My Cornish Connections

Rosanne Hawke's Cornish Connections


  1. Cornish ancestry: 1856 the Trevilyan family emigrated from Redruth, Cornwall, settled in Burra, SA to work the mine, then later Broken Hill (silver mine), to finally becoming farmers.

  2. I am the daughter of Lenard Trevilyan and Doreen J. Bedford.

  3. Married into the Hawke family who came from Gwennap, Cornwall and arrived in Adelaide Feb 1840, farmed near Port Adelaide, then moved to Kapunda when the mine opened, and moved on to Gawler, and then Unley Park.

  4. I have a keen sense of history and family and felt a kinship to the land of Cornwall when I visited in 1999 and also in 2005.

  5. First year Kenewek Language Study with Bard, Lilian James. Exam taken and passed in 1999.

  6. I am a member of the Cornish Association of SA.

  7. I was awarded 'Bard of Cornwall' in 2006 for contributing to Cornish identity in young people.

  8. I am an author and have written 6 books with Cornish themes, (1 of these forthcoming). The reason for writing these books: I feel there are many young people in Australia who do not realise their Cornish heritage. I believe a knowledge of our cultural heritage helps in our self development and self identity. I've found young people with a strong sense of family and cultural background are less prejudiced against others.

  9. Books with a Cornish theme:

      The Messenger Bird, YA, set in and around Kapunda.

    • Zenna Dare, where Jenefer Tremayne finds her Cornish heritage and a family secret. Set in Kapunda.

    • Across the Creek, a fantasy based on Cornish Folklore, set in the Kapunda Mine.

    • Wolfchild, based on the Cornish legend of the lost land of Lyonnesse and the Trevelyan family.

    • The Keeper set on the Yorke Peninsula, SA, with sea scenes reminiscent of Cornwall.  

    • Sailmaker, also set on the Yorke Peninsula, SA and includes the folktale of the Mousehole cat.

    • The Last Virgin in Year 10 where Caz, who knows of her Cornish heritage, tries to discover who she really is.  

  10. Cornish Awards

      The Messenger Bird, 2013 Winner of the Holyer An Gof YA award and also winner of the inaugural Ann Trevenen-Jenkin Cup for YA and Children's Literature.

    • Wolfchild, Commendation in the 2004 Holyer an Gof awards (open section);

    • Across the Creek, winner of 2005 Holyer an Gof Awards (Children's book section).

  11. Webpage: On my website I have a Cornish section where teachers can find Cornish resources, Cornish stories, ideas for a Cornish theme in the classroom, and fiction lists of books with a Cornish theme for children of all ages. I also have teacher notes and background notes for the books with Cornish themes I have written.

  12. I visit schools in the capacity of children's author and I talk about writing and books, but I also tell Cornish stories, talk about Cornish culture and folklore to further promote Cornish culture and heritage in South Australia.

  13. I was also invited to Cornwall to do this in July 2005 and visited five schools there.

  14. I have written a PhD thesis called 'Jack and Jen in Oz: Cornish Identity in Australian Children's Literature' and was asked to present this at the Cornish Study Centre in Redruth in 2005. I also presented this research at the 5th Celtic Conference at Sydney University in 2004.

  15. I have taken part in the largest Cornish festival in the world the Kernewek Lowender at Kadina/Moonta/Wallaroo SA, by telling stories in schools,  running writing workshops, being guest speaker at the Max Fatchen Awards night, and taking part in 'Meet the Cornish Writers'. I have also launched local books with a Cornish theme.

  16. I presented a paper called 'Kapunda Cousins' at the Kernewek Lowender History Seminar in 2009. I have also spoken at the Cornish Association of SA and at Rotary Clubs, Probus, Senior Citizens and other clubs, on a Cornish theme. In 2010 I wrote a paper called 'The Mostly True Story of the Pasty' for the Cornish Association's History Seminar and this was read by Hon Ian Wilson as I was overseas.

  17. I live near Kapunda, the oldest mining town in Australia. It has a Cornish history and I live in a Cornish built house (c1858) with underground rooms, and attend the Kapunda Uniting Church (successor of the Methodist) where I am secretary. I enjoy Charles Wesley's hymns, and folksongs like 'The White Rose'.

  18. Possible ideas for future projects: talks in schools, articles in magazines, a book on Cornish folklore for Australian children, maybe a non fiction book The Cornish in South Australia for children. A novel about an Australian girl visiting Cornwall to meet relatives? Maybe it will be Jenefer from Zenna Dare.