I'm Barb Dunford, a writer and photographer living in lutruwita/Tasmania.
I’ve been a writer my whole life.
As a child, I lived in my head. I was a prolific reader who enjoyed creative writing. In late primary school, I learned how to do research projects, which I loved. I dreamed of becoming a journalist because I enjoyed the research: gathering large quantities of information, sifting through it to find the most important elements and writing a story from what I’d learned. But as I progressed further through the school system, into university and the world of work, writing became a chore rather than an activity I did for pleasure, and I stopped calling myself a writer.
Looking back, however, it seems obvious that the elements of writing that I had enjoyed as a child were still there in my paid work, but they were packaged differently and I couldn’t recognise them. Now I consider these skills to be my key strengths.
With over 20 years experience in the public sector in fields such as education and training, industrial relations policy, passenger transport, and human resources, I am highly skilled at gathering large quantities of information, analysing it and presenting it in a logical format that meets the intended audience’s needs. My writing output includes background papers, discussion papers, correspondence, reports, briefings, policy documents, and publications for consumers.
One of my key strengths as a technical writer is in translating complex information, including legislation, into documents that are easy to understand and user-friendly. Through this work, I have produced operational and procedures manuals, consumer information brochures and public consultation papers.
Stripped back to the basics, what I do now is exactly what I loved doing most at school and during my high school work experience with the local paper.
I am passionate about learning and developing expertise in my fields of interest, and am currently undertaking learning in writing, research and storytelling, as well as photography and digital art. I believe that lifelong learning is vital for people to reach their full potential. In my current role managing the Tasmanian Government’s adult learning strategy, I aim to use my strengths and skills to tell and share stories that inspire people to take action that will make a positive difference in their lives.
I've kept a journal since I was ten years old. Journalling is now a daily practice that I can’t imagine not doing. I've also been writing a blog, stepping on the cracks, since 2011. It documents my stories about taking on new challenges and experimenting with new ideas as I explore how to make a meaningful life for myself.
Outside the blog and my paid employment, my major writing project is my mother’s life story.
I acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the Country on which I live, work and make my art, the palawa and pakana people of lutruwita. I recognise their continuing connection to this land and these waters.