“I was born in McLaren Vale on the mainland, we moved to Mount Barker when I was 4. We had a small hobby farm, lots of pets, friendly neighbours and this is where I grew to love open space and nature. When I was 21, I went overseas and, while there, visited the countries of my own heritage. Dad was Dutch and Mum is English and Irish. While travelling, I sometimes stayed with relatives from both sides and learned more about where I come from. I would love to take my kids over there one day. Both of my parents came to Australia as teenagers, so I am a first-generation-born Australian. I definitely feel Australian but I am jealous of people who are so connected to their heritage and culture, like Aboriginal and Maori people, because I don’t really have that. Lots of people are immigrants who may not look like an immigrant.
When I was 23, I met Greg, fell in love and soon moved over to KI. I love living here, it is a really beautiful place. There have been so many happy moments in my life. Having babies and the new experience of being a Mum, getting married, building the house, travel … lots of happy things. We have had a couple of working holidays with the kids. We lived in New Zealand for 6 months while I worked as a midwife and also on the Cocos Islands off the WA coast for 6 months and in both places the kids went to local schools and we met lots of great people. It was a great experience. Some people have asked ‘how did you do that?’ but you just have to make the decision to go and do it. I was lucky that my career made it easy to find work. If you want to travel, I think it’s easier to go while the kids are still young and before they have more school commitments. I don’t have any regrets. I just hope I live long enough to see grandchildren. I simply just hope I have a long and healthy life.”