“Mum and Dad moved here when I was six years old, so it’s pretty much been my home for forever. I’ve tried living elsewhere but my feet and soul have always been here and I’ve come back. I love our beautiful home and its wonderful nature and think the best feeling is when you’ve been on the mainland and you drive down that hill and you get your first glimpse of Kangaroo Island, you get the butterflies and you know, yay, you’re home.
I grew up as a cray fisherman’s daughter and spend lots of time down at the wharf. We used to climb underneath the wharf all the way down the end, we’d swim between the pool and the jetty, jetty jumping, off riding our bikes like the BMX bandits; we thought we were pretty cool. One of my best memories was the Blessing of the Fleet. They used to dress up all the boats and parade the boats out in the bay, after a blessing by a priest where he’d also throw a cross into the water and people would dive for it. That was a really special childhood memory. It was a special day for the cray fishermen, they bless the fleet before the season around October. It was huge, it was a really big event.
I started the feral cat program years ago. I used to trap feral cats and do gut analysis; it was to try and prove a point about the damage they were causing. There were little lizards, birds and everything that moved. I was also taking blood samples for the animal control board. The cats also carry many diseases such as sarcosporidiosis which cause issues for the sheep farmers. For this and other environmental work, I proudly received the Young Achiever for Kangaroo Island for the year, about 27 years ago. I was also a finalist in the Young Australian of year awards. I used to be a lot more pro-active I guess l, but now I’m a bit of a recluse, I just like the quiet life.
We are so lucky to live on this beautiful unspoiled Island. I love going out in nature, birdwatching or hanging out with a mob of Kangaroos and doing nature photography; it’s magical and I think we have to do all we can to protect it. The proposed development in Flinders Chase is really bothering me. I really don’t think we should build in any national parks, no private buildings; it’s there for the people, our grandchildren. We should just leave it the hell alone.
I am scared of the over-development of the island; I don’t want it to be another Gold Coast. I hear this from my international guests all the time; what we have is really special and we have to protect what we have.
I love sharing my island with my guests, I love my tour guiding, I love it more than anything; spending my days in our beautiful nature. You are giving energy to people, you are receiving that as well, it’s a huge part of my life. It’s massive because you can make them fall in love with it, which is easy. When you see them fall in love with something you love, it’s just amazing, really beautiful.”