My most favourite thing in life is socially sustainable business, I love social enterprises. Second would be my little sister, Gayana, who is a sixteen year old girl with Down Syndrome. And third would have to be chocolate because I just cannot survive life without it. I tried to go on a chocolate detox and only lasted four days. My little sister sometimes jokes to me that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, but she obviously hasn’t tried chocolate! Life is so much better with chocolate!

I was born in Canberra 22 years ago, but my parents moved to Australia about 30 years ago. We’ve been here ever since and I absolutely love Canberra.

My perfect day in Canberra would start with breakfast in Kingston at Local Press, which is my favourite café. Then a walk around the lake, and maybe a trip down to Braddon—Autolyse is a great bakery. Maybe then a stroll around some of the markets, a few flower deliveries, and dinner out somewhere because Canberra has great food—it’s all about food!

I think it’s really easy to maintain health and wellbeing in Canberra. We have awesome places like Lake Burley Griffin, where you can go for a run or a walk or a crawl or a stroll or whatever! And we have some great festivals, like the Canberra Cares festival, that you can unwind at over the weekend. A lot of people are under the assumption that you have to leave Canberra to have a good time, but there’s so much happening in Canberra. Canberra is a great place to have a great life.

The best things about being a woman in Canberra have to be the awesome resources and organisations that are so supportive. It was an honour to be ACT Young Canberran of the Year and be a woman. I think the last few times, it’s been a man, so it’s been great to be a woman and speak at events like the She Leads conference.

To be a woman is a privilege and an honour. In our society these days it’s such an honour to be a woman and achieve what you want to do with the support of everyone. I always use the example of my dad. He is a stereotypical male, but is so supportive of the women in his life. He will put down work for his own business to help us with our roses or do a flower delivery or two. I always think that is such an honour to have him—as a man—supporting us as women.

Sometimes there can be a lack of support from government though. I’ve had a lot of trouble getting my little social enterprise off the ground. We don’t receive funding for the business and we’re trying to create employment opportunities, so it would be good to have more encouragement and support. Families who have special people in their lives need encouragement and support to participate in paving the way for their future.

At this moment in time I’m incredibly busy striving for more employment opportunities for people with special needs in Canberra, but I definitely feel that I am very fulfilled in life. I have finally reached a stage where I can be happy with what I’m doing. I wake up every day with the purpose to change people’s lives—I think that’s really great.


Image created by Liz Thompson