"I was born in Slovenia in 1949, and studied agriculture in Svečina. I worked for a year in Velenje, to pay back for my scholarship, and to save money to travel and study languages overseas. My teacher of literature in Šoštanj encouraged me to write and use my abundant fantasy/imagination. I had my first short story published in Mladina, at the age of 18, (I was in London at the time, as an Au-pair/student). My first poem Elle was published in a Students’ newsletter, (Alliance Francaise in Paris in 1969). I worked as an Interpreter/Translator in London, Geneva, Rome, Paris, Sydney, and later completed additional studies to become Human Resource Manager, in Sydney and Melbourne, until 1991, when my then partner and myself built and created a Tourism complex on Tasmania’s East coast-Bicheno Hideaway.
My parents migrated from Slovenia in 1996 and I became their carer. My mother suffered from dementia for many years and I studied the illness extensively in order to be able to help my mother and others. I then studied Diversional Therapies to work in Aged care (Lifestyle & Leisure and bi-cultural Social support among members of community with CALD background). I am still now a very active member of Alzheimer’s National CDRN (Consumer dementia research network).
I was the 1st Human resource Manager for Victoria’s Accident Compensation Commission and the first Personnel/Industrial Relations Manager for Norwellan Textiles, also in Victoria. I am very grateful to Australia to make it possible for me, a woman, a migrant, to develop, and blossom, also as a writer. It is my variety of careers and studies that is often portrayed in my poems and stories, as well as, of course, love, fear, war, faith, mother nature.
My book Whisper was the first English Slovene bi-lingual collection of poetry published in Australia, and my work I want a job for my daddy is the only work by an Australian Slovene included in The Australian Mosaic, (Heinemann)-Secondary school textbook 1997.
I am included in many anthologies of Australian Multicultural Writers, (PRINTS, AUSTRALIAN MULTICULTURAL BOOK REVIEW, TODAY I WRITE, WOMEN IN HARMONY, OUR PATHS, RAINBOW RISING and others) and also in anthologies in my native Slovenia. I write in different languages; my first book, Bilingual collection of poetry WHISPER was published in 1991 (Australian Arts Council assistance), my second collection was published in Tasmania in 1996 (Hideaway serenade). (Both books are out of print now)
I am one of two Tasmanian writers included in the Australian Anthology “Culture is” (Multicultural Writers Association of Australia 2008). My short stories have been read on ABC radio as well as on radio Ljubljana Literature programs.
I lived in Hobart, but now I live in Queensland and continue to write in French, English, Slovenian and Italian. More recently, (2011) my story My mother my child was one of 15 stories selected for Anthology Other People’s houses-Tasmania (out of more than 100). My works appear in the From Dreams to Reality (Melbourne 2011) In April 2014 my poem Fear appears among other 40 selected works of women from different parts of the world in a new e book Mapping me (published in New Zealand).
There have been a number of documentaries done by Television Maribor and Radio Televizija Ljubljana in the last 20 years, as well as Radio interviews with me. My works were in many of the old Odsevanja (Slovenj Gradec), Slovenski Koledar, Zbornik Avstralskih Slovencev, Naše Staze, Lipa šumi med evkalipti, To Drevo na tujem raste, kot tudi v Beseda čez ocean, Antologija Slovenske Zdomske poezije (1903-1989), in pa Antologija Slovenskih Pesnic 3 (1981-2000) Založba Tuma, Ljubljana.
2017 Poetry and Prose book (Buderin, Australia - Slovenj Gradec, Slovenija: THE FORGET-ME-NOTS - SPOMINĆICE
Published Articles: DEMENTIA NEWS - WE ALSO NEED TO TALK ABOUT HEREDITARY FACTS IN DEMENTIA
Milojka B. Komprej - KULTURA: Demenca v poeziji in prozi
Nada Breznik: Spominčice - Forget-me-nots
Draga Gelt: Spominčice - Forget-me-nots
Journal of Dementia: Review by Catherine Ross, Forget-Me-Nots/Spominčice
Zbogom and The Baby Poem for Anka Poems Črvi
I feel an enormous gratitude for my life, to my universal God, to the countries that welcomed and accepted me, where I was able to work, create, contribute. While I do not have children of my own, my extended family and friends are very important to me. In addition, I do a lot of volunteering work in aged care, visiting people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, helping them accept the fragility, illness, social exclusion and at times loneliness that may accompany old age.
As a human being, I have never been very nationalistic, but have always embraced all nationalities, cultures, religions, languages. I strongly believe that, just like in nature, big trees and small flowers co-exist in harmony; poisonous mushrooms as well as edible berries, floods and draughts, all get to be part of this life on earth, so too are all the different people necessary for our wonderful world. I have never been able to call myself a WRITER - just a woman who is lucky enough to find publishers and readers who enjoy reading my works. My moto in life":
'Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.' – (Theodore Roosevelt)
Web pages and Links:
Zbornik avstralskih Slovencev 1988
Naša žena Oct 2012
Little Feet Dancing
PHILIPPINES: Some Facts as told by People of Manila