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Home > Author > Valdemar (Val) R Wake
Valdemar (Val) R Wake

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Member Since: Jan, 2008

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  Valdemar (Val) R Wake

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From a Sydney Daily Telegraph copy boy to a senior information advisor with the British Foreign Office spans Val Wake's career in journalism.

Background Information

I entered journalism in reaction to my father's work in the state security service. I was sick of secrets. I thought journalism would give me the chance to deal with the world's problems in an open and honest way. When working as a small town editor for a western Canada newspaper I began to realise that journalists only knew half the story. The people who made the decisions were the politicians and officials who mostly worked behind closed doors. After a four year stint in Arctic Canada, where I took part in an aborted attempt to reach the North Pole, I returned to England where I worked for the Central Office of Information, first in the provinces and then in London. In London my main client was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and I helped orchestrate an information campaign using film. television and radio supporting the battle to retake the Falklands, assisting the Mujahideen in their fight with the Red Army in Afgthanistan and supporting the coalition forces during Desert Storm. On reaching retirement I returned to Australia and took up writing and sailing.

I married Lillian Louise Lequereux of Vancouver BC Canada, in London in 1956. We have two daughters, Michelle and Claudine both of whom were born in Canada. Michelle was born in Dawson Creek. BC and Claudine was born in Yellowknife NWT. Michelle is now living in Somerset, England where she and her partner run a landscape design business. Claudine and her husband live in Sydney, Australia where Claudine works as a book publicist.

My main retirement activities are writing and sailing. I sail on a 37 foot racer both in the river and offshore. The name of the boat is Zig Zag. I am currently working on a book about my love affair with boats with the working title of My Voyage Around Spray with Apologies to Captn Joshua Slocum. Before joining the Zig Zag crew I had my own yacht called Spray after Slocum's Spray which was the first yacht to be sailed single handed around the world. I didn't get that far. The furtherest I went in Spray was about 30 nautical miles.

I like the sea because it tests you. We have a bar at Port Macquarie at the mouth of the Hastings River. I have had some difficult crossings on Spray. I learnt a lot from these crossings especially about the seaworthiness of my yacht Spray. She is a 26 foot Triton long keeler. Originally an American design.

My wife and I swim a lot in the 50 metre outdoor pool.I try to do 20 laps about a kilometre three times a week. On alternate days we tackle Doctor's Walk which follows the coast from Town Beach to Windmill Hill. Along the way we pass Flagstaff Hill with about 80 steps. We go up and down the steps twice. We are both in our seventies.

Port Macqurie is a good place for retirees. There is not much to spend your money on and the climate is congenial. In fact what originally interested us in Port Macquarie was the claim that it was scientifically proven that it had one of the best climates in the world. That came from a British meteorologist who was so convinced by the argument that he decided to move his wife and himself from Oxfordshire, England, to Port Macquarie. It might have made sense at the time but it did not work out. After about two years the couple returned to the UK. They could not accept Australian customs and practises. Living with Australians is not easy. My wife has problems but she likes the sun so we stay here.

Birth Place
Sydney,  Australia

During my first stay in London I worked as an extra on a number of feature films and became a reviewer with the theatrical magazine Plays and Players. In Canada I became the national correspondent for the Toronto Globe and Mail on the growth of the native rights movement in the north. Some of my stories appeared in Canadian text books. In Australia I helped launch provincial television news gathering at WIN Four and introduced one-subject newsreel productions for ABC TV News at Gore Hill. On retirement my first book No Ribbons or Medals: the story of 'Hereward' an Australian counter espionage officer was published by Jacobyte Books ISBN 174100165X. It can be ordered online through Digital Printing, South Australia. I am an irregular correspondent for AQ, Australian Quarterly, the journal of The Australian Institute of Policy and Science. Among my recent pieces published by AQ were: Where the Sun Sets in the north, a story of the Northern Territory. Who Killed Captain Cook, a theory about the native political plot to murder the English navigator, Le Parc Australien, a story about southern France, the Intelligence Community about the in-figthing within the Australian intelligence community in WW2, Notes from a Distant Passage a new perspective on the ANZAC tradition, 10 Days in China about the winds of change in the Middle Kingdom.

Additional Information

White Bird Black Bird was published by Booksurge part of the Amazon Group in November 2008. It is a fictional account of the growth of the native rights movement in northern Canada. ISBN: 1-4392-0345-8. ISBN-13: 9781 1439203453 CFYK, the CBC radio outlet in Yellowknife, where much of the action in White Bird Black Bird is set is celebrating its 50th anniversary of broadcasting in the north. You can find out more about this anniversary by going to

Contact Information

2/6 Harbour Lane 
Port Macquarie  2444   Australia
Contact Author: Valdemar (Val) R Wake
Favorite Links

Val Wake the author
This is my own website

White Bird Black Bird reading group
Questions for a reading group selection of Val Wake's novel White Bird Black Bird which is about the native rights movement in northern Canada.

Profile of Val Wake
Profile of Australian born author Val Wake.

No Ribbons or Medals review
Review by British academic Adam Davis of Val Wake's non-fiction story No Ribbons or Medals" the story of "Hereward" an Australian counter espionage officer

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