Posts Tagged ‘my community cross-section’

My Community Cross-section: Claire


My Family

Location of birth: If overseas, when and why did you move to Australia:  I was born in South Africa but I left SA in 1998 for the UK to begin my ORSOME season of working and travelling and had a phenomenal few years over there before meeting the man of my dreams in my/our church over there in 2001!  We got married in SA in Oct 2003 and then returned to the UK in April 2004 & went back to the same ORSOME church and worked & did some more travelling together before coming to Aussie, Aussie, Aussie in March 2010 and we LOVE it here!!  (This is the VERY short version though, hee hee)

Year I was born: 1976

Any interesting family history:  My hubby’s Grandparents (on his Dad’s side) come from “uppercrust” English background apparently and so on hubby’s Family tree….there are distant relations to the Royal Family & my hubby is in fact a VERY distant cousin ie: (3rd cousin, twice removed) to Princess Di….(not sure the FULL story but this is seriously true).

I on other hand have Scottish background as my maiden name was “Robb” as in “Rob Roy” (the movie with Mel Gibson)….& Rob Roy on our Family tree was a distant cousin on my Dad’s side…..JUST KIDDING – ha ha ha 😉
Jobs you have had:  Mainly secretarial/PA jobs but also had a couple Nannying jobs in the UK (not “nanny” as in cleaning but as in looking after kids).

Whilst at school in South Africa, I also worked at a fabulous Flea Market for a year or more (NOT A PLACE THAT SELLS FLEAS EITHER, HEE HEE) which was a fab way to earn pocket money & before I left for overseas I also waitressed at a stunning coffee shop for a couple years called “Circus Circus”  🙂

Things you are passionate about:  Would have to say Travelling and also Children !! I also LOVE LOVE LOVE socialising with friends & am completely energised after spending an hour, an arvie or an evening catching up with a friend or a few friends 🙂  (I DIG ladies nights)

Things you don’t like: Spiders Spiders Spiders !!!!!!!!  Also REALLY dont dig 2 faced people or peeps that stab you in the back.

Places you have lived:  Grew up in South Africa….but like I mentioned in the first answer….lived in the UK from March 1998 until Oct 2001 and then went back to live in SA & then got married in Oct 2003 & in April 2004 went back to live in the UK with my hubby until March 2010 & now we live in Australia!  Had MANY exciting years doing lots of travelling in the UK and was part of an INCREDIBLE church & made the most WONDERFUL friends that I will have until my dying day.

Dream/goals as you were growing up:  To do ministry into Africa coz I’v had a HUGE heart for African children since I was a little girl!  Its still my dream to go back to Africa & go on outreaches/ministry trips….but this will be in God’s timing in who knows how many years time ????……nevertheless…..I/we LOOK FWD TO THAT DAY – YAY 🙂

Also been my absolute DREAM to travel a bit of the USA & “New York New York” is TOP of my list so BRING IT ON BABY – CANT WAIT for the day I go there 🙂

What was it like growing up:  Grew up in South Africa & my parents divorced when I was about 5 but my Dad was always around and I saw him all the time as my Mom and him got on well and still get on really well which is a HUGE blessing!  Am also VERY blessed to have been raised by a PHENOMENAL Mother who’s Values, Morals & Standards stood me in VERY good stead for LIFE – Thank You Jesus 🙂

Advice you would now give yourself as a child:  CHILL & dont always take life too seriously coz life is precious AND short !!!

Life changing moments:  Giving my life to Jesus in 1991…..& getting married to the man of my absolute DREAMS in 2003 🙂

Travelling:  LOVE LOVE LOVE travelling and am blessed to have done lots of it with my mates whilst living in the UK before I got married & then a bit more travelling once we were married & living back in the UK!

I still have a pretty long bucket list in terms of travel but my dream since I was a little girl is to travel to the USA (as mentioned above)… that is TOP of my list along with a ministry/outreach trip to Africa and not sure which country in Africa exactly but wherever God opens the door.

What do you think your future holds:  Whew….thats a pretty tough question to answer….but I would have to say having all the Grandparents living here with us.  We are very blessed to have my Mom over here with us & in a couple years we should have my hubby’s folks living here too (they are putting in their app in July, YAAAAAY). Its just so special & an absolute BLESSING for kids to have their Grandparents in their lives if possible & so we count ourselves VERY blessed to have at least 1 here for now.

In faith, I would have to say the other thing would be having CLOSE friendships with a few couples (ideally where the kids are similar ages so that they can be GREAT mates as well but obviously this is really not essential at all & would just be nice to have that with a couple families even). Also being truly happy & involved in the church Jesus has us in for that particular season in our lives.

Lastly I would like say that if I had my life over……I would want to be a dancer !!!!  I did modern dancing in junior school & LOVED it with a passion and danced in a lot of school plays but for some reason, I didnt carry it on in high school but I have ALWAYS had a passion for dancing & watching dancing……particularly modern or hip hop type dancing (the type they do in “Step Up” is my FAV). I have always LOVED dancing the night away in my nightclub days & I just LOVE watching dancing movies (& picturing myself as the lead dancer….hee hee, OK theres some open heart surgery for you 😉 I also ADORED dancing for a few years at my church in South Africa before I left for the UK & would just LOVE to get back into dancing at church someday too 🙂

My Community Cross-section: Fiona


Happy. Feeling Good. 2011

Location of birth: Melbourne. Year I was born:1981

Any interesting family history: Both grandparents on my dad’s side were born in Malta and migrated to Melbourne in 1956. My grandmother travelled with my Grandpa by boat for 3 months whilst pregnant with my Dad. Both grandparents and my mum were born in Italy and migrated to Canberra in the 70’s. My mum was 12. Had a hard time coping with the move and made herself very sick by not eating. My dad’s cousins lived in Canberra and he met my mum whilst visiting them. He used to drive up there after work every Friday after work to see her for the weekend. They eventually married and he brought her to Melbourne.

Me as a newborn, August 1981

My little brother Joe, my gorgeous young mummy and Me. 1983.

Prep photo - terrible fringe. 1987.

Jobs you have had: So many when I think back. First job was at Darrell Lea at 14. Also worked in a Pharmacy as well whilst doing VCE. Worked in a Chinese Restaurant for a few years. Tutored children whilst at Uni. Worked in a DVD store. Worked for the NAB bank for a few years whilst studying. Worked for a Recruitment Agency. Worked for my Dad’s business in the office for a while. And finally as a Teacher………….and continued to tutor after my kids came along.

Things you are passionate about: My family……particularly being a mother. Has always been in my blood. Taking photos, everyone that knows me calls me the paparazzi. Teaching and trying to do it well. Organisation….I wouldn’t function properly without it. Positive thinking……..the mind is amazing if you use it to your advantage. Music…….has a way of taking you back or removing you from the craziness of life when needed. Being fit and healthy and transforming my body………… latest passion.

Things you don’t like: Illness. Superficial, two-faced people. Negativity. Insects. The lack of hours in a day. The amount of calories in yummy food.

Places you have lived: Only ever lived in Melbourne, but I love it!

Dream/goals as you were growing up: Always knew I wanted to be a teacher and more so a mother. Did dream about being a film maker for a while in high school when I became obsessed with making a documentary about school life in year 11 (still have all that footage somewhere). Simply just wanted to be happily married, to a wonderful man, with a few kids and a stable job. Didn’t think it would all happen so quickly, but I know it’s meant to be. Couldn’t be happier.

A very special Christmas, 2009

What was it like growing up: I am the eldest of four children. I two younger brother’s and a sister. We had a normal dysfunctional upbringing. My parents worked their butts off to put us through private schools, something now I look back on in awe. Don’t know how they did it. Us kids, complained, fought, laughed, picked on each other and generally went out of our way to annoy the hell out of each other. Never got along with my sister until we grew older, she cramped my style, LOL. I love her to death now though, just took a bit of growing up to get there. Have fond memories of holidays to Angelsea, drives to Canberra to visit mum’s family, going to the footy most weekends all together to watch the Magpies, weekends at the footy club watching my brother’s play, Mum’s yummy home cooked meals on cold nights, making home videos with my siblings as youngsters and watching them all evolve.

Me and my little sister Daniela.

Advice you would now give yourself as a child: It’s funny how lately the advice of my parents and grandparents keeps haunting me. Stop trying to grow up too quickly. Watch your weight now, it’s so much harder to lose it when you are older. The years pass so much quicker when you finish school. Save as much as you can now! Hindsight hey?? However, I think the main things would be to believe in yourself, trust your instincts and what’s meant to be is meant to be.

My beautiful parents and two very proud grandparents. Joe and Rosa. 2009

Life changing moments: Losing my grandfather to a very quick diagnosis of Cancer. I thought he would outlive all of us. Still think about him every day. He was the most kind, gentle, admirable and loving man. Hardest thing to swallow is that he will never meet my children. He would love them to bits. Meeting my husband and soul mate – nothing has ever felt more right. It was instantaneous and weirdly the death of my grandfather brought us together. I always say that I lost one amazing man at that time but gained another. He’s my rock. I always hoped that ‘true love’ was possible when I was younger, but really never thought it would be this amazing. He makes me laugh every day, makes me strong, has made me a better person, make possibilities reality and just really made my life.

Marrying the man of my dreams, Wayne. 2007

My wedding day with my bridesmaids. My best freind Sharee, my sister in law Michelle, Me, My sister Daniela and my other best friend from high school Nadia. 2007

Becoming a teacher and realizing that the relationships and bonds that you make with the children by far outways the educational side of things. The heartbreak of ending my first year as a teacher and having to say goodbye to my students. I had the most amazing grade, still feels like yesterday. Knowing that somehow you have had an impact on the lives of young and beautiful children and knowing that they have had a far greater impact on you.

Having my children. Probably the most life changing and utterly unexplainable experience. Being pregnant and giving birth is just the start. Being in awe and instantly in love with such a tiny, innocent little being. Watching it move inside your body and then feeling like you know it so well only minutes after it enters the world. And then the rollercoaster of being a mother – and watching your child grow and learn and become their own personality. Would not change it for the world. Oh and the cuddles. They are awesome.

The loves of my life. Ben and Mia 2011

My recent health kick. I have one friend in particular to thank for starting my motivation. It’s nearly been a year of hard work, eating well and changing my mind set, but I’ve lost 20 kilos, many centimeters and a few dress sizes. Can’t even remember being this size ever. Bought a size 14 pair of skinny leg jeans the other day. Still a little snug, but my new goal before I turn 30 in August is to be another 10 kilos lighter and hopefully swimming in them!

Travelling: Haven’t done a great deal of travelling. My furthest destination was my honeymoon to Fiji, which was awesome. Wish I was there now. Have never had the urge to travel, and probably neither the time, until recently. Would love to travel to Europe, Thailand and another trip to Fiji with my hubby one day.

Honeymoon bliss. Fiji 2007

What do you think your future holds: I can only hope it holds many more years of growth, health and happiness. Time certainly passes by so much quicker once you have children. Feel like they are changing and growing before my eyes. I would love to simply have a good balance. Time for my children, my hubby and occasionally myself. The simple things in life please me. Being comfortable financially, being content professionally, being in a loving relationship, and having happy, healthy children. I can see myself continuing teaching in the future, but do have the urge to do further study at some stage, perhaps using my psychology qualifications within the educational profession at some point. I would love to do a photography course at some stage too. I have the urge for another baby – at least! Really want to be pregnant again – would love a few more – but that would mean lots of upgrades would be needed and unfortunately more money! Oh and getting that next 10kg off!! Wish me luck.

My Community Cross-section: Gwenda (a.k.a mum)


Gwenda & her husband

Location of birth: Randwick, Australia

Year I was born: 1955 – Yeah I’m old but it sure beats the alternative!!

Any interesting family history:  My maternal Grandfather was a ‘runner’ for the Australian Lighthorsemen at Beersheva and therefore was involved in the liberation of Israel. He came home from the war with a glass eye, which he never talked about.  My paternal Grandfather was a British officer in Calcutta where my dad was born, so growing up I would tell everyone my dad was from India…which was true, but funny considering everyone in the family was blonde! lol

Jobs you have had:  Shop assistant while at school…my first pay was $35 and I thought I was rich!!  Then an Office Clerk while waiting to get into nursing training to become a Registered Nurse. Left nursing for awhile and worked with my hubby in his building business as Manager and Interior Designer.  Worked as an Office Manager for a Ministry for a year, then back to nursing!  I’m presently a Nurse Educator in an Operating Theatre Unit!!…and yes, I do cope with all the blood!! J When you’re busy looking after the patient, it really isn’t something that worries you…unless there is too much of course and then you worry for the patient!!

Things you are passionate about: God, Family (hubby, ‘kids’…Katrina, Kirk, Chris & Cass), and special friends!  A cliché but at the end of the day, that really is all that matters!

Things you don’t like: Evil people that harm the innocent!!

Places you have lived: Sydney, Port Macquarie and Noosa.  When I was growing up my grandparents lived within a short walk to the water at Cronulla and we spent every school holidays with them. It had such an impact on me (still get the warm feeling when I think about it now) When I was in High School we had a family holiday house at Jervis Bay, and that convinced me I always wanted to be near water!  When married we lived near the ocean at Bundeena, Port Macquarie and Noosa…such a blessed life!!  Then hubby wanted a tree change and I agreed reluctantly to move inland near Eumundi.  We’re on 7 acres now and surprisingly I absolutely love it!  Mind you, hubby is just in the process of finishing the pool deck…he understands I still need to be near water!!

17 years old

Dream/goals as you were growing up:  When I was 5 years old I stuck pins into the face of Betty, my beautiful new china doll!!  Mum was not impressed!!  How destructive!! Why would a little girl do such a thing??  Maybe she has a nasty, vicious streak??  But the thing was that my Dad was sick and spent a lot of time in hospital…I was actually play acting being a nurse and making it all better!!  Probably not so easy to figure out at the time, but interesting on reflection considering I have been a Theatre Nurse for over 35 years!!

What was it like growing up:  My dad died when I was 7 years old, so it certainly had its tough times!!  But mostly I have memories of being surrounded by people who cared and loved me. My mum remarried when I was 11 which was kinda tough ‘cause I didn’t have her to myself anymore…but kinda good because I could start living my own life without worrying about a grieving mum!! I was teased a lot by my 3 older brothers, and  used to get spoilt rotten by their girlfriends!!

Advice you would now give yourself as a child: Don’t sweat the small stuff!!  You can’t go wrong if you stick with what the good book says!!

Special community day in Bundeena, Sydney Australia

Life changing moments:  A dramatic one was having a pillow fight with my dad when I was 7 years old!!  I was totally unaware that he had an aortic aneurysm and it would only be a matter of time till it burst.  Apparently he had been told to lay still and avoid doing anything that would elevate his blood pressure (it was inoperable)  He died later that night…apparently he woke my mum up and said ‘It’s time love’.  As I became older it occurred to me that I had basically killed my father!!  It wasn’t till I was in my 30’s that I realised it was the most loving gift a Dad could ever give to his little girl… he was prepared to risk all to give me a happy memory of a playful Dad!!

My Mum and Dad had 3 boys and then a still-born girl, who died just before she was born…so Mum had to endure a full labour knowing her baby had died and then to find out it was the girl they had been hoping for.  They were told it would be dangerous for Mum’s health to have another pregnancy, but they had a strong faith in God and decided to try one more time….and then they had me!! I have often wondered what it would have been like to have had an older sister and what she would have been like…but then again, if she had survived Mum says they wouldn’t have had me.

Travelling: We went OS to Tasmania when pregnant with Treens!! (does that count as OS??) Travelled the northern part of Australia for 6 months with hubby and kids…best thing we’ve ever done and highly recommend it!! Hubby and I went to Israel in 2004…wonderful…want to go again!!

Son, Husband & Son-in-law at a Host A Murder dinner

What do you think your future holds: More of the same will do me fine…but with a bit more time freed up to spend with the people I love!!

My favourite thing to do (I have to admit I’m totally obsessed), is being part of the Jubilee Ministry Dance Team!!  I’ve been very blessed to be able to do this for the past 10 years…with a special blessing of my gorgeous girl Treens being in the team as well!!  It is like being part of a very special family who all have a love for worship…and for one another!! The team are asked to minister at various functions about 12 times a year!!  We’re always amazed that we’re asked at all, but we’ll continue for as long as we’re required…and I’m in it for the long haul…even if I have to use a walker!

Mmmm….actually life’s pretty good!!!

The fam