pain disorders. These are a range of controversial illnesses commonly referred to as: post viral syndrome (PVS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).

Winning more friends

In 2002, after a rally to save the building and gardens at Mentone Station, the group Friends of Mentone Station and Gardens Inc was formed. Over the next two decades, this group worked hard to maintain the beauty of the area for the community to enjoy. This has included obtaining a State Heritage listing for the building and awards for the work done by the group.

In 2012, the group published, Winning Friends, to record the history to lead up to the 100 year anniversary of the station. Winning More Friends is the continuation of the story of the station and gardens and the work of the Friends group to maintain its heritage in the wake of a new station and the removal of level crossings. This story is testiment to the work of the community to maintain and preserve its public spaces

In 2002, after a rally to save the building and gardens at Mentone Station, the group Friends of Mentone Station and Gardens Inc was formed. Over the next two decades, this group worked hard to maintain the beauty of the area for the community to enjoy. This has included obtaining a State Heritage listing for the building and awards for the work done by the group.

In 2012, the group published, Winning Friends, to record the history to lead up to the 100 year anniversary of the station. Winning More Friends is the continuation of the story of the station and gardens and the work of the Friends group to maintain its heritage in the wake of a new station and the removal of level crossings. This story is testiment to the work of the community to maintain and preserve its public spaces

Two heads in two Decades

“Dr Wize said, ‘When I was a young man, a long time ago…              ’ He laughed, trying to lighten the subject. ‘I was given the best advice a man could receive, and I am going to pass it on to you.’”

Arthur is a young man in West Heidelberg with a drive to get more out of life. He loves cars, motorbikes… and girls. But it isn’t until he meets Doctor Wize that he truly understands the complicated rule   to relationships.

This book is a reflection on the highs and lows of life, tied together with a punchy, distinctive voice that will keep your eyes glued to the page as Arthur dissects his past.

With a quintessential, home-grown feel of Australia in the 1960s, Two Heads in Two Decades follows Art’s journey as he navigates family, friendships, love and sex. With the help of his brother, Al, and the advice of Doctor Wize, Arthur sets out to find the strength to overcome the challenges that life throws at him – and hopes that this book will help you do the same.

“Dr Wize said, ‘When I was a young man, a long time ago…              ’ He laughed, trying to lighten the subject. ‘I was given the best advice a man could receive, and I am going to pass it on to you.’”

Arthur is a young man in West Heidelberg with a drive to get more out of life. He loves cars, motorbikes… and girls. But it isn’t until he meets Doctor Wize that he truly understands the complicated rule   to relationships.

This book is a reflection on the highs and lows of life, tied together with a punchy, distinctive voice that will keep your eyes glued to the page as Arthur dissects his past.

With a quintessential, home-grown feel of Australia in the 1960s, Two Heads in Two Decades follows Art’s journey as he navigates family, friendships, love and sex. With the help of his brother, Al, and the advice of Doctor Wize, Arthur sets out to find the strength to overcome the challenges that life throws at him – and hopes that this book will help you do the same.

The Itinerant Way

It was in January 1988 when it all began. I had decided to adopt an itinerant lifestyle, via fruit-picking throughout the three eastern states of Australia. Over the next twenty years, I would persevere with this largely unconventional lifestyle: a lifestyle that would also take me beyond the Australian shores, from time to time.

This is the first book of a two book series. I hope to have the second book finalised and ready for publishing by early-2021. In the early 1990s, I began to jot down handwritten notes as I constantly travelled within eastern Australia and abroad (Europe and New Zealand, in particular). Originally, I tackled both literary projects as autobiographical accounts. However, I soon realised that a different approach was required: a fictional-based one. 

Although, most of the content of this book is largely fictional, everything is based on actual events and real people. Yes, I’ve let the imagination run wild at times, but the scope of the literary experience (or journey) was to be, mostly, an enjoyable one.

It was in January 1988 when it all began. I had decided to adopt an itinerant lifestyle, via fruit-picking throughout the three eastern states of Australia. Over the next twenty years, I would persevere with this largely unconventional lifestyle: a lifestyle that would also take me beyond the Australian shores, from time to time.

This is the first book of a two book series. I hope to have the second book finalised and ready for publishing by early-2021. In the early 1990s, I began to jot down handwritten notes as I constantly travelled within eastern Australia and abroad (Europe and New Zealand, in particular). Originally, I tackled both literary projects as autobiographical accounts. However, I soon realised that a different approach was required: a fictional-based one. 

Although, most of the content of this book is largely fictional, everything is based on actual events and real people. Yes, I’ve let the imagination run wild at times, but the scope of the literary experience (or journey) was to be, mostly, an enjoyable one.

Dr John Macwhirter – A Man of Letters

Why was Dr Macwhirter so opposed to his eldest daughter marrying a sea captain?

Why did the doctor describe the reason for his forthcoming journey to Australia as being “hen-pecked”? 

From knowing almost nothing about the Macwhirter family and with decades of research behind them, the authors have decided that the time is right to publish their findings on the extraordinary life of Dr John Macwhirter (1780–1853) and his descendants.

Very few holidays were taken without a cemetery to visit, a house to view, an archive to explore and items to wonder at in museums. Laurette and Philip Macwhirter visited the house once owned by the Macwhirter family in Edinburgh, travelled to the foothills of the Himalayas and scraped 150 years of moss and lichen from European graves, and climbed a church steeple in Calcutta to find 200 year old records. They spent one Christmas holiday trawling newspapers in Indian libraries while the electric lights intermittently went out.

These discoveries were in the pursuit of the lives and times of the Macwhirter family in India, Scotland and Australia. What they found was a young man from humble beginnings in Scotland, going out to India at the age of twenty-three as a ship’s surgeon, participating in a government mission to Afghanistan in 1808, becoming personal physician to governors-general in Calcutta, and eventually holding the position of President of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh.

This book details the life of Dr John Macwhirter and his descendants. That’s not to say the journey is complete – a family history is an ongoing process and the authors are ever hopeful that they may yet solve the few missing links.

Why was Dr Macwhirter so opposed to his eldest daughter marrying a sea captain?

Why did the doctor describe the reason for his forthcoming journey to Australia as being “hen-pecked”? 

From knowing almost nothing about the Macwhirter family and with decades of research behind them, the authors have decided that the time is right to publish their findings on the extraordinary life of Dr John Macwhirter (1780–1853) and his descendants.

Very few holidays were taken without a cemetery to visit, a house to view, an archive to explore and items to wonder at in museums. Laurette and Philip Macwhirter visited the house once owned by the Macwhirter family in Edinburgh, travelled to the foothills of the Himalayas and scraped 150 years of moss and lichen from European graves, and climbed a church steeple in Calcutta to find 200 year old records. They spent one Christmas holiday trawling newspapers in Indian libraries while the electric lights intermittently went out.

These discoveries were in the pursuit of the lives and times of the Macwhirter family in India, Scotland and Australia. What they found was a young man from humble beginnings in Scotland, going out to India at the age of twenty-three as a ship’s surgeon, participating in a government mission to Afghanistan in 1808, becoming personal physician to governors-general in Calcutta, and eventually holding the position of President of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh.

This book details the life of Dr John Macwhirter and his descendants. That’s not to say the journey is complete – a family history is an ongoing process and the authors are ever hopeful that they may yet solve the few missing links.

L’emigrazione Valtellinese in Australia – A collection of stories.

L’emigrazione Valtellinese in Australia – A collection of stories.

Maybe I can Rise above

This is not a self-help book. This is a story about healing, self-acceptance and overcoming adversity. It’s not always pretty and that’s how it’s supposed to be, so that we can grow and understand who we are, and what we truly need in our lives.

It’s also a story about learning to understand damaged people, finding forgiveness and rising above the prejudices of others.

Follow Saffire’s journey as she navigates love, loss, relationships, coming out, music and growing up in a troubled neighbourhood, alongside being diagnosed with Complex PTSD in the midst of a pandemic.

This is not a self-help book. This is a story about healing, self-acceptance and overcoming adversity. It’s not always pretty and that’s how it’s supposed to be, so that we can grow and understand who we are, and what we truly need in our lives.

It’s also a story about learning to understand damaged people, finding forgiveness and rising above the prejudices of others.

Follow Saffire’s journey as she navigates love, loss, relationships, coming out, music and growing up in a troubled neighbourhood, alongside being diagnosed with Complex PTSD in the midst of a pandemic.

Have you met my Grief

Chasing Music

In 1992, one woman packed up her life, headed to America and bought herself a little campervan.

She hit the open road travelling 160,000 miles across 48 states, discovering Bluegrass and Cajun music, attending festivals, honky-tonks and rodeos, dancing and romancing, camping in rather strange places.

What started out as an exploration of America, its music, its people, scenery and geography, quickly became a journey of self-discovery. This is her story.

In 1992, one woman packed up her life, headed to America and bought herself a little campervan.

She hit the open road travelling 160,000 miles across 48 states, discovering Bluegrass and Cajun music, attending festivals, honky-tonks and rodeos, dancing and romancing, camping in rather strange places.

What started out as an exploration of America, its music, its people, scenery and geography, quickly became a journey of self-discovery. This is her story.

The Wye, the Sep and Pat

Holy Cow

Grace, Grit, Guts

Bent Thumb Thinking

The Road From Emerald Isle To Emerald Hill

Joffa Isn’t That Life?

Love Versus Lust

A Mother’s Love For Her Miracle Twins

The Road to Tralfamadore

ADHD to the Power of Three – The Teenage Years!

Colour Outside the Lines

To Cancer with Love

Conscientious Objection

Obsidian

A Child’s Odyssey

Rebel Doctor

Jewel

Heartbreak in the Himalayas

The Turbulent Antal Years

Lines of the Times

A History of Saint Margaret’s Church Eltham: Volume I

Volume I: Beginnings to 1888
Geoffrey A Sandy

Volume I: Beginnings to 1888
Geoffrey A Sandy

A History of Saint Margaret’s Church Eltham: Volume II

Volume II: 1899–1944
Geoffrey A Sandy

Volume II: 1899–1944
Geoffrey A Sandy

A History of St Margaret’s Church Eltham: Volume III

Volume III: The Post-War Years – 1945 to 2015

Geoffrey A Sandy

Volume III: The Post-War Years – 1945 to 2015

Geoffrey A Sandy

Fat Bob and the Blonde

Miss Heather Ward

Portraits of Inspiration

Business in Heels
Photography by Fi Mims

Business in Heels
Photography by Fi Mims

Retirement … what retirement?

Bill Noonan OAM

Patience and Trust

The Autobiography of a Dog Trainer
Michael Tucker

The Autobiography of a Dog Trainer
Michael Tucker

North Balwyn Tennis Club

Celebrating 50 Years 1962 – 2012

Notes from the 48th North

Isolde Martin

Do You Recall

Anthology

As I Recall

Anthology