I’m a children’s author whose books have been shortlisted in CBCA and Speech Pathology Awards and featured on the TODAY show and The Guardian. One of my books was illustrated by Beth Harvey, who’s the animation director on Bluey. My most well-known book is the tale of my grandfather who grew up with a pet lion.

Last Thursday 7th September, to celebrate International Literacy Day, I was invited by SeeBeyondBorders to be on an author panel to raise awareness of the importance of children’s literacy and raise funds for children in Cambodia. If you’re in a position to donate to this very worthwhile cause, you can find out more here.

Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east?

I’ve lived in Sydney’s east since I moved to Australia in 2008; first in Coogee and for the past several years in North Bondi.

How many children?

I have one daughter who is nearly 10 years old. She has the best imagination and sense of humour and has inspired many of my stories.

Favourite Park:

I love the park at Parsley Bay – there’s play equipment, the beach and a brilliant walk at the back of the carpark which is perfect for little legs and feels like you’re venturing somewhere seriously tropical.

Favourite Beach:

I love the North End of Bondi. In the summer it’s packed with families and we always bump into friends. The snorkelling is amazing and there are brilliant cafes right there for snacks and drinks. Perfection!

Favourite kid friendly cafe:

Gertude and Alice on Hall Street – amazing food and babycinos plus bookshelves packed with books to read, entertain and buy. It’s a little treasure trove.

Favourite Coffee Spot:

Shuk in North Bondi. It’s my local and, in my opinion, the best coffee in the east. 

Favourite date night place:

I love Brown Sugar on Curlewis Street. Their fish pie is excellent. Recently they did a ‘dining in the dark’ experience where you ate a 4-course meal blindfolded – it was seriously fun and unexpected!

Where in the east have you yet to explore and would like to?

During Covid, especially when we were in our 5km lockdown, I honestly feel like we explored every nook and cranny. We even got to the point of visiting old graveyards …

What would you like to see improve in the eastern suburbs?

Is it too much of a cliché to say parking?

Favourite Local Shop:

I love Artisan’s Nest on Hall Street for quirky and lovingly crafted gifts. I’m also a big fan of Woollahra Bookshop (tucked down Spicer Line). It has an amazing community, a fabulous bookseller Elizabeth (who will match you to your perfect read lickety-split) and they have the cutest doggie customers!

Favourite wet weather location:

When it’s raining, I like mooching around our local libraries – we are spoiled for choice. I have a soft spot for Randwick library as I often used to write there. Waverley library (in Bondi Junction) has plenty of space for kids to move around and they do fab events/craft. Double Bay library is gorgeously green and has a slide for kids (!). My favourite, however, is Watson’s Bay which is in the cutest location by the water, *and* it has a library cat called Cous Cous.

Favourite Local family Weekend Activity?

We’re training for a family biking holiday on the Otago Rail Trail close to Queenstown, so a cycle around Centennial Park is a regular at the moment. In the summer, it’s all about the beach.

Work or SAHM?

I was lucky to be a SAHM when my daughter was little (although I was still writing picture book texts) but I now work as Chief Storyteller at a boutique strategic communications company in Bondi Junction.

Motherly advice?

Read to and with your kids as much as you can. In the early years especially, their little brains are soaking up words and vocabulary. As they get older, books and stories can help navigate tough topics and troubling times.

You can find out more about Victoria and her books on her website or follow her socials:

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