Ms Tracey Lee
Miss Tracey Lee is a former Daramalan College teacher so much loved and respected by not just her students but colleagues as well. After 40 years of teaching experience, (1987-1988 and 1998-2014 at Daramalan), she changed her career and wrote three successful books. And guess what? One of her fictional characters is named after another legendary Daramalan teacher!
What is the fondest memory of your time at Daramalan?
So many memories…working with the Year 11 and 12 Pastoral Care team, seeing students grow from Year 7 to 12, the Year 12 Graduation Dinners, Mental Health Ambassadors program, Brother James Maher’s school song and the moment in assemblies when students shouted the last line.
How did Daramalan College influence your life?
I truly believed in the MSC ethos of heart spirituality. It helped me learn that most things done with love and kindness will end well. And that every individual has the opportunity to thrive in an environment that truly cares for them.
We know that you wrote and published three books, please tell us more.
The three books are part of The Lily O’Hara Mystery Series. The books are called What Remains, Wither and the latest is Welter. Lily has had a complicated past and once she overcomes the secrets of her own family’s troubles, she and her ex-detective friend (Mick Flynn) help other people come to terms with their mysteries. And yes, I did borrow the Daramalan legend Mick Flynn’s name for my character.
How did you start writing?
I’ve always been a ‘secret’ writer. I love to tell stories. But I really started working on longer pieces and novels after I joined a group of creative friends in Hobart who met weekly to discuss writing. We were called The Aphorism Club. These people encouraged me to keep at it. I then did a Masters in Creative Writing and that helped me believe I was capable of writing novels.
Are you planning to write another book?
Yes. My plan is to write 20! I’ve completed three in the Lily O’Hara Mystery series and have a possible two more featuring my main character. This year I’m writing a novel about a young woman writer who joins a rather bohemian group of artists in the 1920s. She faces some steep obstacles to find her place in the world. I also have a plan rattling around in my head to write a short series of YA novels.
What are you most proud of in your life?
I’m very proud of my children. They are wonderful human beings who are making a difference in the world. I’m proud of my writing and teaching career. I had 40 years in the classroom in Tasmania, Western Australia, Canberra and NSW, and I learned as much as I taught. I was able to say at the end of my school life ‘I did okay.’
What is your advice for current and former students?
It’s the advice I give everyone. Don’t trade your happiness and your goodness for things that won’t matter in the end. And listen, listen quietly and with reflection before you speak. Words really matter. Use them wisely and kindly.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Happiness comes from contentment and knowing that you have done all you could. But it’s also a day at the beach with a good book, plenty of shade and diving through cool, clear waves.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’ve aways wanted to sing. I mean I can sing but no-one on the planet wants to hear it! I mean sing tunefully
Who is your hero of fiction or writer?
My fictional hero is Jane Eyre. She is a survivor who does not compromise her values. Writer hero? Anyone courageous enough to put pen to paper.