Slightly nervous, slightly work frazzled but excited for You Are Here and the exhibition.

I grew up here. I love Canberra. I think I will probably always live here. I hope I’ll live somewhere else for a little while but I’ll probably come back. I tried to move once and then I found the best job ever. So I’m still here many years later.

I guess my three favourite things are the people I love, gardens and books.

I think the quality of life and the quality of my life in Canberra is so good. It’s not because I’m a woman, that’s just how it is.

I don’t often think about myself as a woman. I guess that shows how lucky I am not to have to worry about it. I just go around and live my life and do what I need to do but not specifically defined by being a woman. It’s just who I am.

It is totally normal being a woman until someone does something or says something really dumb. Then you have to be like ‘why on earth are you talking to me like that?’ It sort of then gets pushed back into your face and then you have to think about it.

I think there are more women in Canberra than men so they often tell you that it’s harder to find a man in Canberra. It’s not a particular issue. There’s no issues for me being a woman in Canberra really. I’m pretty happy.

There are so many good parks, and we are so close to the bush. In many ways, maintaining your wellbeing is easier than your health because I hate the gym. So I have to walk around at night with my dog instead. Exercising a lot in the middle of winter or the middle of summer is horrible because of the extremes of weather.

Maintaining your wellbeing is getting better because of all the festivals and things that are happening. It’s good to keep your cultural stuff going because it just makes your life better.

Saturday at Art Not Apart was one of my best ever days in Canberra because it was such an awesome festival and it was right next to the lake. It was just so beautiful and everyone was having the best time and there was all these creative people and delicious food and awesome stalls. The natural environment was so beautiful and it was just a fun day. It was beautiful weather. It was amazing weather. So other than the sunburn, it was pretty perfect.

Festivals and that sort of thing have gotten so much better since I was a teenager here. There’s actually things to do of an evening and in the daytime. I also like that there’s the space in Canberra to be able to create things. It’s not say competitive or crowded, like Melbourne or Sydney. It’s an environment where you can make stuff happen.

I’m a local Canberran. I keep moving away but keep coming back. I love it here and it keeps getting better I guess.

It’s kind of easy to maintain your health and wellbeing here. There’s lots of outdoor space. People generally get weekends off. There’s lots of different food options. It’s mostly the space, such a beautiful open garden space.

My perfect day in Canberra would be something combining friends, family and the National Gallery. A picnic by the lake would be pretty strongly up there too. And then, hopefully, something like a festival or an exhibition in the evening.

My three favourite things are books, travel and cups of tea.

What it means to be a woman is not something I thought hugely about until I found myself living in a share house with seventeen guys overseas. Yes, student life is very strange. I had to start to explain more about what it is to be female. Being a woman is about being aware of myself and how I relate to people. What does it mean to be a woman? Just being myself but also sometimes having to point out it is different to being a man.

I’m lucky that I have a workplace that values you based on your ideas and your merit but I’m aware that’s pretty special and unusual.


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