What do you do?
I am the founder and president of a charity called Scar Stories. It’s a not-for-profit organisation that supports young adult cancer patients and survivors through creative initiatives. We run events that are creative-focused like exhibitions and music events, and we’re about to launch a book!
Why do you do it?
I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 22. I had a bone tumour and was left with a titanium knee bone and a 30cm scar down my right leg. The scar weighed me down, being at such an image-focused age, so in an effort to deal with it I shared a photo of it online. This turned into the amazing project, Scar Stories, in which professional photographers are capturing images of young cancer survivors and their scars. I want others to feel the same sense of liberation I felt, and see their scars in a new light; one that is empowering and beautiful.
What do you love about the city you live in?
Brisbane is warm, big but not too big, and is home to really great art, music and culture. I also love it for the community I have built here; a diverse group of fellow cancer survivors, professionals, artists, musicians and entrepreneurs. Adolescent and young adult cancer advocacy is relatively new in Australia, but there are organisations like Scar Stories, CanTeen and Youth Cancer Service in Brisbane who are making a difference.
What's your favourite item of clothing?
My custom fitted Dejour jeans from Sydney Road in Melbourne. I visit Victoria frequently to host Scar Stories exhibitions and visit my brother. I'm developing the habit of buying a new pair of Dejours every time I visit, because who doesn't love a perfect fit?!
What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
‘The Nanny’. I idolised Fran Fine for the strangest reasons. The bigger the hair the smaller the hips.
If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
I would hang out with Elvis in his prime. Maybe be an extra on one of his movies.
What's the best lesson you've ever learned?
Live like there’s no tomorrow and don’t sweat the small stuff sound like clichés. But I’ve learnt they’re not. I still sweat small stuff, but I only let it last a minute. I still spend some days down in the dumps and some nights in front of the telly wasting time. But I make sure that if my world ended in the morning, I’d have said everything I wanted to say and lived the life I want to live.
Are you happy with your work/ life balance?
I currently balance running an Outside School Hours Care four days a week, working for Kitty Kitty Bang Bang (music marketing & design) one day a week, and running my own charity, but somehow I also manage to spend quality time with friends, family and my boyfriend. I've learnt to sacrifice the less important things in life, like washing, vacuuming and exercise!
How do you define success?
I think if you achieve your goals then you're successful. If you aim to make lots of money and become a millionaire: success. I aim to work full-time in a fast paced job with variety and meaning. So I'm almost there.