My parents have always moved every six years - without fail. First it was Adelaide, then the beautiful town of Exmouth in Western Australia, then the seaside mecca that is Port Lincoln.
This nomadic lifestyle shaped my connection to people, places and experiences to be what it is today, which is why it seemed natural at 18 to go off on my own adventure before once again choosing to come back to Port Lincoln six years later.
As the eldest of three kids, my childhood was one of love, laughs and adventures, and a strong connection to the land and the sea. Attending Port Lincoln High School was a great experience, and although it was initially hard to move from the surfing lifestyle of Western Australia, I settled into the somewhat sheltered country town vibe of Port Lincoln; where sport, fishing, and friends kept me entertained enough to get through school.
Once I left though I felt my life really began – attending uni with a diverse group of people really opened my eyes to the world, in particular how good we have it in Australia, and how far we still have to come as a society.
I was lucky enough to travel to amazing places whilst at uni, including studying at the Bordeaux School of Management in France - cementing my passion for people and experiences, and that was when I knew I wanted to start my own business and push the boundaries of the “experience economy”.
Upon my return from Europe, university became less appealing so I spent more of my time working for the global organisation AIESEC, technology firm Accodex, and eventually landing the role of manager at global coworking space Hub Adelaide, at the age of 23. With no real experience or qualification, I made the decision to change up my education path and quit university and threw myself into Hub, project managing the opening up of Adelaide’s premiere office base for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
It was the hardest, craziest and most amazing thing I had ever done and 18 months later I figured that if I pull that off then I could do anything; after all, the world was built by people no smarter than you, right? Coming back to Port Lincoln for the first time after three years to speak about co-working, I noticed that there was a gap in the market for the kind of experiential space myself and my business partner Elouise wanted to create - and so The Rogue & Rascal was born.
What started as a coffee shop quickly grew into a wine bar/restaurant/function space/safe space because Port Lincoln was looking for a ‘hub’ of diversity, fun and genuine local produce.
We started in 2014 with four staff, and now are lucky enough to employee 17 little Rascals, all with their own quirks, skills and passions, and every day I pinch myself that I get to do what I love with rad people.
Our latest venture has been opening Lincoln’s first coworking space, Lightbox Coworking, now that the business community of entrepreneurs is really starting to hum and build to a new capacity. It feels a little “full-circle”, as I never thought I would return to Lincoln or that such a forward-thinking concept like co-working could work here, or even that an openly gay person like myself could have such strong community support but Lincoln is happening and I have no doubt it is the place to be as a young, bold person looking for a great mix of lifestyle and good vibes.