Alumni Profile:  Klay and Mark Lamprell – a life of words
Klay and Mark Lamprell


Alumni Profile: Klay and Mark Lamprell – a life of words

Screenwriter, director and novelist, Mark Lamprell (BA 1981) met journalist, researcher and editor, Klay Lamprell (BA 1981, PD Conflict Resolution 1995, Cert Languages 2012, PhD 2017), at Macquarie University in the late 1970s.

The couple were in their second year of an Arts degree. “I was looking at a tutorial list in a lecture and saw the name Klay Stone,” said Mark. “I laughed and said this to the pretty girl sitting next to me ‘What a crazy name!’ and she said ‘that’s me’. That’s how we met.”

“I invited him to my 21st and we were together from then on,” recalls Klay. “In fact, in our cohort, many couples formed at that same time, and we’re all still friends. Most of us were studying communications, media or education.”

According to the couple, the campus in the 1970s and ‘80s was a great place to socialise. “We’d all finish our classes by 1pm for lunch and then pour out into the quadrangle, picking through the crowd to find our group,” says Mark.

Mark and Klay were destined to meet. Although Mark initially enrolled in an architecture degree at the University of Sydney, he knew his passion lay elsewhere. He looked around for a media degree. “I felt MU would be a good fit for me as I wanted to study storytelling, I wanted to read books and learn how to make films. It’s been a great experience.”

Not surprisingly Mark’s career has never wavered from that ‘storytelling’ path. He now works in film and television. He co-wrote the film Babe: Pig in the City, and wrote and directed the award-winning feature My Mother Frank, and The Making of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. He also wrote the novels, The Full Ridiculous, and The Lovers’ Guide to Rome (also titled A Summer’s Day in Rome).

Klay found that Macquarie University offered the breadth of subjects to explore her varied interests. “I started out in psychology before moving to media and literature,” says Klay.

After her first job as an assistant editor at Macquarie Dictionary, Klay found her niche in freelance writing and editing. She went on to work for newspapers, magazines and publishing houses, eventually becoming managing editor for a group of magazines that included Sydney’s Child.

More recently Klay worked as an editor and medical writer at Macquarie University’s Australian Institute of Health Innovation. It was at AIHI that her work became academically focused. She developed a narrative framework for comprehending patient’s experiences and began research on the healthcare journeys of people with melanoma.

The research culminated in the thesis Meta-narratives in the melanoma patient journey: A medical humanities approach to understanding patients’ experiences, for which Klay was awarded a PhD in 2017.

“Patient stories, unlike the data collected in questionnaires and medical records, tell a deeply personal account of the journey through diagnosis, treatment and recovery,” she says. “And yet, there was no method to incorporate these stories into the healthcare mix.”

Both Mark and Klay revisited their old stomping ground on campus in November 2017 to donate over 25 books to the Library collection including books published in French, Italian and Croatian.
Together Klay and Mark have written children’s fiction, including the books Frankie and Finn and Otto The True Blue Aussie Dog. Klay has also written a series of non-fiction travel guides for children.

Alumni are encouraged to enjoy Mark and Klay’s books available at the Macquarie Library.

Do you have a story to share from your time at Macquarie?

Tell us your fondest memory of Macquarie days, let us know about the people, places and peculiarities of your Macquarie – the things that make it different. Secret spots, notable alumni ‘before they were famous’, personal triumphs and definitive moments that have become part of the University’s fabric of service and engagement.

We would also love to hear what you have been doing since you have left Macquarie – whether you’ve landed an exciting opportunity, stepped into your dream job, support the community or travelled the globe, your life after Macquarie has been filled with interesting and unique experiences.

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