“I was born in Austria and lived with my grandparents in a village 50kms outside of Vienna during my early childhood. Later on, I worked in Switzerland as a physiotherapist for a couple of years up on the mountain in a rehabilitation clinic and saved heaps of money. I wanted to open my own practise with one of my friends in Munich. It was all planned but I needed a break. I had always wanted to go to Australia and I really needed to get away. So, I bought a ticket for 3 months, backpacked and started in Sydney. Met my future husband there within 4 weeks and after lots of travel moved to Australia permanently in 1994.
Shortly after, I worked for this opal shop in Coober Pedy and the owner taught me how to cut opals and how to evaluate them. It was very interesting but I just learned that I wasn’t a sales person. I wouldn’t move back to Germany. I have been asked this a lot when my ex-husband and me separated, but my kids are here, my life is here. I love living here. I have been here for 26 years.
During the summer 2016/17, I met Jonny—so we’ve been together nearly 4 years now. Since then we have been going back and forth, and on many holidays together. We’ve been to Vietnam, Cambodia, last year a Europe trip to France, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal in the van. We went to New Caledonia. We share the love of travel, dancing and a good glass of wine. I am really, really afraid that anything happens to my kids, and my partner; that is why the 3rd of January was so difficult. The first time to drive up to Roo Lagoon and see everything gone—that was powerful, that was really sad. Now, we’re still optimistic and always have been, but every now and then, like many others probably, you get this real low but luckily never together. So, if he gets a low, I talk him up and if I do, he talks me up.
Love also brought me to Kangaroo Island. I seem to follow that pattern. I always had an affiliation with Kangaroo Island, was here several times when the kids were little.
I’ve lived in lots of different places, so I have not tried to attach myself to a place. I have always felt that I didn’t quite fit in. I love the friendliness; people are happy to talk and meet and really surprised how much I enjoy the community over here. I didn’t think I would.”