AustLit logo
Erica Jolly Erica Jolly i(A9755 works by)
Born: Established: 1933 Adelaide, South Australia, ;
Gender: Female
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Erica's connection with SA goes back to her great-grandfather, Henry Jolly and his wife Elizabeth Dickson Jolly, who came to Mintaro, SA from St Peter's Port, Guernsey in 1851 with their one-year-old son. Henry was a carpenter and a Wesleyan lay preacher, and the last example of his work is in St Mark's Anglican Church, Penworthan. His son was a founding student at Prince Alfred's College. Erica's mother's grandfather, Robert Woolford, who was sent to the Antipodes for his tuberculosis, came first to SA and invented the totalisator. Erica's mother worked as a clerical typist in a law firm, and her father was a pharmacist - and a golfing fanatic. He died when Erica was four and her brother was two. Erica was educated at Rose Park and Westbourne Park Primary Schools, then gained a five-year scholarship to St Peter's Collegiate Girls' School.

She attended the University of Adelaide as a bonded teacher because she could not afford the university fees, and graduated with an Honours degree in History. She taught for 25 years at "tech" schools before becoming Deputy Principal (curriculum) at Marion High School.

She taught in an English Grammar School for 6 months (1967-8), came home in love with English literature and did an MA in English Literature at Flinders University. She left the Education Department in 1992 ("unpackaged and angry with changes", she says) and in 1999 was doing volunteer work at Tauondi College, Port Adelaide and was education liaison person for the Australian Federation of University Women for whom she was working on a Report on the Level of Support for Indigenous Students in State and Private Schools in SA. She was elected to the Flinders University Council in 1990 and in 1999 represented the Alumni on the Academic Senate.

Erica is a lover of song, sea and travel, particularly the Mediterranean and the Middle East. She was a member of the Henley Scribblers 1993-1995. In addition to the creative writing listed here and the books she has edited she was a co-writer of the Social Studies text book Change and Transition: the People of the New Nations of New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore (1971), and in 1979 with Frances Wells she compiled Help Yourselves: An Anthology of Contemporary Writing on Food. This contained writing by such diverse writers as Harry Butler, Nancy Cato, Gwen Harwood, Howell Witt and Iris Murdoch, and was intended to enable senior students to have examples of authors writing for different audiences. In 1996 she began to collect 'Voices from Vocational Education' covering most of the C20th.

Her poem Uncultivated was Commended in the C J Dennis Literary Awards 1997.

Most Referenced Works

Affiliation Notes

  • South Australian
Last amended 10 Aug 2004 09:54:54
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: