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The Pobblebonk Earth Detective Club, Going Wild was redesigned and republished in 2020.
My adventures, inspired by my somewhat unusual geography teacher, have taken me all over the world. Once I finished my formal education I couldn’t wait to go and explore all the places that Beatrice had taught me about. Everywhere I go my mission is not just to look, but to learn as much as possible.
During my travels so many people have asked me where I come from. When I say Australia they look puzzled. Then light dawns – oh ‘Orstria’ they say, that little country near Italy.
No guys, you’re 14 000 km off target! Try right down at the bottom of the world, ‘Down Under’. Yes, there is a country down there! Australia is the world’s sixth biggest country, with so many special places. And you’ve never heard of it!
The world is an endless place of wonderful things to explore, experience and learn about. Yet, so many people know so little about it. How can we live in the world without knowing basic things about it? What about you? How much do you know about this planet?
Through The Pobblebonk Earth Detective Club I wish to open children’s eyes about the world they live in, beginning with Australia. So I ask them – what do you want be – Earth Ignoramuses or savvy Earth Detectives?
Many kids, and even adults see learning as challenging, unnecessary and boring. My book is designed to make learning a fun process, thereby inspiring a life-long love of learning, and of interest in the world. To achieve this I have written a blend of fiction and fact.
To begin with the book contains strong humour, gross facts (that always appeal to kids), drama, adventure and unusual situations involving three children who go to live on their granny’s farm and discover the fascinating world of nature.
The Pobblebonk Earth Detective Club is a unique blend of information and hilarious fictional adventures. It is designed to show children that reading and learning can be fun.
The book tells the story of the three somewhat ‘off-beat’ Mathieson children, who forced to move to their granny’s farm, fight off their loneliness and boredom by becoming amateur detectives, launching into a series of bizarre adventures in the process.
Their cases take them deep into the world of animal tracks and scats, native Australian animals including marsupials, frogs, crocodiles, rats and mice, a range of lesser-known animals and the unique character of Australia itself.
The Pobblebonk Earth Detective Club encourages children to develop knowledge and skills through Granny’s famous Breakfast Quizzes and an imaginative range of tasks in the Pobblebonk Detective Activities.
With a B.A. majoring in geography and environmental science and a passionate interest in the world I spent 19 years as a geography teacher. I became highly involved in teacher professional development and writing curriculum support materials. I also worked in curriculum development and support and was approached to write textbooks.
Subsequently I co-authored eight geography textbooks for Nelson-Thomson Learning. The series Pathways in Senior Geography held a place for several years in the top ten best selling Nelson titles with its core books holding positions in the top twenty Nelson titles ever published in NSW at that time. Pathways was described as ‘an outstanding series, which has swept aside the opposition in the NSW market’. Investigating Australian Geography, published in 1994, sold over 27 000 copies within two years.
Investigating Australian Geography and one of the Pathways books won awards in The Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing in 1995. Two of the Pathways books won the same award in 1996 and one won an Australian Publishers’ Association Short Listed Andrew Fabinyi Award for the Best Designed Book for Secondary Education Purposes. In 1996 one of the Pathways books also won an award from the Australian Geography Teachers’ Association.
The settings, adventures and knowledge gained from my extensive world travels form the basis of my current story writing. I am currently completing The Pobblebonk Earth Detective Club – Adventures in Yellowstone. My computer is home to six more books and dozens of stories in various draft states.
I now manage and coordinate a local habitat corridor restoration program, the success of which is recognised nationally. In 2009 and 2010 I was given state-wide awards for my outstanding contribution to volunteer conservation.
My other interests include bushwalking, surfing, native plant botany, politics and of course – reading!