“I was born on KI and our farm was two miles out of Parndana. That’s where I grew up. Dad came here after the war and bought a scrub block that he cleared with a tiny bulldozer. It was before Parndana was settled so he was one of the first farmers in the area.
My mum was the biggest influence in my life. She was a very caring, generous person. She loved gardening, our wildflowers and birds, helping others and being involved in this community. She was a great example for me to follow and my garden is full of memories of her.
My garden is my happy place. I also love being involved in the Parndana Community Garden. What a brilliant project thanks to Sophie Thompson.
I am happy with a simple life, having my family around me. Bernie and I have three adult children who all moved off the island for some time and have come back here to live. We also have 5 gorgeous grandsons who all live near me. How lucky am I to be able to spend lots of time with them all?
I have been involved in lots of community organisations over the years and have really enjoyed the friendships I have made along the way. During this time, I have had great fun catering, organising social functions, removing truckloads of feral plants and organising garden trips to the mainland.
The most humbling experience of my life was earlier this year when along with four other ladies, we set up the Parndana Hall as a relief centre with clothing, food and other basics for those in need after the horrendous fires. We spent countless hours receiving, sorting, and collecting clothes. The sheer volume of donations was staggering! Caring people from Kingscote, Penneshaw and surrounding districts helped us on a roster system. We had helpers of all ages, both men and women. It was a wonderful example of country folk helping each other. There were several times when I was there alone and sat and listened to some heartbreaking stories. I will not forget these conversations and had several sleepless nights as a result. It was nice to be able to help them with immediate needs and sometimes for them to just stop for a moment and have someone to listen to them.
Volunteering is rewarding, a great way to meet new people and make a difference where you live.
Sometimes I worry where the world is heading and what life will be like for the future generations, particularly now with Covid-19. I suppose our parents worried about us and our future – perhaps it is a progression of getting older? I think the wonderful thing about living on the island is the isolation and that while that can be a pain it also makes us feel safer at times. I love Kangaroo Island.”