Australian Autobiography – Curated Re-Enactment

Zoe Thomas peers off into the distance as new ideas circumnavigate then fill the room. Her hands move in a sweep of articulation as if directing ‘thought-boats’ safely into harbour. I find her passionate display endearing, if not infectious, and no doubt Zoe’s students and colleagues soak up this same vitality as she heightens the day with her literary acumen.  

As a memoirist, Zoe is setting up camp in what she calls ‘the life-writing playground’. Leaving two teenagers at home in the capable hands of loved ones, she arrives at Kalang to tweak the pages of her creative PhD; this time to sit cross-legged around the woodfire of her personal childhood narrative. She has been reading books on themes of memory, nostalgia and the ocean, charting the depths on the ‘autogeographical track’. It has been a pleasure to offer Zoe time away from city routine so she can maintain creative momentum, to move very close to the completion of her work.

 Photo: Niki Wright

Photo: Niki Wright

Kalang Retreat