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At this moment in time I’d say I’m a little bit hurried, excited, happy and stressed. I’m feeling a lot of emotions at the moment. It’s a very exciting time.

I moved here when I was a kid. I’ve been to school here. I’ve been to university here. I’m actually surprised that I’m still in Canberra today. I think I always assumed that I would leave Canberra. That it was a place you left as soon as you turned 18 or something like that. Now I’ve grown to love Canberra a lot and I can’t really see myself in many other places, maybe temporarily, but always coming back to Canberra. I think what keeps me in Canberra is the really great community here, particularly the arts community which I work in, but also the ability to be able to make your own choices in Canberra as well, and make your own decisions about jobs or whatever you want to do. It’s very flexible.

Women in Canberra are very independent and strong, and very liberal I suppose. It doesn’t feel like a place where you are confined to certain roles or responsibilities. And maybe that’s to do with the government, public service, people who work in policy and things like that. There are a lot of people who make change in Canberra. I think there is a lot of great women in Canberra as well.

I‘ve never really questioned being a woman ever. It’s just who I am or how I am. My mother was a very strong female influence with lots of strong female friends who were very independent. They did whatever they liked and still do whatever they like. I think that has been a huge part of how I see myself as a woman – as someone who can do whatever I want to do at whatever time I want to do it. It sounds a bit selfish and ridiculous, but I think it’s about being able to make choices and decisions about your life, which is not necessarily the way that other women feel. I’m very lucky to be able to see myself that way.

There are lots of hard things about being a woman in Canberra. Even though Canberra does have a very great community, I think it can be difficult if you don’t have a lot of family here. A lot of people tend not to have their extended family here, and I think that can be hard if you’re raising a family or if you move here for work independently. For people in general, it can be quite a lonely place too if you’re not used to it. I think that’s kind of a hard thing about Canberra; finding your space and finding how you fit in. I think, especially as a woman, as well.

I think it is easy to maintain your health and wellbeing in Canberra but can’t say I do a very good job of that. Canberra is so open and natural. You’ve got such easy access to parks and bushwalks and gyms you can afford. All of those are available. You can get fresh food. It’s more expensive than other places so I think that can be difficult for some people as well. It’s not as cheap and available, but I think it is easy if you try and I don’t know if I try very hard.

I think my perfect day in Canberra would be kind of a summer moving into autumn kind of period. Being able to go to a great café and sit outside. Meet up with friends. Take my dog for a walk. Go knick-knack shopping. Catch a great show. Go to lots of gigs or people’s houses for house parties. Just being able to put all of those things in one day would by my perfect day in Canberra.

Food has to be one of my favourite things. I love food a lot. But also Family and friends. I do love knick-knacks! Being able to shop for knick-knacks can be my third favourite thing.

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Image created by Nicole Zimmermann as part of Canberra’s You Are Here festival