Writing is often a lonely activity, but many people have helped me during the production of this book. I also very much appreciate that the book could not have been written without the support of colleagues and friends over many years while I have taught, completed a PhD and been involved in other research projects. Thanks go to all those people, including my colleagues at Murdoch University, who have been so generous with their advice, encouragement, administrative assistance and friendship!
I thank Elizabeth Weiss from Allen & Unwin for her initial proposal of the text and her support throughout the production of the manuscript. I also appreciated the contributions from three readers who provided great encouragement and thorough, helpful advice in their reports on the draft manuscript.
Finally, and most importantly, I thank Wendy Parkins for all her encouragement and inspiration. Her love has supported me throughout the writing of this book and so much more. I thank Madeleine for her understanding that writing a book has placed demands on the time of her father, also for being such a wonderful big sister to Gabriel. Finally, a thank you to Gabriel for being such a good boy and for sleeping through the night!