All about Diana Kupke

This is my fifth website. The previous one, which was online for around two years,was awash with butterflies and the one prior to that featured a banner I designed from a photograph I took in my front garden of a wasp nest. During that time my domain name changed from dianakupke.id.au to dianakupke.com.au.

This site is, obviously, a personal one as it bears my name as the title. I write about anything that interests me which includes medical issues particularly Alzheimer's as my family is cursed with this; health areas; design including furniture and architecture; my extended and much-loved family members; pets and animals; and photographs and stories about genealogy, particularly as they relate to my life.

I am a member of various writing organisations, the Queensland Writer's Centre, Australian Society of Authors, and the Federation of Australian Writers however I do not have any affiliation with any political or religious groups, or with any lobby groups of any kind.

I believe everyone is equal and I believe in the humane and loving treatment of all humans and animals. I find discrimination of all kinds distasteful.

Studio portrait of Diana (Mann) Kupke aged three, taken in Caulfield in Victoria about 1945.

Born in Elsternwick

And for some brief background, I was born, Diana Mann, at the Hopetoun Hospital in Elsternwick, a suburb of Melbourne. In those days, in 1944, and as I remember it in later years, the hospital was a two storey frail-aged mansion. Today it is called the Cabrini Hopetoun, and the building is referred to as a stately Victorian mansion. Babies are no longer born there as it specialises in rehabilitation.

I spent twenty-one years nearby in South Caulfield where my father, Tom Mann, worked at the local depot as a tram driver. During the war years my mother, Merlyn Mann nee Dudley, had also worked on the trams as a conductress. I went to Caulfield South Primary School and then to Brighton High School which, at that time, had only been in operation for a year or two. I spent six happy years there and cried when I left. These days the school is known as Brighton Secondary College and achieved fame as the school in Summer Heights High.

Writing and Journalism

I was always interested in writing and journalism and, as a teenager, had many items published in Junior Age and in women's magazines. I read out one of my stories on ABC television during the early years on the Judy Jack show and also had items used on the Argonauts. Upon completion of my matriculation year, I was chosen to begin a cadetship at The Age after a lengthy process which involved firstly passing the final matric exam, a general knowledge exam at the newspaper, an interview with the chief of staff, and finally eight of us were interviewed by the editor, whom at that time was Graham Perkin. I was one of the four chosen to begin a cadetship in February 1963.

Diana (Mann) Kupke and her brother, Dale Mann, in 1987.

With my brother Dale Mann, who has also been involved with newspapers most of his life as a photographer.

At that time journalism was one of the few areas where women received equal pay for equal work and I covered all the areas on the newspaper with the exception of sport, thank heavens. I later worked as a journalist on The Dominion, in Wellington, New Zealand, and on the Sunday Post Herald in Hong Kong.

I also worked as a journalist for the Darwin Community College and joined the staff in 1973 about nine months before the college accepted the first students. The students arrived and the same year Cyclone Tracy also came to Darwin putting a complete finish to any xmas celebrations and wiping off the top floor of the college. The Darwin Community College, the first of its kind in Australia, later became the Charles Darwin University after having changed its name, in 1984, to the Darwin Institute of Technology.

Working in Mackay

In Mackay I worked for a weekly newspaper, Pioneer News, (which died a few years later). From Pioneer News I moved into a totally different area when I joined Endeavour Foundation. At that time Endeavour provided schooling, training and accommodation for intellectually handicapped children and adults and included Kewarra Special School which later became part of the Education Department. From Endeavour, where I had used my journalism skills in many different ways, I then joined Kewarra Special School where the ambience was a delight.

For some years I worked part time in several jobs at once, not only at Kewarra, but also writing for Channel 7, editing for Mackay And District Education Centre, writing for Mackay Tourism, and running Mackay Home Care, where I provided services for frail aged people and young people with disabilities, I moved fulltime to Mackay Home Care and was with the service for fourteen years.

Diana Kupke, frail aged geriatric.

I next worked for the Mackay Division of General Practice (MDGP) where I was involved in programs relating to aged care, residential aged care facilities, and palliative care. MDGP was one of those cases where board members, whose understanding of governance was nil, showed a total lack of duty of care and MDGP ground to a sudden halt, which resulted in a number of staff members losing their jobs. Remaining staff were taken over by first one organisation, and then another. At the same time as I worked for MDGP I undertook university studies at Central Queensland University and gained my degree, Bachelor of Multimedia Studies.

Ello Diana

Website coding

It was during this time that I became fascinated with all aspects of websites including coding and design. Because of my past work with people who have a variety of impairments, I am particularly interested in sites which are fully accessible to everyone. I have a lot to learn about this area but I am forging forward.

I came to website coding and design in my early sixties - it is never too late to strike out in new directions and I firmly believe every new interest and skill not only adds extra dimensions to life, but may even slow down the progress of mental decay. (It is very difficult to walk when your fingers, eyes and legs are crossed.)

I worked on the MDGP website and later worked for the engineering firm, Zemek, where I coded an entirely new site for them. My latest move, almost three years ago, was to Reef Catchments Ltd where I work with four sites, three of them are content management systems.

Published books

I've had three books published, Secret of the Tower Room (Houghton Mifflin), Just me and the Kids (Penguin), and Volunteering (Elephas). During the early part of 2012 I also tried out the ebook format for two adult novels, Dreamweb and Childmesh.

Feedback - I'm always happy to receive feedback about my site.
Please contact me here.

This page was updated by Diana Kupke (Diana Mann) on 2 March 2019