The Story behind the story
On January 4 2016, my world as I knew it fell apart. My sons Koda aged four and his brother Hunter, nine months, were suddenly and tragically taken from this world, way too soon.
Koda’s friends were confused; where had their friend gone?
Their bewilderment motivated me to write a book. I hoped to give them an opportunity to think about their grief, and talk about it if they wanted. It is not intended to answer all the questions that may arise but simply to promote discussion – and maybe help a little.
‘Yesterday You Were Here’ includes very personal memories, but is also generalised enough that any child that has experienced the loss of a family member or friend will be able to put himself or herself into the story.
In order to make my book a reality I formed a charitable trust; ‘Kokoda for Koda the Next Chapter’ to raise funds to go towards the publishing and distribution of my book.
I was overwhelmed with the generosity of the local and wider community. We held numerous fundraisers including drive thru coffee mornings, cake stalls, ticket sales, movie nights, raffles and our big one an auction night. I was blown away with the support of people donating not only goods but also their time to volunteer or come along to support the events. Its times like this that truly brings communities together and without this support and generosity I could not have published my book.
Significance of walking the Kokoda Track..
Early 2016 I decided to walk the Kokoda Track in memory of my family. My eldest son Koda was named after the Kokoda Trail as his Great Grandfather fought their in 1942. We trekked with Kokoda Spirit's manager Wayne Weatherall who made the trip a very honourable and significant journey. Walking the Kokoda Trail with Koda once he had reached the appropriate age had been a dream that I had lost, so I decided that I would walk it in memory of my family.
I was extremely lucky to have the privilege of having both family and friends walk alongside me on this heartfelt journey. On our second journey in 2017 we were raising awareness for my charity 'Kokoda for Koda the Next Chapter'.