For Margaret McMahon, writing has become a passion.
Margaret McMahon was born in 1940 in Sydney. She followed her father into the legal profession, married a solicitor and established, with him, a successful legal practice in Paddington.
In 1973 Margaret, her husband and two children following an ill-thought-out Utopian dream, moved to the country to begin a new life as farmers. In the following years two more children arrived and then Margaret’s mother-in-law, suffering dementia, joined the household. She lived with the family for eleven years before Alzheimer’s disease consumed her mind and body and she move from the farm into the aged care facility in the town of Dungog. She died there three years later.
With no knowledge or experience of things rural, these city slickers faced a sharp learning curve and their idealistic dream was threatened by drought, flood, and fire. Financial calamity was never far away.
Margaret combined the demands of motherhood, carer, solicitor and farm manager, with community work and an ongoing passion for working with the land and environment. In 1998 she won the prestigious Hunter Farmer of the Year award and in 2001 she was presented with the local Landcare Legend award for outstanding contributions to Landcare.
The introduction of 400 feral goats, brought in to clear the wild back country, was to prove a major challenge to the dream. The battle with dingos, ticks, and eagles that followed the goats was never-ending. There were mountains to climb but determination, a love for the land, and Margaret’s devoted attentionto her prize-winning Poll Hereford cattle helped to keep the dream alive.
In spite of the demands of her hectic life Margaret still found time to write a guide to adult living for young people, Moving Out, which was published by Millennium Press in 1988.
Margaret and her husband sold their beautiful property, Cottonwoods, in 2008 and are now living a sea change on the foreshore of Newcastle. Margaret’s life remains hectic as she follows her many interests. Writing has become a passion. Tree Change, has now been released and Margaret is preparing two other books for publication.
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