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What I love about Canberra is the open space; it’s a beautiful place to be.

Having come here so many times over the last couple of years, I’ve got a nice little walking route around quite a few suburbs. I just like walking past people’s houses and homes. Where my daughter lives you can see Mt Taylor, so it’s easy to get your bearings.

I’m in granny mode today. I’m visiting my daughter and granddaughter, who celebrated her first birthday yesterday. I’ve decided to stay down because I have a couple of days off work to spend some more quality time with them. Hopefully this afternoon I’ll be able to let my daughter do some study while I look after the baby.

The educational opportunities would be one of the best things about Canberra; there are some good universities. Canberra doesn’t have the Harbour though!

Friends of mine who grew up here said it was a great place to grow up. And with all the cycle paths, everything seems to be linked quite well. I get the impression that people actually cycle to work as well as cycling for pleasure, whereas in Sydney, people are more likely to participate in cycling groups for their exercise. There’s so much traffic that you don’t get as many people cycling to work.

I think it would be quite easy to maintain your health and wellbeing in Canberra. The care my daughter received while she was pregnant was fantastic. She did a thing where the midwife follows you through from day one. And the birthing suite—I couldn’t believe that was all free! I thought it was an excellent service. Seeing the midwives come to see her and be so familiar with her was great. Doctors seem to be quite easy to find too; but, I think my daughter has found that it’s not that easy to get a free appointment.

I suppose my daughter would find the isolation from the rest of the family and not having so much family support difficult. They’re isolated and it takes four hours to get to us.

My three favourite things in life would be my family, exercise, and history—natural history, human history and art.

I also love being a mother. I love having a family—that was the main reason for me getting married. I think I would have done anything to get a family. It’s nice to be nurturing, to be a role model, and to show your kids that you can do many things, be healthy and have lots of different interests. I think as a woman, with your family, you’ve got to respond to interests in so many different areas. Your children are all going to be different, so you’ve got to show an interest, encourage their interest and hope they can maximize their potential. You know that they’re not always going to follow through with things, because you know you haven’t yourself. So I think you have to give them the opportunity to have a go at things, see where their interests lie and be accepting when they’re different to yours.

My perfect day in Canberra would be spent with my family, but maybe before that I’d get up and go for a walk or go running with my husband, so that I got my exercise out of the way. And then it would be nice to have the day out somewhere, I haven’t been to the zoo yet, for example.

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Image created by Liz Thompson