Featured Member – Julie Boyd
Small Town Girl
A little girl with big ideas sits happily all day on the floor of the Mobile Library that comes monthly to the isolated logging town in Victoria. The librarian, recognising a hungry spirit, allows her a great pile of books to take home for the month. Next time they will discuss what she has read and more books will have been selected with her in mind, for young Julie soaks up ideas and knowledge like a sponge.
Absence of similar-aged children led to her seeking the company of books rather than older playmates. (Being used as a cricket wicket by big kids when she was just four was no fun). Inclusion in adult company made her bold with words and ideas. The young Julie, whose questions were taken seriously in this milieu, became motivated to find out about how people thought, learned and lived their lives. This quest forged pathways into Education and Psychology degrees.
You know where you are in a small town and everyone knows who you are. As an old timer said to Julie recently ‘No-one could drop dead and not be found here!’ The deep north of New South Wales, where she now lives in a peaceful hamlet, is like that.
Julie believes this return to a small community was the very thing that saved her from a grave illness that overtook her during her ambitious career first in Education Victoria as Manager of School Support Centres and then as an international consultant in the same field, where at one time she could be found giving keynote addresses to audiences of up to twelve thousand
During her sea change the healing process began. George, her beloved shitzu/cavalier spaniel cross facilitated as companion and personal trainer.
Memoir writing, originally begun for her children, became a journey into self. Nobody tells Julie what she can’t do: perhaps as a riposte to that Yr 8 boarding school mistress who told her she couldn’t write, her website reveals that she is a prolific writer on many themes including education, sustainability and Australian stories.
‘All the best adventures are ones I’ve jumped into’ says Julie, who surprised herself by consenting to be nominated for GCWA President in this coming AGM. Already her mind is seething with ideas for making meetings fun and conducive to connecting people with one another. And having worked amongst people of all ages during her life, this promises to be a gift she will bring in abundance.