Life and Work
Lieutenant Colonel Christopher J. Holcroft RFD, BA Comm, MA Comm, JP, was born in Cooma, New South Wales during Australia's largest ever building project, the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. He was born to Allan and Shirley Holcroft along with his brothers Mark and Peter and his sisters Liane and Nerida.
Holcroft started school at St Joseph's Primary School from classes Kindergarten to Year Three. He then moved to De La Salle College, Kingsgrove for Years Four to Seven. De La Salle closed its doors as a boys school in 1999 and later re-opened as the girls only school St Ursula's College. Holcroft transferred to Peakhurst High School in Sydney's south in 1965 in Year Seven and graduated from Year 12 in 1970. The school is now part of the Georges River College. He started work two weeks later at Sydney's The Sun newspaper as a copyboy. Within a year he began his formal cadetship as a Journalist and completed his training in 1974 when he became graded. Christopher worked for and contributed to a series of newspaper mastheads for more than 20 years including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, The Australian and a string of suburban papers, lastly, editing The District Reporter in Camden, New South Wales.
He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, majoring in Journalism and Communication Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney, later completing his Master's degree in Communications at Charles Sturt University. Holcroft followed his grandfather, New Zealand author M. H. Holcroft, into a career in journalism and writing. He also followed his uncle, New Zealand author Anthony Holcroft, in writing children's and adult books.
In 1974 Holcroft joined the Australian Army as a part-time soldier in the Army Reserve as an Infantryman, rising to the rank of Temporary Sergeant. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1982 into the Australian Army's PR Corps, the Australian Army Public Relations Service, and rose through the ranks to become the Corps's first Reserve Lieutenant Colonel in 1999. Holcroft graduated from the Australian Army's Reserve Command and Staff College as a Captain in 1987 and a Major in 1992. He saw active service in East Timor in 2000 as part of the United Nations Transitional Administration East Timor (UNTAET) and was posted in Iraq in 2006 as part of the Australian Army's Operation Catalyst based in Baghdad.
Holcroft was awarded the Reserve Forces Decoration in 1997 and the Australian Active Service Medal for his tour of duty to East Timor, in 2001. He was presented with the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Australian Defence Medal and the Iraq Campaign Clasp to the Australian Active Service Medal in 2006. Holcroft was also part of a Unit Commendation to the 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit by Australia's Chief of the Defence Force. In 2017 Holcroft celebrated 43 years of service in the Australian Army Reserve.
Since 1968 Holcroft has been a member of Scouts Australia as a "Senior Scout", Assistant Venturer Leader and Venturer Leader in charge of youths aged 14 to 18.
During his time as a Senior Scout and Venturer, he gained his Queen's Scout Award and the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award.
When he became a youth leader, he gained his Wood Badge and was awarded the Silver Wattle Award for meritorious service in 2008 and the Silver Koala for distinguished service in 2016.
He is also a Justice of the Peace.
Honours and Awards
Australian Active Service Medal with East Timor clasp - 2001
Iraq Medal (Australia) 2006
Reserve Forces Decoration with three rosettes - 1997
Australian Defence Medal - 2006
Australian Chief of Defence Force Unit Commendation (1st Joint Public Affairs Unit) - 2005
Queens Scout award - 1971
Duke of Edinburgh award - 1971
Wood Badge - 1983
Silver Wattle award for outstanding service - 2008
Silver Koala award for distinguished service - 2016
In 2008 Australia celebrated its Centenary of Scouting, and Holcroft wrote the first two novels in the Scott Morrow adventure trilogy to mark the occasion: Only The Brave Dare and Canyon. In 2010 Holcroft completed the trilogy with A Rite of Passage All three books followed the adventures of a group of Venturers and a teenager who never wanted to be a hero but whom his country needed.
In 2011 he published the first book in his Afterlife series, Finding Thomas. He explores what happens after someone dies in novel form using a teenage central character called Kit Green, in a focus on near death experiences.
The second book in Holcroft's Afterlife series is One Last Concert. It was published in April 2013 and Holcroft explores how to move on the spirits of people who have died suddenly and are trapped on Earth. One Last Concert is published by Infinity Publishing.
The books are sold in the USA, UK, India, New Zealand, Japan and Australia by major bookstores including Amazon, Angus and Robertson, Dymocks, Fishpond and Booktopia.
Holcroft's inspirations for his novel writing were drawn from real life experiences as a newspaper reporter, a soldier and a Venturer Leader. He found a lack of imaginative, challenging and adventurous books available for teenage boys to read, so he wrote his novels to encourage boys to read more and enjoy the great outdoors. At his various book launches and discussion groups among adults, he found a distinct lack of knowledge about what happens when people die, so he started his Afterlife series as a way of introducing the subject of death but adding an adventurous tale to it.
Holcroft lives in Banksia, New South Wales, Australia where he wrote his first five books. He is married with three sons.
ConclusionLieutenant Colonel Christopher John Holcroft RFD, JP is an Australian author. He is best known as the author of the Scott Morrow adventure trilogy, which consists of the books Only The Brave Dare, Canyon, and A Rite of Passage. He has also written Finding Thomas, and One Last Concert in his Afterlife series.