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Meet Shirley Eldridge


Shirley moved from her home town of Rockhampton at the age of 21. She has since moved house more than 25 times, accompanying her mining industry husband, before finally settling in Western Australia.

 Shirley worked in the welfare sector for over 35 years, including seven years with Lifeline WA, where, with her background in psychology, she trained counsellors, and volunteered as one herself. She travelled the State, disseminating suicide intervention strategies, after which she wrote ‘Twenty-Four Seven’ and its sequel, ‘Georgie-Girl’, fictionalising her experiences.

Prior to this, she wrote ‘The Rocky Girl’, which chronicled life during the 1950s and ‘60s in Queensland. This was the forerunner to the true crime story, ‘Mima – A case of abduction, rape and murder’, which was published in 2016. Mima was a work colleague of Shirley’s in Rockhampton in the 1960s and was murdered while working for the electricity authority.

‘Edwin – Flamboyant Australian Pioneer’, a work of historical fiction, was a venture into a new genre for Shirley.

Her latest work, ‘Woman for Sale’ was inspired by real events too important and shocking not to share.



Edwin - Flamboyant Australian Pioneer

From weathered sailor to fencer to businessman to mayor to magistrate, the inimitable Edwin Macaree, with a passion for phrenology, Shakespeare and the stage, stormed Rockhampton in its early days, often cutting corners in his quest for power, wealth and status.

Arriving in Rockhampton with a wife and just seven shillings and sixpence in his pocket in 1861, he initially struggled to survive. His great achievements were seriously threatened by the 1890’s financial crisis, forcing tough decisions.

Family tragedies were not unknown to the Macarees whose lives were interwoven with the Fraser pioneering family. Though a tad younger, the Frasers were no less extraordinary.



Mima - A case of abduction, rape and murder

What really happened to Mima Joan McKim-Hill in 1967? Author Shirley Eldridge and Mima Joan McKim-Hill were friends and colleagues working for the Capricornia Regional Electricity Board in Rockhampton in 1967 when Mima disappeared while on the job. She had been abducted, raped and murdered and her body abandoned.
Shirley tells this deeply personal story, starting with the events leading up to the abduction, and continuing through to the 40 years later, with the re-evaluation of the evidence, the unravelling of lies, and finally the naming of the killer.
Mima is a uniquely gripping tale of dogged persistence during the exhaustive investigation by a few who cared.




Rose leaves her home in the Philippines with four other young women to work overseas. The work Rose is confronted with is far from anything she could have imagined, even in her worst nightmares. Rose’s one desire is to earn enough to escape from her captors and return home. But what is her family back home up to while she is gone?

 Then she meets potential client, Mister Bob, an optometrist from Sydney who is dealing with his own escalating health issues while he develops and expands his business. How can he help Rose?







The Mayor of Rockhampton, Councillor Margaret Strelow:

Edwin Macaree was one of those hardy early settlers to whom Rockhampton owes so much of its character. Although Shirley‘s book is historical fiction it is a great insight into life in our beautiful city in its earliest days. I hope that Edwin would like what we have grown to be! 


The Morning Bulletin, Jann Houley, Photo/Journalist:

Eldridge’s meticulous research into 19th century Rockhampton imbues its streets and structures, as they stand today, with a sense of drama – comedy and tragedy “measure for measure” – worthy of its Shakespeare-quoting hero.



Kerry James, Sisters in Crime

Shirley tells this deeply personal story, starting with the events leading up to the abduction, and continuing through to 40 years later, with the re-evaluation of the evidence, the unravelling of the lies, and finally, the naming of the killer.

Eldridge’s deeply-felt and well-imagined account is her best effort to make sure this does not happen in Mima’s case, and that her life and death does not just pass us by. It is a worthwhile and compelling read.



 Dr Marinella Marmo, A/Professor, College of Business, Government and Law,

Flinders University, Adelaide.

  “…we are exposed to a life trajectory made of dreams for a better life, shock, fear, sufferance, abuse, humiliation and lots and lots of hope for a different ending.”






24th April 2024