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When I think about what it means to be a woman the one word that comes to mind straight away is strength and that might have a lot to do with growing up with a single mother. She’s a huge source of strength in my life.

I was born in Wollongong. My father left my mother, and she moved me and my little sister to Canberra. Moving to Canberra was a fantastic turning-over-a-new-leaf kind of story but it was also big and scary at the same time. Definitely a very positive thing though.

At this moment in time, I’m a mature aged student at ANU just trying the best that I can to get through my studies. Uni-focused.

I’ve lived in other cities before. I was in Sydney for just under two years, and I’ve travelled to other places. In Sydney I used to get honked at a lot when cars went past and although that does happen here, it doesn’t happen with nearly the same frequency. I think out of all the places I’ve been, I feel the safest as a woman in Canberra. I feel quite safe in the public spaces here.

Perhaps we live in a little bubble here in Canberra in regards to socioeconomic factors. We are well off in Canberra generally speaking. I think the thing that comes with that is perhaps—I’m just going to put this word out there—the patriarchy. The patriarchal systems are perhaps a little bit more obvious. There are a lot of old white guys in power hanging around you know, doing their thing up in parliament. That’s not something that really relates to me day-to-day though.

In comparison to other places I’ve lived, I find being able to maintain health and wellbeing in Canberra is fairly easy. The health services in Canberra are quite good. I’ve been to Sexual Health and Family Planning over the years and I’ve found them to be an incredible service that I’ve taken good use of. I find GPs are not too bad either. I find getting access to them is not too difficult. I think being in Canberra we have so much sunshine here. Just the weather is pretty amazing, even in winter it is hard to be gloomy because you can sit in front of a gorgeous fire and smell the wood smoke.

My three favourite things are my dogs, my mum. . .sorry. . .mum didn’t come first. . .and probably my housemate, who’s a really close friend of mine.

My perfect day in Canberra would be getting a picnic and going down to the lake under a tree in the shade. Just having a picnic with some friends would be amazing. That would be prefect. A picnic by the lake, I can’t think of anything better.

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