The lot

Neon text on a wall saying 'Everything is going to be alright'.Here are all my feature publications – in reverse chronological order (for those who care about such things).

This page doesn’t include content writing for business and organisations.


Goodbye, you were Bonza while you lasted.
Guardian Australia, 2 May 2024
There was a hilarious theme-park element to flying this budget, regionally-focussed airline.

Assumed you were immune to measles and chicken pox? Think again.
Sydney Morning Herald / The Age, Lifestyle, 26 April 2024
Despite being science-literate, I didn’t realise I had no immunity to measles. 

The couple selling their home with 270-degree sea views on Queensland’s Lamb Island
Domain, Behind the Listing, 16 April 2024
Anna Swain’s heart skips a beat every time she arrives at Seabird, a house she lovingly restored after it was relocated to Lamb Island.

Monster utes are symbolic of everything that’s wrong with our world
Sydney Morning Herald / The Age opinion, 18 March 2024
The supersizing of our world is consuming our cars.

Southern Cross Station’s ‘user experience’ is an epic fail – here’s how to fix it.
The Age / Sydney Morning Herald opinion, 16 February 2024
Thinking about how ridiculously difficult I found navigating Melbourne’s biggest transport hub, I rate the UX of Southern Cross Station an epic fail.

My daughter’s planning an arts degree. I’m proud (and quietly terrified).
Sydney Morning Herald / The Age opinion, 1 December 2023
I’m proud of her choice, despite all the jokes.

The best thing I learned at school requires hours of repetition – and good grip.
Guardian Australia, 20 October 2023
Good handwriting and fast, accurate typing skills will always be invaluable.

My supermarket accused me of theft. Pot, kettle, black?
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age opinion (print and online), 9 October 2023
I had a shopping list of gripes about our supermarket duopoly even before I was wrongly accused of theft.

Byron gets the five-star hotel it ‘deserves’ but I have reservations.
The Sydney Morning Herald opinion, 25 August 2023
According to the travel section, Byron Bay has ‘finally got the 5-star hotel it deserves’. I’d like to come out swinging and say and say this development has missed the point of Byron’s laid-back vibe, but I’ll pull my punches as the truth is far more complex.

If you don’t welcome teens to sex, it could have unwelcome consequences.
Sydney Morning Herald and The Age opinion, 20 July 2023
I’m sure you’ve heard that some people aren’t happy about a Welcome to Sex, a new colourful book. I’ve read it and think it’s great.

Claustrophobia can be debilitating. Here’s how experts treat it.
Sydney Morning Herald, Lifestyle, 27 June 2023
I’ve felt panicked reading news about the Titan submersible but my feelings aren’t to the extent of people living with claustrophobia.

Cost-of-living spikes don’t hurt everyone – life is cheaper when you’re rich
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age opinion, 21 May 2023
It can actually be cheaper to live on a day-to-day, year-by-year level when you have more money.

I could very well be the worst footy tipster out there
Sydney Morning Herald and The Age opinion, 8 May 2023
When it comes to tipping AFL winners, only 66 people out of nearly 800,000 are doing worse than me.

After 16 years of protecting my child, I was terrified to teach her to drive
Sydney Morning Herald and The Age Lifestyle, 18 February 2023
Teaching a learner driver is a scary experience used to ferrying a child around.

Sprite Lemon+ caffeine content is worrisome for our children’s health
Sydney Morning Herald and The Age opinion, 12 + 13 February 2023
At best, this rebrand is sneaky. At worst, it’s a deliberately devious ploy designed to addict a new generation to their products. 

The problem with art prize communication
ArtsHub, 7 November 2022
Communication with people brave enough to put themselves forward for awards, prizes and grants needs to respect the time and emotional energy it takes to apply.

If you can’t control your dog, you must be brought to heel
Sydney Morning Herald Opinion, 25 October 2022
When dogs are well-trained, off-lead spaces are joyful places for all.

Selfie-indulgent athletes: Please hot, step or jump away from your phones
The Sydney Morning Herald Opinion, 1 August 2022
I love an opening ceremony … what I don’t like is athletes using their mobile phones during the event.

The Splendour of gumboots in a world gone to mud
The Sydney Morning Herald Opinion, 24 July 2022
Gumboots. Helpful in a flood, at a music festival and as a metaphor for life.

Best rides at Sea World? Here’s our top 10
Virgin Australia, 20 July 2022
Some people think Sea World is less of a mecca for rides than some of the other Gold Coast theme parks but you won’t anymore after reading our list.

Democracy sausages point to snags in the system
The Sydney Morning Herald Opinion, 24 May 2022
Did you realise your ‘democracy sausage’ was cooked by volunteer parents trying to make up for inadequate school funding?

Facebook front and centre during NSW floods
The Big Smoke opinion, 23 April 2022
I’d have been adrift without Facebook during the NSW floods.

After floods and storms, is it safe to swim in beaches, lakes and rivers over Easter?
ABC News online, 16 April 2022
With rain and storms seemingly endless across Australia’s east coast, how do you know when it’s safe to get back in the water?

After the floods: is the Byron region ready for Easter tourist season?
The Guardian Australia, 24 March 2022
Some regions of the Northern Rivers are devastated while others are crying out for tourist dollars.

The circles of care swirling around the NSW floods
The Big Smoke opinion, 16 March 2022
As flood waters rose, the community shaped themselves in new ways.

I don’t buy into back-to-school shopping sprees
The Sydney Morning Herald Opinion, 20 January 2022
Has back-to-school marketing started already? I wouldn’t know, I’m not paying attention.

What it’s like to learn tennis when you’re not a kid anymore, January 2022
Like many Australians, I learned the basics of tennis as a kid. Then I rediscovered it later in life.

Minding our pees: what wastewater analysis can tell us about drugs
The Bulletin, Pennington Institute, December 2021
Pre-pandemic, the average person would likely never have heard of wastewater testing but it has existed for illicit and pharmaceutical drug use for decades.

Cloths, dusters, brooms and brushes: How to clean your cleaning tools
Domain Living, 16 November 2021
After you’ve cleaned, there’s still one last job – cleaning your hardworking tools.

In regional NSW, the second dose ‘vaccine gap’ is curbing freedoms and fuelling uncertainty.
ABC News online, 23 October 2021
It’s not just anti-vaxxers who are affected by the paradox of ‘opening up’ resulting in the faltering of freedoms.

Anne with an E: scope for the imagination in Netflix’s reworking of LM Montgomery classic
The Guardian Australia, 13 September 2021
I assumed I didn’t need to watch Netflix’s Anne with an E. After all, I already knew the story, didn’t I? I was wrong.

The Byron hinterland property with a 400-variety orchard
Domain News, 11 August 2021
In property, the word ‘unique’ is often overused but is totally justified for this home, complete with tropical fruit orchard.

When Byron Bay property gets so hot it’s infectious
The Sydney Morning Herald Opinion, 11 August 2021
The latest strain of coronavirus came our way via an infected man who left locked-down Sydney reportedly with the excuse that he was in search of property.

Various feature, cover and food stories.
Northern Rivers Review, July – October 2021
Feature and cover stories (including profile of Mandy Nolan, Mindy Woods and Pat Rafter’s involvement with Bangalow Koalas) as well as a weekly column called Food Folk. The publication ceased in late 2021.

How to clean your whole house properly
Domain Living, 23 July 2021
Get that new-home feeling by tackling a whole-house clean.

Getting the jab changed my mind: we should be paid to get vaccinated
The Sydney Morning Herald / The Age Opinion, 23 June 2021
If we can do JobKeeper payments, why not ‘VaxGetter’?

How my COVID vaccine decision required a serious talk with myself
The Sydney Morning Herald / The Age Opinion, 31 May 2021
I’m pro-vaccination yet, like a lot of the Australian population, found myself hesitant to book in for my COVID-19 vaccination. I finally made an appointment but only after I sat myself down for a serious talk.

Byron Bay’s affordable housing crisis hits the hospitality industry
Good Food / The Sun-Herald, 23 May 2021
Byron Bay’s housing affordability is in crisis, with rental prices now exceeding many Sydney suburbs. The hospitality sector is particularly affected by the crisis.

Skipped the spring clean? Put an autumn clean at the top of your to-do list
Domain Living, 5 May 2021
After all, spring comes but only once a year. 

5 Indigenous travel experiences in Byron Bay, 8 April 2021
On your next visit to Byron Bay, spend some time with the language, cuisine and culture of the Arakwal people. Here are five ideas to get you started.

Byron bays for clarity as virus triggers more blues at the border
Sydney Morning Herald, Opinion, 31 March 2021
Being affected by the Brisbane three-day lockdown is an acceptable blow. What is unacceptable is the confusing and contradictory communication on what that means.

What happens to Byron Bay locals who can’t afford the soaring property prices?
Domain News, 28 February 2021
“There are no options.”

Take away the choice when it comes to starting school
Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Opinion, 8 February 2021
The current system needs to be overhauled, to take the burden of decision-making away from parents and to ensure a more equitable schooling system.

Moments of parenting joy: 10 reasons to love having teens
Essential Kids, 1 February 2021
I wasn’t looking forward to having teenagers but, now I’m here, I’ve changed my mind.

The Australian town that turns trash into Christmas trees
Atlas Obscura, 23 December 2020
The traditional public Christmas tree in Lismore used to be pretty ho-ho-hum.

The joys and benefits of a once-a-year gig
Rachel’s List, 4 December 2020
I am a freelance writer. Except for once a year, when I transform into a dance school photographer.

From A to Zud: How a Kiwi odyssey became my armchair travel highlight
Good Weekend (Sydney Morning Herald and The Age), 14 November 2020
Walking has become a hero of our COVID era and is the hero of Bewildered, Laura Water’s captivating account of trekking 3000 kilometres along the length of New Zealand. That’s Melbourne to Cairns with less friendly weather.

Quarantine Video Games: How my family bonded over Mario Kart
Your Teen Mag, November 2020
My kids were initially excited about not having to go to school during COVID-19 lockdown. I was less thrilled. Then I hit upon an idea about how to keep some structure – and fun – into a school-from-home day.

Six ways to brighten your walls with art
Domain, 7 October 2020
Most of us have spent more time staring at our walls in the past six months than we have in the past six years. I’m no expert but spending more time at home has helped me realise the slight I find in the art that adorns my walls.

11 things I learned about cleaning during lockdown
Domain, 17 September 2020
COVID-19 has inspired cleaning right around the country. Here’s what I learned by tackling tasks neglected for years.

Harsh realities of border disorder demand new approaches
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age – print and online, 30 August 2020
For border residents, daily life is a cross-border affair. The latest closure between NSW and Queensland, which is wildly out of sync with restrictions within both states, is heartbreakingly heavy-handed, bewilderingly bureaucratic and, at times, downright dangerous. 

HomeBuilder grants: Buyer hopes dashed by rising prices
Domain, 16 July 2020
This buyer has been on a rollercoaster ride trying to buy a house and land package – and the HomeBuilder grant hasn’t helped.

The four-day working week is back on the agenda
The Guardian, Opinion, 13 July 2020
I’ve done it for years, here’s what I learned

Ten years since Australia got its first female prime minister, how diverse is our parliament? 
SBS News online, 24 June 2020
It’s been a rocky decade for women in politics

I let my 12-year-old get up at 4am to play Fortnite – and I’m glad I did
Essential Kids, 20 June 2020
And it was on a school night!

Embracing Failure
MiNDFOOD, June 2020 print
What benefits can come from holding up failure to the light rather than hiding it away in the shadows?

Coronavirus isolation means now is the time to fight nits and lice before school goes back
ABC News online (opinion), 1 May 2020
Pediculus wapitis is a name perhaps better suited to a Harry Potter spell than a 1-3mm long invertebrate that can only live within close range of a human scalp. Imagine if we could emerge from isolation in a state of normal-minus-nits?

Who are the vulnerable people in your neighbourhood?
Domain, 10 April 2020
As our worlds contract inwards, I can’t help but think in an outward direction. Not just to family and friends but those in my neighbourhood who might be struggling in this time of crisis.

School fundraising: fact, fiction, fantasy and a possible future
The Walkley Foundation via Medium, 9 April 2020
School fundraising is such an accepted part of our society it rarely attracts critical attention. Freelance journalists, Vivienne Pearson and Margaret Paton, hope to change this, and consider whether the disruption of COVID-19 brings the potential for a rethink.

The charmed second life of Australia’s cursed ‘Disco Dong’
Atlas Obscura, 25 March 2020
Loathed by the public, 4,000 birds from this Byron Bay sculpture have flown free.

My tween turned into an adult at 35,000 feet
Essential Kids, 18 February 2020
Are you flying anywhere soon? If so, watch out as your kid may turn into an adult while you’re in the air.

I tried a ‘bunny bra’
Whimn, 6 January 2020
Ever wondered if the stick-on strapless Wonda bra is worth putting in your cart?  This writer loved it but found one major downside. 

Creative entrepreneurs need more than passion to make it on business stage
My Career (SMH), 24 December 2019
Singers, dancers, musicians and actors often go into business because they are passionate teachers, not because they are good at business. Enter a new profession – business coaches with an exclusive focus on performing arts.

I tried a professional nit buster for $130 – and this is what happened
Essential Kids, 19 December 2019
I can deal with my kids’ nits but my own hair is another matter.

This Chicken Life: Backyard chickens and the people who love them
Domain, 10 December 2019
Like crafting (and craft-brewing), having home-grown eggs for breakfast is on the rise. If in doubt, check out #chooksofinstagram or, better yet, #fluffybuttfriday.

Education’s fee for all
(online as The reality of Australia’s free public education)
The Saturday Paper, 7 December 2019
How ‘free’ is our education system in reality?

Walking our Walkley Path
The Walkley Yearbook (and online via Medium), 4 December 2019
A first person, reflective piece on the process of working with another writer on a Walkley Grant for Freelance Journalists project.

Ten types of parents you’ll see at every dance concert
Essential Kids, 15 November 2019
Whichever type you are, thank you from the bottom of my tin of bobby-pins and can of hairspray.

Big money: the science of a successful school fete
Essential Kids, 22 October 2019
There is definitely an art to running a successful fete. Is there also a science?

Sleep: a prescription for good mental health

HappySad Magazine, Issue 1, October 2019
Is sleep for the weak? What about sleeping for a week? Sleep is now touted as the third pillar of health, joining nutrition and exercise as core elements of a healthy life. What is known about the relationship between sleep and mental health? 

Byron Bay’s ‘Disco Dong’ sculpture cut down but like a phoenix, it will rise again
ABC News, 20 September 2019
The demise of Byron’s ‘Disco Dong’ and the subsequent phoenix-like rising of individual birds into the public sphere might inspire a modern take on an old proverb: a bird in the hand is worth two on the dong.

Perfect blood-red sunsets? Shared pictures mask the blood and sweat of fire victims
Sydney Morning Herald, Opinion, 12 September 2019
Yes, the glowing red sun is beautiful. But it is fuelled by blood, sadness and loss.

From Friends to Seachange: Why does TV still struggle to capture the truth about childbirth?
ABC Opinion, 7 September 2019
Seachange might be billing itself as “a new beginning” but it is seriously old-fashioned in how it portrays childbirth and early parenting.

Weird airport safety rule forces woman to choose between mum and son
NewsCorp Travel, 30 August 2019 (also published on Kidspot, same date)
At the Gold Coast Airport, I had to choose between my 10-year old son and my ageing mother who had just had a fall. The reason? He was not wearing shoes.

Gypsy blocked from attending siblings’ school
The Sun-Herald, 26 August 2019 (print and online)
Her parents have been told her enrolments cannot be accepted because the family lives a few kilometres outside the intake area.

Relaxing the senses
MiNDFOOD magazine, September 2019 print issue
Is it possible to relax the sense organs and even the senses themselves? And how could this be key to helping people overcome trauma?

Taking a splash into history
On The Road magazine, July/August print issue
Visit a terrific museum celebration our attraction to the sea

Lennox Head’s ‘one at Boulder Beach’ hits the market, boasting seclusion and privacy
Domain, 10 June 2019
Standing high on the lookout at Lennox Head, if you look south, you will see a remarkable house currently for sale.

A twist in the Tweed
Mercedes-Benz Owners Online magazine, 24 May 2019
Forget the flecked cloth that comes to mind when you think of tweed. Instead, discover this natural hideaway located between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.

Working at polling stations on election day means overwork for little pay
ABC online, 17 May 2019
In our increasingly gig-focussed workforce, it is not just Uber drivers and Airtaskers who are at risk of underpayment, overwork and poor conditions.

All in the family: Australians who have bought their childhood homes
Domain, 5 May 2019
Would you buy the house you grew up in?

Football should be a 4-letter word
Whimn, 11 April 2019
I hope it’s just a matter of time.

Coastal costs: the downsides of living by the sea
Domain, 27 March 2019
Living by the sea brings many joys but there are downsides, ranging from annoying to devastating.

Off the wall: real tennis courts a home of its own in Sydney
The Sun-Herald, 10 March 2019
“Like a pub with no beer, we’re a club with no court.”

Lawn tennis’s real forerunner
The Saturday Paper, 2 March 2019
“Real tennis is the original racquet sport.”

Big little black belt: Evie Cassel, 11, Taekwondo black belt
The Saturday Paper, 16 February 2019
“I want all us girls to learn self defence.”

Five ways you’ll know for sure that your child is a high-schooler
Essential Kids, 6 February 2019
High school is in!

Julie McCrossin on gender quotas for honours: ‘It’s essential’
Daily Life, 28 January 2019
Of the 1400 people honoured in the 2019 Order of Australia list, 37.4 per cent are women. Are quotas the answer to the question of gender equality in the Australian honours system?

Forget ‘lawn tennis’: The real tennis Australian Open has already been won
ABC online, 20 January 2018
I’m at the Australian Open. The scoring system is familiar but the rest of the lingo is not. The world number one is here, but it’s not Novak Djokovic. This is ‘real tennis’.

21 years on, Harry Potter still has magic powers
The Age Opinion, 20 January 2019
The series has created a new rite of passage for pre-teen children.

Warning Year 6 parents: be prepared for these 10 end of primary school feels
Essential Kids, 27 November 2018
It seems only moments ago that we were readying our little ones for their first day of school, yet here we are at the end of primary school.

Best futsal forward: Zahli Currie, 18, futsal Australian Under 19s team
The Saturday Paper, 10 November 2018
“Everything is quick, that’s why I like futsal better than anything else.”

Population boom in Port Macquarie as students and young families opt for a sea change
Domain, 6 November 2018
The mid north NSW coast town, famous for its beaches and waterways, is seeing both expansion and a younger demographic arriving thanks to a new 2000-plus residence development and expansion of Charles Sturt University’s campus.

10 thoughts every parent has about school camp
Essential Kids, 2 November 2018
Love ’em or hate ’em, school camps are as big an event for parents as they are for kids.

Seven ways to save money this Christmas. Tip one is to start now.
Money (Fairfax Media), 26 October 2018
There is a reason the you are reading this story in October rather than December – planning ahead is key.

That daring young man: Matthew Wareing, 17, trapeze artist
The Saturday Paper, 13 October 2018
“I find circus and flying trapeze a very cool thing to do and my friends and teachers are quite impressed by it, too.”

Skipping a beat: Luke Boon, 27, Rope Skipper
The Saturday Paper, 8 September 2018
“The first thing people say is: ‘I didn’t even know that skipping was a sport.'”

Mornington Peninsula attracts a growing cohort of people working from home
Domain, 4 September 2018
Working for yourself within a stone’s throw of the beach is a dream that is being lived to the full along the entire stretch of the Mornington Peninsula.

5 days that nobody told me about before I became a parent
Babyology, 21 August 2018
‘Nobody told me there’d be days like these,” sang John Lennon.

Do kids really need to know how to read an analog clock?
Essential Kids, 14 August 2018
You know, the round ones with hands. Like the Rocket Clock in Play School (as opposed to the digital watches that were soooo cool in Back to the Future).

Living with a century of wisdom: the initiative pairing international students with senior housemates
SBS Life, 20 July 2018
“We are from totally different cultures, different backgrounds, different traditions, different religions and she is fabulous.” 

Woman blinded after using expired mascara
That’s Life! Magazine, 28 June 2018
You’ll clear out your bathroom makeup cabinet after reading this story…

AFL’s tokenistic stance on domestic violence is hypocritical
The Age / SMH Opinion, 25 June 2018
The weekend’s violent on-ground incident demonstrated the need for the AFL to to look beyond tokenistic domestic violence awareness games to the violence happening right ‘‘at home’’.

The balcony rescue I saw this week brought back awful memories for me
Kidspot, 31 May 2018
This week’s story of a toddler dangling from a five-story balcony in France took me back to an incident where my toddler was a great risk on a balcony.

How reality TV transformed my family’s meal times
Essential Kids, 29 May 2018
Could MKR or Masterchef add some spice to your dining table?

There’s a better way to vaccinate against the flu
The Age / SMH Opinion
Getting a flu shot can require some serious dedication.

What would we lose if analog clocks went the way of the sundial?
ABC online, 26 May 2018
In most realms of life, digital time displays now vastly outnumber analog, yet we still teach children to read clock faces and use them to test for conditions such as dementia and stroke. Would it matter if they disappeared?

The items you can’t just throw on to a removal truck
Domain, 25 May 2018
‘We can’t move that, it’s too dangerous…’

$1,000 kids painting and ‘free auctions: some public schools have a fundraising advantage
ABC online, 9 May 2018
Relying on parents to raise funds for essential elements of their child’s education creates even more inequality for some schools.

The reality TV stars I am happy for my children to look up to
Essential Kids, 4 May 2018
To my surprise, there are not one, but two, MKR teams that full of qualities that I would be happy to have my kids aspire to.

These AFL-inspired baby names will help predict footy stars of the future
Kidspot, 3 April 2018
Baby names from the 1990s ideal for a ‘kids most likely to become AFL stars of 2018’ meme.

Why don’t fictional characters ever have their period?
SBS Life, 29 March 2018
Young adult fiction is the perfect way to destigmatise periods, so why aren’t more authors writing about it?

City or country: cheap holiday ideas for kids
Fairfax Money, 27 March 2018
If you’re looking for a cheap holiday, my tip is to head to a different environment for some novelty-fueled, free-free holiday fun ideal for primary school-aged kids.

I hated everything about taking young kids to swimming lessons
Sydney Morning Herald Opinion section, 27 March 2018
Call me a bad parent. Go all the way and call me un-Australian. Call me what you will, but the truth is that I hated taking young kids to swimming lessons.

The couple who built their eco-friendly dream home in the Byron Bay hinterland
Domain, 16 March 2018
Written by Sophia Auld, photography by Vivienne Pearson

Dustyesky hits WOMAD
The Byron Shire Echo, 14 March 2018
Dustyesky, the very Russian choir made up of not-so-Russian men from Mullumbimby, stole the show over the weekend at WOMADelaide.

Be a barista for a job or a play
The Byron Shire Echo, 14 March 2018
You’ve always wanted to have a go at being a barista, haven’t you?

Six cleaning items that (sob!) also need to be cleaned, 8 March 2018
Monica Geller, Courtney Cox’s character from the hit 1990s sitcom, Friends, first introduced me to the concept that cleaning equipment needs to be cleaned, too.

From whaling town to celebrity hotspot: Is Byron Bay only affordable for the rich and famous?
Domain (News), 28 February 2018
Could you afford to live there?

Eight types of friends your kids will have during their school years
Essential Kids, 8 February 2018
As school heads back, it is heartening for parents to remember that friendships are not all about ‘best friends’ – kids will have all kinds of friendships over their years at school.

The A-Z of things that are clearly better without glasses
Blog post for NewVision Clinics
From AFL action to Zzzz-ing, here are 26 reasons to look into laser eye surgery and say goodbye to your glasses.

Five ways to create an epic centrepiece, 19 January 2017
An epic table centrepiece can lift a room by providing a focal point, adding colour, or accenting features.

So it’s hot in Melbourne. Get over it, people.
The Age, Opinion/Comment, 19 January 2018
Victorians, there is no doubt that you are all very diligent in protecting yourselves from hot summer days. But I think you’ve gone a step too far.

The hottest lighting ideas for 2018, 17 January 2017
Use this guide to shine a light on lighting design trends for 2018.

Enough with the back-to-school marketing already
Essential Kids, 9 January 2018
I’m cool with hot cross buns being in shops on January 1, but  what is bugging me this year is the back-to-school marketing.

What age is it safe for children to use a standard seatbelt? You’ve probably got it wrong.
ABC online, 26 December 2017
Had Christine Stephs’ seven-year-old daughter, Indiana, book without a booster seat when a truck slammed into their car, no law would have been broken. But Indiana would have been.

Is this the ultimate busy parent dinner idea?
Essential Kids, 19 December 2017
At this time of year, it can be hard to find time to eat, let alone cook. I have developed an option for kid dinners when hunger is high and time is short. I call it an ‘Open the Fridge’ dinner. 

Byron’s newest neighbourhood: Habitat
The Byron Shire Echo, 20 December 2017
Barrio means ‘neighbourhood’ in Spanish. it is now the name of Byron Bay’s newest cafe/restaurant; appropriate given that it is at the centre of Byron’s newest neighbourhood: Habitat.

Do trampolines need screens for kids to use them? Not in my backyard.
ABC Opinion, 11 December 2017
The backyard trampoline is a screen-free haven for my kids.

6 fun ways to mark the last day of the school year
Essential Kids, 6 December 2017
In all the anticipation of the holidays ahead – and in fog of end-of-year exhaustion – it can be easy to forget to embrace the last day of school by having some fun.

Picture the new food at the Picture House
The Byron Shire Echo, 6 December 2017
A new operator of the Brunswick Picture House kiosk is set to add a dash of food-based showmanship.

Why the humble garage sale is making a comeback
Domain, 19 October 2017
Like radio and vinyl, it would have been easy to assume that the humble garage sale was heading the way of the dinosaur. Yet, contrary to expectation, garage sales are still around and as strong as ever.
* This story was the inspiration for this segment on Channel 9 TV’s TODAY EXTRA: Get on the trail for Australia’s biggest garage sale

Is it better to repair or replace broken washing machines?
ABC News, Opinion, 20 September 2017
I wish I could be more certain about the implications of my decision and hope that, next time, I will make a different choice.

Kate Begley – Focusing on the positives
Lift Magazine, Spring Issue, 14 September 2017
What is it like to live as a single parent with partial sight in a world where image is everything?

Top 10 places to eat in Byron Bay if you only have a weekend
delicious. online, 9 September 2017
Byron Bay’s food star is firmly on the rise. This list, limited to the actual town of Byron, will give you a great launching (or should that be lunching?) pad to explore.

Sharing brings caring: home Homeshare keeps seniors at home and out of aged-care
(Also titled: ‘I like helping’: how seniors are providing affordable housing)
Domain, 6 September 2017
Homeshare is an arrangement where older householders and matched with younger people who, in exchange for affordable accomodation, provide practical assistance such as cooking and cleaning, as well as all-important company. 

Only in Byron would there be a cafe with no espresso machine
delicious. online, 31 August 2017
Byron Bay’s new addition to its thriving cafe scene is Velvet
(PS: It does have an espresso machine – just not obvious as its a Modbar, which has most of its hardware hidden under the bench!)

Brunswick Heads ethics teachers up for awards
The Byron Shire Echo, News, 30 August 2017
A team of local volunteer this teachers has been nominated for the 2017 volunteer of the year team award.

Looking to hire a tradesperson? How to get more hits than misses
Domain, 16 August 2017
My old method for finding tradies was hitting the internet and local papers – resulting in more misses than hits. Here are some of the tradie types I have encountered and how to pick the good from the bad.

Why bedtime has become a laughing matter in our family
Essential Kids, 6 August 2017
Sometimes, to paraphrase a catchy song from the 80s, toddlers just want to have fun!

Walking the talk about death
My Career (Sydney Morning Herald / The Age)
In print as ‘In step with the dying’
Online in Business as ”Walking the talk about death’
When was the last time you talked about dying? For Deathwalker, Zenith Virago, this is an everyday part of her life.

Plants love dessert too
The Byron Shire Echo, 1 August 2017
A new course aims to teach participants how to make delicious and fun treats using nut mylks and healthy sugars.

The Terrace, Bruns, Open for Business
The Byron Shire Echo, 25 July 2017
The Byron Shire is in the grip of roadworks mania. It’s the turn of The Terrace to be rebuilt but the businesses will remain open.

Why I spent $4000 on a trampoline
Money, The Age / Sydney Morning Herald, 19 July 2017
On a cost-per-bounce’ calculation, it has been money well spent.

Poké in Byron
The Byron Shire Echo, 18 July 2017
Consider this as your guide to a new eating concept in town: the poké bowl.

Four-in-one on Jonson
The Byron Shire Echo, 18 July 2017
The variety in the menu and space means that you can think of this one place as four new options.

Juggling baristas
The Byron Shire Echo, 12 July 2017
An innovation in the coffee industry that reduces waste a step before your coffee gets into a cup.

Why a growing number of seniors are choosing to live in share houses
Domain, 6 July 2017
Is sharing a house only for people in their 20s?
* Also in print Sydney Morning Herald (page 10) July 7, under the title: Oldies take up new cohabits.
* Also picked up by TV – Channel 9’s TODAY Extras – July 11 – case study from the story interviewed, under the title: Shared accomodation for seniors.

The 5 stages of school photo delivery day
Essential Kids, 4 July 2017
That one day of the year when your child brings home something in their bag far more valuable than a half-eaten sandwich.

Salt of the sea
The Byron Shire Echo, 4 July 2017
Change is in the air at the Ocean Shores Country Club.

A fine day for wine and food in Ballina
The Byron Shire Echo, 4 July 2017
Fun facts and punter feedback on the Ballina Fine Wine & Food Festival.

Around your town – business responses to the War on Waste coffee cup story
The Byron Shire Echo, 28 June 2017
Byron Shire cafes are clearly up for the challenge.

Localising the war on coffee cup waste
The Byron Shire Echo, 28 June 2017
Just in case you didn’t catch the coffee cup segment on ABC television’s War On Waste series, here is the local state of play.

Really good vegan cooks
The Byron Shire Echo, 28 June 2017
Imagine having to deal with something you find ethically offensive every day in your course of study? This is usually the case for wannabe chefs who are vegan – except for students of this course.

Nine rookie nit mistakes – and how to avoid them
Essential Kids, 21 June 2017
When my daughter started primary school, she got nits, and I started learning how to deal with them.

Saying ‘I do’ when flood says ‘You Don’t’
The Byron Shire Echo, 20 June 2017
Being flooded in is a daunting prospect at any time, but on your wedding day, it is a whole other matter. 

Sporting local snacks
The Byron Shire Echo, 20 June 2017
The contradiction of sporting facilities selling sugar-laden snacks made by multinational companies is so accepted that it rarely rates a mention. The Cavanbah Centre, run by Byron Shire Council, decided to do something different.

Hospitality with a Sardinian Twist
The Byron Shire Echo, 13 June 2017
I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Sardinia but I suspect the Italian culture of generous hospitality is equalled there.

Smokin’ Fish
The Byron Shire Echo, 13 June 2017
I was first introduced to the delights of smoked fish in London. Back in Australia, it is not a lunch I have had very often – until now.

Fishing in Brunswick Heads – a video
A 7-minute video about the history and current status of fishing in Brunswick Heads, NSW. A film I researched, scripted and production managed. Filmed and edited by Sharon Shostak (of Mullumbimby’s Madness).

Cooking up a Snowy storm
The Byron Shire Echo, 23 May 2017
Steven Snow, of Fins restaurant, is not your typical chef.

Elixiba of life
The Byron Shire Echo, 17 May 2017
When your editor lets you know of a new eatery that transformed his wife from decidedly frazzled to cheerful after a single drink, I know it’s worth checking out.

Meet you at Tullys
The Byron Shire Echo, 17 May 2017
If I were writing this as a work of fiction, Tully would be the name of a dog. For, you see, it was a dog that was the catalyst for two key aspects of the creation of Tullys Café, a newcomer on the Suffolk Park scene.

A smorgasbord; local and beyond
The Byron Shire Echo, 10 May 2017
To supplement the springtime Sample comes the brand-new winter Byron Bay Fine Food & Beverage Festival.

An under-par restaurant (that’s a good thing!)
The Byron Shire Echo, 3 May 2017
For a restaurant high on a hill with sweeping views over the ocean, Albatross is a great name. For one that serves a golfing community (as well as a bowls one), it has the extra meaning of being three-under-par.

Different beets
The Byron Shire Echo, 26 April 2017
Ready for a word-association game? Me: Vegan food. You:…?

Bucha (that’s Kombucha) of Byron
The Byron Shire Echo, 26 April 2017
The region abounds in kombucha and is now joined by a new player: The Bucha of Byron.

All in the design
The Byron Shire Echo, 26 April 2017
Just how important is the design of cafes and restaurants?

The danger of immunisation hesitancy
Essential Baby, 24 April 2017
If I wasn’t already so certain of the benefits of immunisation, it would have been easy to hesitate.

When house hunting feels like dating: House types reimagined as life partners
Domain, 21 April 2017
Buying a house can be as big a commitment as getting married, so it’s no surprise that looking for a house can feel a lot like dating.

How could this happen? Last minute shopping nearly ruined our Easter
Essential Kids, 18 April 2017
I hope your Easter Bunny did its shopping earlier than mine…

Jimmy Crickets
The Byron Shire Echo, 19 April 2017
Would you eat crickets?

Same not same at Sabi
The Byron Shire Echo, 12 April 2017
New ownership of Sabi Sushi is heralding some change but keeping the underlying elements loved by locals the same.

Happy Gin Day!
The Byron Shire Echo, 12 April 2017
Sunday, already a great day with some much needed sun after the floods, was even better for the discovery that it was International Gin and Tonic Day!

A Byron Tea Party
The Byron Shire Echo, 12 April 2017
With a hint of a chill in the mornings and the end of daylight savings, it’s time for tea.

Lismore Snippets
The Byron Shire Echo, 22 March 2017
Readers wanted to know more about what was available outside the bubble of the Echo’s home distribution area.

Waste not, want not
The Byron Shire Echo, 22 March 2017
Waste. Rubbish. Refuse. Litter. Maybe not the ideal topic to read about over lunch, but an important one.

A trifecta of sausages
The Byron Shire Echo, 15 March 2017
Garry Leeson holds a trifecta of awards.

What’s love got to do with it?
Domain, 8 March 2017
When a house ticks all the boxes but something is missing.

Governor-General’s call to nominate more women for Order of Australia honours
Daily Life, 7 March 2017
More women needed to make awards truly Australian
The Age / Sydney Morning Herald / Canberra Times, 7 March 2017
In response to growing criticism about the low proportion of women who receive Order of Australia honours, the Governor-General is announcing initiatives to redress the balance.

Beautiful Byron Bay boutique picnics
The Byron Shire Echo, 8 March 2017
Who doesn’t love a picnic?!

Pre-eclampsia: I almost died in childbirth – it helps to say it out loud
Kidspot, 7 March 2017
During pregnancy, I developed pre-eclampsia. Usually birth cures pre-eclampsia but I was one of the rare cases where this didn’t happen. Instead, things got much worse.

Food businesses and renewable energy
The Byron Shire Echo, 1 March 2017
‘We want the whole world to run on renewable energy. The top-down approach doesn’t seem to work so we’re bringing it back to the consumer.’

Yummy food in a yummy space
The Byron Shire Echo, 15 February 2017
How would you like to go to a dinner party with thirty of your best friends that you haven’t met yet?

It’s hot! Get chilli by reaching for the hot sauce
The Byron Shire Echo, 15 February 2017
It’s chilli harvest season – get into the flavour of these brightly coloured packages of heat.

Australia Post is unreliable and its overpaid managers are to blame
Sydney Morning Herald, 14 February 2017
My confidence in Australia Post was high until two years ago and and now, with the news of chief executive Ahmed Fahour’s obscene salary, it’s close to zero.

Hot Sauce from Lennox
The Byron Shire Echo, 1 February 2017
Lennox Head Hot Sauce offers Carolina Reaper as the hottest sauce in their range. Rated on the bottle as ‘Insanely Hot’, it is not for the faint hearted.

Pure Safya
The Byron Shire Echo, 31 January 2017
The Safya family may be relative newcomers to Byron Bay but they have embraced the vibe of how to best do business here – combine good know-how with an ability to go with the flow, trust your feelings, have a laugh, and make strong connections with those around you.

Happy all New Years
The Byron Shire Echo, 31 January 2017
Last weekend saw in Chinese New Year and we are now in the Year of the Rooster. This seemed like a perfect excuse to do a wrap-up of Asian eating options. 

Family surfing lessons – why you should try it
Families Magazine, 31 January 2017
Surf schools are a great way to put a toe in the water (pun intended). They have all the gear, including beginner-friendly boards, and they know how to teach as well as surf.

Five faces kids pull when you ask them to smile for a photo
Essential Kids, 27 January 2017
Occasionally, the planets align and you get the perfect photo. More often though, you end up with an expression other than the beautiful smile you were hoping for. Here’s some of the classics you’ve no doubt encountered…

10 reasons you should see Matilda the Musical before it leaves Brisbane
Families Magazine, 27 January 2017
Matilda the Musical, based on the story by Roald Dahl, has been playing at Brisbane’s QPAC since November. If you haven’t yet seen it, here are 10 reasons to snap up some of the remaining tickets before the season ends on 12 March.

Review – Fly, fly away with Circus Arts trapeze
Families Magazine, 27 January 2017
If your kids are always on the lookout for their next thrill but you are tired of theme parks, it’s time to put Circus Arts flying trapeze on your radar. It’s not just for the kids – anyone from ages 5-65 can take their chance to run away to the circus.

The Australia Day honours list still has a gender problem. But you can help.
Daily Life, 26 January 2017
As individuals, we are far from powerless to influence future diversity. There is something concrete that each and every one of us can do. 

Wrapping goodness in goodness
The Byron Shire Echo, 25 January 2017
If any of your new-year resolutions involved reducing your impact on the environment, this is the story for you!

Lismore Snippets
The Byron Shire Echo, 25 January 2017
If you haven’t been to Lismore for a while, you might be in for a pleasant surprise.

Byron Twilight Markets
Families Magazine, Gold Coast, 23 January 2017
Markets are great as a family outing but it’s rare to find one with a perfect balance for kids and adults alike. The Byron Artisan Market hits the sweet spot and all in a typically Byron relaxed way.

Making resolutions at New Year doesn’t work. Try after a holiday instead.
The Sydney Morning Herald Opinion section, 16 January 2017
Don’t stress if you didn’t get around to making any New Year’s resolutions. Or if you didn’t keep them for more than five minutes. New Year’s resolutions are so last millennium. Instead, it’s time to embrace the post-holiday resolution.

Byron Food for Thought
Rusty’s Byron Guide, 2017
Rusty’s Byron Guide have been published once a year since 1984, let by local surfing icon Rusty Miller. More of a treatise on Byron life than a tourist brochure, it contains articles by locals and visiting writers and experts. This year’s guide features writing by Yann Martel (Life of Pi), George Megalogenis (Walkley Award winner) and Robert Drewe (novelist).

Throw more than a prawn on the barbie
The Byron Shire Echo, 28 December 2016
With more than 130 recipes, The Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook: The Ultimate Kitchen Companion might be just the catch you need.

New Beet on the Beat
The Byron Shire Echo, 28 December 2016
A great deal of thought has gone into a new vegan restaurant – The Beet – that has opened in Byron Bay.

Busking brothers clean up
The Byron Shire Echo, 21 December 2016
Brothers Nathaniel and Matt Wareing are literally brothers-in-arms for a two-man busking show they are performing at PARK&FLY, at Denning Park Byron Bay.

Ilias The Greek
The Byron Shire Echo, 21 December 2016
Food and family are topics that are often strongly linked, especially at this time of year, and even more so within cultures with strong food traditions. Ilias Katsapouikidis, better known as Ilias the Greek, has seen this link grow further over the past month. 

An everyday bakery
The Byron Shire Echo, 21 December 2016
The Sunday Sustainable Bakery is a bakery you can go to every day, though this doesn’t mean it isn’t special.

The 6 Tastes
The Byron Shire Echo, 14 December 2016
Ayurveda is a hard word to spell, but learning its etymology (the origin of words) has helped me find the right keys to strike.

Spacey ice-cream
The Byron Shire Echo, 14 December 2016
How cold do you like your ice-cream? How about -196 degrees celsius?

Go out (and get home safely) in Byron
The Byron Shire Echo, 7 December 2016
As a nation, we are great at organising Christmas and New Year events but too often the planning ends at dessert and fails to take into account how people will get home safely.

Picnic with the wild goats
The Byron Shire Echo, 30 November 2016
The goats of the Byron Bay lighthouse are no longer there but they provided inspiration for a new boutique catering business called Wild Goat Events.

Foundation bee-nefits the community
The Byron Shire Echo, News, 25 November 2016
Byron’s Katia Bee Project received a $25,000 grant last night from the Northern Rivers Community Foundation.

Surf’s not up? Hit the trapeze instead
The Byron Shire Echo, News, 22 November 2016
Just jump, fly and enjoy! That’s the advice of a first time flier on Circus Arts’ outdoor flying trapeze rig.

Revisiting the Byron Corner Store
The Byron Shire Echo, 22 November 2016
This is a story about parents handing a business on to their children – with a twist.

Barbecue, southern style
The Byron Shire Echo, 22 November 2016
‘It was a life-changing meal,’ says Joel Romo of a dinner he had at age seven.

Byron’s well-stocked larder
The Byron Shire Echo, 22 November 2016
18 years in operation is impressive for any small business, especially for one in the food industry.

Form or function?
Domain, 19 November 2016
Why do we prioritise the look of our renovated spaces over how they work?

I let my daughter eat whatever she wanted all day and now she eats her veggies
Essential Kids, 18 November 2016
A day of eating nothing but sugar and fat taught my daughter a lesson she has never forgotten.

When the Tooth Fairy ****s Up
Kidspot, 16 November 2016
Santa is the main man at this time of year but spare a thought for the Tooth Fairy, who is on call 365 days of the year. It’s no wonder she mucks up from time to time…

The Mez: Upstairs, downstairs
The Byron Shire Echo, 15 November 2016
The downstairs was of some interest but it was the upstairs that sealed the deal.

Bay + Gelato = Baylato
The Byron Shire Echo, 15 November 2016
Byron Shire holds many stories of reinvention. Paola Zlatar’s story is one, taking her from being the child of a crocodile hunter,  to being a vet in Chile, to selling ice-cream in northern NSW.

Trapeze coach a high-flyer from a young age
My Career, 12 November 2016
There are not many school leavers whose CV will feature a job as a flying trapeze coach.

Useful Christmas gifts that will save you money later on
Essential Kids, 11 November 2016
Strike a balance between what kids want and what they need this Christmas.
* This story was reused as a sponsored Facebook post on 23 December 2017

Lunch at Rae’s
The Byron Shire Echo, 8 November 2016
I’ve eaten some special meals in my time. I can now add another to my list.

Gold for OSushi
The Byron Shire Echo, 8 November 2016
The gold plating in OSushi’s dishes will shine more brightly now the restaurant is a Gold Award winner in the 2016 Restaurant and Catering Australia awards.

Time for tea
The Byron Shire Echo, 8 November 2016
Taking the lid off each deep, black tub reveals a wonderland of scent and texture. Flavour too, but to elicit that, you first need to add water. Boiling water.

Newrybar: Presenting the food
The Byron Shire Echo, 8 November 2016
How often do you pay attention to what your food is served on? 

Ocean Shores trilogy
The Byron Shire Echo, 1 November 2016
Chefs at 20 paces: Two chef’s potential rivalry of their youth has a chance to come to the fore at their Battle of the Chefs dinner
Sausage King: Where does a butcher take his annual holiday? To the Australian Industry COuncil’s National competition, of course.
Ocean Shores Snippets: A snippet on the other food- and drink-based businesses.

The truth about big-headed babies
Essential Baby, 28 October 2016
What is it like being a parent of a big-headed baby?

A grassy Kombi
The Byron Shire Echo, 25 October 2016
It is hard to imagine this Kombi van neglected by the side of a road.

How many chefs can you fit in a tent?
The Byron Shire Echo, 25 October 2016
It’s a question that may well be answered by the Byron Farmers Market’s new initiative – The Chef’s Tent.

A chef in your kitchen
The Byron Shire Echo, 25 October 2016
It’s the stuff of fantasy – having a chef in your home kitchen, preparing and serving a delicious meal.

Andy eats Byron
The Byron Shire Echo, 25 October 2016
The filming was surprisingly low-key for a TV show. The host was Andy Allen, winner of Masterchef 2012.

A thirst-quenching Kombi
The Byron Shire Echo, 18 October 2016
‘I like Kombis and I like beer, so this seemed a perfect combo,’ said the owner of Kombi Keg Byron Bay.

The only planet with beer
The Byron Shire Echo, 18 October 2016
Last week saw a heap of the Stone & Wood team planting trees.

Tweed invites you to a fusion party
The Byron Shire Echo, 18 October 2016
Byron Shire’s next door neighbour is having a party, and you’re invited!

A man called Steve, from Byron
The Byron Shire Echo, 11 October 2016
It was a fecund cumquat tree that started Steve’s jam-making journey.

A kid-friendly Saturday eve market oasis
The Byron Shire Echo, 11 October 2016
It’s a new market but it is not a new market. Let me explain..

End of (school holiday) days
The Byron Shire Echo, 4 October 2016
If you feel in the need of a meal out in these last few days before school returns, check out these two options.

Here’s cheers to food in the brewery
The Byron Shire Echo, 4 October 2016
The newly reopened Byron Bay Brewery has got a bit of press for its beer, but what about the food?

Ice-cream trilogy
The Byron Shire Echo, 28 September 2016
Ice-cream without the cream: When Knox&Aya’s Horst Thompson heard a small voice saying ‘ice-cream’, he didn’t just grab a tub and a spoon, he started a vegan ice-cream business. 
Ice-cream snippets: Some publications would wait until the first day of summer to write about ice-cream. Not us – the sun is shining and the beach beckons.
What’s in a name: You say gelati, I say gelato.

Who gives a golden fork?
The Byron Shire Echo, 28 September 2016
What does it mean to be a Golden Fork winner from Sample Food Festival?

A gifted cookie
The Byron Shire Echo, 28 September 2016
Like a phoenix arising from the ashes, Byron Bay Cookies have opened a sparkling gift store in the same location as their previous outlet.

Why I suffer from baby name regret
Essential Baby, 23 September 2016
A recent survey found that 18 per cent of parents regret their choice of baby name. I take heart from these results because I am one such parent.

Brunswick softball players show skills
Byron Shire News
When it comes to playing hard ball on the softball diamond, a quartet of girls from Brunswick Heads Public have taken it to a state level.

A spirited awardee and a newbie
The Byron Shire Echo, 21 September 2016
You might have heard of the gin that turns pink. But have you heard about the rum that is produced in the same Northern Rivers distillery? 

Fewer trucks, more locals, good vibes
The Byron Shire Echo, 21 September 2016
A new food event – the Byron Bay Good Vibes Twilight Street Food Market – was held on Saturday at Byron’s Youth Activity Centre (YAC).

An Ode to Dishwashers
The Byron Shire Echo, 14 September 2016
It’s true that you don’t appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone. My dishwasher has been out of action for three whole weeks and my plight got me thinking about the dishwashing staff who work in cafes and restaurants.

Hats off to the winners
The Byron Shire Echo, 14 September 2016
We take our hats off to Byron Shire local awarded hats in the Good Food Awards, held last week.

Brook farm goes to Melbourne
The Byron Shire Echo, 14 September 2016
These days there’s an expo for everything. The big one for food is Fine Foods Australia. Brookfarm is one local business attending.

Do you need to be a ‘foodie’ to enjoy Sample?
The Byron Shire Echo, 12 September 2016
My conclusion is no. It is mainly about the food but the variety available, as well as the other elements in beautiful surrounds, make it a great day out for everyone.

Layer upon Layer
On The Road Magazine, Sept-Oct 2016
Point Nepean allows you to explore its layered history without venturing indoors.

The chef Bros: Rohit and Mohit
The Byron Shire Echo, 31 August 2016
Hey Brother, He Ain’t Heavy… He’s My Brother, Brother to Brother… Whatever your era, there’s a song about brothers supporting each other.

Keeping heat in the cooking
The Byron Shire Echo, 31 August 2016
Some concepts are so simple that they take ages to get your head around. Retained-heat cooking is like that for me.

Good things come in threes
The Byron Shire Echo, 25 August 2016
For the Byron Farmers Market, it seems that good things come in threes.

Variety is the fruit of life
The Byron Shire Echo, 17 August 2016
With spring almost in sight, it’s time to turn your thoughts to luscious tropical fruit.

When ‘Just Do It’ just doesn’t cut it
Essential Baby, 15 August 2016
It is ironic that a group of people who are most in need of an energy boost – those with young children – are least likely to have the time to exercise.

Dylan goes all out in City2Surf run for his dad and Soldier On
Byron Shire News, 11 August 2016
Joining the trend of combining a physical challenge with raising funds is Brunswick Heads resident Dylan Siva.

Dissecting discourse
The Byron Shire Echo, 10 August 2016
A Byron festival featuring mud, gumboots and crowds having a blast despite the weather? No, this is not a belated report of Splendour in the Grass, it’s about the Byron Writers Festival, which went ahead despite serous meteorological challenges.
* This story was on the front page of The Byron Shire Echo

A bistro on the green
The Byron Shire Echo, 10 August 2016
Many eateries that are number two on Trip Advisor would be aiming for number one. But not The Green Bistro.

EcoCooka Sisters
The Byron Shire Echo, 3 August 2016
Sisters, Cathy and Natasha Bairiki are avid users of retained-heat cooking.

Oyster Fest
The Byron Shire Echo, 3 August 2016
There’s a word that will have half of you salivating and the other half gagging. Oyster.

10 signs your children have given you nits
Essential Kids, 1 August 2016
Let me guess…you saw the headline, clicked on the story and then – as you waited for it to load – you scratched your head. How could you not? My head is itching right now, just writing this.

Six common injuries inflicted on parents thanks to their kids
Essential Kids, 29 July 2016
Roger Federer is set to miss the rest of the season – including the Olympic Games – thanks to injury – not caused by tennis playing, but by running a bath for his kids. Roger, parents of the world feel your pain. 

Those special first hair cut emotions
Essential Baby, 29 July 2016
The internet recently went all out in support of the parents who discovered their daughter’s hair was cut for the first time while at childcare. And I can completely understand. I found my children’s first haircuts to be strongly emotional experiences.

The business that Jack built
The Byron Shire Echo, 27 July 2016
Once upon a time, but not so very long ago, there was a man who took over a business.

Nothing better than breakfast on the deck
The Byron Shire Echo, 27 July 2016
The Ocean Shores Country Club has built a new deck and it overlooks the sea.

11 other ways of telling your kids to hurry up that they will actually listen to
Essential Kids, 20 July 2016
Modern parenting seems to consist of dragging the kids from one place to another and, until recently, the words ‘hurry up’ were probably the most used in my parenting vocabulary. 

Mila confesses her biggest parenting mistake
Essential Baby, 15 July 2016
If Mila Kunis can admit it, so can I.

Finding a new naked dip
The Byron Shire Echo, 13 July 2016
Most naked dips start in a pool or at a beach, but as this is the food section, we’re talking about Naked Byron Dips, where the ‘naked’ means that they are made with only fresh and natural ingredients (no numbers in sight).

A touch of Friday warmth
The Byron Shire Echo, 13 July 2016
It’s winter. There’s no escaping this, but you can escape to an evening out with cocktails to warm your insides and a fire to warm your fingers.

Finding a new naked dip
The Byron Shire Echo, 13 July 2016
Most naked dips start at the beach but this as this is the food section, we’re talking about Byron Naked Dips’ new flavours.

The journey to Koobideh
The Byron Shire Echo, 6 July 2016
The story of Koobideh is filled with journeys and decisions – some unwilling, scary and sad, and some voluntary and joyful.

Jerry’s smokin’ reinvention
The Byron Shire Echo, 6 July 2016
Jerry King is not afraid of reinvention.

The icing on top of the lighthouse
The Byron Shire Echo, 6 July 2016
It’s a rare cafe that is surrounded by natural beauty and has 95 percent of its customers smiling on arrival.

What my daughter taught me about asking for help
Essential Baby, 4 July 2016
I’m not good at asking for help even at the best of times. Is anyone?

A hub of foodies celebrates
The Byron Shire Echo, 29 June 2016
The Byron Food Hub has proven to be the right place for five food businesses.

Civilised Wild Food
The Byron Shire Echo, 22 June 2016
Given that my usual ‘foraging’ before dinner is ransacking the fridge to find something edible, I was intrigued by the idea of a dinner composed of foraged food.

Inventively foraged
The Byron Shire Echo, 22 June 2016
If you saw a roadside verge covered in plants that looked a bit like spinach, would you be brave enough to pick some and cook it?

Take the ‘L’ out of flood; it’s all about the food
The Byron Shire Echo, 15 June 2016
Few were affected by the recent ECL (that’s East Coast Low for those of you more into food than weather) but few more than those in Bilinudgel. I visited to check out how the food businesses in town fared.

A new reason to love chocolate
Byron Shire Echo, 15 June 2016
I’m sure lots of substances come to mind when you think of a ‘pep-up’ before a night out, but did chocolate feature on your list?

Apron ties that bind
The Byron Shire Echo, 15 June 2016
It seems Byron is a shire of apron lovers.

An ode to aprons
The Byron Shire Echo, 8 June 2016
I’m not one for tradition or anything related to a woman’s place in the kitchen, so it was a surprise to realise just how attached I am to my apron.

Getting naked on Friday nights
The Byron Shire Echo, 8 June 2016
The website spoke to me of smiles, health and happiness.

Lennox-flavoured snippets
The Byron Shire Echo, 1 June 2016
Snippets in the lead up to the Love Lennox Festival

Seriously old school
The Byron Shire Echo, 1 June 2016
Everything old is new again.

Classy cooking
The Byron Shire Echo, 1 June 2016
I am inspired to track down classy ways of expanding my cooking repertoire.

A jammy afternoon
The Byron Shire Echo, 25 May 2016
I don’t usually eat jam while typing, but I’m happy to run the risk of a stuck key in order to immerse myself in the subject matter of this story.

Bowled over
The Byron Shire Echo, 25 May 2016
I might be biased, but….  How many of the lawn-bowls references squeezed into the first paragraph did you get?

With a view like this, pigs should fly
The Byron Shire Echo, 18 May 2016
It’s a view fits for pigs, even if they don’t appreciate it!

To market, to market, to buy food for dinner
The Byron Shire Echo, 4 May 2016
We’re on the hunt for celery. I’ve joined the quest, even though celery is my least favourite vegetable.

What’s the real point to a Mother’s Day stall?
Essential Kids, 3 May 2016
Volunteering to run the school’s Mother’s Day stall is raising more questions than money.

A Homegrown Team
The Byron Shire Echo, 27 April 2016
High-school friends often vow to stick together…more than a decade after graduation, these friends have joined forces in business.

In praise of sensible footwear
Essential Kids, 12 April 2016
If your child is reluctant to play, skip or climb, maybe check out their footwear to see whether this is holding them back.

Just Poinciana / Kahlil’s in the Kitchen
The Byron Shire Echo, 13 April 2016
Change can be hard, especially when it comes to something well loved. The new owner of Poinciana is conscious of how changes to this iconic cafe are perceived.

We should scrap state car rego and driver’s licences for a sensible national system
The Sydney Morning Herald Opinion section, 6 April 2016
When I moved from Victoria to NSW, I assumed my biggest challenges would be finding work and coping without family and friends. I was wrong. Changing my driver’s licence and car registration has proven harder than everything else combined.
* Radio interviews followed the publication of this article – 2UE, 2GB and Macquarie Radio’s Australia Overnight (broadcast to 49 stations)

5 signs your child has mastered reading
Essential Kids, 6 April 2016
Unfortunately for me, now my son can read, he takes special delight in reading the signs that tell me what to do!

A Bountiful Orchard
The Byron Shire Echo, 6 April 2016
Joel Orchard, farmer and food activist, is becoming the go-to person in the region on topics such as farming, food sovereignty and ecological agriculture.

A Byron-Bali connection
The Byron Shire Echo, 30 March 2016
Warung Bagus, one of Byron’s newer eateries, located opposite the surf club, has been open since December. Let’s get the name pronunciation issue sorted right now…

The Good Life Snippets
The Byron Shire Echo, 30 March 2016
Food news snippets from the corner of Bay and Fletcher Streets, Byron Bay (location of featured eatery, Warung Bagus.

What it’s really like to live near the beach
Domain, 25 March 2016
Is there anyone who hasn’t dreamed of living by the sea? On year on, I’ve sorted out fact from fiction on some of my ideas about how a sea-change would affect my life.

Tom’s not heading off The Rails anytime soon
The Byron Shire Echo, Good Life section, 22 March 2016
The Rails is arguably Byron Bay’s most iconic and well-known place to eat and drink, thanks to its owner, longtime publican Tom Mooney.

Food Hub – Bangalow
The Byron Shire Echo, Good Life section, 22 March 2016
What is the reasoning behind the proposed ‘food hub’ for Bungalow?

Four different ways to approach a new neighbourhood
Domain, 2 March 2016
There are different approaches to discovering new neighbourhoods. Here are four styles you might be familiar with.

Sean’s on the balcony
The Byron Shire Echo, 2 March 2016
Who wouldn’t visit Byron Bay as often as they could? For chef, Sean Connolly, that’s going to be around twice a month.

The ups and downs of having a small baby
Essential Baby, 29 February 2016
Size isn’t everything, they say. I totally agree, but there’s no escaping that a baby’s size is a common starting point for discussion – as well as opinion.

February 29: We all deserve a bonus day, once in a while
The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 February 2016
A once-in-four-year opportunity for a change in routine is not to be missed.

The Good Life Profile: The Ice-Cream Man
The Byron Shire Echo, 23 February 2016
Belgium Chocolate is his favourite today; last month it was Watermelon and Mint Sorbet….a profile of Johnny Strange, co-owner and operator of The Milk Bar in Brunswick Heads.

The Good Life Snippets
The Byron Shire Echo, 23 February 2016
Foody news snippets from around Byron Shire.

Inside the Volcano
On The Road Magazine, March 2016
Thanks to being the remnant of an ancient volcano, the Tweed is rich with natural beauty.

Five reasons why you should never renovate
Domain, 21 January 2016
To renovate or not to renovate, that is the question…

Food with a view
The Byron Shire Echo, 6 January 2016
What better way to enjoy a good view than with a delicious meal? In the Byron Shire region, so blessed with both gourmet delights and abundant beauty, food with a view is surprisingly hard to track down.

Secrets that Soften the Need for a Baby Deposit
Essential Baby, 5 January 2016
Worried about how you’ll afford a baby? Here’s how you can get by even without a huge bank balance.

After the Holidays Comes the Promise of Renewal
The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Opinion Section, 29 December 2015
Much like New Year resolutions, we return to work after holidays fuelled by aspirations that bear little relationship to the reality of life.

I Don’t Know How It Happened, But I Have a Polite Child
Essential Baby, 14 December 2015
My nearly-three-year-old son has been polite since he could talk. Being somewhat of a pessimist, I’ve been waiting for this amazing attribute to disappear – but fortunately for me, it’s showing no signs of abating.

A Beautiful Warning
Great Walks, December 15 / January 16
Given the name of this mountain, it seems completely appropriate that this day walk is littered with warnings.

Going Bananas in Murwillumbah
On The Road, January 2015
Banana Jim, the mascot of the Banana Festival, holds pride of place in this regional museum.

Lush gardening: getting green in the subtropics
Domain, 22 December 2015
My thumb is not very green. My surprising saviour has been moving states. I love gardening in the lush subtropics.
* Also republished in OverSixty, 21 September 2016

Your Domestic Personality Profile Revealed by Household Habits
Domain (Fairfax Real Estate), 11 December 2015
What do your household habits say about you? From the bathroom to the backyard, here are 10 questions to consider very seriously.

Caffeinated Competition
The Byron Shire Echo, 9 December 2015
In the coffee world, competitions are big.

A Visitor Survival Guide for Hosts
Domain (Fairfax Real Estate), 4 December 2015
Hosting visitors is wonderful but they bring work as well as baggage. Here are nine tips for making the most of your next visitor season.

Seven Tips for Seizing the Spring Cleaning Season
Domain (Fairfax Real Estate), 22 November 2015
That’s right folks, it’s time!…

Get Inside the Courthouse
The Byron Shire Echo online at Echonetdaily, 18 November 2015
This is one courthouse you’ll be happy to get to know the inside of.

Retro Van: Welcome to a 40s Wonderland
On The Road magazine, December 2015 (not yet available on line)
They say all people have an era they are ideally suited to. For Karen Gayford and her husband Lionel, this was the 1940s.

The Seven Stages of Shared House Living
Domain (Fairfax Real Estate), 13 October 2015
Whether you are a household of Game of Thrones binge-watchers, tea-drinking yarn-bombers, drug-taking dropouts or environmental activists; every shared house goes through these seven stages.

Player Education Needs to Start at AFL’s Auskick
The Age, Opinion section, 1 October 2015
Maybe a start now will see personal attacks and sledging go from Auskick games.

The Nature Naming Trend
Essential Baby, 28 September 2015
The biggest joy of our daughter’s name is that people really light up when they hear it (pun intended).

Notes from the Yoga Classroom
Australian Yoga Life, September 2015
Yoga has found Vivienne Pearson at various points along her life’s journey.

Life in the Country: Six Reasons I Love Living in the Little Smoke
Domain (Fairfax Real Estate), 29 August 2015.
I assumed I was a city girl through and through, until circumstance and a few random decisions delivered me to a seaside town. Six months on, here are six reasons I love living in the little smoke.

5 Workplace Lessons for New Parents
Essential Baby, 28 August 2015.
You might thrive in a busy workplace, but how will you go once nine to five is replaced by 12am to 12pm with a very different set of KPIs?

Coffee Lingo Demystified
The Byron Shire Echo and online on Echonetdaily, 27 August 2015.
The language of coffee has become so complex that you could dedicate an entire dictionary to it. We haven’t got that much space, so here’s a quick and dirty guide to some of the newer and more interesting terms around.

The Simple Pleasures
On The Road magazine, September 2015.
The beautiful small coastal town of Brunswick Heads offers a wonderful inexpensive holiday.

Five Reasons Why I’ll Happily Return To Renting
Domain (Fairfax Real Estate) online on 17 August 2015.
While some find it hard, returning to renting after owning your own property can be a positive experience.

Mullum’s Coffee Gets Roasted
The Byron Shire Echo and online on Echonetdaily, 29 July 2015.
It’s perfect that Pat Solvyn and Tamara Head fell in love over a coffee machine, as they are now co-owners of Mullumbimby’s first coffee roastery.

Farmers Market Coffee
The Byron Shire Echo and online on Echonetdaily, 2 July 2015.
A run down on what’s happening in coffee at Farmers Markets in the Byron Bay region.

10 Signs Your Baby Has Become a Toddler
Essential Baby, 1 June 2015 (reposted 13 March 2016)
* This article has been shared on Facebook over 6.5k times
A guide to when your little one has moved on from the delights of babyhood to the (ahem) ‘new delights’ of todderhood.

Coffee With Kids
The Byron Shire Echo and online at Echonetdaily, 17 June 2015
Going out for ‘coffee’ is about far more than the drink. This is even more so once you have kids in tow.

Backpackers Mix Pizza and Opera in Milan
Published in The Australian, Indulgence & Travel, 23 May 2015
We were backpackers, not opera buffs, but when in Milan….

And, a selection of my favourite older articles:

Our Girl Summer
Child Magazines, Dec2012/Jan2013
This is what can happen when you name your daughter after a season…

A Break In Routine
WebChild, 24 October 2012
Are there any positives to be found when a three-year old breaks her collarbone?

The Awe of Four
Child Magazines, November 2010
Tired of toddler-trouble?  Wait until your child turns four, when there is the perfect balance between innocence and interest.

Traveller’s Tale
The Age, Traveller, 23 January 2010
Feeling restless in India?  How about a tyre-tube ride down a river, complete with elephants!

Image credit: Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash