Itchy feet always come back home

Born at Crabtree in Western Australia, I moved to Yallunda Flat in 1995 and completed my schooling in Cummins in 2005. Growing up as a single child, I was quiet and shy with a love of animals, Barbie Dolls and babies. I worked an after school job at the local supermarket and spent all my free time babysitting.

The year 2006 was a big one, my now husband Haydn and I purchased our first home in Tumby Bay, meaning I skipped the rental phase all together. I settled into life in Tumby Bay and began working at the IGA. We married in 2011 which I joke made me a “commoner” and took away the need to spell out my last name!

By 2012 I was looking for a new challenge and applied at the Tumby Bay District Community Bank for a position with a 12 month contract. It was daunting leaving a permanent position but I’m going strong seven years later in a job where I love what I do, who I work with and for a place that does amazing things for our community. Funnily I remember a vacant position advertised at the Cummins branch when I was 17. I was encouraged to apply, being told how perfect it would be for me. I remember laughing and saying I wouldn’t want to work in a bank, if only I had known!

Although I had lived in Tumby Bay for six years, I didn't have much of a social circle outside of work and being married to a truck driver who worked away, I needed to break out of my comfort zone. Haydn had been a CFS volunteer for years and suggested I join, but I didn’t like the idea of putting out fires.

I had the chance to volunteer as an ambulance officer with SA Ambulance Service, which embarrassingly I never realised was a volunteer position. After a few weeks of training invitations I took the plunge and I haven’t looked back. Soon I was nominated to be the volunteer team leader and my confidence grew, as an ambulance officer and a person. I joined for purely selfish reasons but soon realised how wonderful it was that you can help people in what can be their worst time. I get told constantly, “I couldn’t do it, what if it’s someone you know?” "What if it’s someone you know (and maybe love) but you didn’t have the skills to help them in their time of need?"

Volunteering has not only given me a bunch of skills, lifelong friends and helped me grow as a person but gave me a new passion, in turn encouraging me to return to study. Ten years after high school graduation I became a uni student for the first time, and I am currently studying Bachelor of Science (Paramedical Science).

I became an avid traveler who gets itchy feet if I’m home for too long. With my newfound confidence I have no qualms in travelling alone and luckily my dear understanding husband knows this. Being a “Trucker’s Widow” I know the importance of not growing old waiting for him to come home! In 2017 alone I had three overseas holidays in 12 months, including one week in Perth, two weeks in Bali, three weeks in China and five weeks in the UK and Europe where I had my first backpacking adventure.

Other adventures included Australian and international holidays with Haydn. I need to leave town regularly, to soothe the itchy feet, even if it is a quick EP or Adelaide adventure with my best friend Quinn. However, home is where the love is, so I’ll always return to Tumby Bay.