I was born in Belgium and have lived in Melbourne (Australia) since 1978. I have worked in education, child protection and public mental health. I now work as an independent writer and as a part-time volunteer, teaching English to recently arrived migrants and refugees.
My short stories explore events from my youth in Belgium. I am interested in how stories can be revitalised or constricted by memory and language. I like to restore energy to significant events that have become shallow from frequent re-telling.
I am currently preparing my first novel for publication. The Best of Intentions is a contemporary drama set in multicultural Melbourne. It explores how vulnerable young people with mental health problems or in foster care can fall ‘through the net’, in spite of the efforts of those charged with their care. Be sure to check out my author website.
I am married and have two adult daughters. I love animals — cats and goats in particular. My family is my anchor, writing my passion and Zen my compass. Buddhism, for me, is not about religion, but about the transformation of unhelpful behaviours. People can change, no matter how difficult their circumstances, just like the lotus plant can transform the murkiness in which it is rooted into a stunning flower.
Gilbert F. J. Van Hoeydonck