When I was in primary school and my teacher asked the class “what do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer was either “a lawyer or an actor”. When I had that same opinion in the later years of high school my Dad (the engineer/accountant/businessman) would tease me and say “being an actor or a lawyer are virtually the same thing”. Despite my Dad’s jest, I pursued both of these career paths through to university where I studied a double bachelors degree in Performing Arts and Law.
I would change my preference in these vocations dependant on the enjoyment my law subjects gave me versus the pleasure I derived from the plays I performed in and movement/vocal classes I participated in. My performing arts posse became my family and during performance season we lived and breathed our characters and our “acting family”, which meant my focus on my impending law exams would fade.
After completing my honours in Performing Arts I had all but abandoned my law degree, until I decided to spend a summer volunteering in a few Indigenous Communities in the Northern Territory. It was here that my passion for what a career in law could bring rose to the surface…. the opportunity to change policy and potentially have a role in bridging the gap in the areas of health and education for Indigenous Australians, through law. So back to law school I went and I immersed myself in my studies and was lucky two years out of completing my degree to secure a graduate placement at international law firm Baker & McKenzie. With the security of a fantastic job in a few years time I decided to expand my horizons by accepting a legal internship in Texas and embark on my first ultra marathon in Chile.
Both of those two experiences changed my focus and as I completed the Four Deserts Grandslam that year – I became hooked onto living an adventurous life and working towards social justice in different fields. I felt so lucky that I found a partner in life that had a similar vision..
Over the past three and a half years, I have been a research clerk, graduate lawyer and then a junior associate at Baker & McKenzie (B&M). For those who know me well (or even not so well) will know that I have worked hard to simultaneously pursue my other passions whilst being a lawyer. To the dismay of some people in the corporate law firm & also to the delight of others, I decided to cross the Simpson Desert whilst raising money for Save the Children within the first 6 months of starting work at B&M. Potentially a career limiting move but I was stubborn in not wanting a career in law to prevent me from doing the other things that I loved and cared about.
At the end of last year I took the last of my annual leave to join Ray Zahab and Impossible2Possible, on a trip to Botswana for a youth ambassador expedition. What an experience!! These experiences taught me that i could live both “an adventurous life” and work “towards social justice” in such a unique way. My constant tension was having enough time to be able to do this.
Deciding to leave my job at B&M (with my final day being yesterday) was a difficult one in some sense but also one of the most liberating choices I have made. Change is frightening to so many people but it is something that I constantly seek and never want to be afraid of.
I have five weeks off where I am travelling to the UK, Europe and the States for a variety of projects. Most excitingly is that I am attending the world premiere of the Desert Runners Movie at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Amongst all of the projects I will be using this time to refocus and prepare myself for my new job and 2014 running project. Upon my return I will be joining the dynamic, fresh and ridiculously good-looking team at Wealth Enhancers – their motto “a place where dreaming is mandatory, planning is our culture, growing is a daily occurrence, and achievement is normal…” More of those adventures later – but needless to say I am buzzing with ideas and excitement for the next chapter.