My heritage is Abruzzese, with Spanish ancestry on my father’s side. My parents were part of the post-WWII wave of migration to Australia and arrived in the 1950s. I have been interested in family history since I was a little girl sitting at my mothers knee listening to her stories.
I was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, and raised in Whyalla, South Australia. I graduated from the South Australian Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Social Work in 1985. That year I also married Michael Leyland, a civil engineer of English-Irish descent, and together we have raised three children, two born in Adelaide and the third on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. We came to live in Sydney in 2007.
In 2011 I graduated from the University of Technology Sydney with a Master of Arts in Creative Writing. In addition to writing stories, I like to dabble in the creative arts including photography, painting and drawing. In 2011-2012 I held a studio space at Oneplus2 studios in Rozelle. My work has been included in a few exhibitions in Sydney. I first started attending Co.As.It. Italian Family History Group meetings in 2012. I currently work as a social worker in Community Services at Co.As.It. Sydney.