Adelaide, South Australia
I was a covert stutterer from the age of eight until I reached my mid-forties. It took me that long to realise the only way forward was to let fear be my compass, and move towards the things that made me feel uncomfortable. Now, I teach history and creative writing at the University of South Australia, have twice been a finalist in the Rostrum Speaker of the Year competition, and coach public speaking. I’ve also written three books, the last one (a novel) having a person who stutters as the main character. To those of you who are parents of those who stutter, be patient and hopeful and set an example for them as someone who is prepared to face their own fears. This may mean joining a public speaking group yourself. To those young people who stutter, you are braver than you think and consider letting fear be your compass. Each time you do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, take a moment to recognize your bravery.