Jayneen (aka Jay Dale) is an experienced early years educator, author and publisher.She started her teaching career in the 1980s as a primary school teacher in rural Australia. She then moved to Melbourne and taught at a number of inner-city schools. In 1985, Jay had a change of career and became an educational editor and publisher.In the early 90s, Jay and her partner moved to Japan to work as English teachers. They lived and worked in Japan for over three and a half years. In fact, Jay's first daughter was born there.On returning to Australia, Jay began work as an educational author/packager. Since that time, she has authored and produced numerous award-winning titles for the educational publishing industry. Jay is also an accomplished children's book author, writing a number of titles for such literacy series as ZigZags, Totally Kidz, Deadly and Incredible, and a children's picture book series for Penguin.She is currently working with an educational publisher as lead author of a literacy series. Jay has written over 130 titles in that series.Jay is a mother of three daughters and was a school councillor at her local school for over seven years. This time spent in schools both as a teacher and a parent inspired her to ask the question of her community: 'What are we doing in schools to protect our children from unsafe touch?' When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to use her authoring and publishing skills to write 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept' to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.After the encouraging response to 'Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept', she realised there was a need to further build upon the idea of children not keeping secrets about unsafe touch. Jay participated in Protective Behaviours professional development and attended numerous conferences on the topic to educate herself in how to keep children safe and provide them with prevention education. Jay then went on to develop and publish a comprehensive Body Safety and Respectful Relationship Teacher's Resource Kit as well as writing several more children's books on the topics of Body Safety, consent, respect, body boundaries, gender equality, and social and emotional intelligence. Jay's ongoing passion for the safety and empowerment of children continues today with new manuscripts and free-to-downloadresources always in the wings.
I grew up in the Adelaide Hills, where my family ran two shoe shops. Paints and brushes were always around as my dad painted posters for the shops, copied from lettering and style manuals. I liked to copy comic characters but, really, was much more interested in making contraptions in the shed. My home town, Woodside, was close to an army barracks where soldiers were training for the Vietnam war. From inside our classroom, we heard the rattle of machine guns on the target range while Iroquois helicopters d-d-d overhead, practising fast landings and take-offs. Out of school, mates and I mucked around at the local rubbish dump, finding excellent stuff to use in our pretend combat-helmets, bits of uniform and rucksacks, ammo boxes, bullet-riddled targets, stretchers. It was hardly an artistic upbringing, but there was plenty of imagination and play. Lots of play. Oh, and lots of football. My sister, Maire - who had always been, even as a small kid, very skilled at drawing - left home to go to the South Australian School of Art. I later followed in her footsteps. I studied graphic design, and photography, but typography (lettering), was my main interest. We were also made to draw naked people, mainly women. I grew to like drawing. It was much funnier than typography. An assignment was to illustrate a story. It was a struggle. I submitted it to a publisher in Sydney. She rejected it, but encouragingly added in her letter, 'If you ever come to Sydney, drop by'. I hitchhiked up there almost immediately. This led to my first picture book, Christobel Mattingley's 'Black Dog'. I have been a freelance illustrator since 1976. For some of the early years I had part-time jobs - dish washer in a restaurant, and scraping rust off the Sydney Harbour Bridge. And doing advertising illustration - groan! One interesting job was working as a nurse's aide in a hospital for the elderly. In that role I was able to observe the human body - something artists usually do in a life drawing session. This experience has stayed with me and has affected the characterisation of my work. I live with Erica, in Melbourne. We have four grown-up children. And three little grandchildren.