From my earliest memories, I've been fascinated with the natural world and especially plants. Encouraged by my mum and great-grandma, sunflowers, cherry tomatoes, and potatoes flourished in the very first garden I tended, a source of delight in my childhood years.
My twenties saw me immersed in education as I taught high school in the varied landscapes of regional Queensland. These years cemented my love for venturing into new territories and exploring the natural world.
It was amidst the breathtaking Whitsundays region that I stumbled upon community-based nature conservation initiatives. This discovery propelled me into further studies, leading to a specialisation in Applied Sciences with a focus on Horticultural Technology. I wanted to really know how plants worked and how to grow them.
By the time I reached my mid-thirties, I was living out my dream on the Atherton Tablelands as a dedicated park ranger in a revegetation nursery. This chapter of my life introduced me to the intricate workings of rainforests, and some hard and rewarding work collaborating with local communities to regenerate critical conservation areas. Our restoration work attracted remarkable opportunities to conduct research, sharing our accomplishments with other scientists, communities, and government. These were some of the most fulfilling days of my career.
Balancing motherhood with a thriving environmental consulting company I’d co-founded with a colleague led to a well-deserved break from regular full time working life—a few years spent in seclusion. Life had a slower pace, as I home-schooled my daughter and put my mind to the management of a sprawling 36,000-hectare conservation reserve on the captivating and untamed Cape York Peninsular.
The call of duty resurfaced after two Category 5 cyclones struck far North Queensland within a span of five years. Presented with formidable environmental restoration tasks, I through myself into urgent recovery projects, driven by a deep commitment to restore and protect our natural heritage. Our initiatives targeted especially hard-hit endangered species, our cassowaries and Mahogany Gliders.
Education and conservation intersected seamlessly during my tenure at an environmental education centre. Here, I introduced young minds to the wonders of nature through activities like freshwater creek studies, crocodile spotting, and nature photography, all while sharing my enduring passion for plants and our remarkable natural world.
Today, I find myself back in the familiar embrace of southeast Queensland, my childhood home and the familiar work back in plant nurseries. In this new chapter, my days are dedicated to growing beautiful plants and helping customers make the best plant selections.
My journey continues to be a testament to the enduring connection between women and the natural world, a journey I am eager to continue with dedication, enthusiasm and gratitude.