1970 to 1973
I left school at the end of the 6th form with my University Entrance. Can barely remember anything significant from my school days – probably because I was fairly insignificant!
I remember doing fairly well with my School Certificate Exams, played netball in a less than spectacular manner, was part of the choir when the school performed Jesus Christ Super Star. Walked out of a Biology Class at the beginning of the year in my 5th form (because I thought it was going to be too much work) and walked straight into Sheelah Lamb’s typing class – which in hind sight was the best thing I could have done. Miss Cranswick’s English classes and my typing speeds have stood me in good stead for many, many years!
After leaving school all I wanted to do was travel and didn’t want to go to university because there was nothing I felt passionate about and it seemed such a long time before I would be free. I had a year at Waikato Technical Institute, as it was then, and completed a Certificate in Commerce, worked 2-3 jobs for a couple of years and then I was off. Lots of people have travelled so won’t go into boring details – suffice to say I have travelled extensively over the years.
Several years later I met my husband, who is from Argentina, and we spent the next 25 years in Sydney. He cooked, had restaurants and was involved in food wholesaling businesses over the years. He was the one who always had big ideas and I was the one who made things happen and dotted “I’s” and crossed “t’s”. At the same time I was helping him with all his businesses, I also had my own full-time job where I managed all the night staff at one of the biggest law firms in Sydney. This was a job that covered everything from Human Resources, Management and IT and then I managed the accounts and business dealings with my husband’s businesses. Whilst I didn’t think much of it at the time, I can safely say that everything I have done in the past has certainly contributed to where I am today – which is definitely not in retirement or even contemplating such a thing!
However, taking a step back, we had two children, Daniel who is now 30 and is an IT Architect in Canberra – and doesn’t apply for jobs – he just gets head hunted. I am tremendously proud of Daniel who is an amazing person but also a very high achiever. However, 16 years after having Daniel, I then had Elyra who is now 14 and a scholarship student who is fortunate enough to not only be academically brilliant, but is also a high achiever in the Performing Arts. It has crossed my mind that while most women my age are anticipating grandchildren, I have the pleasure of knowing that I have been making school lunches for what seems like an eternity!
I am now a happily single business woman who lives on the Gold Coast with my daughter, Elyra. I am the sole owner of two Medical Practices which I manage. The first one was another one of my husband’s great ideas – it was an investment and wasn’t going to need any input from us. To avoid losing all of our investment capital, I took over the management of it in 2008 and built it up to a very successful business and then decided I now had all the skills to start all over again. So from something that was no more than a germ of an idea at 3.00 am in the morning, after 18 months of careful planning my 2nd practice was started from scratch and I opened my second medical practice, which fortunately, has also been a successful business.
As well as managing both practices, I also am a member of the Primary Health Care Improvement Committee on the Gold Coast, part of the Business Planning Committee for the Gold Coast Medicare Local Shared Care Project, which is an innovative project between General Practice and the Gold Coast University Hospital which is being funded by both the State Government and the Federal Government; and I am also a member of an expert review committee established by the Centre of Research Excellence, Discipline of General Practice, University of Queensland. This merely involves reviewing and rating different Practice Improvement tools which can be sourced from anywhere worldwide.
Although, Australia is my home now, I still come back to New Zealand very regularly. My two brothers, who didn’t go to Matamata College, both live in Cambridge. My father died about 20 years ago but my mother is still alive and living in a nursing home in Cambridge.