Author Q&A: Sandra Harvey
by Brighton Council
Writer and oarswoman Sandra Harvey lives in Old Beach and recently launched her book Making Waves: Tasmanian Oarswomen 1922 – 2022. We asked her about the book, inspired by these talented women.
How long did it take you to write the book? Three years. I not only had to research the subject matter, but also the time that the oarswomen were living in. I had to learn how to convey this research in an engaging manner, learning the writing technique of creative nonfiction.
What was the motivation behind writing the book? Walk into a bookshop or library and you will find that the shelves are groaning under the weight of books about cricket, football, soccer, rugby, sailing – yet very few on rowers or rowing. I thought it was important we start to preserve and write about Tasmania’s rowing history.
My writing is shaped by my experience as a female rower and the contribution and opportunities rowing provided me. I also want to reach adolescents and get them interested in our sport, get them physically active, forming friendships and building on traits such as developing resilience, confidence, mental astuteness, learning to deal with setbacks, working in a team – all of which rowing teaches you.
Are there any standout Tasmanian oarswomen from the Brighton area? I was the first Tasmanian woman to win an Australian single scull title back in 1990. I trained every morning on the river. The River Derwent is home to many of the oarswomen I highlight in the book, such as Kerry Hore, Dana Faletic, Shanne Mc- Ginniss, Madge Stewart and Nancy Reardon.
Did your location in Old Beach contribute to the book? I researched, interviewed and wrote from my study in Old Beach overlooking the River Derwent – the river was my inspiration. I would often get my single scull out and row up the river to reconnect with how it felt to hold an oar in my hand, move silently through the water, catch the water with the blades, move smoothly up and down on a small seat with tiny wheels underneath, and then come back to my study and write.
How can readers find the book? They can email me at email@example.com.