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Shirley Eldridge

Shirley moved from her home town of Rockhampton at the age of 21. She has since moved house more than 25 times, accompanying her mining industry husband, before finally settling in Western Australia.

Shirley worked in the welfare sector for over 35 years, including seven years with Lifeline WA, where, with her background in psychology, she trained counsellors, and volunteered as one herself. She travelled the State, disseminating suicide intervention strategies, after which she wrote ‘Twenty-Four Seven’ and its sequel, ‘Georgie-Girl’, fictionalising her experiences.

Prior to this, she wrote ‘The Rocky Girl’, which chronicled life during the 1950s and ‘60s in Queensland. This was the forerunner to the true crime story, ‘Mima – A case of abduction, rape and murder’ published in 2016. Mima was a work colleague of Shirley’s in Rockhampton in the 1960s and was murdered while working for the electricity authority. ‘Edwin – Flamboyant Australian Pioneer’, a work of historical fiction, was a venture into a new genre for Shirley. Her latest work, ‘Woman for Sale’ was inspired by real events too important and shocking not to share.

Woman for Sale (2023): Inspired by the true story of a trafficked woman.

Dr Marinella Marmo, A/Professor, College of Business, Government and Law,  Flinders University, Adelaide: …we are exposed to a life trajectory made of dreams for a better life, shock, fear, sufferance, abuse, humiliation and lots and lots of hope for a different ending.


Edwin, Flamboyant Australian Pioneer (2020): Historical fiction based on Edwin Macaree’s life.

The Morning Bulletin, Jann Houley, Photo/Journalist: Eldridge’s meticulous research into 19th century Rockhampton imbues its streets and structures, as they stand today, with a sense of drama – comedy and tragedy “measure for measure” – worthy of its Shakespeare-quoting hero.


Mima, a case of Abduction, Rape and Murder (2016): A True Crime Story.

Kerry James, Sisters in Crime: Shirley tells this deeply personal story, starting with the events leading up to the abduction, and continuing through to 40 years later, with the re-evaluation of the evidence, the unravelling of the lies, and finally, the naming of the killer. Eldridge’s deeply-felt and well-imagined account is her best effort to make sure this does not happen in Mima’s case, and that her life and death does not just pass us by. It is a worthwhile and compelling read.


Twenty-Four Seven (2010):  A first-hand account of a psychologist running a phone counselling agency.

Dawn O’Neil, CEO Lifeline Australia: Fascinating … an excellent read which I am sure readers will find compelling. 


Georgie-Girl (2011): Sequel to Twenty-Four Seven.

Jacqui Mackay, ABC Capricornia: …an interesting insight into the politics and petty jealousies of mining communities and also into the fascinating world of telephone psychological counselling.


The Rocky Girl (2005):  Chronicles growing up in the 1950s and ‘60s. Shirley explores sexual awareness, religious questions, women’s rights. At twenty, her life is shattered when her work colleague is murdered in 1967.