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  • The aged care facility creating best selling authors

    Author: Nicole Madigan

Proving age is no barrier to fulfilling your dreams, nor is moving into aged care, one residential community has read the room, that includes not one but two published authors, introducing a refurbished library and dedicating writing sanctuary.

Best-selling author, 81-year-old John Thompson-Gray has been living at TriCare’s Comtpon Gardens Retirement Community for many years.

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Thompson-Gray is the author of seven novels, including two best sellers about the Japanese bombing on Darwin in 1942.

His book, Japanese Blitz on Darwin, delves into the impact of the Japanese air raids on Darwin during World War II, while Love, Luck, and Larceny, draws on five years of research and interviews with centenarian airmen, Thompson-Gray uncovers untold stories from the strafing at Broome in 1942.

And he’s got no plans of slowing down, especially now.


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“I decided to live at TriCare’s Compton Gardens as it’s the ideal location to start some serious writing,” Mr Thompson-Gray said.

“The staff and residents have been a wonderful support, and some have been the most helpful sources of information.

“I worked as an executive engineer for over 25 years, and while I loved my job, it left me very little time to follow my deepest desire of becoming an author.

The library at TriCare’s Compton Gardens Retirement Community features over two thousand books,.

“The village’s library is the perfect space to be inspired. Most of my works are historical non-fiction so there’s nothing more motivating than being surrounded by some of the greats.”

Village Manager at TriCare Compton Gardens Simon Bassett said he was impressed by what the residents have been able to achieve.

“Our residents are gifted authors,” Mr Bassett said.

“We have hosted several events in our library space and auditorium to celebrate our authors and their inspiring stories. We have welcomed politicians, professors, authors, and the wider community to our village and believe that no matter how old you may be, you can always accomplish what you set your mind to.”

For 91-year-old Neill Florence, his penchant for writing was sparked after he moved into the community.

He’s published six books since he moved to the facility more than a decade ago, ranging from nail biting murder mysteries to extravagant fantasies.

“Writing has always been something I’ve loved doing but struggled to make time for,” Mr Florence said.

“I was an English teacher and high school principal for most of my career and always dreamed of one day writing books like those we studied. It brings me such pride and joy witnessing people fall in love with the characters I created and their stories I brought to life.”


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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a widely published journalist with more than 15 years experience in the media and communications industries.

Specialising in health, business, property and finance, Nicole writes regularly for numerous high-profile newspapers, magazines and online publications.

Before moving into freelance writing almost a decade ago, Nicole was an on-air reporter with Channel Nine and a newspaper journalist with News Limited.

Nicole is also the Director of content and communications agency Stella Communications ( and a children's author.