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Alumni Book Club

The UniSQ Alumni Book Club is an initiative between the School of Humanities and Communication and the Alumni Office. All discussions take place online, and are open to UniSQ alumni, students, staff and friends of the University. Check out upcoming and past Book Club discussions.

Look out for 'Manage Like a Mother: Leadership Lessons Drawn from the Wisdom of Mom' by Valerie Cockerell in 2024

It takes common-sense basic principles to be an effective leader, the very same principles one would apply to raising children. When you can successfully teach, nurture, and develop kids, multitask your way through their childhood and survive their teenage years, you can lead a team effectively. Mothers wrote the playbook on leadership with their no-nonsense approach. All great leadership practices are indeed simple, but you should not confuse simple with easy. The similarities between parenting and leading are obvious, and you don’t have to look much further than your own childhood or your parenting approach to know what works and what doesn’t. In the real-life Manage like a Mother stories of this former Disney leader and mother of three, parenting takes discipline, consistency, patience, and so does leadership. Because I said so! is not effective in parenting, nor is it in leadership in 2023. Valerie explains how you can apply the no-nonsense wisdom of moms to your leadership approach. 

Valerie’s book is now available for sale online.

These exceptional stories capture the importance of human connection at pivotal moments in our lives, whether those occur because of the loss of a loved one or the uncertainties of childhood. In this collection we witness a young girl struggling to protect her mother from her father’s violence, two teenagers clumsily getting to know one another by way of a shared love of music, and a man mourning the death of his younger brother, while beset by memories and regrets from their shared past. Check out the webinar recording.

Tony Birch

Words can wound, words can heal, and in the case of this internationally bestselling crime novel, words can find people. The year is 1988, and 16-year old Annabelle Brown from northern Queensland runs away from her family and friends for the bright lights of somewhere new. She ends up in Kings Cross in Sydney, where her life takes some dark twists and turns. Endorsed by the Australian Federal Police, Write About Me is real and raw and will break your heart into a million pieces. Inspired by the author’s true family cold-case mystery, Write About Me is a heart-wrenching story about a teenage runaway who doesn’t come home. Sparking a new investigation into the disappearance of Ursula Dianne Barwick in 1987, Write About Me is not fact, not fiction, but that dangerous place in between. Check out the webinar recording.

Melissa Pouliot

Fish Out of Water is a wonderful companion for all athletes who are venturing out into the uncharted waters of sports retirement. Jade has gently and honestly provided readers with a window into her post-sport journey, as well as that of others, and some preventative measures to contemplate. A gifted story teller, Jade depicts the old landscape of retirement, the new landscape of retirement, and the ongoing, ever-present challenge that all athletes, or anyone for that matter, face when closing a significant chapter of their life. Check out the webinar recording.

Jade Edmistone

In Scales of Empire, Corporal Jian Choumali is on the mission of a lifetime – security officer of one of Earth’s huge generation ships, fleeing Earth’s failing ecosystem to colonise a distant planet. The ship encounters a technologically and culturally advanced alien empire led by a royal family of dragons. Check out the webinar recording.

Kylie Chan

Find out more about UniSQ alumnus and staff member, Dr David Burton, here.

Man in the Water is a coming-of-age young adult thriller set in a rural mining town in Queensland and follows a teenager who launches an investigation into a mysterious dead body which promptly vanishes after he leaves to report it. The recording for this webinar is unavailable.

Dr David Burton

In The Birdman’s Wife, a young girl falls in love with a demanding and ambitious genius and comes into her own as a woman, artist and adventurer while defying convention by embarking on a trailblazing expedition to collect and illustrate Australia’s birdlife. To know more about Melissa Ashley, listen to her interview here. Check out the webinar recording.

Melissa Ashley

Car Crash: A Memoir by Lech Blaine recalls 2009, when Lech Blaine walked away unscathed from a car accident in Toowoomba involving seven teenage boys. Three of his friends died and two were seriously injured. The driver was later acquitted of any crime.  Car Crash dissects the public and personal aftermath of a fatal accident through the experiences of a survivor. Dr Kate Cantrell and Dr Nycole Prowse talk with Lech Blaine. Check out the webinar recording.

Lech Blaine