‘I didn’t go to church as a kid but that was my church – that was my sacred space – a pilgrimage to Sandgate swimming pool.’ 

— Trent Dalton in The Memory Pool.

The Memory Pool

In November 2019, my first book, The Memory Pool: Australian stories of summer, sun and swimming was published by NewSouth.

The Memory Pool is a collection of first-person stories I crafted from interviews with 27 Australians including Trent Dalton, Leah Purcell, Bryan Brown, Shane Gould, Daniel Kowalski, Ashley Hay, Laurie Lawrence, Priya Cooper and Merrick Watts about a swimming pool that was important to them when they were a child. I also wrote my own story of growing up at Northbridge Baths, a tidal pool in a quiet corner of Sydney’s Middle Harbour, a place that was like my best friend when I was a child.

Evocative, funny and sometimes bittersweet, 28 people remember the pools that shaped their childhoods. Everyone who has ever dived into their local Olympic pool, bush waterhole or saltwater baths will want to submerge themselves in this beautiful book.

Read Bryan Brown’s chapter in The Memory Pool.

Read about Therese Spruhan’s inspiration for The Memory Pool.


‘A joyful, moving, nostalgic and original take at what it means to be Australian. Dive in!’ 

— Robert Drewe

‘Crisscrossing the nation, spanning generations and histories, these stories celebrate the joy and freedom of being a body in water. Read it while beside your favourite beach or pool, or read it and be transported there.’ 

— Bernadette Brennan

‘These immersive stories remind us that the swimming pool is not just the place we first learn to sink or swim. It’s a space of respite and renewal, playtime and pilgrimage, limerence and liminality, community and connection. Dive in – go on – I double dare you.’ 

— Sian Prior



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