Telling stories matters – though I don’t think that should really be such a surprise. However, we live in a world where the distractions of technology for its own sake dominate and diminish our lives. Storytelling does the opposite; it enriches the world and our humanity.
My new book, The Diary of Katy Yehonala, is a coming of age story for the strong female protagonists who enter a world they don’t know. I’m proud that the book was nominated for the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the 2022 Prime Minister’s Literary Award. The story was inspired by an idea, not a person. That idea is every child deserves a childhood and is set in Australia, England and Cambodia. My charity works in Cambodia, with others, fighting the evils of the child sex trade.
I know many people there who work unheralded, sometimes risking their lives rescuing kids from traffickers. These people personify the idea of acting according to one’s conscience, even in the face of personal risk. These kids and those unsung heroes inspire every word I write in my own storytelling.
Never think these stories are far from home, or in someone else’s backyard. Just recently, in Australia, more than 40 Australian men were charged with possessing child abuse material and sharing their material online, with 16 children removed from harm’s way.
The AFP said its Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation has, in one single year, intercepted more than 250,000 child abuse material files online, while 134 children – including 67 in Australia – were removed from harm in 2019/20 alone. The New Daily
Robert Barclay is an Australian author of some of the best Australian crime/mystery novels. His Australian romance novels and stories follow the lives of Katy Yehonala and her daughter, Clara, his quirky, rather flawed protagonists as they confront the evils of society.