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Nene Gare Nene Gare i(A17908 works by) (birth name: Doris Violet May Wadham)
Born: Established: 9 May 1919 Adelaide, South Australia, ; Died: Ceased: 29 May 1994 Perth, Western Australia,
Gender: Female
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Descended on both sides from families who had come to SA before the 1850s, Nene Gare was the fourth of seven children of John Wadham, a self-employed harness-maker, and his wife Mary. She grew up in Adelaide and was educated at the East Adelaide Public School, the Adelaide School of Arts, and Muirden Business College. After moving to WA in 1939 Gare attended the Perth Technical College, and later, in the 1980s, she read Arts at Murdoch University, Perth.

In 1941 Gare married Frank Gare, and the couple had three children. After the war they lived in Papua New Guinea, where Frank Gare was a Patrol Officer, and later moved to Carnarvon (1952-1954) where they grew bananas. A cyclone in 1953 completely destroyed their crop, and the family moved to Geraldton (1954-1962) where Frank Gare was employed as a district officer for the Native Welfare Department. He eventually became Director of Aboriginal Affairs.

Gare's first published work was a romance story published in the Sunday Times in Perth. She started writing professionally in 1960 and had produced two books by the end of 1963. Her experiences at Geraldton were the inspiration for her novel The Fringe Dwellers, which was later made into a film, and also for a play Never Go Quietly. Gare identified with the plight of the Aboriginal people through her own upbringing in a large family during the Depression, and knew from personal experience what it was like to belong to an underpriviledged community.

Gare had originally intended to be a painter, not a writer. She had several exhibitions of her paintings, including one in Fremantle in November, 1993, and won the Canning Art Award four times (for details see World Who's Who of Women, 6th ed, 1982). She was an active member of the Fellowship of Australian Writers and in 1993 was made an Honorary Life Member for services to the organization and to Australian literature. Gare believed firmly that the strong should help the weak, and most of the money she earned from her writing was given away to charities.

Gare died at the age of 75 after a long illness.

Most Referenced Works


  • Gare was one of the illustrators of Australian Short Stories no 48.

    A story mentioned in The Writing Life, 'The Forever Time', and later titled 'Kate Kempster' after her grandmother's name, has never been published.

Affiliation Notes

  • Born in SA but moved elsewhere
Last amended 30 Aug 2011 11:43:15
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