Knowing me and more…

Time passes so quickly and it seems hard to comprehend that I will have been a widow for five years on May 11, 2017. I was only married four years when my French-born husband, Olivier Foubert passed away, a victim of secondary bone cancer. Now, I have written a bitter/sweet memoir, my second book, Farewell My French Love, on my rite of passage through grief to recovery. It will be published by Harlequin Non-Fiction on April 24, 2017.

I had recently retired before Olivier’s diagnosis, following a 20-year career as an Adelaide newspaper journalist reporting stories from a host of people and writing about a cauldron of life matters.  Much of my career was  passionately covering women’s issues, social issues, spirituality and sexuality.  As a columnist and senior writer, I wrote on  love, loss, relationships, family dynamics and divorce. I was voyeur to the stars as Adelaide’s gossip columnist capturing the cult of celebrity, reflecting a culture in flux and a society strained by changing values.  Other cultural shifts interested me, too, including the decline of religion, the advent of Islam, women’s body image and the sexualisation of girls.  Early in my career, I established the women’s news round at The Advertiser and lately, as a supplement editor, I covered baby-boomers’ passage into mid and older-life.
None of this eclectic career prepared me for coping with my own grief, which threatened to destabilise me.  However, a woman friend alarmed at my deterioration, suggested I return to France to recover. Our travels together to Barcelona and France are peppered with battles over fashion, food and French culture, which makes funny reading in my memoir.

Prior to journalism, I had been also a high school teacher, a quest organiser and a public relations consultant and  I achieved a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) as a mature-age student.

A burning desire to learn French in 2001 metamorphosed my life and I became an author with my debut book, my memoir, From France With Love,  published by Penguin in 2007.  My own love story, it was a best-seller.One of the highlights of our married life was to travel to Praque in 2009 for the launch of the book  into the Czech language. I had become an international author.

Adelaide-born,  I come from humble roots, but have lived an extraordinary life.  Divorced twice, I married French-born retired businessman, Olivier Foubert in 2008 after 20 years living independently. However, we had only been married three years when I became his carer as he battled secondary bone cancer from prostate cancer. His death overwhelmed me emotionally and it took a few years to recover my joie de vivre.  As a widow I live in the Adelaide Hills.  I have three adult children and am a grandmother.

Now that you know me, welcome to my website and I will bring all the above experience and wisdom to bear on its content. Do contact me at nadinefwilliams(at)gmail(dot)com with any comments or ideas. And I look forward to your input on my blog.


  • Order of Australia, 2016.
  • ,Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal, 2001.
  • Mitchell Media Award for victim-sensitive reporting 2000 (in memory of Dame Roma Mitchell)
  • Archbishop of Adelaide’s Media Citation, 2007

Community Accolades

  • Who’s Who of South Australian Women
  • Who’s Who of Australian Women
  • Zonta Woman of Achievement
  • Homestart Finance Award for Positive Media Images; Positive Ageing Awards 1999
  • SA Women in Media Coalition – Journalist of  the Year 2005
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12 Comments to “Knowing me and more…”

  1. By Cate, 18/05/2010 @ 3:10 pm

    What an inspiration you are to other women. Good luck with your blogging!

  2. By Beth, 12/07/2010 @ 12:08 pm

    Nadine just finished reading your blog, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
    I had to leave a comment about Julia, and find it amazing that most people seem to have just accepted the demise of Rudd as if it were an every day event. I remember well the huge hue and cry when Whitlam went, although the circumstances were different of course.
    Perhaps we have all become too complacent and sceptical about politicians.
    Keep up the good work, you really are a woman of substance.

    • By nadine, 12/07/2010 @ 12:11 pm

      Dear Beth, Thankyou for the kind words and yes, I think removing a Prime Minister is a serious invasion of democracy. Nadine

  3. By Naomi Tree (Simpson), 16/12/2010 @ 2:59 am

    Hi Nadine
    What a life you are leading after all these years! I have often thought about you, Serena and Felicia and have finally managed to track them down through Facebook.
    Its funny the things that make us think back… when we moved into our current house, it was the first house we had lived in that had a dishwasher. This made me think back to your kitchen where I had first seen a dishwasher – how I marvelled at the idea of a machine that could wash dishes. Memories of my sister Karen (now spelt Carryn) playing monopoly and mousetrap with your girls and I recall these memories when I play these games with my own children. I also seem to remember a white fluffy cat – ?powderpuff???
    The mosaic of our lives, ever intersecting and popping up at the most obscure movements

    • By nadine, 22/12/2010 @ 9:46 pm

      Hi Naomi, I can hardly wait to tell Serena tonight about your comment. Where do you live now. Yes, we had a white cat called Powderpuff, but I had forgotten until you reminded me. That was a lovely house, wasn’t it. Youmust get my book From France With Love to fill in all thegaps of what has happened in my life since I knew you. Where do you live now? How many children? I’d love to know all the news – and a photo would be nice. Make yourself a friend of mine on facebook.

  4. By Annie Rowen {formerly Dryden}, 28/03/2011 @ 5:48 pm

    Hi Nadine,
    Well finally I have been able to locate you for conversation. So much has happened since I had the pleasure of your company.As you probably know I am divorced and enjoying my freedom of speech and life. Now a proud Grandma of “baby James” who turned 3 years only a week ago. Nick my youngest is getting married early May to beautiful Sarah. They are really just formalizing after being together for 10 years. I hear your young man married Vannessa. anyway I would love to catchuup for a coffee or lunch. Be in touch . regards Annie

    • By Nadine Williams, 03/02/2022 @ 10:27 pm

      Dear Annie, It is 10 years since you wrote the above blog, before my husbanmd died in 2012. I am trying to place you in the tapestry of my life. I cannot remember y9ou as Annie Dryden. If you get this message, you might like to give me some context for your life and how we knew each other. I have been widowed 10 years this year and am now an author. I am writing my third manuscript, entitled Eleanora’ S daughters….about finding my lost grandmothers. Anyway, do send me a response. You know about Vanessa marryhing my son, Tyhson. They have two chidlren and have celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary…acutaly 12th now I believe. Do you know Vanessa? Or Tyson? Kind rfegards,

  5. By Paola, 26/03/2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Hi Nadine,
    I have just finished reading your book “From France with Love” and I wanted to tell you how much you inspired me, and how much I loved reading your thoughts about cultural shock. My husband and I are mexican immigrants, we arrived 5 years ago and we understand well how hard it is to adapt to a different culture. I was very happy to see pictures of you and Olivier, and reading you got married!!! That is fantastic!!!
    My best wishes to you and Olivier, hope he recovers quickly.

    • By nadine, 27/03/2012 @ 8:52 am

      thx Paola – such a heartfelt comment at a difficult time. Write me some of your thoughts as an immigrant. My French teacher, Elsa, also a good friend, was an immigrant from Argentina but is now an Australian citizen. I am interested how old you are to be making such a huge change. My website features women in their middle years changing their livesw. Is that you or are you a young woman? cheers, Nadine

  6. By Robin, 18/05/2013 @ 5:29 pm

    Nadine, I have just finished reading your book From France with Love and enjoyed the love journey as well as the travel through France to places I know. Yesterday I fought up with a family member happened to mention reading your book and she had tears in her eyes. Jeanette C from Goolwa knows you, her son went to school with one of your daughters and she told me the Olivier had passes away. I was unaware of this as I live inIndia and am not in touch with Adelaide news.
    It is a small world and one where every chance of happiness and connection must be explored. Thank you for sharing your romance with Olivier with the reading public.

    • By nadine, 19/05/2013 @ 10:09 pm

      Hi Robin, Many thankyous for your kind words. If you look at my blog Travellers Tales, you will see a little picture and story about Jeanette and Gary. Do continue to read the web.

  7. By Marie-Paule LEROUX, 03/02/2018 @ 9:59 am

    Chere Nadine, je ne peux helas assister au lancement de votre livre ce mercredi a Fullers Bookshop a Hobart mais j’y ai commande une copie de votre livre. J’avais lu avec beacoup de plaisir le precedent. Je dis donc ‘a vous lire’.

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