The Coast


Last week, I went home.

I grew up on “The Coast”. I realise that, since I live on an island, that descriptor is slightly confusing. There are many Coasts of Tasmania. But, for me, there’s only one.

Those who, like me, were born in the North-West of our beautiful state, you’ll know it.

That hill.

The one you drive over, coming from the south. The one you crest, and then …

The sea.

Your sea.

That hill brings me to tears. Every. Single. Time.

Last week, Tiger’s Daddy drove us over it, as Tiger sang “Let It Go” for the seven hundred and eighty five thousandth time, and I cried.


You don’t realise, until you leave, how spectacular your home is. Kids from the coast can’t wait for the day when they can leave. They leave. They grow up. They ache for that hill; that sea.

We travelled North to stay with our family, at Aberdeen – the place our hearts live. We travelled so I could share Clementine with the people who inspired it. I met bloody awesome kids up there; the next generation of awesome exports. My Coast, my generation, gave us Josh Earl from Spicks and Specks; Hannah Gadsby; “The Bedroom Philosopher”. There’s magic in that there ocean. The kids I met at Yolla (the heart-crushingly beautiful place where my dad taught for twenty years) and Burnie (where I learned the ropes of this thing called life), were beyond fabulous.

A girl called Bree won my heart with her crush on Beetlejuice. A girl called Charlotte stunned me with her love of Josh Ritter. A boy called Blighter inspired me to write a novel about a too-short footy player.

I loved them. I loved them.

And I love my home.

I can’t wait to turn it into pages and ink again. But nothing I write will ever come close to its majesty.

The place I grew up is phenomenal. I am so, so lucky.

2 thoughts on “The Coast

  1. I grew up in Burnie my kids grew up in Somerset & all went to Somerset & Yoĺla schools. I left as soon as I could but came back to live on the Coast, paradise, the only place to be. My daughter couldn’t wait to leave and is coming back after 14 years away. There is nowhere on earth like this place. Those of us lucky enough to be born here have the salt water & chocolate soil in our blood.


  2. Congratulations Kate on Writing Clementine. A great read and I think a book that should capture young readers. More likely you will the catalyst for young adults to read more widely. Being prepared as you are, and demonstrated while on our beautiful coast last week, to engage with, listen to and support students as they negotiate through this time of their lives, will strengthen them to live their lives more truly. Don’t under estimate the effect that your all too brief time in a classroom can have on growing minds. You are inspirational. I wish you the world with this book and the ones yet to be written. Steph Templeton.


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