Belinda left detailed instructions and comprehensive notes for the team to ensure her wish was fulfilled. She created a 'red folder' of content that has become her bible from which we all constantly refer.
Steve Harley - Executor and Trustee
'Back-up Steve' as Belinda would refer to him on more than one occasion! When she needed a 'plus one' for an event - if her boyfriend of the day was missing in action - she would call on Steve.
He was also Belinda's primary carer throughout her cancer and is now responsible for ensuring Belinda's last wish is carried out in accordance with her instructions.
Mark Pickett - Project Manager
A familiar face on TV screens in Australia, Mark is a presenter on TV shopping channels, commercials and advertorials and runs his own marketing business in Sydney. Mark's role is to drive forward and co-ordinate each step of the editing/publishing process.
He was a very close friend of Belinda’s having spent many hours in hospitals with her throughout her treatment, laughing and joking to keep her spirits up. They also went off on several adventures together including trips to Malaysia and the South Pacific Islands.
Diane Hickey - Project Coordinator
Di was a close friend and former colleague of Belinda’s from their time spent working together at News Limited. Belinda was particularly partial to Di’s home-made delights and thoroughly enjoyed her humus, biscuits and delicious cakes.
Belinda really appreciated Di’s commitment and dedication to helping her do “whatever it takes” to ensure her book is published and asked her to be a part of the project team.
Susan Howle - Finance Manager
Best friend, neighbour, travelling companion and school buddy. Susan is a person Belinda could always rely on for honesty, a shoulder to cry on, a funny joke and shared happy times with Susan’s family.
She supported Belinda through the worst of her days and will always think fondly of her over their 32 years friendship. Recognising her business acumen, Belinda asked Susan to manage the book finances in order to help bring her story to life.
In Susan's own words:
"I have watched people with less of a burden give up sooner. Belinda was a warrior all her life, but her greatest fight was in her last years. I put it all down to this book.
Doctors told her to give in, but she wasn't ready. 'My book is not finished, I need another year,' she would say to me. Belinda would be off to seek another opinion, check some new medication, try a new diet.
Belinda was using this book as an anchor to life, if she could just get it finished, her life would have meant something, a legacy of sorts. This terrible sickness had ravaged her, destroyed and stolen so much. She got to steal a little back, telling her story.
I have battled Cancer twice and get to live on. It's my duty as a survivor, to help my dearest friend, let people know she was here and this her story."
Ronda Culshaw - Belinda's Sister
Just like Belinda, Ronda also had the travel bug and eventually settled in England. She now lives in a picturesque part of Lancashire with her husband and two teenage children and teaches maths at the local high school.
Once Belinda became diagnosed with cancer, Ronda gave up working full time so she could travel regularly between the UK and Australia and Belinda always looked forward to her visits.
In Ronda's own words:
"Belinda was life itself. She always saw the good in everyone. She believed in freedom of speech and was always fascinated by the world news and political affairs. She wanted peace for everyone. She loved to travel and saw many hardships and sufferings on her travels. She loved to take photographs... A picture could tell a thousand tales. People are what made her tick... their faces... their stories... their beautiful countries. She wouldn’t think twice about helping any of them. She would fight their corner if need be... She was strong and resilient to the end.
And this is why it is so important to do justice by her. All she asked was that we publish her book. It is her legacy. It draws a picture of who she was. It’s funny and sad. It depicts friendships old and new. It makes us aware that through different religions and across the barriers of language that we can all get through different events in our lives if we simply treat each other with humanity. This book boosted her fight for life. It was the only thing that gave her an extra few years of life. She had to complete it. It’s what the universe had in stall for her. It’s her story!"