History and healing

From the Hunter’s colonial past to a young family’s journey of grief and connection

Maxine Throll has reached out to local authors and picked fascinating reads about convicts, sharks, magic puddings and on how to broach a difficult topic with children.

Little Reminders
Kate Worrall

Novocastrian Kate Worrall is the mum of two young boys. With a background in positive psychology and business, Kate’s uplifting books are aimed at improving the wellbeing of her readers.

Kate created Little Reminders after losing her mother-in-law, Debbie, to cancer. “When we had our sons, it was important to us that they understood who she was and how much she would have loved them,” Kate said. “The book turned out to be a great conversation starter with the kids and really healing for our whole family.”

Little Reminders is a 24-page, illustrated storybook that has been specifically designed to allow families to customise with photos of their loved ones who have passed. Little Reminders photo storybook is bound to become a treasured keepsake for both adults and children to maintain a connection with someone who is gone, but not forgotten.

Kate says her boys had originally called the book ‘Where is Ma Debbie,’ They now enjoy referring to it as they mark significant milestones.
“They keep it on their bookshelves. They bring it out on Debbie’s birthday and the anniversary of her death. Debbie loved kids and she would have loved to have met the boys. This is a simple way to share her with them.”
Kate has also produced a perfect companion to the photo book in the form of a Little Reminders Guided Journal & Colouring book. It includes prompts to explore feelings, capture memories and build resilience in the face of grief.

In the community, the books have been well received for their straightforward approach to a difficult topic.

The Magic Valley
The Paterson Valley – then and now.
Cameron Archer AM

The Magic Valley was born out of Cameron Archer’s interest for and studies into the Paterson Valley over the last forty years with a focus on land-use and its sustainability now and into the future.

The book reflects Cameron’s experience in the Valley through floods, droughts, storms and scorching summers, as well as interviews with long-time residents. It is also based on his PhD on the environmental history of the Valley and his 40 years at Tocal College, 28 of these as principal. In 2013 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to agricultural education and heritage conservation.

Read more in the Summer issue of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here. 

Story by Maxine Throll