Alana, May 2018
Tell us your origin story: where are you from and what made you the person you are today?
So I’m originally from Australia, and if there’s one thing that has defined my life it would be travelling and moving. I’m about to move into my 23rd house! As a kid I grew up in a small town in the very far north east of Australia (just south of Cairns, inland from the Barrier Reef) and moved to Sydney when I was 11. From then on I was a country kid in the big city, which gave me a bit of a different view on things. I think as an adult that has been part of what’s driven me to explore different places and cultures (or it could just be that I inherited my Mum’s itchy feet, which caused us to move to Cairns and then to Sydney in the first place!)
Pretty soon after finishing uni (Bachelor of Arts – humanities FTW) I set off, travelling around Turkey and Bulgaria, teaching English in Prague for a while, and then settling in Amsterdam where I kept on teaching English, but where also got into doing admin work in a big corporate media company. When my year-long visa was up, my job at soul-crushing big company made me want to head back home to Sydney to find a career where I could make a difference. The only problem was I decided 5 days before I left that I was really into a good friend of mine. Nonetheless I left Amsterdam, starting a long distance relationship and settling into a Masters of Sustainability. Thom eventually moved to Sydney to be with me, and about a year and a half after he arrived we were moving again, this time to his homeland, England, and Cambridge where he’d managed to land a job. So that’s how you got stuck with me!
How long have you been a Cambridge Ladybird and what brought you here?
I’ve been a Ladybird since the very beginning. I’d heard about Cam City and Blue Belles and really liked the sound of the activities and interests of the different groups. Mostly though I got involved because I was looking to meet people and make friends, and the Ladybirds has definitely done that.
What does being in the WI mean to you?
Being involved with an amazing group of intelligent, driven, creative, supportive women.
What’s a typical day in your life lately?
Pretty boring really. Wake up at 6.30am, eat a boiled egg for breakfast, have a coffee. Get to work, drink one to three more coffees. Work a lot. Talk a lot. Answer way too many emails. Have long (but interesting) meetings. Plan interesting events. Write content, design publicity materials, manage volunteers. Come home and go to Jazzercise (our meeting last year made me a convert!) Sweat way too much. Go home, hopefully Thom has cooked! Eat dinner, and if I’m feeling it have a cheeky gin and tonic. Snuggle my cat and get to sleep by 10.30pm. Gotta get those 8 hours!
Someone gives you a million pounds to spend on yourself. You can’t give it to charity or spend it on friends or family; it all has to be for you. What do you do with it?
I invest it and hope that it’s enough that I can live off the dividends so I don’t have to work. Then I’d be free to travel, volunteer, or follow creative dreams. I’d definitely visit Australia much more often to see family and friends.
What are your most passionate community or activist goals?
Sustainability in all its forms.
Cake, pie, or biscuits?
Burgers and chips and beer. Or if it’s gotta be sweet, rhubarb crumble!
Thank you Alana for all you’ve done for Ladybirds over the years and continue to do going forward!
Our May 2018 member of the month is founding member and committee member Alana!