My first book, Other People’s Country, was published in 2008. It was la finalist for the Walkley Award for best non fiction book, and short listed for the WA Premier’s History Award. Acclaimed by the Aboriginal organisation ANTAR as one of the best books about Aboriginal people, it is used as a reference in university community nursing units.
It has been reprinted and is available from Stone’s Publishing and on Amazon.
When Maureen Helen reached her fifties, she decided she wanted to do something a little different. Spurred by an adventure in Thailand, she resolved to use her skills to work as a remote area nurse on an isolated Aboriginal settlement in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
Faced with the appalling health problems of the community and a growing sense that she didn’t belong, Maureen battled her own crisis of confidence as well as the harshness and hostility of her surroundings as she struggled to adjust to a culture where she was the outsider.
This finely judged piece of writing offers penetrating insights into the cultural clash between Aboriginal and White Australia, as well as taking a cool look at the narrator’s own moral compass when faced with a frequently demanding and sometimes frightening existence well outside her comfort zone.
Unsentimental, compelling and moving, this book will take you deep into the heart of the Australian outback.
Year reprinted: 2015
Back cover blurb, Elopement
‘I could fall in love with this man,’ I thought fleetingly. But then I remembered. I didn’t do that anymore.’
From the opening words of Elopement: a Memoir, when Maureen Helen sees her friend John’s much loved old yacht rocking gently on the tide, we know she is in for a life-changing adventure. Maureen, nearing seventy, tells John she hopes she can still take on challenges when she is eighty, and he replies, ‘What will stop us?’
Their decision to elope to avoid the complications of a family wedding is a defiant act that symbolises the risk and spirit of adventure that make this story sing. Troubles arise — different ideas of how to share a life in a house that is haunted by painful memories, family troubles, giving up hard-won independence, illness, depression. But love survives. This moving, funny, honest story will surprise and delight you. It fills a gap in our literature in its celebration of the joys, tribulations and transformations that late love can bring.
PURCHASE THIS BOOK