Contact Details for Talks to Conferences, Schools, Community Groups, Festivals etc
Workshops and Talks
I give workshops and talks to schools, community organisations and other bodies as well as at conferences, festivals, fairs and other events. My topics range from history to the subjects of my books, to gardening, wombats and why humanity is likely to survive the next few thousand years at least. I prefer to address large rather than small groups and the type of invitations most likely to be accepted are listed below.
However I usually get at least one invitation to talk a day, often six or more, and there’s no way I can do them all. So if you want to ask me to talk, please don’t be insulted if I refuse. Until I learn how to clone myself it’s impossible to say ‘yes’ to everything I’m asked to do.
I usually only travel away from home for no more than a week, once a month. Before asking, please check the schedule in the latest newsletter to see if I am already booked for that month.
(As I write this it’s near Book Week, and I have spent most of this morning explaining that the dates for this week were already booked a year ago. Apologies for sounding grumpy, but I’d really love a cup of tea and can’t till I finish answering this latest batch of invitations, all of which have to be refused because I’m already booked)
Invitations that involve the following are the ones I am most likely to try to fit into the year’s schedule.
- Topics involving kids in need, or wombats (and I’ll pay all costs).
- Talks to teachers about learning difficulties (I’m dyslexic), or about using my books in the classroom.
- Talks to several large groups - minimum 200- so that I can maximise the number of people I speak to with every trip away. I prefer to speak to a whole school for example, or a large venue with several schools, from seven year olds and upwards, with a short talk to the young kids just so they don’t feel left out.
- Talks accompanied by book sales.
- Invitations where a volunteer picks me up and drops me back at a hotel or airport so I don’t have to worry about getting lost or not finding the location.
Brisbane and Perth
I have family and friends in Brisbane and Perth, and visit them several times a year. As I’ll already have paid my way there, any costs to schools or community groups for talks that coincide with those visits only involve transport to and from the venue (or a volunteer to do it) and my fee (if any).
I charge a fee for any talk where others are being paid, as well as costs. However, if it’s a cause involving kids in need, wombats, or anything that helps keep the planet in a good state for kids and wombats, I usually cover costs myself, and don’t ask a fee.
Costs include: kilometerage to the nearest airport (this is Canberra, 220 kilometres round trip from Araluen); the flight, and transport costs at the other end; hotel bills, and meals.
Flights: as the nearest, often fog bound, airport is two hours drive away, very early flights and ones that arrive in Canberra very late usually don’t work, unless I stay in Canberra for the night.
Fees: I charge $1000 a day plus GST OR whatever your school or group can afford, plus costs.
All charges are negotiable, depending on the cause and topic and whether I’m available at the requested time.
I need a hand held microphone (one with a cord is fine). I don’t have much voice these days, so a microphone is needed even for small groups. If it doesn’t work, then, sadly, I simply physically won’t be able to speak to the group. Lapel mikes don’t work for my style of public speaking – I move around too much.
Group Internet and Email Chats
These are free to any school or group using or discussing my books provided I have the time available. Video conferencing may be possible, but would need to be arranged with the local school, who may charge a fee.
Contact details for speaking invitations and internet/email chats
PO Box 63
Email address – email@example.com
Note: Please don’t use this address for gardening queries, requests for recipes, or for school project enquiries. I'm only one person, with two tired hands, and have reached the point where I can't cope with the number of letters and emails asking for help. And, please, please don't send attachments or photos. They can crash our system as we have very poor phone lines out this way, and very slow internet speeds.
We receive a request or two a day to see our garden. It would be very very easy (also tempting) to do nothing else. On the other hand, we also need private and family time - and it’s not fair to our extended family (which includes wombats) to have large numbers of people here, or strangers here too often.
The garden was never designed as a showplace, simply as a personal version of paradise for us and our family, friends and the few thousand species (many of them microscopic) that live here too. Even the native grasses won’t support too many feet too often.
So we now have three Open Garden workshops here each year for people wishing to see the garden. All bookings are done by the Open Garden Scheme, and not by us, and the Scheme also provides a bus so workshop attendees can get here.
If you wish to see the garden please contact the Open Garden Scheme, not us.
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