Australian writer and former teacher, Kate Shayler (b. 1950) was in institutions as a child. Kate’s mother died when she was 4, and Kate was taken to live at the BurnsidePresbyterian Homes for Children in North Parramatta, NSW, along with her older brother and younger sister. For three years Kate lived a safe if regimented life along with 30 other children at Reid Home which catered for children up to the age of seven. Her father visited regularly. After 12 years in the Burnside Homes, Kate left, moved in with her father and began paid work in administration.
Later Kate went on to university and became a teacher, a job she found “rewarding, challenging, interesting, enriching and fun” and which she did for 20 years. Kate Shayler retired from teaching in 1996 after she met her partner, Dave, who had also grown up in an institution. Kate has published 3 books to date—one a sequel to The Long Way Home, A Tuesday Thing (2004) and the other a collection of life stories from Australians who also lived in Burnside Homes, Burnished (2013).