Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
I grew up in a small country town in Central Queensland – Clermont. After traipsing around a bit in my late teens and early twenties, I called Sydney home for a long time. My gypsy feet then took me to Asia for a number of years (China & Vietnam), and upon returning to the motherland, decided to call Brisbane home (at least for now).
What was your dream job growing up? Is that what you ended up doing?
Ha! Absolutely not! When I was little, I was very much into testing and science, and my aspiration was to grow up to be a scientist, or perhaps a vet. Throughout my late teens I started leaning towards counselling/social work, spending quite a bit of my spare time volunteering with disadvantaged teens and gaining experience dealing with teens and young adults with substance abuse.
This (somehow) led me to studying nursing straight out of high school, which I quickly discovered wasn’t really for me. I wandered through life a little, doing many varied, some outrageous things to generate income and kind of fell into a role where I was exposed to learning and development, and discovered I really loved helping people to grow and learn new things.
Twenty years later my job/career is a ‘learning and development professional’! I started out in the community services and health sector, and have spent a majority of my L&D life in banking and finance.
What is one of your most defining moments in life?
Hmmm… there’s many! One of the biggest defining moments was having the opportunity to live and work overseas, and immerse myself in a completely different culture both personally and professionally. Imagine being three weeks married (after eloping), and coming home from work one day to ask your new husband, who had never left Australia, had absolutely no interest in leaving Australia, and also didn’t have a passport: “how do you feel about moving to China?”. Three months later we were calling Shanghai home, living in a local apartment building (the only ‘foreigners’ in the building!), not speaking a stitch of Mandarin, carving a new life of amazing (and really challenging at times) experiences.
I am incredibly lucky to have a husband who rolls with the punches and antics of his crazy wife! Living and working in China, and then later Vietnam, had a significant impact on my view of life, it broadened and challenged my thinking, my values and beliefs, and certainly made me a far better (and resilient) human. And it exponentially changed (and challenged) my relationship with my husband for the better.
What are three of your favourite things to do?
I’m definitely a wine fiend, and nothings goes better with wine than cheese – overall I’d say I’m a ‘foodie’ and one of my favourite things is to explore new places to eat and drink, and spend time in my own kitchen. I’m a bit of a suffering artist, with a love of building and creating decorative celebration cakes.
My other past-time is motorbikes (I blame Vietnam living for this), hubby and I enjoy getting out on the road on weekends, exploring new places, enjoying old faves, and meeting other bike enthusiasts along the way.
Your favourite aspect of being in the Leina Broughton Conversations Group?
There’s an answer for every possible musing you could have! The group (or ‘brains trust’ as it is so often affectionately referred to) is made up of such diverse, creative, intelligent, strong, compassionate women, who are always willing to offer advice, share an opinion, challenge mindsets and absolutely shower one another with positive reinforcement and compliments. There’s no question too hard, too silly, or conundrum unsolvable, whether it relates to fashion or just life!
Your “go to” LB piece?
This one’s tough – not sure that I have a ‘go to’! When I can’t decide or can’t be bothered, it’s definitely all about the separates (or Monique for work), when I want to feel ‘girlie’ and ‘swishy’ more recently it’s Stella/Layla. My absolute ‘go to’ though would probably be Olivia and Eloise, they’re both so versatile! My go to colours and patterns are bold and bright, think magenta anything (closely followed by red anything), jungle and animal, and pink crepe Cora!
What is your favourite quote?
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. YOU ARE BRAVER THAN YOU BELIEVE, STRONGER THAN YOU SEEM, AND SMARTER THANK YOU THINK. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” - Winnie the Pooh, aka A.A. Milne
If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Again, this one’s tough, there’s so many! If I were to settle on just one, it’d be “My Way” by old blue eyes himself – Frank Sinatra. (Robbie Williams does it justice too!).
It’s 2020 – what are you choosing to leave behind and what will you be taking forward into 2020, the new year?
2019 was a pretty rough year professionally for me, so I’m leaving it behind, along with the low-confidence, self-doubt and skewed priorities. 2020 is going to be a year of ‘me’, doing things that make me happy, spending more time with those I love, giving (time, money, skills, support) to those in need, and saying YES!