Pauline Conolly

Getting Close to Nature with a Scribbly Gum

I grew up on a dairy farm near Ulverstone, on the North-West coast of Tasmania; a child who loved reading and  dreamed of  overseas   travel   and becoming a writer.  At the time these were completely unrealistic ambitions.  Just two brief comments   sustained me.  My fourth year English teacher had written  dryly;  ‘Pauline has very good ideas… when one can read them!’    (thank goodness for computers as my writing remains illegible!)   Word  reached my class teacher, whose  final report  noted;  ‘It appears Pauline has some literary ability’.  I spent the next three years within the  State Public Service,   scraping together the funds for working  holidays in  New Zealand and the  UK.   In 1977  I  returned to Australia, settling in Sydney with my partner Rob and  qualifying as a Library Officer.   My interest in research was stimulated by eleven years employment with  a  public  library.   In 1987 I changed direction, becoming a vocational trainer, teaching communication skills and running  freelance writing courses.  By this time  I  was  also contributing articles to newspapers and magazines on subjects as diverse as travel, gardening, history and humour.

I am  now a full-time non-fiction author and researcher.  My interests  include social history, especially  the  Victorian era, and  Australia’s colonial past. I currently divide my time between  the UK and the beautiful Blue Mountains of New South Wales, where I happily write,  garden and enjoy the profuse bird-life.

My first book, The Water Doctor’s Daughters, was published by UK publisher  Robert Hale  in February 2013. The story reflects my interest in the darker  aspects of  family relationships  plus my penchant for true crime!

All Along the River: Tales From the Thames, was also published   by Robert Hale in July the same year.  Rob and I owned a holiday house at riverside Marlow for many years and explored the Thames from source to sea.  This work expresses our love for the river in all its aspects.

My current project  is a biography of  charismatic Tasmanian surgeon   Victor  Richard Ratten.    Despite having  no formal qualifications,  Rattten  served as Surgeon Superintendent of the Hobart General Hospital from 1917 until 1936 , continuing  to operate there until the 1950’s.

In July 2013 I was accepted into the UK Society of Authors, which was quite a milestone.   I remember peeping into the reading room of the British Library back in the 1970’s  and  longing to  be allowed in!  Now my SOA card grants me  automatic membership and  I have two  books on its shelves!

WEBSITE – This site reflects my interest in history, travel and  humour . In February  2015  I was approached by The National Library of  Australia. The library requested  permission to permanently archive the site as one of national historical and cultural significance, and  of long term research value. It was quite a shock, but a wonderful validation of my work.  It is now archived via PANDORA.

EDITOR DES –Desmond Bear 1 My associate Editor Des makes a significant (if  often controversial)  contribution to the website .  He  also maintains his  own Facebook author page HERE  Do visit and give him a ‘like’.