Welcome to JuttaGoetze.com.au


Thoughts of my childhood are in black and white or sepia like the small postage stamp squares of photographs. My past stamps me.

My first friend's name was Che Che. She was Indian. A woman called Mama Hau-e looked after the little me running around in Africa, which is where I was born - in a mission hospital in Ndolage, Tanzania. We lived on Igabiro Coffee Estate. Igabiro was also named 'Louisenhof' after my grandmother. My grandfather, a light horseman in the First World War, grounded that property in 1920. It was some fifty miles from Bukoba, on Lake Victoria. We didn't leave Africa until 1961. Igabiro still exists as a farm school and I would love to go back there one day.

I spoke Swahili, way back then. And Hindi. I don't any more. I often wonder if I were hypnotized, would those languages magically come back? If so, would it be the voice of a child, speaking them?

There is much happiness in recalling a home in a land as vast as Africa, much sadness in knowing we had to leave it. Little wonder that we came to Australia.

There are so many fleeting images of my life that I know filter into what I write and how I perceive our exquisite world. Recorded is the passage of a ship through the Suez Canal when we left Africa, the step-like formation of the canal's lock-system as the ship rose through each stage. The sparkles of phosphoresce gleam on the surface of the ocean, seen from the height of the deck, flying fish leap joyously high before they disappear. King Neptune and his mermaids crawl on board as we cross the Equator.

In Germany there are castles on the Rhine, lit by the tracings of fireworks. Glow-worms glimmer. Ice dancers whirl. Feathered snow touches my cheeks and I am enchanted. Ancient forests, spruce, fir, larches are so different to the Australian bush; standing in their dusk I can hear their roots push deep into the Earth. I can feel their anchored strength. Later, on the other side of the world I plunge my hand into puddles of black water and mud, trying to capture tadpoles. The scent of the eucalypt bush, here, is in my nostrils always.

My mother told me the Ring Saga as a bedtime story, Siegfried slaying the dragon, being covered by its blood, which dried and became his armour. Except for a small patch where an oak leaf had settled on his shoulder, and which the dragon's blood didn't cover; this vulnerable part of him finally allowed death to defeat him. Later I climbed the Magic Faraway Tree. I was Thowra, the silver brumby and I was a Spanish girl in a whirling skirt, falling in love with Zorro.

Writing starts somewhere in the heart and the inspiration comes from everywhere. I drank in the world and she has left her mark on me. I came under the spell of the books I read; they have never left me. All the images I was so lucky to receive are etched in the membranes of my being and the writer I am seeks to return them.

When we arrived in Australia I was raised on an apple orchard. It was on a hill and for some reason, for seven years in a row, we had hail. Marked apples don't sell and so my father began to make apple juice. It was a small company at a time when fruit juices were not yet popular, as they are now. Boneidah Apple Juice, named after the farm, was a wonderfully fresh tasting juice; for me there will never be anything like it again. It was a golden, sun-filled elixir, the product of one man's work and dreams. One man's aim at self-sufficiency, which he could not have attained without the help of his wife. It is a great achievement. My parents' toil gave me an understanding of the hardships but also the honour of working for self.

Most of my writing touches on Nature somewhere, somehow. I live in the country, I always have, except for short bursts, when necessity, education, career, called me to live in the city. I am not a comfortable city dweller. This may not be a good thing for a writer, as most of the world's population lives in cities. But it is what I am, and I try to remain true to that. I love animals. I ride, learning the Classical discipline. The horses are rescued, but they are my most welcome friends and teachers. A small herd of cows keeps them company. They chorus me for food in their characteristic bass serenade. Two blue heelers own me. For those of you who don't know what a blue heeler is, it's an Australian cattle dog, bred for the working conditions in this country and it's said they are part dingo. They are blue-grey, (some are red); lean, mottled and work fearlessly at worrying cattle, nipping at their heels.

If you were to look into my work, you would see how the world informs what I write. I draw upon it; gain my energy and inspiration from it. I write about things that move me. Things I love. Things that worry me, anger me, incite me. I think I am curious. I question, and I try to capture with words whatever answers I find. I want to share, not only what little knowledge I may have, but also the beauty I find in the sound of words.

Lately I get very angry about what we are doing to our world. It is our home. A miracle to hold dear. I feel sad that the human race can be so selfish and shortsighted that most of the things we do destroy the balance of nature that allows us to live.

I hope you will open a few of the doors that this website offers. Let the work speak for me. I am very grateful you have taken the time thus far, to read. I wish you a happy journey.