Packing for the Journey

I first used the catchphrase packing for the journey when I was teaching preschool children in the 1980s and 1990s at Yarralea Children’s Centre in Alphington, Melbourne, Australia.

When I retired from teaching in 2015 I started this blog – a place to share stories I had collected over many years – stories created by children, teachers and parents through day-to-day chatter, story-play, storytelling, dictating/writing, reading, art, music and dance.

From Make It I’m the Mother, by Janet McLean, illustrated by Andrew McLean
The setting for this story is Yarralea Children’s Centre.


In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and extended period of isolation gave me a chance to gather my thoughts. Looking back over a lifetime of 70-plus years, I am beginning to understand the way so many strands of my life are interwoven into a knotty whole.

Every so often the bits and and bobs on top of the dresser in our Everything Room change, depending on what is happening in our lives at the time. These objects conjure stories of my life
– time, people, place, and experiences

Now, I am also packing and unpacking
stories that are deeply-rooted in the people, times and experiences that built me.

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