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VICTORIA RIGNEY was born in Tasmania and holds a degree from the University of Tasmania, where she in currently undertaking an MA at the School of History and Classics.

Victoria was awarded the Donald Groom Fellowship by the Society of Friends (Australia) to research and write the biography of Donald Groom, and an Arts Tasmania literary grant to continue the work. Peace Comes Walking is her first book, and she is working on her next, writing biographical sketches, and continuing her career as a government policy consultant. Victoria lives in Hobart with her daughter.

"Peace Comes Walking is in many ways an unusual biography, being the story of a lesser-known and quiet person, who worked to make a difference in the world.

This biography of Quaker peace worker, Donald Groom, is a story of passionate idealism, spiritual strength and unexpected tragedy. Peace Comes Walking has its heart in India and spans the peace movements of the twentieth century.

Donald Groom was born into a family of conscientious objectors during World War 1, and worked in interesting places at extraordinary times: Spain during the civil war, India before and after independence, and Australia during the Vietnam war.

Although he lived in friendship and collaboration with such visionaries as Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and Martin Luther King Jnr, this is not a portrait of a saint. Victoria Rigney shows us a complex personality, a 'Hindu Quaker' who undertook his own walk in the wilderness, as he struggled to find personal and global peace.

The book explores several themes, including the dichotomies of inner reflection and physical endurance, the quiet personality and the need to be persuasive, and the tensions between personal and public life. It gives a context to the controversy about dam construction on the holy Narmada River and the resettlement of its communities, brought to world attention by Booker Prize winning author, Arundathi Roy.

Peace Comes Walking is published by Glass House Books of Brisbane.


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