I am an early career researcher, with a background as a playwright, writer-performer, and community theatre-maker. Best known for my play Wallflowering, I am also author of award-winning plays for young people, including Spitting Chips, and an adaptation of Tim Winton’s Blueback. I have written more than 15 plays, all of which have seen professional production. These include the AWGIE-winning The Keys to the Animal Room, and Salt, winner of the Victorian Premier’s Award for Drama. In 2003 I was awarded a Centenary Medal for Services to Society and Literature.
I am a late blooming academic, with an MA in Playwriting from QUT and a PhD at from RMIT University. My PhD, Essayesque Dismemoir: W/rites of Elder-flowering, speaks to my interest in the use of arts and practice-based methods, and an interest in exploring the experience of ageing through creativity. My current research focus includes art-based activism, the generation of new secular rituals for navigating crises in times of change, and the investigation of innovative approaches to collaboration and artistic cross-pollination, based on “radical joy”, associative leaps and communal meaning-making. I was a Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral research fellow between 2018 and 2020.
Recent arts-based research projects include Things That Fall Over: An Anti-Musical of a Novel inside a Reading of a Play, with Footnotes and Oratorio-as-Coda which premiered at Footscray Community Arts Centre and a triptych of works on themes of ageing and the creative life course, Ware with A Translucent Body. A solo work, vigil/wake, a performance and installation has seen presentations at Melbourne’s Arts House in 2018, and again at the Public Health Palliative Care International Conference in 2019. An immersive musical work for children, On Our Beach, premiered in 2019 and was awarded Best Mainstage work at the PAWA 2020 Awards. I am a member of The Symphony of Awkward research collective, which explores public diary reading as a cultural phenomenon. I am collaborating with Professor David Carlin on a research project called How To Dress for Old Age. We are interested in creative approaches to maintaining a sense of personhood in old age, and have a particular focus on transitions into aged care. I have other arts-based projects in progress, including collaborations with WreckedAll Prods on a new musical work, HERD and expanded essay projects with ACCA and with BUS PROJECTS.
I am also a CI on a Discovery Project, led by Professor Stacy Holman Jones (Monash University) called Staging Australian Women's Lives: Theatre, Feminism and Socially-Engaged Art.
Centenary Medal for Services to Literature