NEVENKA GOLC – CLARKE
I was born on the 6th May 1959. I came to Australia in April 1988.
I came to Melbourne where I started to work first as a computer programmer at Road Traffic Authority and later on as a computer programmer at International Harvester at Dandenong. I met my future husband Gerry Clarke after about a year of being in Melbourne.
One day Gerry said to me that he thought we could produce telephone directories that would cover regional areas of Australia a lot better than the then a directory giant Yellow Pages. I said to Gerry ‘That is a lot of work’, however, I always liked challenges and we immediately started to design the system of how we could produce the product that would benefit local business and local communities. It helped that Gerry had experience in sales and I had experience in IT (Information Technology).
In 1990 we produced the first book as a test run for Bacchus Marsh in Victoria. We also married that year. My parents and my cousin with her son came from overseas for the wedding. We wanted to publish the book before the wedding. We did not really sell much in the first edition so we asked the printer to only print the pages and we would bind the 3000 books ourselves. My parents, my cousin and her 10 year old son, we all worked until the day before the wedding to get the books out. We had a great team work however we decided that we would never bind the books ourselves again.
I completed four year university studies at the University of Ljubljana, faculty of Mathematics. I studied applied mathematics. As soon as I finished the studies I started to work in the computer department of Iskra, at that time one of the largest electronic companies in the country. I enjoyed my work there. I worked as a programmer analyst and later also as a statistician, especially in the area of quality control. I have very fond memories of my work there and some of the people I worked with. I still keep in touch with some of them.
In Australia I started working first as a programmer/analyst at Road Traffic Authority in Melbourne and after that at International Harvester, later called International Trucks, in Dandenong Victoria. However Gerry and I had a dream of establishing our own publishing business Pocket Books. I resigned from my position of a programmer in 1992 when we moved to Queensland.
The business itself lead us to link with many associations especially Chamber of Commerces. We are member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ), a number of local chambers, Business and Professional Women Australia, Australian and New Zealand Map Society. I am also a member of some other associations such as Queensland Association of Gifted and Talented Children and others.
Arrival at the Melbourne airport Tullamarine in April 1988.
Born In Ljubljana I lived most of my early life in Vrhnika, a town 20km South of Ljubljana. Vrhnika was a home town of the most famous Slovenian writer Ivan Cankar, who lived at the turn of the 20th century. At the end of the primary school I got interested in mathematics and chess and pursued studies of same through the secondary and university education.
I played chess for clubs at chess leagues. I became twice female chess champion of Slovenia 1980 and 1981. In 1982 I obtained a title of a female chess master. By moving to Australia I have dropped my chess interest.
Soon after my moving to Australia Slovenia declared its independence in 1991. The Yugoslav attack on Slovenian sovereignty infuriated me. I joined other Slovenians in the fight for the recognition of its independence.
After the recognition in 1992 my husband and I moved to Queensland where we established the majority of the business. Our son Gerard was born in 1992. We settled on Sunshine Coast in 1995 where we have been ever since.
I have been honoured to receive an invitation in 2013 to become an Honorary Consul for Slovenia in Queensland. This role has given to my life new dimensions and I hope also to the Slovenian community in Queensland as this is the first time Slovenians in Queensland have had the consulate. I take it as opportunity to work closer with the Slovenian community in Queensland and become more engaged in the Slovenian and Australian political life.
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My husband and I are still running actively the business. We have been running the business for 25 years.
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