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profiles audrey fullerAudrey Fuller

I had no plans for my future when I left school at 16, yet the path my adult life took almost seemed predetermined. I was born in Christchurch and moved to Warkworth, where I was offered a temporary job at the "Auckland Star" newspaper. It was during the Royal Tour of 1953/54, and I helped cope with the enormous demand from the public for photographs.

A shy country girl thrown into the hustle and bustle of a large metropolitan daily newspaper - a huge culture shock. The temporary job became permanent. I became a Reference Library Assistant and enjoyed a life-long association with newspapers (including marrying a journalist). Before instant communication there was more news in the paper and photos were wired from all over the world. We referenced and filed every photo and every news story. There was also an extensive library of reference books, parliamentary papers, encyclopaedias, etc. It was a busy, exciting work environment, and a challenge to research and check material for reporters in order to meet daily deadlines.

In 1960 sister, Pat, and I set off for England for the obligatory OE. In three years we explored Britain and Europe working in between times at various jobs including waitressing at the Overseas Visitors Club in Earls Court (where most ex-pats from the 'colonies' began their OE). I also worked for a time in an Associated Newspapers Reference Library in Fleet Street and Rowntrees chocolate factory in York. Returning to NZ I rejoined the "Auckland Star" for some years, then later spent a term as an assistant at Matakana Island School near Tauranga. The call of newspapers beckoned me yet again to the "Christchurch Star" as Head Librarian.

After leaving to raise a family I returned regularly as a reliever as well as a short stint at Radio Avon in Christchurch creating a news filing system for them. In 1992 we saw the light and moved to Nelson where I relieved in the Nelson Mail Reference Library until technology took over. I also indexed Nelson Mail items for the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington. When I joined SeniorNet Nelson my computer experience was largely limited to playing games on an Atari computer, but attending classes gave me the confidence to work my way up from student to Assistant Tutor and, with great reluctance, to Tutor. I changed from Windows to Mac in 2010, becoming involved with Intro level tutoring, but I also keep up with Windows by occasionally assisting with some basic classes.
(From Newsletter - October 2016)