Christine Grayden

Writing in Bass Coast



About the Author – Brief version

Christine Grayden has been writing for decades across a wide range of formats — short stories, essays, social and environmental history books, plays and YouTube video scripts, poetry and many online and print articles.

She has won local and regional writing awards, and a Victorian Community History Award, while also working as a teacher and museum curator.

To celebrate her 70th birthday in May 2023, Christine decided to use her past experience writing for and with children as a teacher and story-time presenter to self-publish a series of children’s books to raise funds for causes close to her heart.

Using her website, she aims to promote the Bass Coast area’s writers and writing-related events and groups – such as Ibis Writers, of which Christine has been an active member since 1991.

Christine has lived on Phillip Island Millowl for over 40 years. She has largely ‘bloomed where she’s planted’, writing mainly about the fascinating local Bass Coast area. She shares her place with her family — and lots of wildlife large and small!


About the Author – Longer version

I had my first poem ‘published’ at the age of 13 in my school’s annual magazine back in 1966. That was a lovely surprise that spurred me on to a lifetime of writing. Undertaking an Honors Arts degree at La Trobe University during the 1970s gave me extraordinary mentors in history research, retelling and analysis such as Inga Clendinnen and John Hirst. My degree also included sociology and a large literature and critical literary analysis component.

I have used all of these skills in so many ways in my writing ever since.

Starting at Kew High School in year 9, I was placed into the commerce stream, where I had a fantastic typing and communications teacher, Betty Kemp - loved by many. I left school with fast touch-typing skills, and the ability to write any document required in an office setting. Little did I know how useful those skills would be when it came to writing submissions to council, government and environmental appeals hearings! I've written countless numbers of all of those, which led to my writing the history of the Phillip Island Conservation Society, from its formation in 1968 as one of the first community environmental groups in Australia, to 2008. The resulting book: An Island Worth Conserving, won the collaborative/community section of the Victorian Community History Awards in 2009, and is available on the society's website as a free pdf (see Books).

Collaboration has always been something I value in life, as well as in writing. I have collaborated on, written, revised and/or edited 18 books from autobiographies, conference papers, local histories, anthologies, research reports, theses, non-fiction, and re-enactment plays and a screenplay. You can watch “Whispers from the Past”, filmed by local Terry Melvin and crew, on the Friends of Churchill Island Society YouTube channel here: The oral history series I co-ordinated for local radio station 3MFM (now Coastal radio), won the volunteer museums award from Museums Australia Victoria (Australian Museums and Galleries Association Victoria).

In my own non-fiction writing, I have written on many social and local history topics, and am a frequent contributor of researched articles to the local online journal, the Bass Coast Post (linked via Blog in menu), and won the Bass Coast Prize for Nonfiction in the inaugural year of that competition, in 2018, with a memoir piece, "Jobs that no longer exist", available to read here: Jobs that no longer exist - a memoir - Bass Coast Post

Co-ordinating various research and oral history projects for the Phillip Island & District Historical Society saw me move into producing Power Point-based videos for their YouTube; notably a World War II veterans on 'Home Front' series, which was short-listed in the Australian Museums and Galleries Association Victoria awards in 2019. You can watch the videos here:

As part of the Bass Coast Shire Council's wish to officially recognise more women for their contribution to our communities, I used family photographs and voice recordings to produce a series of YT videos about my great aunt Olive Justice, who lived to be almost 100, and whose house block in central Cowes township is now a small park named in her honor. My You Tube channel is linked there via QR code on the sign. (see:  I contributed the information for Olive now on the Finding Her website of the Her Place museum (see:

I am also enjoying creating all sorts of Power Point videos for my own eclectic writing channel: Christine G’s writing potpourri, including a story-telling with sound effects of my children’s picture storybook The Lost Blanket  (see:

As a fiction writer, I have had stories published in several anthologies and won various local story-writing competitions. When presenting the Library Storytime sessions at the Phillip Island Library as a volunteer decades ago, and later as a primary school teacher, I wrote picture story books with and for the children. Now retired and disabled, I am returning to my love of producing books in this format, with an emphasis on themes of caring for the environment and the other species on this incredible planet. These books are being used as fundraisers for causes close to my heart, with $2 from the sale of each book being donated by me, while book-buyers are encouraged to also donate if they wish.

Although limited in how far I can travel from home, I am enjoying presenting my books to local children in schools, and in our excellent local bookstore, Turn the Page, which sells my books, including The Lost Blanket, and the collaborative 3rd edition of Churchill Island, History and Her Story. (see:

My latest book is a non-fiction book for primary school children: Minibeasts of Phillip Island Millowl. Land insects, spiders, molluscs and crustaceans. This book is a fundraiser for the Phillip Island Penguin Foundation, which supports wildlife research on Phillip Island Millowl.

I have lived on Phillip Island Millowl for many decades (no longer counting the years) contributing over the years to my local community in many ways as a volunteer in environment, history and heritage; a teacher; and curator at Churchill Island Heritage Farm. I am a Life Member of the Phillip Island & District Historical Society and the Phillip Island Conservation Society, and in 2018 was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Museums Australia Victoria (now Australian Museums and Galleries Association Victoria). I share my home and bush garden with three wonderful humans - my husband of 37 years, John Eddy (with whom I have collaborated on various environmental presentation projects), and our two never-endingly surprising adult offspring. And, of course, lots of exquisite wildlife!

© Christine Grayden 2023