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road. And most of those roads

You obviously think about your

were dirt, so I had to know how

learnings and you think about

to drive a four-wheel drive, how

the information you have, but I

to change a tyre and how to drive


think following your gut, from a

in the mud.

business perspective, is a very

Wests is an iconic regional

important skill.

brand. It’s regarded regionally as

I’m an avid mountain bike rider

I finished school in 1984 and

an organisation that is extremely

consultant, when one of my

astute and conservative, but

and I started riding mountain

I worked in a whole range of

clients, which was Centennial

also extremely successful. It’s

areas. I worked in retail and in

Coal, made me an offer that I

in an industry sector that I don’t

early childhood - I actually ran a

couldn’t refuse!

have any prior experience, so it’s

mobile pre-school at one stage

The mobile preschool was a

like when I went into the mining

- and I also taught long-term

four-wheel drive, dual cab with a

industry, it was a very steep

unemployed and disadvantaged

canopy on the back. And I used

learning curve but you have

groups, particularly mature

to average 750 kilometres a

a whole range of transferable

aged women. I then took those

week visiting isolated schools,


skillsets into the political area

rural properties and Aboriginal

The best bit of advice I have

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter

and have been an advisor and

missions. I had everything in

been given was by the late Ken

Service. It keeps me fit and it’s

worked for a Federal MP and

the back of that vehicle - dolly’s

Moss, who was Chair of the

also just really different and it’s

also a State Minister. I had an

dress ups, Play-Doh, arts and

Centennial board, who said,

very grounding. I’m built for long

interesting couple of years as

crafts, story corner. I loved it. It

“Follow your gut”. Gut instinct,

distance, not for speed.

CEO of the Hunter Economic

was just an absolutely fantastic

particularly, is really often right

So I’m never going to be the first

Development Corporation, and

job but very tiring because four

and I’ve often followed my gut

across the finish line, but I’ll

then tried a little stint as a

days out of five I was on the

on a whole range of things.

always finish.


bikes about ten years ago to raise money for charity. I participate in a whole range of events all over the country. My kids think I’m mad. But I still come back to that annual event, which is the West Cycle Classic, which raises funds for

Wests Members Magazine  

VOLUME 15 (May - September 2018)

Wests Members Magazine  

VOLUME 15 (May - September 2018)