The first opening line I ever read was probably in a little Golden Book.
“A happy little elephant was dancing through the jungle.”
I’d sprawl out on the linoleum floor of my grandmother’s louvered back verandah, losing myself between the pages in her bookcase. It was a crazy, eclectic mix that ranged from The Saggy Baggy Elephant and Diseases of the Nervous System, to Mailer’s The Naked and The Dead.
Or, I’d be exploring the honey coloured sandstone caves and Aboriginal engravings in the bushland behind her house, making up stories of my own. As someone who wore black horn-rimmed spectacles from the age of seven, I even looked like a storyteller.
A nerd walks into an English Department and walks out a journalist.
In 1994, I completed my Master’s Degree in English at the University of Sydney and was awarded the Arthur Macquarie Travelling Scholarship. By this time I was better known as a poet, publishing in major literary journals. Eventually, I became a freelance journalist, writing feature stories for numerous national and international publications, including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Domain and The South China Morning Post.
I’ve always had an encyclopaedic interest in the world, and so my subject matter ranged from real estate, architecture and design, to business, humour and profile pieces. Over the years, I have interviewed some of the most intriguing people on the planet, including environmental activist Jean Michel Cousteau, architect Harry Seidler, entrepreneur Dick Smith, and former Blackmores CEO Christina Holgate.
One of my most popular columns was – and remains – the Two of Us in The Good Weekend; a page where people share the intimate story of their relationship.
Playing between the lines.
From the time I was a small boy, I had always wanted to write a novel and experience the thrill of watching my characters take on a life of their own. I achieved this goal in 2002, with the publication of The Tin Moon (Simon and Schuster) followed in 2005 by Sandstone (Hachette Livre) for which I was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. My third book, Henry Loves Jazz (MUP, 2009) was a humorous look at fatherhood.
Other highlights include Best Screenplay Award at the Sunscreen Festival as part of the Sydney Olympics Festival of the Arts, and winner of the Best Screenplay at the Newcastle Shootout. I have also written for the popular TV soap opera; Home and Away.
It was finally time to buy some long pants.
From around 2010, I began my career as a professional corporate storyteller, providing all the copy and research for the Historic Houses Trust’s (now Sydney Living Museum) Sydney Open in 2012 and 2014 and the web-copy for Earth Hour’s global site in 2012.
For almost a decade, I have woven compelling narratives for some of the biggest companies in the world, including Toyota, Volvo, Stanbroke Pastoral, Syngenta, Goodman Group, Bradford, and Origin Energy.
A highlight was researching and creating a large-format brochure for the Central Park development by Frasers Property, weaving tales of the Chippendale area’s textured history and shady characters from Pig Mary to Roger Rogerson.
In December 2018, I began writing and editing a biannual magazine for AMP Capital, focusing on the professionals, creatives and artisans who live, work and play in the precinct around Circular Quay. In Issue-one, I spoke to a barista, an architect, and one of the top ten tailors in the world.
My agency experience has seen me as a hired writing-gun for Frost* Collective, a multi-award winning strategic design studio in Sydney and Melbourne.
Currently, I am the Associate Creative Director for Mighty, a multi-faceted creative agency based in Sydney.
Storytelling is my passion. I am compelled to tell authentic tales that cut through and move people.
I breathe words.
Sydney Morning Herald