I am a poet and spoken-word performer, writer, journalist, editor, author, thespian, photographer, project traveller, artist, broadcaster, festival founder, workshop host, MC, voiceover specialist, singer-songwriter and, above all, the Mum of two amazing young men. Hey, there are many things I am not good at. Let’s just say, I luckily found my niche at a very young age.
Why, my love affair with words?
I suppose I was born a writer. My great-great-grandmother on my father’s side, Jane Daly, was a recognised poet in Ireland in the 1800s – a tough gig for a woman back then! And my grandfather on my mother’s side was a newspaper editor in Brisbane in the 1940s. Words become poems, songs, books, plays, movies. Words are the building blocks of communication.
I wrote my first poem when I was four, according to family folklore, and was first published in The Sunday-Mail when I was 10 with my poem called “The Eremite” and later that year in the Queensland Schools Magazine. I wrote my first song at 13 when I was given a guitar for my birthday and started guitar lessons.
I also have a passion for amateur theatre and have acted, directed, written, stage managed, painted sets, made cups of tea, set up tables and ushered in punters for decades.
For 14 years, I was one of the volunteer organisers of the Yandina Street Festival and am proud to say that I built the performance stages from two to five during those years, booking many regional musos. For many young bands or solo performers, our event was the first time they had ever performed in public.
I founded the Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival in 2016, bringing writers and musicians from Australia, Indonesia and Europe to Coolum. In 2017, I founded the Sunshine Coast Poetry Slam Championships (our Sunshine Coast region becoming a part of the Queensland Poetry Festival and Australian Poetry Slam Championships for the first time ever!) and in 2018 started the fortnightly [email protected] open-mic poetry nights at Foxy On Coolum. I’m not doing these, these days, but they have all morphed into wonderful things.
As for broadcasting, in the late ‘80s I spent an exciting year doing a special AIR-TV course founded by Radio 4BC (John Knox) and Channel 9 (Jim Iliffe) – and I became their 1987 AIR-TV Dux… so awesome! I went on to start my own voiceover business, while working full-time as a journo at the Sunshine Coast Daily and later at the Daily Sun/Sunday Sun (Brisbane) before moving to London as a sub-editor for the Fleet Street newspapers. Fast forward… in 2019, I graduated from a radio broadcasting course and started hosting my own community radio show for three years. Now I have my own podcast – “P.O. Box 45 with Wendyoh”.
email me: [email protected]