The Editorial Team
Sharon Rundle is a book editor, writer and mentor. She co-edits anthologies published in print and e-books in Australia, UK and the Indian Subcontinent, the latest: “Glass Walls: stories of tolerance and intolerance from the Indian subcontinent and Australia”; (Softcover and e-book: Orient BlackSwan, 2019). Her stories, essays, articles, conference papers, and book reviews have been published in a range of international publications. She is enchanted by books and writing; and now also the possibilities of storytelling online. Sharon’s doctorate of creative arts examined the production of novels by South Asian-Australian authors published in Australia.
Indranil Halder is a Corporate Consultant, global heritage tourist and former Ambassador of Fabrics of Multicultural Australia. He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his multicultural family and travels between India and USA for his transnational family. He has degree in BioMedical Science and MBA. He loves to keep fit and healthy. He is a social influencer who celebrates the India and Australia bilateral relationship with his updates to bring the two nation closer together. He has written his international student memoir: Warrior in The Sanctuary to promote high quality Australian education. He also founded the Halder Chowdhury Prize to award the merited archaeology, finance and medical students at the prestigious Macquarie University. He said, “Bengalis stepped in Australia in 1797 and New Zealand in 1755. With time as migrants’ contributions rise of the Indian Diaspora in Australia, business growth and sustainable living environment, it is time to celebrate and undertake a literary project to bring short stories from across the globe involving India and Australia.”
Helen Whitehead is a writer, editor and learning technologist who splits her time between Nottingham and the North East coast in the UK. Her expertise is in the innovative and appropriate use of digital tools for narrative, creative writing, learning and teaching. She holds a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and an MA in Writing from The Nottingham Trent University. She is particularly interested in the multi-dimensional structures of digital texts and narratives, in making digital texts accessible to new readers and learners, and in facilitating online communities. She has been involved in creating international digital quilts and mosaics for over two decades, including the currently offline Migrating Memories, Noon Quilt, Eclipse Quilt and Dawn Quilt (the last a British Council writing project with Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka), Farewell Margaret Glenbott and the Peacock Mosaic.
The story of the mosaic
Our story mosaic began as a small project to publish short stories during the COVID 19 pandemic. It created a ‘buzz’. Several writers became interested in contributing to this project. Our contributing writers come from a wide range of backgrounds, as you will see from their bio notes at the end of each story. They are also at varying stages as writers, some well published, others emerging. We sincerely thank them all for their generous contribution to this exciting online story mosaic.
Authors responded from Australia, India and around the globe, each with a story that connects Indians with Australians, with the added element of an Australian summer (real or metaphorical). Nonetheless, you will find that this provided plenty of scope for stories both memoir based and purely fiction from the contributing writers. Stories of birth, death, marriage, old age, relationships, friendship, food, polo, dangerous beaches, lost souls, and living through a pandemic – and of course, cricket – what Indian-Australian collaboration could ignore stories about cricket?
We are greatly honoured that the Australian High Commissioner to India, His Exellency the Hon Barry O’Farrell AO, has written a Foreword, and the Consul General of India, Sydney, Mr Manish Gupta, an Introduction.
We sincerely thank Deputy-Consul General in Kolkata Daniel Sim for his kind support for this collection of stellar stories as well as the online launch of Agathokakological Aussie Summer Story Mosaic.
At the moment, publishers are still catching up with a backlog of delayed print publications, due for release from next month until 2021, again due to the pandemic. We needed a more innovative approach to publish stories.
Indranil Halder in Sydney, Australia is a writer, a corporate consultant, global heritage tourist and former Ambassador of Fabrics of Multicultural Australia, with a degree in BioMedical Science and an MBA. Sharon Rundle in the Hunter region of NSW, Australia, is a writer, book editor, teacher and mentor with a doctorate in creative arts. Helen Whitehead in Nottingham, UK, is a digital writer, editor and learning technologist who has been working with online media for over 25 years. We collaborated to create a collection of stories connecting India and Australia in this online Story Mosaic.
The still photo image of the window was contributed by Indranil Halder who also encouraged writers to contribute. Sharon Rundle compiled and edited the stories. Helen Whitehead created the website with a bespoke interface designed for this mosaic.
As the project is hosted online on a bespoke website and because the contributors freely and generously gave us licence to publish their stories in the Agathokakological Aussie Summer Story Mosaic – and Indranil and I volunteered our time and expertise to create it, the costs were minimal, and we funded the project ourselves. Photos that accompany stories and biographical notes were kindly contributed by the authors.
Agathokakological Aussie Summer, a stellar collection of stories, is our gift to the writing community during this difficult time of pandemic. With such a wide selection in this mosaic, we are sure you will find stories that you enjoy.
We thank the office of the Australian High Commission in Delhi, India; the office of the Consul General in Kolkata and the Office of the Consul General of India in Sydney for their warm support.
Sharon Rundle, Indranil Halder, Helen Whitehead.