Huberta Hellendoorn

Bart & Huberta (1960)
Bart and Huberta (1960)
Within the human psyche there are capacities that can destroy or transform us. If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. (Gospel of Thomas, saying no. 70)

Huberta Hellendoorn was born in the Netherlands in 1937 and emigrated in 1960 to Dunedin with her new husband. While raising a family she worked for thirty years in administrative positions at the University of Otago, gaining a BA as a mature student majoring in Classical Studies. She began writing fiction and non-fiction in her late fifties. Her articles have been published in Dutch and New Zealand publications, and her short stories have been broadcast on Radio New Zealand National and published in literary journals such as Sport and Takahe.

Huberta successfully self-published The Madonna in the Suitcase, a book about her daughter with Down syndrome. Huberta writes about the hardships inherent in raising a child with special needs but also wants to show the joys and triumphs Miriam’s life has brought to her family. The book was adapted for radio and broadcast on National Radio.

With the support of a mentorship through the New Zealand Society of Authors, Huberta wrote an unpublished novel The Orange Garden which now has metamorphosed into the memoir Astride a Fierce Wind released by Mākaro Press in May 2017.

An NZSA manuscript assessment after writing a historical children's novel Tipping the balance has spurred Huberta on to complete the work by the end of 2017.

Huberta has been a:

  • speaker to 2nd year medical students on caring issues;
  • speaker to teleconference courses with physio students;
  • committee member on formal and informal care research;
  • speaker to College of Education's Education and Disability Studies (this presentation has been videotaped for sharing with other students in New Zealand)

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