WORDS @ PLAY: Sunday 12 pm - 2 pm
Growing up on a sugar-cane farm on the Maroochy River, I am a proud born-n-bred Sunny Coaster! My 30-plus-year career as a journalist allowed the ‘curious me’ to ask many questions and write many positive stories. I worked in London for the Fleet Street newspapers in the late 80s, worked for Asia-Pacific region publications and spent many years as a journo and editor here on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane.
For 14 years I was one of the volunteer organisers of the Yandina Street Fair and am proud to say that I built the performance stages from two to five during those years, booking many regional musos and, for many young bands or solo performers, our event was the first time they had ever performed in public.
I started the Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival in 2016, the Sunshine Coast Poetry Slam Championships in 2017 (as part of Queensland Poetry Festival) and the regular fortnightly Words@play open-mic poetry nights in 2018. I have now passed these great events on to new custodians who will do them proud.
I also have a passion for amateur theatre and have acted, directed, written, stage managed, painted sets, made cups of tea, set up tables and ushered punters in for decades.
Growing up on the cane farm, my folks only had Gilbert and Sullivan records – and Reader’s Digest collections. Then young Uncle Geoff came to visit and left his modern album by a band called The Seekers. What a mind changer! Even though my Dad, Bill, was a gifted piano player in his youth, we never had musical instruments in the house until I was 13 and finally got the guitar I had sulked about for a good six months. The very month that I left for university, my mum, Beryl, was excited to get delivery of a piano – and she promptly signed up for lessons. As a sole parent, I grew my boys (now amazing young men) with a house full of instruments – guitars, a pink ukulele, a really cool drum kit (with my grandma’s feather pillow stuffed inside the big drum), a keyboard and heaps of percussion stuff.
I wrote my first poem when I was four, according to family folklore, and was first published in The Sunday-Mail when I was 10 with my poem called “The Eremite”.
So I love writing, I love stories, I love music and lyrics and I love promoting our regional writers – especially our young ones. I too, have many stories to tell having interviewed hundreds of regional characters over the years and I would love to share these local history tidbits with you.
My “Words at Play with Wendyoh” show profiles regional singer-songwriters, performance poets, authors and scriptwriters plus info on great events and gigs across this region. So tune in to Words at Play with Wendyoh – because words - sing!
PS: When I was a kid listening to 4NA radio (Nambour), I really thought the musos played live in the studio and passed each other walking up and down those old cement stairs at the back! True story!