I grew up in Adelaide, the eldest of five kids. My siblings and I had a great childhood, surrounded by a large extended family. I could walk through our quarter-acre backyard to both my aunty and grandma’s house. Everyone seemed to have a key to our house and it was not unusual to come home to a house full of people.
As I grew older my friends loved to come to our place, as they felt relaxed and comfortable there. They often wondered how I got any homework done in the rabble but I suppose I did not know any different. To this day I am terrible at waiting on my guests, a throwback from my childhood I guess, where everyone just helped themselves! My mum made everybody welcome. My dad worked hard to make sure we all had every opportunity, often working interstate for long periods of time.
I have great memories of playing in the large Ash tree with my sisters and cousins, and making fruit preserves with my grandma, who also nurtured my love of cooking. She taught me to play piano at the age of four and music continues to be a big part of the lives of all of my siblings. I had lots of opportunities for travel during my school and uni years, and loved seeing different cultures and experiencing different ways of life. There are still plenty of places to visit on my bucket list, both in and out of Australia.
In 2001 I graduated from UniSA with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) and was offered a job in Port Lincoln. I literally had to look it up on the map, and I knew not a single person. It was 700 kilometres from everyone and everything I knew but one thing my mum taught me is to take the opportunities that come my way, so I nervously said I would go for one year. I started work at CRS Australia in Port Lincoln in 2002 with a fabulous bunch of people who made me very welcome and helped me find my feet.
I made some great friends and was able to pursue my love of horses, buying two of my own, a childhood dream! The years rolled by, I worked at Port Lincoln Health Service and also for Lower Eyre Health Service where I had the opportunity to build my skills around working with children and young people. I also did some postgraduate study. I met my husband Craig through mutual friends and we were married in 2008.
We moved to Craig’s family farm at Mount Drummond, where we now run a mixed farming enterprise with our four girls Eva, Matilda, Bonnie and Charlie. I have been so fortunate to make some amazing friends here and I am truly grateful for this fabulous community and the way it has welcomed me.
I love the lifestyle the West Coast allows us to have, we spend our spare time at the beach, fishing, swimming and camping with friends. My kids have their own “zoo” - animals everywhere and they love helping in the shearing shed, feeding the sheep and raising lambs.
I do miss my family and friends from home, but I wouldn’t trade the life we have for anything. My friends here have become my own little village, they are amazing! I enjoy being involved with lots of local clubs and contribute where I can. I often reflect on how one small decision can change your life, for me it was taking that job in a town I had barely heard of. For now, my kids and the farm are a full-time job, but who knows what the future holds!