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Heather Wearne

Tutoring in: Walking the Camino
Dr Heather Wearne has enjoyed a long career as a teacher of Writing and Literary studies at various Australian Universities, including Monash University, Swinburne University and, for many years she was the Head of School of Humanities, Media and Cultural Studies at Southern Cross University in Lismore NSW. In recent years Heather has also taught at VCE level where she has been very happy sharing her skills and experience with young-adult learners. Heather’s areas of academic research and writing have been in Australian writing, Women’s writing and feminist theories of Biographical Writing – all of which were brought together in her PhD at Monash University, which she completed in 2000.
Stretching over many years Heather has run community-based writing courses in Victoria and Queensland including such titles as  ‘Autobiographical Writing’, ‘Writing Womens’ Lives’; ‘Family Narratives’ ; ‘The Truth About Memoir: whose story is this anyway…”, ‘the Culture of Writing’ .
Heather joined her lifelong friend, Diane McDonald in 2015 to walk along the Camino Portugues commencing in Oporto in northern Portugal.  She believes that those who follow pilgrim trails to Santiago de Compostela have a wonderful opportunity to add another dimension to their journey by combining creative writing with long distance walking.  During the past year she has developed a series of preparatory and ‘en-route’ writing activities that can been undertaken by those who want to pursue the idea of ‘Journaling along The Way’.  She says:
‘Long after the journey is over your Journal will keep the experience alive.  You will return to it often because it will contain more than a simple record of events or a summary of how you spent your days as you moved across a landscape.  Your Journal will be a place in which you make sense of what you have encountered along ‘The Way’: the people, places and emotions, the past and the present’.
At the end of a long career of teaching at both University and Secondary level, Heather is now setting up a programme of Writing courses to be offered on the Mornington Peninsula, while she continues to tutor VCE students in VCE English and Literature.
Diane McDonald has over 35 years experience in the fields of community and international development; cross-cultural adult education; and program design and evaluation. She has travelled extensively in Europe, Latin America, the Pacific and Asia.  During the last 5 years, Diane has walked over 2,000kms along several lesser-travelled Camino trails in Portugal and Spain.
Diane commenced her career in the non-for-profit international development sector. This provided a fantastic opportunity for her to learn from people from many different cultures who were working to build a more peaceful, socially responsible and sustainable world. From the mid-1980s, she was employed for 20 years by Australian Volunteers International which assigned Australians to live and work alongside local people throughout the under developed world. Her roles in organisational development and program evaluation enabled her to visit volunteers and communities in far flung and often, very remote places.
More recently, Diane was employed for 7 years by The University of Melbourne where she worked as an evaluation consultant and taught post-graduate students.  Alongside this, during the past decade she has been an independent consultant advising Government Departments, NGOs and community organisations to design and implement effective programs.
In 2009 Diane lived for three months in Spain and Portugal.  During this time she discovered that there are many ancient and picturesque pilgrim trails that lead to Santiago de Compostela.  She travelled along several of these Camino paths from Andalusisia in southern Spain; through Portugal; and beside the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic coast. 
Diane soon discovered that it is possible to make this journey without the need to carry a heavy backpack, sleep in crowded dormitories and arrive footsore.  She became a passionate advocate of supported Camino walking, encouraging people in a similar and even more mature age group to believe that they are not ‘too old’ to join in this amazing experience.  During the past few years, as part of her ‘transition to retirement’ Diane has been ‘winding down’ her desk bound jobs to pursue her love of walking and experiential cross cultural learning.  She is keen to inspire others to do the same.


WALK THE CAMINO T3 2016 Detailed Content.pdf92.53 KB