Don't Call Me Nev (Paperback)
Don't Call me Nev is a memoir which begins with the adventures of a boy growing up in the North Queensland bush with a dog, an air rifle and a pet cockatoo.
Early chapters recall shooting pigeons from the walls of one of the state's major gaols, almost drowning in a flooded creek, being stung by a freshwater stonefish, exploring a sinister hidden cave, surviving a cyclone, and attending a primary school where pupils learnt to cope with a sudden influx of migrant children who couldn't speak English. He also learns how to catch mudcrabs without setting a pot, after a chance encounter with an indigenous man willing to pass on his skills..
Moving back to his old hometown of Bundaberg brings its own problems, teen romance and adventures in having to deal with a bullying teacher. He quits to begin a successful pharmacy apprenticeship (one of the last in Queensland), eventually meets his soulmate on a blind date, but tosses all that in to head off on a spearfishing adventure around Australia with a vagabond young Victorian.
Not all goes smoothly. One chapter recalls a close encounter with a two metre shark while diving alone in a big swell.
Fate awaits as the road trip leads back to new horizons, new adventures and a new career in journalism on life's long and winding road.
Some chapters recount actual history, unsolved mysteries, and hurdles encountered as a young editor: Tangling with the far right League of Rights in Joh Bjelke-Petersen's home town of Kingaroy, then coping with activist unions in the harbour city of Gladstone where he is regarded as a "Joh plant" in their midst.
Life after journalism has finally led back to the beautiful Sunshine Coast where we now live. Quirky humour mixed with drama and adventure make it a tale for all ages with a uniquely Aussie theme.