Hi, I'm Jo, and I've loved words since I was a very small person
This is three-year-old me in the picture, with my little brother and a box of books. My earliest memories involve reading. I started writing stories at the kitchen table on my first typewriter when I was around 10 years old.
My background in print and publishing dates back to the mid 1980s, when I started as a ‘free’ junior sports reporter at a community newspaper. Since then I have written literally thousands of stories, and have been fortunate to interview some incredible people from all walks of life.
During my career, I’ve also become an experienced editor (of educational, lifestyle and trade magazines) and a self-publisher, with two of my four books being self-published. I have a publishing company, Audrey Publishing, for my online titles. Other ventures include a monthly sports newspaper, which I created and published from 1999-2000; and the musical black comedy, Robin Hood, A Twisted Sherwood Tale, which I co-wrote and co-produced in 2001.
Memberships and Service
I’m a former member of the New Zealand Military Historical Society, and served for several years as a committee member of the New Zealand Society of Authors, Canterbury branch.
After the terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand on 15 March 2019, I co-founded and lead a group called Uniting Canterbury Women, which aims to effect social change and celebrate diversity and inclusivity, by uniting women of all cultures, ethnicities and religions at various in person and online events, and through the Uniting Canterbury Women Facebook page.
I won the 2020 Brockenhurst Scholarship from the Christchurch Memorial RSA (NZ) and Christchurch Sister Cities Association (UK). I was unable to travel to the UK in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but will go sometime in the future to research my scholarship project about a WWI nurse who served at the New Zealand No.1 General Hospital at Brockenhurst, Hampshire, UK.
In 2020, Uniting Canterbury Women won a Te Ara Wāhine o Ōtautahi (Women’s Award) for “female champions, campaigners and change-makers”; and a 2020 Zonta Club of Christchurch South Community Award.