Meet Maria… 

Maria is a primary teacher, public speaker, journalist and has worked in public relations (PR) and communications. She started Big Sister Blogs to write, write, write —  In Writerly Wisdoms, she shares authors, illustrators and storytellers workshop tips, and her picture books reviews are from a teacher’s perspective. Why? ‘Because Picture Books are the linchpin for developing a child’s first interaction with literacy and the world around them.

  1. Longlisted Greenleaf Press Picture Book competition with Cecilia Cicada
  2. Published an ekphrastic poem, ‘We Are Travellers’ — Dr June Perkins’ Ripple Poet ry.
  3. Published over 100 stories in Townsville Bulletin and The Sun Newspaper during  Journalism degree.
  4. Blogs about Writerly Wisdom
  5. Picture book Reviewer
  6. Blogs about life in a community – Personal Blog

She believes writing communities offer a sense of place for writers. She’s part of Brisbane Book Links (Qld) Inc – Write Links, SCBWI Qld, Share Your Story Australia, QWC (Queensland Writer’s Centre), ASA (Australian Society of Authors), Buzz Words and The School Magazine.

Prior… because she’s been around for a while.

As a teacher, it’s the light bulb moments when children say, ‘Ah! I get it now’ that has kept her in this profession for some 20 years.

In-between… because she could.


Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Journalism. She wrote over 100 stories including front pages for — The Townsville Bulletin about ‘O Negative Blood needed for premature babies’ and The Sun Community Newspaper about ‘V8 engine drivers headbutting with Police’ (byline Maria Gibbs). Publicity assistant during Townsville’s VP50.  She interviewed Vietnam Veterans and wrote stories for the Townsville Bulletin (Dear John Letter, Nurses of War etc.,).


Prior prior… because she’s lost track

She work in administration for 18 years – Public Relations, payroll (days of counting cash), cashiering, market co-ordinator etc., She’s traveled extensively, written numerous reviews on ‘Tripadvisor, mpare5’ (enter and see what happens) and according to their stats some 50 000 travellers have seen her reviews as at Sept 2017.

Along the way…

She loves taking photos that ‘make her look twice’. See Instagram. At Toastmasters International, she crushed her fear of public speaking after 5 years. She could probably talk underwater now. And because she’s apparently the oldest of seven, Aunt to 20 nieces and nephews, proud mother, she has included a personal blog about things they’ve all enjoyed. She prefers being positive because negatives aren’t worth a second glance .

Knowledge is Power

To quote her Dad, ‘Every day above ground is a good day.’

To quote her Mum, ‘You need to learn and put aside.’



Maria Parenti-Baldey, primary teacher, writer, amateur photographer and blogger at  www.bigsisterblogs.com