I grew up in Junee, NSW and moved to Canberra for work after completing Year 12 at Junee High.
I have a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University and training in other fields such as partnership brokering, emotional intelligence, strategic planning and regional development.
I was a public servant in both the Australian and Northern Territory public services. I spent most of my career working with regional communities in most parts of Australia, particularly Northern Australia. I was based in Canberra a lot of the time. Although Canberra's autumn colours are spectacular, they are best seen when wearing several layers of clothing. Working with the many regional communities in Australia was very rewarding, although I did come to see the inside of too many planes.
In 2001 (the centenary of the Australian Public Service), I was awarded a medal in recognition of my contributions to the Australian Public Service.
One of the most rewarding periods was spent as an Indigenous Community Volunteer living and working in Pirlangimpi, a remote community on the Tiwi Islands. There is a saying that if an "outsider" can last six weeks they will be able to live in a remote community for years. I was there for nine months and learnt so much about the value of friendships and people and how little money mattered in the large scheme of things.
My last five years in the Northern Territory was very satisfying and exciting. I was a member of the executive team that guided the largest and most comprehensive reform of local government ever undertaken in Australia. After that I had an executive role in introducing public housing into remote Indigenous communities.
At the end of 2011 I retired to the Northern Rivers. I spend my time landscaping our block at Bexhill and doing other volunteer work as a bus driver with St Carthage's Community Care, with the Indigenous Community Volunteers and at Richmond River High School.