What is your dream?
I want to improve Indigenous people’s health and social wellbeing through increased physical activity. And bring more awareness to mental health issues while trying to remove the stigma and shame that comes with it.
How did you find your passion?
Running changed my life, I suffer severe anxiety and depression and in 2012 I turned to running as a last ditch effort to save myself when I had hit rock bottom and lucky for me it worked. I discovered that when I ran regularly I could manage my mental health much better. In 2013 I was selected as a participant in the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) and completed the New York City Marathon
six months later in November. The IMP was established in 2009 by World Marathon Champion Robert de Castella. Rob uses the marathon to create leaders within their community. As running had changed my life I felt an obligation to pass it on to my community and I was in a position offer it. That is when I established the Queanbeyan Deadly Runners (QDR). I have been coaching the QDR on a volunteer basis for over 2 years now.
Tell us about your dreams / goals for the next 12 months?
I want to go over to the USA and run the Boston Marathon, this will allow me to expand my running experiences and knowledge. I want to go over to the USA and spend time in a Native American running organization that has a similar concept to what I do but on a much larger scale, this will allow me to refine what I do and deliver a better program to my community. I have been coaching
the QDR on a volunteer basis for over 2 years now and have trained over 50 (30 grads and 22 current) local Indigenous people to successfully complete a 5k, some have gone on to run 10k, 14k and half marathons with 2 training for their first marathon. I want to work toward making this a fulltime paid job.
How will the scholarship support your endeavours?
It is going to allow me to gain further knowledge and experiences which will in turn improve my coaching and role within the community. It will assist me in the cost of running the Boston Marathon.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
My biggest highlight is seeing the runners that I have coached successfully complete their first 5k run non-stop and knowing that I have helped them do that. Watching people do something they thought wasn’t possible is a special thing. Also becoming the fastest female Indigenous Marathon Project graduate to run a marathon was a big highlight.
How important is inspiration in your life?
Very! Without it I don’t think people would achieve what they do! Inspiration allows you to set the bar higher for yourself both personally and professionally.
Who’s your hero (and why)?
Probably my partner Michael. He is my no. 1 supporter. Through his support, patience and understanding it allows me to do the things I do. When I go overseas he looks after our 4 children, puts up with my alarm going off at 5am, lets me go to bed at 7:30pm and gets this kids in bed on his own and always puts me first. He sees the ugly side and still loves me.
How will you support your community in the future?
I will support my community through continuing to improve my running knowledge and experience and paying it forward to them. My running program has improved the sense of community wellbeing for Queanbeyan through connecting people and improving social cohesion and positive healthy role modelling. It has the potential to remedy poor health outcomes such as type 2 diabetes, mental illness, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, all of which are significant risk factors of Indigenous morbidity and mortality. I am going to continue to offer my running program as long as I have the participants.
What’s the motto that you live by?
Get out of your comfort zone! It’s pretty simple but very powerful, when you do things out of your comfort zone that is how you grow.
Omelettes with Avocado
Born to Run
Favourite TV Show?
If you had one message to share with other women chasing their dreams what would you say?
Be clear on what you are trying to achieve, be persistent and don't give up!