I was always working in the big shed making things with dad for the cottages, or by myself making whatever I could dream up, or in mum’s studio painting and creating. It was an upbringing that was truly inspirational for my imagination, with the freedom of limitless creative expression. It was a time that laid solid foundations and taught me that sometimes you have to do what you can with what you’ve got.
My parents split up in my teens, split the property in two and lived as neighbours; I conveniently roamed between households as a kid. Over the years they subdivided some smaller blocks off and slowly sold those, one being the block we are on now. Eventually they sold the rest of what they had and moved on, leaving our little two acre block the remaining piece of home.
In 2008 I moved away to Geelong for university immediately after finishing year 12. I started studying architecture, but I didn’t quite fit the mould our senior lecturer was trying to carve out. So naturally I did as everyone does and changed to an Arts degree. I think somewhat caught up in the wild ride that was Jon Hamm in Mad Men, I had this idea that the advertising industry was for me and so I started a job in an agency in Melbourne.
My sliding doors moment came in 2013, two goals had now clearly moved to the forefront of my mind: travel the world and build a house, all before I turned the ripe age of 30. So I did the logical thing, I quit my job, and in the space of a week I went from sitting at my desk overlooking South Melbourne, to standing out like a sore thumb, bedecked in hi-viz, looking across the sandy red Pilbara landscape, working in electrical construction with my brother. This is where everything changed for me.
I came in fresh, with a naive smile on my face, a few high risk work and machinery tickets under my belt, thinking it’d be a quick and easy cash grab – surely I’d be able to knock off goal one in no time? While I was working FIFO I started to develop this deeper understanding of the role and importance that relationships and human connection play in our lives.