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We have an Indigenous foster child so NAIDOC week is really important to us.

I’m in my late 40’s with a couple of young kids. Working part-time. Looking forward to going back to work next year but really enjoying the kids at the moment.

My three favourite things are my family, my friends and my work as a yoga teacher. I really love kids’ yoga and putting together a great class. There’s nothing like designing a kids’ ninja yoga class!

I have a lovely group of friends. I find I meet interesting people in Canberra. I moved here from Queensland and somehow got stuck here. I was probably about to leave and met my husband and he’s based here. I find that in Canberra a lot of people care about the bigger issues. I grew up in a little country town that had a strong sense of community, but it didn’t necessarily have that interest that people have here in some of those bigger issues.

For me, women have a very strong connection and role with family and relationships. I think we’re the glue that maintains them. Somehow women have a beautiful strength; we’re helping to keep everything on track, like maintaining those relationships with our friends.

But I have no family here, so it can be hard with childcare. You can get a bit isolated. Where I grew up it had a different feel; even if I go home now—I’ve been gone for 30 years—more people will know me walking down the street there than here. I am a moderately outgoing person that does make networks but I found that sometimes when you need that immediate, “Can you look after my child?” it’s so much easier to call on relatives than it is to call on friends.

The hardest thing about being in Canberra is the cold and being spread out. We live in Campbell and we’re stuck between the Parliamentary Triangle and living in a community. We’re on this street corner and one half is controlled by the federal government and the other half is controlled by the local government. The town planning is dreadful.

Until they put in the ASIO building, there was no footpath to get to the lake from where we live. You had to walk on the road. There’s some suburbs in Canberra that have really poor infrastructure. I got a phone call the other week, and they asked “What do you think of this program to get exercise?” I said “Well, it’s great and I would walk my children to school except we don’t have a footpath. If you start putting in the infrastructure we need, we’ll use it.” I find that there’s this layering, maybe it happens in other communities but I go to where my sisters live in Sydney and Brisbane and they have more basic infrastructure than we have in our suburb. You think that Canberra’s a wealthy place with good infrastructure but in parts it isn’t. To me, some of the basic infrastructure that encourages community development isn’t there.

The easy thing about being a woman in Canberra is there’s a lot of things you can do for outdoor activities. It’s a really great place to have a nice outdoor lifestyle. You can get to coast or the snow or the bush or mountain biking. There’s so many opportunities for having fun and being healthy here that I really like.

It’s a little bit harder in the winter time because it’s so jolly cold. I’ve got a bit of a cold, so I’ve had to look after my health so I’m not cycling at the moment early in the morning because it’s just too cold. The climate is a little difficult in that way. And because it’s a little bit spread out I don’t tend to go to a gym because the travel time to go there and get back. I’m really busy so I tend to try to do exercise at home or with my family.

My perfect day in Canberra would probably be one of those lovely sunny-slightly-cool days. We had a beautiful one in autumn where the whole family rode over to the Yarralumla Yacht Club. We had fish and chips and kicked a football around on the grass and cycled home. Maybe pop past through the markets like the bus depot markets. That’s sort of one our things—a nice cycle with the whole family because Canberra’s so beautiful.

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Image created by Josey Carnovale