I was born in Port Lincoln as the eldest of three daughters to Wayne and Michelle Smith. In 2000, I graduated from Sacred Heart College in Adelaide as a boarding student so I could continue swimming competitively. University was not something I was interested in and quickly found work in hospitality at the Marina Hotel. It was here that I first met my husband, Christian.
In 2001 I joined Reg Kemp Real Estate and trained in real estate sales and property management. I spent nearly four years in real estate before moving to Broome one week before my 21st birthday to work as a wholesale travel agent. I loved Broome, it was a tropical paradise for young people looking to work hard, party hard and experience all the Kimberley can offer. After about 12 months Christian joined me in Broome and started working on the pearling boats, farming and harvesting south sea pearls.
One of my most memorable experiences was hosting a tour group of travel agents. We were supposed to fly to the Bungle Bungles from El Questro but ended up crawling out of a plane wreck instead. We took off from the dirt runway but did not seem to have enough power and soon realised the only option was down. We hit the white 44-gallon drums at the end of the runway, nosedived, did a forward somersault over the Gibb River Road and skidded upside down through the bush till we eventually came to a stop. Somehow everyone survived with only bumps and bruises, I still do not like turbulence or light aircraft!
In Broome, I also worked at the Cable Beach Club Resort, Matso's Broome Brewery, The Old Zoo Café and K2O Cruises, a luxury charter vessel. Christian was already skippering the boat and if I was not in the office selling $30,000 holidays, I was on the water cruising the Kimberley coast. In 2008, while diving at the Rowley Shoals, Christian proposed, 30 metres underwater. He wrote "will you marry me" on the dive slate and I wrote back YES! We followed this up with a five-week European holiday to meet his family.
In 2010 Saxon came along and we stayed in Broome. I ended up working for the Shire of Broome and 12 months later Christian's work and study lead us to Perth where I worked for the Western Australian Local Government Association. In 2012 when Freya was due, we knew it was time to move home. Christian's work had taken him to Queensland working four weeks on, four weeks off and I was ready for life back on the EP with family.
I worked for Southern Marine Brokers before launching my own business in 2016, My Eyre Peninsula! My EP is still going well today and has recently been awarded a $20,000 digital grant to help take it to the next level. I still have a love for swimming and the water and get my fix teaching Aquafit at the Leisure Centre. I am a committee member for the Eyre Peninsula Women in Business Network and have a passion for helping others and our community.
At the end of last year, I reinstated my real estate sales licence. I felt ready to re-enter the industry and knew the time was right for me professionally. Only a few weeks later I bumped into an old friend who works for Harris Real Estate and the following month I was being inducted into Harris as the new cross-peninsula recruit. It's a perfect fit and I absolutely love it, watch this space!