Joan Webster OAM doesn’t just write books on bushfire safety.
Her first profession was as a nursing sister. In 60 years of professional and award-winning writing, her work has been published and performed in a wide range of media and genres. In print, radio, stage, television and recording. In biography and non-fiction, stories for young children, teenage fiction, social comment, folk history, TV drama, comedy and topical satire. In journalism, as a feature writer and columnist. Her books cover politics, folk history, children’s fantasy and a novel for teenagers and the better known definitive works on bushfire safety for the public.
She is a widely published poet, has written satirical sketches and song lyrics for six full-length stage shows as well as for Australian television’s first satirical revues for the Australian Broadcasting Commission, which starred Barry Humphries.
Joan Webster’s groundbreaking first book on bushfire safety, The Complete Australian Bushfire Book (1986) was shortlisted for the BHP Pursuit of Excellence Award 1987. This, and its subsequent The Complete Bushfire Safety Book and ready reference Essential Bushfire Safety Tips, have been acclaimed by Bushfire authorities throughout Australia and overseas; readers say they have helped save their lives and homes.
Her 25 years as news reporter/photographer and journalist, gained for her a reputation for ‘getting things done’. This characteristic surfaced very young – aged only six – leading to the Australian Fire Protection Association’s Community Service Award, 1990, and culminating in 2010 with the Order of Australia Medal for her 40 years plus work on bushfire safety.
Joan currently writes poetry, articles, gives the occasional talk, and has just finished a book that explores the roots of popular festive customs, finding within their myths and legends a legacy of ancient woman-power.