Di Cousens has worked as a project manager and professional writer in the university sector for nearly two decades. Her poetry has been published in anthologies, journals and four chapbooks. Her photography has been in several exhibitions and her photos of poets in performance are used in websites, books and promotional materials. Her university work has included writing and managing award and grant applications in learning and teaching at an institutional and national level, conference organisation, supervision of research data collection, student database migration and university policy writing.
She has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Master of Arts in Tibetan History from La Trobe University and a PhD in Himalayan Studies from Monash University. Her PhD was centred on the small Himalayan village and temple of Triloknath in Himachal Pradesh, India.
Di lived in India in her 20s and was a Buddhist Centre Director for ten years (the Melbourne Sakya Centre). In 2016 she became the foundation President of Sakyadhita Australia. Sakyadhita is an international organisation that promotes the welfare of Buddhist women. It has also been very active in working towards gender equality for Buddhist nuns.
She is also a past Vice-President of the Buddhist Council of Victoria and well known for her contributions on palliative care, particularly editing the BCV publication, Buddhist Care for the Dying. She also created the national policy on disability access to temples, which was disseminated through the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils in seven languages. She presented on the Tibetan Book of the Dead at the Sydney Biennale in 2016.
Di is a regular contributor to the newsletter of Melbourne PEN, the international organisation supporting writers in jail. She is a regular speaker at interfaith dialogue seminars in her home city of Melbourne, Australia.
Di has been taking photos all her life and won the Linden Postcard Prize in 2014. She exhibited photos from her travels in India and of poets in performance at the group photography exhibition, 'Show of Hands', at the Manningham Gallery in 2017.
From 2010 to 2017 Di was a committee member of the Melbourne Poets Union, and produces a half hour poetry program for radio once a month for 3CR. See here.
Di has produced four chapbooks of poetry – The Freedom To Be, House Red, Free Text Space and the days pass without name.