'Where Are You This Time?' - a new book release by Faculty of Arts alumna Mary Venner


Author and alumna Mary Venner.

Faculty of Arts and University of Adelaide alumna Mary Venner has released her new book.

The book, 'Where Are You This Time?' provides a first-hand account of her travels in countries less visited.

First enrolling in 1971, and graduating in 1979 due to several course changes and a few ‘gap years’ in the middle, Mary volunteered at 5UV and also wrote for On Dit. 

"I eventually finished a BA in Politics and Anthropology (which was a relatively new subject at the time). Both subjects have been valuable in my subsequent career," she said.

"After graduation – and a few years in the U.K. – I joined the Commonwealth Public Service in Canberra, working first in Aboriginal Affairs and later in the Prime Minister’s Department and the Department of Finance. 

It was my finance experience that led to an offer to work in Kosovo when it was under UN administration following the 1999 conflict. After several years in Kosovo, working on a number of different aid projects, I went to Afghanistan, working in the Ministry of Finance there. I was in Afghanistan, on and off, from 2003 to 2009. I’ve also worked on aid projects in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, East Timor, Libya, Somalia and Qatar. These are all very different countries, but in other ways the problems they face are similar."

Mary kept diaries and journals of her time in these countries.

"I have always wanted to share my experiences with others. I have had opportunities to travel to countries most tourists never visit, and see a side of international development assistance that most people know little about. Most books about countries experiencing conflict are written by journalists. Very few are written by the people who stay on after the conflict to work on reconstruction and long term development," she said.

‘Where Are You This Time?’ provides my first hand account of the problems faced by people in these countries, and what needs to be done to address them. It also provides insights into the lives of the locals who live with the consequences after the foreigners have moved on.

The book is available in paperback from most online book retailers and as an eBook.

Visit Where Are You This Time  to find out more.

Tagged in Alumni, faculty of arts