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I think the older I get the more I appreciate other women’s experiences and I don’t know whether that’s particularly relevant to Canberra, but it’s happening to me here.

I’m meeting a lot more women now. I went to a conference last year and it was just really quite amazing meeting different women, you know successful women, women from all different types of jobs, like businesswomen. Even in the community sector where I work, there’s so many talented women with so many different experiences, and you learn so much from them.

I like being a woman even though you have to go through some things which aren’t exactly pleasant. Regularly! I mean, physically and all that sort of thing. I like the fact that you can get the opportunity—not everybody, but you can—get the opportunity to be a mother, and to go through that experience of pregnancy. I think that’s something that women should never take for granted.

The hardest thing about being a woman in Canberra is coming to terms with not being able to have children. And that has been a pretty heavy duty road to take. Going through everything that you can possibly do, and coming out with nothing. Well, you get experience, not nothing, but that’s probably the hardest thing.

We moved here from a small country town, and it was quite radical to move to a big city, even though Canberra’s pretty small. It was very exciting, very new and very big for us, for me particularly, and I like it because my husband’s got work and I’ve got work. We live in a really beautiful place, an area in Canberra where you can see the hills. It’s got a great view and you can sit out on the deck and have dinner and it’s just beautiful having that. Canberra’s not that fast-paced, you don’t have to sit in traffic and it’s more relaxed, even though it’s like a city. Yeah that’s what I like about it. You’ve got a bit of the city, but not too much.

It’s hard to maintain a really good healthy lifestyle with lots of exercise and eating properly when you’re working, you know, looking after your house and all that. I have a dog and he keeps me walking regularly. I’ve got my fit bit, and that motivates me too. I try to beat myself. I walk more, do more stuff. But I have good access, like a good GP. I’ve had some really good counsellors over the years, and so I’m fortunate.

My favourite things would be combined in one. It would be getting in my convertible, the top open and driving along with my dog in the back. My husband—he’d be driving, because I like to look around – and the wind blowing, the sun shining, great music playing. We went on a holiday a few months ago and we did that, and I just felt joy. That’s a wonderful feeling.

My perfect day in Canberra would be going out with my family—my husband and dog. Going out somewhere where we could go with dogs, and having a really nice dinner or lunch on a not-so-hot day. Sitting in a really nice place overlooking water, and just talking, and having a nice glass of red. But really, just chilling out and having good conversation. Connecting. That would be wonderful. We do that, so it’s perfect.

At this moment I’m kind of in a transition from having been through a really, really tough time. I’m healing. It’s still a bit rocky, but I would say that things aren’t affecting me as much as they used to—things are changing and getting better. Which is pretty amazing.

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Image created by Liz Thompson