Life writing and social history

Heartbeat of the Country – Celebrating 70 years of Miranda – The Weekly Times

2001: In 1931, The Weekly Times newspaper launched a new section dedicated to women’s issues. This became an immediate hit, and the column’s editor, Miranda, became an instant friend to thousands of women struggling to cope with the Depression. This book follows 70 years of the column that became a social institution. I was the seventh Miranda, 1993-2004, and felt honoured on behalf of country women everywhere when invited to research and write Heartbeat of the Country.

Tucker ‘n’ Tales – Stories and Recipes from Latrobe Valley and Mountain Rivers

2006:  Editor and life-writing mentor for the social history book, Tucker ‘n’ Talesstories of women and men who settled in the Latrobe Valley region of Victoria.

yarram_coverDown Memory Lane in Yarram
The rich social history of this small South Gippsland town comes to life and is preserved forever in the stories of nine Yarram and district residents, aged 65 to 88.

I Remember When … at Yarram

More Yarram residents share their life stories in another set of classes, and add to their region’s recorded social history, in I Remember When … At Yarram:

I Remember When Cover Yarram[1]

I Remember When … At Gormandale

I Remember When … At Gormandale, another social history gem, evolved from a series of writing workshops held over several months with town and district residents. We met at the Neighbourhood House, and between morning and afternoon sessions continued to share while chatting over a sandwich lunch. Uplifting for everyone involved.

One lady came along to the first of the series’ workshops on her 80th birthday. Another, in her 90s, caught a bus to the class from Traralgon.

She was determined not to miss the opportunity to participate and record her story for others to be inspired by and cherish. A living treasure for sure.

Soaring – Stories of Passion, Adventure and Freedom, edited by June Alexander


Soaring – Stories of Passion, Adventure and Freedom, edited by June Alexander. 

Participants in life-writing classes held at the Geelong Mood Disorder Group created an amazing series of stories that reveal life can be rich, rewarding and purposeful in many ways in spite of living with a mental illness.

We need more stories like this to help raise awareness and understanding of mental illness in our communities.

About June Alexander

I have written nine books about eating disorders since my recovery (my “reconnection with true self”) from anorexia nervosa and other long term mental health challenges in 2006. In 2017, I graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Writing). My contribution to the eating disorder field was recognised at the 2016 Academy for Eating Disorders International Conference in San Francisco where I was awarded the Meehan/Hartley Award for Public Service and Advocacy. I am currently a co-chair of the NEDC Steering Committee Evidence of Experience Group, a foundation steering committee member of the annual World Eating Disorders Action Day, and an Advisory Panel member for F.E.A.S.T.

All articles by June Alexander

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