‘We were together for five years. We moved here from New Zealand and then he left me. I’m very family orientated so for me just to not pack it all up and go back home for a boy, that was really challenging.

‘I had to look within myself and think was it worth giving it all up for a guy because he leaves you or do you want to further yourself? When I looked deeper within myself, I found somebody who’s very outgoing and spontaneous. I learnt that I shouldn’t be defined by what somebody else makes me. I saw myself as a bigger entity than in a relationship.’

‘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.’

‘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.’

These two were grooving away at the South King Block Party today. This little guy wanted me to take his photo and then asked to look at the shots I’d taken on the back of the camera. When I showed him a few, he said, ‘No, show me the ones with my moves.’

Smooth!