“I’ve lived a fortunate life. I was born in Mt Newman in the Pilbara in Western Australia. When I was one year old, my family moved back to South Africa where my Dad is from; my Mum is Dutch. I lived there until I was 15, then back to WA back to the mines. I went to boarding school in Perth and when I was 19, my family moved to the States for work so I took the opportunity to go. I lived in the States for eight years, including a couple of years in Alaska, went to Uni there and started working there for newspapers in rural Colorado. In my first year of Uni, I studied Geology and then I realised looking at rocks is kind of boring. I always liked writing and had done well in English so I chose to change to Journalism.
I moved back to Australia as I was becoming an American and people stopped asking me where I was from. I also missed the ocean as Colorado is right in the middle of the country. The first job I got back here was in Orange, in central west NSW far away from the ocean too, but it was the only job I could get. So, I spend eight months there until the job in Pt Lincoln came up. I was in Port Lincoln for six years, then in Narooma on the south coast of New South Wales for twelve years. My work gets me all around the community and I meet a lot of people, that’s what I do like about my job. When I moved to Kangaroo Island, I was looking for a change in my life; it was a big new adventure and just a fresh start.
When you are with a newspaper, you end up covering the same stories again and again, and there were changes with how the paper was being run. I like control over the whole thing, so it’s all me and up to me to do it. I don’t like to have anyone interfering with my stories or pages, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. I’ve been here for three years and so far so good with Island life. I don’t see myself doing anything different as long as the paper is there, and I’ve always said if something happened with the paper, I would try and start my own. In my own personal life, I have turned out to be a bit of a recluse. I enjoy being at home, going for walks with my dog Twig or going out on my boat. My job gets me out meeting people, so I do have plenty of human interaction.
I think there are too many humans on this planet. I like Kangaroo Island to stay just as it is because it is still relatively untouched and wild and I don’t like any kind of development at all. I think we have something here that is so precious and once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. The rest of the world is so overpopulated and messed up, so we really have to fight for what we got here. I found the island very hospitable and I guess the islanders were just happy they were getting another journalist living in the community. I found islanders in general quite friendly and open. I like the casual life and being in a small community where you know everybody. I feel like I fit in here now; I have been accepted into the community.”