Tina Blackmur was very successful with her Melbourne copy-writing business but diversified to follow her personal passion — writing family memoirs. She has written a family memoir for Warren Smith, the CEO of the Melbourne-based car dealership Garry & Warren Smith Pty Ltd. For Warren’s memoirs, Tina interviewed many Melbourne and interstate-based businessmen and women who are involved in motor racing and the automotive industry.
In late 2003, Tina’s interest was further strengthened when a client asked her to go to New Zealand to interview his mother and write her memoirs. Tina says: “I felt extremely privileged and very excited. My subject, a thoroughly engaging ex-Liverpudlian, had endured a lonely childhood surrounded by stern adults in an austere environment, with the added trauma of being a wartime evacuee. She fell pregnant, married young and commenced ‘living with the in-laws in cramped conditions with no hot water and a bath that hung on the wall’. A few years later, eager to escape the post-war doldrums and dreary English winters, she and her husband made a momentous decision to begin a new life on the other side of the world. So in 1953, struggling with two small children plus another on the way, they subsequently undertook the long sea voyage to far off New Zealand, heads and hearts full of hopes and dreams.
Tina worked with Ken Grenda to write the history of the Grenda Bus Corporation in Melbourne. She conducted interviews with over 40 past and present employees living in Victoria, and considers she now looks at buses from a completely different perspective!
During 2010 Tina wrote the life story of Bruce Heymanson (who sadly passed away in January 2013) and recently completed the life story of Max Kirwan OAM, Australia’s top Mazda dealer who has dedicated his life to the promotion of Australian Water Skiing and the well known Moomba Festival.
Personal stories of people based in New Zealand and in Melbourne have also provided many highly enjoyable and worthwhile writing experiences.
A key to Tina’s success is her genuine love of people’s stories, a good marketing sense, and plenty of determination. People typically discover Tina’s services from referrals, marketing and networking. Often it’s the interest of the children, friends and family that gets the ball rolling. Frequently the project is done as a “gift” for the person whose life story is being told.
Many of the stories have a commonality, telling of self-made success and how ordinary individuals have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Tina encourages each person to pass on their life wisdom: “People do realise that they have a lot to pass on – it is one of the most fulfilling things they’ve ever done”, Tina says.