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Ian Roberts worked in the performing arts in Australia from the mid-1970s in administrative roles. He has been a chair and board member of many arts organisations and government agencies for over 50 years. In 2001, Roberts took up a career in writing, principally as a ghost-writer and editor of speeches and newspaper articles for business leaders and philanthropists. In the early 2000s Roberts returned to his lifelong interest in photography and presented a solo exhibition Plottings: Images before the shore. The images in The Celestials have been created by Roberts from photographs he took in the Beechworth region and Vietnam over the last twenty years. The Celestials is Roberts’ first full-length work. His short stories have been published by Allen and Unwin and various newspapers, including Neo Kosmos.