About Sharyn Munro

sharyn-about1Sharyn Munro lived for decades in a solar-powered mudbrick cabin on her remote mountain wildlife refuge in the NSW Upper Hunter Valley, the heart of her first two books, The Woman on the Mountain (Exisle 2007) and Mountain Tails (Exisle 2009).

Mother of two, grandmother of five, concern for their future drives Sharyn to use her very personal nonfiction style to reach beyond the converted. In The Woman on the Mountain, sustainability and global warming concerns mix with memoir, nature writing, and survival adventures with chainsaws or snakes. Threatened species is the theme underlying Mountain Tails, a self-illustrated collection of short pieces for animal lovers.

Her short stories have won many prizes, including The Alan Marshall Award; she writes regularly for The Owner Builder Magazine, and her essays have been published in the Griffith Review and famous reporter.

The very different Rich Land, Wasteland — how coal is killing Australia (Pan Macmillan/Exisle 2012) arose from her empathy with the people and places of the nearby Hunter Valley being devastated from runaway opencut coalmining. The aim of this self-designated ‘commonsense activist’ is to shock Australians into action, with the truth about coal and CSG. People have compared her book to Silent Spring in its passion, its exposure of issues and the possibility it may lead to a change in the way we treat our world.

In late 2014 she moved to a different mountain, closer to family, and with new wildlife to be discovered and chronicled in her blog. Sharyn is currently working on a new book, in the personal style of The Woman on the Mountain, to encompass the vast changes in her life since 2007, not least the heart-wrenching experience of researching and writing Rich Land, Wasteland

Listen to this illuminating 2016 podcast interview by Natasha Milne with Sharyn about her life, her books and her activism:

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharyn Munro April 20, 2019 at 10:55 am

Hi Sandy,
Thanks for your interest and for helping spread the word about what is happening!

Sandy R April 19, 2019 at 8:02 pm

Hi Sharyn, I have been following your articles in Owner-Builder Magazine for a few years now, and I am impressed with the publication of your new book about the horrible coal mining industry. Thank you for collating the facts from around our country and hopefully some more people will become aware of the negative aspects and work towards a sustainable future. I will ask my local community centre to purchase your book as I know many locals would be interested in reading it. I wish you all the best, Sandy.

Sharyn Munro April 18, 2019 at 5:06 pm

Hi Robyn,
Thanks for making contact. It gave me hope to meet people newly becoming active like you two! I am glad my books will help inform you.
Thanks for telling me about Adam; we need more good independents.

Robyn Bird April 17, 2019 at 9:50 pm

Hello Sharyn,
Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and time at Gloucester recently. We are enjoying your books very much and there was much to learn in all of them.
We are fortunate to have Adam Blakester as an Independent candidate for New England. Adam has a great record of looking after people and the land. His values meld very well with the theme of the Sustainable Gloucester weekend . It is so nice to have hope.
Thank you so much for your care .

Sharyn Munro August 2, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Hi Sam,
Thank you for your comments; couldn’t agree more. Many people have given their local MPs a copy. One shocked reader bought 100 copies of the book and sent to 100 politicians, each with a personal letter, so they ‘would know the harm they do’.
Who knows how many read it?
best wishes,

Sam August 1, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Professor from Nortodam university given me your book.

I am so shocked we have been digging our own graveyard ourself. Coal is toxic and it destroys ecosystem. Public health. Have you send your book to every Pm and environment Minister of Australia and every Minister

Every company CEO and general public should read your book.

Let’s work together to stop the cause of the illness and environment destruction.

Thank you


Sharyn Munro July 20, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Thanks Helen. It was a treat to live on the Mountain and I miss it still. I hope to write a sequel to that book as life rolls on with new challenges!

Sharyn Munro July 20, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Thanks Helen. It was a treat to live on the Mountain and I miss it still. I hope to write a sequel to that book as life rolls on with new challenges!

Helen Proud July 19, 2017 at 5:22 pm

A passionate authentic life – I am full of admiration. You did it hard but stuck to your truths. Your honesty and wisdom shine through in The Woman on the mountain. You You are s wonderful writer – don’t know how you wrote when life was such a daily challenge. Hope now you are resting your body. You deserve to. Thanks

Sharyn Munro January 1, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Hi Fitriadi,
Sharing a love of nature and thoughts about things that threaten it comes easily to me. I’m just always grateful that people like you care enough to read what I write!

Fitriadi December 18, 2015 at 12:20 pm

You’re a real deep thinker. Thanks for sharing.

Sharyn Munro August 29, 2015 at 7:38 am

Hi Phil,
It was nice to see you and Annie again. Thanks for the kind comment and thought re donations but not really possible to do that. Yes, travel is an issue when you’re on a pension, but often a group will offer to meet my fuel costs if it’s a fair distance, and I usually get billeted. Luckily I’m a very frugal person!

Phil Bradley August 20, 2015 at 1:44 am

Dear Sharyn,
I felt honoured to talk with you again after your fabulous moving talk at Gloucester on Saturday! Your stories of community disruption and environmental harm caused by the destructive coal and gas industries deserve to be heard by all Australians, but I know how costly travel is to do so.
Please consider adding a donate button to this website, as I’m sure there are more like me who would be keen to help support the costs your campaigning obviously involves. Please let us contribute to your i work more than just by buying your book! Yours in awe – Phil Bradley (ParraCAN & Parramatta Greens)

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