Writers

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Maree Giles

Maree Giles was born in Penrith, New South Wales. After her mother separated from her father, the family moved in with Maree’s grandmother, Daisy Entwistle, in Cronulla. The family of three moved again when Maree was six to North Narrabeen, close to both the beach and the Garigal National Park. Because of her grandmother’s ill health, Maree’s mother sent the little girl to boarding school, St Catherine’s Girls’ School in Waverley, Sydney. In 1970, when Maree was 16, she attended a pop festival and was arrested 3 months later. She was committed by the Children’s Court in Sydney to Parramatta Girls’ Home for 9 months “for being ‘uncontrollable and exposed to moral danger.’ After her term finished, 17-year-old Maree left Australia for Wellington, New Zealand, determined to never return to the Girls’ Home. In Wellington she got a clerical job and studied journalism, staying in New Zealand for 10 years. Maree Giles then moved to the United Kingdom where she lived for more than 30 years. She taught journalism in London colleges and creative writing at Esher College, Surrey. During the 1990s she began her own career as a fiction writer after winning a short story competition. Giles’ first book, Invisible Thread (2001), is a fictional account of her time in Parramatta.