What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your life?

‘I have Borderline Personality Disorder. It really just affects me with relationships. I was diagnosed about two years ago and have been doing treatment since then. It’s slow going. It’s taken me 30 years to get like this so it’s not going to fix in a year.

‘I think it’s been getting better since I was diagnosed because it was gradually getting worse as I got older. Since I found out about it, I’ve educated myself and I feel like it’s getting better. I would encourage other people to definitely look inside themselves and try and fix what’s going on inside them to make their world a better place.

‘I’m thinking of studying psychology and specialising in Borderline Personality Disorder. Being able to help other people with it would be a fulfilling kind of thing. I’d love to eventually do that. At the moment, hairdressing is working for me because I still get to talk to people every day. It’s kind of like counselling anyway!’

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‘When our kids were young, I tended to be the bad cop and he was the good cop but then it swapped when they were teenagers and he became the bad cop and I became the good cop.’

‘I think social media and the internet has put so much extra pressure on kids growing up. There is too much happening and there is too much opportunity for bullying and that kind of thing. Life’s just getting so complicated really. I found that daunting. And I think kids are under more pressure these days. Everyone’s got to achieve so highly. Where’s the old playing outside kind of lifestyle?’

Is that something you try to instil in your students?

‘I try to but it’s virtually impossible. I teach at a selective school and the kids are highly motivated and pressured by their parents. They’ve been going to coaching college since they were about five. So a voice against all of that pressure is pretty weak really but I try.’

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‘It’s a form of escape for me. I really love baking – it’s my passion. I work with ATMs during the week so it’s completely different.

“t started as a form of stress relief when I was at Uni. Whenever I would bring cupcakes in, my friends would ask if I was stressed again. When I’m stressed, I make cupcakes at 3am.

”I also bring them in to work and my colleagues know that I’ve been stressed. It’s the creative part of baking that de-stresses me.

When they smell nice that’s when I know that I’ve done well. When they’re all gone by the end of Saturday, I know that I’ve made it!”

‘What we’re doing right now is complaining about the Abbott government.’

If you were to meet Abbott, what would you say to him?

‘Do not repeal the racial discrimination act because you’re not at the forefront of what the average person says to people who are not white and you don’t know how bad it is on the street.’

Have you been on the receiving end of racism yourself?

‘My whole life! There is an atmosphere in Australia of arrogance and belligerence towards people who look like immigrants. Not people who are immigrants as there are a lot of white people here who are immigrants but people who look like immigrants.’

If you were to address a large group of people, what would you say?

‘Don’t underestimate how important it is to have compassion. A lot of people think that life is all about getting what you need for yourself but actually, no, you hold yourself back when you cannot feel compassion for another person. The compassion you can feel for another person is exactly the amount you will feel for yourself.’