It was obvious from the very first time I saw her that she belonged on the stage. I first met Michelle at a drama workshop day that Interchange was running as a weekend activity. She was in hot pink from head to toe, and acted her way through a challenging and hilarious improvised skit with ease. I watched on as she brought the slightly more timid actors and actresses to life, always encouraging others to give it a go and be their best. It’s not often that you meet someone who is able to do that to a whole room full of people, just simply by being themselves.
Why Australia? I threw a dart at a world map and that’s where it landed. I grew up in Holland, and in 1974 fate had me land in Australia. I remember flying in for the very first time and looking down and it was all red land and blue sky. Very impressive, very different.
I’d finally had enough of Sydney traffic so 6 months ago I moved to the Southern Highlands with my husband and 3 boys. Since then we’ve been busy renovating our house, we adopted 2 rescue kittens, and I’ve started work at Interchange Australia as the Training and Compliance Coordinator.
I ended up working in the disability sector through a string of somewhat unbelievable events”” | Julie’s Story
I ended up working in the disability sector through a string of somewhat unbelievable events. When I was 15 my mum went for some routine medical testing, but something went wrong and her legs ended up paralyzed. She didn’t come out of hospital until I was 16 and a half, and from then on I was her carer, even though I was still in high school.
RPA, Liverpool and Sutherland hospitals were my stomping ground. I was a registered nurse for 10 years, specialising in gastro surgery and vascular surgery. I’ve always been a people-person, I’m definitely a big talker. My Dad always used to say to me as a kid “Kylie you talk too much!” – but I guess that has come in handy in my professions.
I had been told by a number of locals in the area Interchange Australia was both professional and incredibly caring in the way that they conduct themselves and run their programs each and every day, so it was a certainty, when I saw a position advertised for the role of Day Options Coordinator at Springett House in Bowral, that I would apply. Much to my delight I was offered the role I had applied for and here I am eight years later, I have never looked back.