Before becoming a professional entertainer, songwriter and verse writer in 1988, Jim taught writing, literature, history and drama in schools and universities from outback NSW to Britain and back again. He is the author of many Best Australian titles, including books on railways, aviation and horse racing. His is one of the country’s most prolific and successful Australian authors. His Best Australian Yarns collection was dedicated to Port Fairy’s shanakee, the late Pat Glover and both that collection and Australia’s Best Unknown Stories contain stories about Port Fairy. Having written and compiled over twenty books, released many albums of songs, verse and humour and broadcast his weekly Australiana segment on Radio 2UE for fifteen years, Jim was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2016 for service to the performing arts as an entertainer, author, broadcaster and historian. Jim has hosted the spoken word component of the Festival for over 20 years.