What is your dream?
I am on track to achieve my sporting dream of 2017 World Taekwondo Champion, followed by the
2020 Australian Olympic champion. The plan is to go beyond sport as a powerful, gay female role
model and mentor for the next generation of athletes coming through the ranks in our country
across all sports. I dream BIG and I work hard! I know I can reach out to people from all walks of life.
The plan is to engage with schools, community groups and corporates to leverage my elite athlete
status and just like you Layne, I want to share my story. Education matters to me and as a role
model I want to demonstrate the power of education with sporting skill. Over the course of the next
five years, I am training and competing on the national and international circuit to boost my national
and world ranking status as well as completing a Diploma in Sports Development and Management. ,
I am continuing to assist with teaching and coaching at my home-based Taekwondo Club under the
guidance and tutelage of my coach, Dianne Carn.
How did you find your passion?
From the time I could walk and talk all I had ever wanted to do was Taekwondo. My family still to
this day believe it was my fond love of the Mighty Morphine Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turles that led me to want to do martial arts. My martial arts journey began at the age of 4
when I started doing judo, it was there that I developed a love for competition. My Taekwondo
journey didn't start until the age of 10. From the first time I padded up and threw a kick I knew I was
home and that this was where I wanted to succeed.
Tell us about your dreams / goals for the next 12 months?
I am in hot pursuit of winning the 2017 World Taekwondo championships, over the course of the
next 12 months I will be training hard towards each national and international event as stepping
stones towards the ultimate goal of becoming crowned the 2017 World Taekwondo champion.
Along the way it is my goal to step up into a leader role and share my own personal stories of
adversity and hardships and become a beacon of inspiration for girls, women and members of the
How will the scholarship support your endeavours?
The funding will undeniably be a huge help in my pursuit of becoming World and Olympic champion,
going towards expensive equipment and travel cost to various events. However being selected as
scholarship recipient is simply priceless, to be able to have a platform to help and inspire people
while also learning from my AFTS mentors as I chase my own dreams is just the greatest of all.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
The highlight of my competition career so far would without a doubt have to be winning Silver at the
2014 Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships alongside my coach Dianne Carn who is also a
Gold medallist from the 1998 Commonwealth Championships. Winning by KO in my opening round
against the home favourite then progressing all the way through to the final with the roaring sound
of the Australian team cheering behind me is something that will be with me forever.
How important is inspiration in your life?
Inspiration is very important, inspiration is what propels us from doubt and concern into possibility
and changes the way we look at our own possibilities. For me, finding inspiration in my day to day
activities acts as a springboard helping me progress towards each of my goals.
Who’s your hero (and why)?
I've been fortunate enough to have met some exceptional people through out my career so far, in
my case my two heroes are: My former coach Kim Dalton, she was one of the best and most feared
female Taekwondo athletes in Australia in the late 90's and early 00's until she was diagnosed with a
rare and aggressive form of cancer at age 21, throughout her cancer diagnosis she had 3 major
surgeries from which she made a return to national level Taekwondo, retiring with a national ranking
of 3rd in the country before succumbing to the vicious disease at age 24. Her love and dedication to
the sport and those she coach, her determination and courage is something that I will forever look
up to. My other hero is my current coach Dianne Carn, she is my life saver, my biggest supporter and
the one I thank every day for helping me get to where I am today. In a male dominated sport she is a
pioneer for women in Taekwondo in Australia, she is one of the few female Masters of Taekwondo
here in Australia and one of even fewer females who own and operate a successful national award
winning Martial Arts school all on their own. She is strong, independent and not afraid to have her
voice or opinion heard, she is a leader and sports coach and also life coach who always goes above
and beyond for her students and athletes and someone who I have the up most respect for and who
I am lucky enough to also be able to call my friend. A top fighter in her time with one of the most
feared back kicks of all, with a Commonwealth Championship gold medal to her name, I can only
hope to be half the leader and all round exceptional person she is.
How will you support your community in the future?
I have made incredible connections with fellow athletes through attending state and national
competitions and also via social media on my athlete pages on Facebook and Instagram. I give back
to my community as a coach, mentor and teacher to young students and peers who have reached
out to me. As a woman and member of the LGBTI community who has overcome discrimination I
feel compelled to give back and support not just the martial arts community but women, girls and
LGBTI identified people in sport by telling my story and opening up a national conversation for
women and LGBTI identified athletes in sport.
What’s the motto that you live by?
"Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising every time we fall." Vince Lombardi
I have such a broad taste in music, but a few of my all time favourite bands include: Coldplay, Kings
of Leon and Hilltop Hoods.
I absolutely love Thai and Korean food! Can't go wrong with Chicken cashew nut stir-fry, a
Massamum lamb curry or Bulgolgi beef and Kimchi!! Yummo!
I've read so many great books over the years but a few of my favourites include: Ronda Rouseys -
My Fight, Your Fight This book speak volumes to me in so many different ways, after the first page I
Favourite TV Show?
You can't go past: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Orange is the new black and Ink Master.
If you had one message to share with other women chasing their dreams what would you say?
My Grandma would always say to me, and it's something that will forever remain with me: "Follow
your dreams where ever they lead, don't discouraged by less worthy needs.. Shelter them, nourish
them, help them to grow, let your heart hold them, deep down where dreams go. Be faithful, be
loyal, then all your life through, the dreams that you follow will keep coming true."