Olga Novak was born in north-eastern Poland, lived for six years in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and, for a shorter period, in Germany. She attended Council of Adult Education (CAE) courses in writing, including play and scriptwriting. In Australia she worked in the garment industry's factories, as a waitress and also a bookkeeper. She was a member of the Society of Women Writers, the Victorian Association of Multicultural Writers, and of the Migrant Women's Society, as well as an active member of the Poets Union of Australia, Melbourne Branch (now Melbourne Poets Union).

She was best known as a dynamic performance poet and her book of poems, The Witch's Coven, was published in 1978 by her friend Thalia. Her novel, Unmarried Mother By Choice, was published by in 1991. She had another novel almost ready for publication when she died in 2005 at the age of 71. An ardent feminist, she spoke particularly for women and migrants.

As her trusted friend and sometime editor (though not of the poems) I have her family's permission to disseminate her work here. The hard copies of her books are now out of print.

— Rosemary Nissen-Wade

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