“I was born in South Africa, the youngest one of four girls. My Dad thought he was getting his boy eventually, so just raised me as one. He sold his business when he was 50 and semi-retired on a farm. I loved being on the farm with my parents. Dad and I hunted, fished and farmed together. I guess I was in training to be Johannes’ wife.
After graduating I worked in America for two years as a physio before marrying Johannes, we then had three kids in South Africa.
Johannes took over his dad’s place in the practice as a country GP in Riversdale, about three hours east of Cape Town along the Garden route. About four years later, after we had built a lovely house, Johannes saw the writing on the wall for a future in South Africa and we explored coming to Aussie. We came on an LSD trip to Look, See and Decide. In July 1998 we moved to Renmark with three young kids – one-, three- and five-years old. In South Africa I had lots of domestic help and here there was no family and no domestic help, so that was quite an adjustment.
Johannes worked very hard in Renmark and didn’t have a lot of time. Sometimes it felt like I was a single parent, but it teaches you resilience. Here on Kangaroo Island, the work life balance is so much better, so we have time to do fishing together and work together at Emu Bay Holiday Homes that we bought two years ago. We also get to enjoy the space and peace there now and then.
We’ve been very happy in Australia; it’s been a good decision for us. We have been very blessed. I’ve enjoyed my years working as a physio and still have a passion for teaching people how to cook good food from scratch easily with Thermomix.
My mum is still in South Africa, she is 94 now, she had Covid and has come out the other side and she is actually doing pretty well now. I hope I’ll be able to go and see her again in the new year.”