Rob Craggs was born in London in 1958, cutting his teeth on the working-class streets before finding escape in hairdressing with the promise of… well, something better than council estate life.
But if dealing with mixed-race issues in the playground wasn’t enough, new issues cropped up while trying to find his place, in what was then an effeminate industry, revelling in sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.
After many years and life-lessons, confidence and curiosity were developing, until one fateful day on 2nd January 1986, Rob arranged two appointments; with an accountant and a church minister. He had decided to start his own business and had become interested in God.
His direction changed dramatically. He put on the Christian badge and arranged his life to match but the real inner spiritual work wasn’t as simple as that. It would prove to be messy and painful.
Despite building a successful business, Rob had many demons to face. After several bouts of anxiety, he realised the need for catharsis and healing and concluded that writing a memoir might help.
‘I’d always been a storyteller but many of my stories were too adult for my kids, I had to wait until they were adults before writing the whole story; the result being ‘Moving To Chulsa’, which, I’m pleased to say, has been nominated for the 2019 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.’
Today, Rob loves styling hair in his home salon and spending time with his family both in Australia and the UK. He also loves brewing beer, running, walking and taking cold showers.
His Christian faith continues to grow but he no longer wears a badge and he still swears a bit too much!
Rob is a member of The Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre where he occasionally attends workshops. He is currently working on his next book.
James was a war baby. Born in August 1944, in the then Bomber Command County of Lincolnshire, England. He emigrated to Australia in January 1946 with his English mother. His father Norm got a job as a pilot with Trans Australia Airways (TAA) and James’ young life was spent moving from city to city as his father was transferred with his work. From Sydney to Brisbane to Melbourne to Sydney and finally back to Melbourne, James saw many schools as he grew up. He joined TAA as a Dispatch Officer and stayed for 21 years. His time with TAA included a posting to Goroka in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. A most beautiful place with a perfect climate. In 1987, as he tired of the shift work, James resigned and ventured into small business buying the local Produce store and Saddlery. In 1974, he married Margaret Challons who was also a Dispatch Officer with TAA. They bought a second Produce Store and Saddlery in Whittlesea. After 15 years they sold the stores and tried other small business ventures finishing with a bakery. They recently retired and have four adult children and nine Grandchildren. James had major surgery for prostate cancer in November 2019 with follow up radiation and is doing well. His interests are his family, the Collingwood AFL team, aviation and he keeps a cautious eye on politics.
‘My father joined Bomber Command in 1941 and was one of few to survive. Not only did he survive, his war was an adventure and he brought home a family. His welcome home was very poor, as it was for the Vietnam veterans many years later. These events are now 75 years old but still worth telling.’
Hannah-Jade Keppler is a 14-year-old homeschooled writer, singer, composer and actress.
Her first endeavour in the writing world was authoring a full musical at the age of 9. She wrote the script, four original songs and all incidental music. 'Fantasy Land' went on to tour Perth and the South-West region and garnered a Youthfest 'Best Original Script' award for Hannah-Jade at 11 years of age.
Hannah-Jade also runs Slushie School Writers Group - a group of 6 children who write and act in the web series, 'Rainbow Unicorn Slushie School'. She has also written and performed songs that have been picked up as theme songs for web series.
She is the youngest Board member of New City Theatre and directed and acted in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' for them, winning Best Actress at Youthfest 2019 for her portrayal of Puck.
She has also been nominated twice for The Channel 7 West Australian Young Achievers Awards.