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Helena Ameisen

Helena Ameisen comes from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. She emigrated with her family from Poland to Australia at the tender age of five. She has won literature prizes for poetry and writing since secondary school. Formerly a speech pathologist in human communication disorders and specialising in voice, she also worked in community theatre, film and television and did voice-over work for SBS and the ABC and presented film and theatre reviews on 2SER FM radio.She has diligently diarised her travels to exotic destinations since her first solo trip to South East Asia in the early seventies.

 

On a yearlong trip abroad in 1981 she met her future husband and married life took her to Egypt for eighteen years from 1985 – 2003. Her poetry was published in the Language of Memory, a part of the Under a Quicksilver Moon series whilst living in Egypt. Upon her husband’s untimely death, she returned to Australia with her two children.

After resettling in Sydney, she completed the Unlocking Creativity and First Draft courses at the Writers’ Studio to begin her memoir and later joined a writers’ group, Write On!, and then the Friday Writers group at Sydney School of Arts & Humanities..

In 2013, she won a one-year mentorship from the ASA. She published a short story with That Authors Collective (TAC) in First Press and a short story ‘Conch in St Kitts’ was published in the paperback anthology With Gusto. After attending the Friday Writers group at the Sydney School of Arts and Humanities one of her stories was included in Anthology Short Stories 1. Helena has presented her work at Balmain Institute and a reading, interview and Q&A at Woollahra Library, plus talks at women’s and writers groups and book clubs around Sydney.

She is currently completing Volume 2 of her memoir about her tumultuous love affair and life in Egypt as a Western woman of Jewish, Polish-Russian heritage married to a Muslim man seventeen years her senior. It focuses on cross-cultural differences and similarities experienced in her day-to-day life and the challenges of interfaith relationships. Focusing on what unites people rather than what divides them, it is a message of hope and testimony to the fact that religious, social and cultural obstacles can be overcome. With mutual love, tolerance and understanding, peaceful coexistence is possible.