Author and Educator
Robinanne Lavelle is living and working in Brisbane, Australia. She has a Master of Business Management from Sydney University, a Master of Educational Management, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education both from the University of Western Australia and a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University.
Robinanne has been writing professionally since 1990 and has no intention of slowing down anytime soon! Robinanne has authored or co-authored the following: Life Sorted: 8 session practical guide to Mindfulness, Meditation and Management (2022), The Road Awaits (2022), Trends & Turning Points, Tracts & Traces, Time & Tide, Meditation – Creating Quality Life, Laymans Guide to Law – Yr. 11 and Laymans Guide to Law – Yr. 12.
As well as being an author, Robinanne has been Director of a boutique education centre, Lecturer in Business Management, Senior Staff member as Director of Upper School and Head of Department of Business and the Social Sciences. Robinanne has also been Administrator for the Francis Burt Law Centre, Assistant to General Manager of Parry’s Department Stores and completed Secretarial and Administration work for several small businesses.
I have been writing since the 1990s. Each book I have written has taken about one year to complete. I start with an outline of the topics/chapters. I’m lucky enough to have never experienced writer’s block. For me, once I have set my mind on writing a particular book, the goal is set, and I work in a very disciplined way, allocating set time each day to work on the book. Whilst I am writing, I’m in a timeless land where the focus takes me to a blissful state of being. I find it a delight to write and am very grateful for the opportunity.
My aim through my books is to improve people’s lives. Whether it be law or social science text, a meditation package, sorting one’s life, a travel and poetry book, or an historical novel. I am mindful of the format any book I am writing, as well as the content, to ensure it is not only interesting, but easy and enjoyable to read. To this end I include photographs, sketches, exercises, introductions, and summaries on each concept covered and even audio to enhance the experience. I can say that I now live to write and write to live! And I’m not stopping anytime soon…
HISTORY OF MY WRITING
I started writing in the 1990s. It seemed natural to write books following all the course material and curriculum I had developed and written over the years as a lecturer, head of department and teacher.
1990: Laymans Guide to Law Year 11 + Teacher Guide
1991: Laymans Guide to Law Year 12 + Teacher Guide
Law was a new subject in high school in Western Australia I convinced my school to offer it immediately. I taught it for several years and realised there were other teachers out there really struggling who had no background in Law 101! There was no text available that related to West Australian context. I got together with three teachers from other schools, and we started to put write a regular journal for the law teachers to help them. Through this we realised a textbook would be even better. Three of us embarked on the project and within a few weeks it was just two of us for the next two years. As I worked as the Legal Education and Community Officer for Western Australia (jointly funded by the Law Society and the Education Department) and was based at the Supreme Court, I had easy access to the legal fraternity who helped with the reading of the drafts of the book. As authors were both working full time as teachers/administers at school but set aside Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings for a year to write the book together. I was the one with the formatting ideas and so every topic had a page overview and a summary page at the end, vocabulary page, activities, cartoons, and stories and case studies to bring the text to life. We wrote all the assessment material and included it in the teacher’s guide of the book with model answers and marking guides. Our books became the recommended text for Law in Year 11 and 12 by the Secondary Education Authority. We sold books each year to 75% of those studying the subject and we updated the books regularly. The Year 11 book was launched by Sir Francis Burt (then Governor of Western Australia) and the Year 12 book was launched the following year by the Justice David Malcolm (then Chief Justice of Western Australia).
1994: Meditation: Creating Quality Life
Living in far north-west of Australia 1,600 kms from Perth, as a lecturer at the tertiary community college and head of department of a school for some years, I found there was no access to yoga, meditation, or any spiritual groups/classes. So, I set up one in our outdoor enclosed back patio where locals came to meet every Friday evening. Shortly following this I was invited by the local community tertiary college to conduct classes in meditation. I prepared course material and from this was the beginning of this book and audio package.
SOCIAL SCIENCE TEXT
1995: Time and Tide
1996: Trace and Traces
1997: Trends and Turning Points
I was contacted by one of the authors of the Social Science recommended text for the three years of middle school, published by Longmans. Each book related to a year’s syllabus of three years of Social Science in middle school. The authors wanted a rewrite of all three books and so I single-handedly completed this over the following three years, rewriting one book per year.
1999: What readers want in a textbook – evaluation of style and format
I worked as a lecturer travelling to three different campuses, sometimes attending all during the one day, and then took the opportunity to become head of department then director of upper school for a private secondary college, five minutes from home, to be more available for my child who was entering upper school. During this time, I worked through a Master of Educational Management at the University of Western Australia, where half of the master was completed by course work focussing on interpersonal relations and the other half was a dissertation on formatting textbooks. Having written textbooks, I was motivated to find out what formatting was most user friendly and to evaluate the style and formatting I had developed through writing the previous textbooks. Small group approach was used collecting highly qualitative data where the group was shown an array of texts styles and format and asked to select what they liked about these. Using an overview at the beginning of a chapter, summary at the end, activities and exercises, cartoons, drawings and photographs, vocabulary list, heading and sub-headings, 14 sized font, suggestions of related films, were all features the group felt made the text appealing and easy to read.
LIFE GOT IN THE WAY OF WRITING!
2000-2005: Working Holiday and Alpaca Farm
During these years I went on a working holiday to the United Kingdom where I taught Year 13 down to Year 4! I travelled to Spain, Italy, Greece, and France. I taught marketing to young men in the Northampton School for boys and had Matt Smith (future Doctor Who) in my class. When I arrived, the boys were failing the course (due to a string of casual relief teachers) and this would affect their final year results, thus preventing many entering courses they aimed to get into. The boys agreed to work with me during their lunchbreaks and sometimes after school, as I took them back over the entire year’s course in a term and they all turned their failure into a pass! I moved to Southhampton and co-taught at a primary school. This was a wonderful opportunity to teach at a whole different age-level.
Returning to Australia, I set up an alpaca and goat farm with my partner on our 100-acre property where we had a herd of alpaca and breed white Suri and black Huacaya. Having a background of a mini hobby farm with my parent with goats and chickens and having up to half a dozen dogs at a time that we were rehoming from our property, I had a natural ability with animals. Due to my business management background, I sourced a wine maker to make a red and a white and made a label and branding for our white Suri wine and red Huacaya wines. I promoted the wine nationally. I trained some of the young alpacas to be sold as pairs to B&Bs and set up a B&B on our property. I believe that a varied life makes for a better writer. I have had such a varied career and experiences that it only adds to the colour when writing.
2008: Business empowerment: design tool to measure level and perceptions.
I worked as a lecturer at the University of Sydney at the Orange campus in Business facility. I then gained a scholarship from Sydney University for three years and during this time worked through a second masters, this time in workplace empowerment, where the entire masters was completed by thesis. The thesis looked at over 100 strategies that can be used to empower workers, resulting in high employee workplace satisfaction and increased productivity and success of the business.
POST INDUSTRIAL EDUCATIONAL MODEL
2009-2019: Unique childcare centre model.
Working as an academic at the University of Newcastle, the concern about our current education system that is stuck in the Industrial Era led me to want to develop a new educational model for the 2000’s. I believed this should start from the beginning of a child’s journey through the educational system. Thus, I developed an alternative to the model of large childcare centres, to a superior model, where there are maximum of 20 children in the centre with between 4-8 in each room (depending on age), children are picked up from home by their educator and included taking children into the community twice per week, visiting, such places as museums, art galleries, cafes, theatre, and parks. Additionally, the centre offered positive parenting evenings. I designed and operated this centre for over 10 years before selling the business. I hope to enrol in a PhD by thesis to present an alternative educational model, in the coming years.
2022: The Road Awaits
I wanted to honour my mother’s collection of poems that she wrote when she, my father and I travelled across Australia when I was a teenager. I have taken her poems and selected the ones most representative of our travels, written little stories to accompany and further explained each poem and collected beautiful photographs of the places we visited. I have worked on this book for a year and now the book is due to come out later this year, as it is currently with publishers in London.
MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION AND MANAGEMENT
2022: The Road To A Quality Life
Having grown up with ADHD, I know just how hard it is to develop a concentrated and focussed mind; a calm and healthy body; and a successful, joyful life. Through mindfulness, meditation, and management practices I developed over the years, I wanted to share this with others to improve their life experience.
I gained management experience from educational studies and practised in many workplaces. I also developed physically - since a child I would be running around, riding a bike, climbing trees or swimming. I did long distance running at school and continued this for decades, only changing occasionally to do swimming or biking for a while as my form of daily exercise. I started ballroom dancing when I was 9, figure ice skating in my teens, and jazz ballet in my twenties. I developed emotionally and spirituality starting yoga when I was in my early 20s, later including studies in Buddhism and meditation. After 15 years I started my own mindful and meditation classes.
Following more than four decades of practice, I have written this book with exercises to work through, and accompanying audio guided practices. Robinanne has also studied meditation with monks for more than a decade before being invited in the early 1990s to teach mindfulness, meditation, and personal management at a tertiary college. This is something she continues to this day through her Zoom into Mindfulness course - website www.zoomintomindfulness.com