I grew up in Cessnock in New South Wales’ beautiful Hunter Valley a couple of hours north of Sydney with two sisters, one 18 months older and the other 6 years younger – so I was the middle sister.
I went to primary and high schools in Cessnock – had the usual country town upbringing for that era – lots of running around and playing outside. One of the things we liked best was the open cement stormwater drains through the town. This was a great playground. I suppose I was a tomboy, loved riding my bike and would ride over to visit cousins at the other end of town. I played netball in the local comp and our name was the Musketeels, we were quite a good team and won quite a few grand finals. I played with my best friend next door – it was a big sporting town and I had a really good fun childhood.
After high school I went to tech college and played basketball, I had different jobs, a boyfriend and joined the Joint Coal Board. I worked for 8 yrs then went overseas for 18 months travelling with my now husband David. We hitchhiked through Africa, mostly up the East Coast – Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi & Zimbabwe – it was quite an adventure. At one point you have to cross Mozambique to get to Malawi, it is called the ‘gun run’ because of all the roadside bombs, so you line up at a checkpoint and tried to grab a lift in a truck. Malawi is a beautiful country and I clearly remember spending one Christmas day on Lake Malawi.
Travelling through Turkey was also amazing – what a country! However a bit scary and am glad David was with me. Then it was on to Greece, Ireland and Scotland before coming back to work for Tourism New South Wales and live in Sydney.
Then David and I got married and we lived in Woolaware before moving up to the Central Coast where we now live with me doing mum duties and David being a vet. We live on the water which is really nice and have two teenage boys, Sam and Matt – so I have been a fully qualified soccer mum for years. The beach is another favourite, we take all our holidays near the beach anywhere on the east coast as far as North Queensland.
I must admit I do worry as the boys will soon be going for their L-plates and driving cars but I do love having boys and would not have it any other way. In fact I am the only girl with five boys – husband, two sons, Ernie the cat and Ralph the dog!