‘I spent too much time being angry. I spent a good couple of years being really, really angry at someone that showed no remorse, never apologised, never even looked at me. But karma gets you at the end of the day. It is what it is. He’s living his life and I’m living mine. I try not to think about it.

‘My biggest challenge is removing the stigma that people in chairs just stay at home and do nothing. Also being socially accepted and being able to access all gig venues and general locations independently. Not have to plan whether I can go and see a band or meet up with friends at a café that I can’t get into.

‘Life’s too short. I don’t have time for negativity. Don’t worry about the small things. I just want to live. Stay true to yourself. Just love who you are and love life.’

‘I’ve got to say I’ve been very fortunate with a lot of the kids I’ve had over the years. They’ve said to me, “Miss, you’ve always just been there. In our broken English, in our horrible writing, you’ve just been there. You’re stable. You’re with us. You listen to all our sob stories and all our successes.”

‘Even if it’s minor, I’m there; with them. I think they just need that one person that brings them stability at school – that one person they can go to. Someone who is willing to listen. That makes a difference to somebody’s life.

‘We run a homework centre at school that started for ESL kids only then opened up to everyone. We advocated to get more assistance because there was such a need. The kids just know you’re there. They know you’re going to listen.’

‘If you’re not there, they’ll hunt you down and drag you there! We are hunted!’

‘One of the most obscure jobs I’ve been asked to do is to repair a stainless steel penis ring which I said I didn’t do… and I certainly don’t fit them either!

‘That was probably the most unusual job I’ve been asked to do in my 30 or so years as a jeweller here in Newtown.’

‘I’ve always had depression from when I was young. I think it came about from my family life. My dad was not a nice person. I’m not in contact with him anymore. He got deported back to England. He did something super serious.

‘It’s taken me a long time to get through it and as you get older there are issues. When you’re younger you didn’t have to face these issues but when you get older it’s a new issue and a new part of that problem that you never had to deal with. I guess I’m OK.’

If you give advice to fathers out there from a daughter’s perspective, what would it be?

‘Listen to them and look after them. Don’t hurt them. A father plays a huge role in a child’s life. I’ve seen kids go through the same thing where they’ve got fathers that haven’t been there for them enough or haven’t focused on them at all or have treated them in a certain way because they’re not a boy. You just really have to focus. You don’t understand how that impact of your dad really destroys you. Your family upbringing is a huge thing. If your father’s not around it destroys a lot.’

‘One of the happiest moments in my life was when I met this man. We met at a club – dancing. He is from the north of Spain. I just love his character and his personality.’

What’s your biggest challenge right now?

‘To find a balance between working life and my personal life. It’s pretty intensive full time work and living in Sydney. I’ve thought about chucking it all in and just going to Spain.’

Is it likely to happen?
‘We’ll see…

‘I’ve always loved writing stories and I’ve always been drawn towards fantastical stories and comedy. When I grew up I used to get quite frustrated with television because I didn’t see many female characters in the shows I used to watch. I write children’s television shows and I got to a point about a year ago when I had this opportunity to write and I just thought, it’s perfect – maybe I can help make a change – to try to even the playing field.

‘You don’t tend to see a lot of female main characters or even sub-characters on television. The shows tend to be about boy characters that are really great and fantastic and save the day. If it is a girl, they’re usually a sister or they’re in trouble or a bit of a sidekick.

‘It means that young girls don’t learn to see themselves as potential heroes. They think that adventures and journeys are for boys and that they’re maybe supposed to be the sidekicks. If you grow up seeing that message over and over again it must have some sort of impact on you.’

Did you have someone in your life that encouraged you to do what you want to do?

‘I have an awesome mother and also a super awesome grandmother. They’re both very strong women. My mother was a single mum – she’s a poet now. My grandmother was an actress, a director and a model before most women even had jobs. She was one of the first women on television back in Adelaide. I grew up around them and because I was exposed to women like that I never really doubted that I could do the same thing. There are a lot of girls that don’t have that growing up. It’s amazing how much just one role model can change that.’

What advice would you give to young girls?

‘Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do what it is that you love. It’s probably unlikely that people will give you that positive message so you’re going to have to discover the courage within yourself to believe that.’