I was born 200 kilometres south of Berlin, Germany, six years before the wall came down. As a child, I enjoyed writing, reading and puzzling as much as going for bike rides with my dog and seeing my neighbourhood friends. A small tight-knit community village was my home until we moved to the ‘big smoke’ Munich when I was 16.
I love to write, read and fix problems.
Originally starting as a young eight-year-old girl typing up and proofreading my grandfather’s sports articles for the local newspaper, I quickly developed a passion for grammar, spelling, reading and writing.
My grandfather was a wonderful part of my childhood. A man I absolutely adored and who ignited a passion of writing in me that I could never shake again throughout my life. But when he died, the dream of becoming a journalist unfortunately died with him. The love for writing never did.
My mother likes to still tell people how I used to scan the newspaper for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors and mark them with my red pen. Throughout my teenage years, I’d be regularly help my friends with their spelling issues in assignments in both German and English.
Starting my adult career in PR and marketing, I instantly rediscovered my love for writing and honed my craft; gaining six years of experience in copywriting, copyediting, online content creation, blog writing, corporate writing and proofreading on a daily basis working hand in hand with many other industry professionals.
In 2008, I made the life-changing decision that I would set out into the world to explore, learn and grow. During my year-long hiatus and journey around the globe, I found love on a beautiful island in South Australia. After creating our own little family on Kangaroo Island and happily living on our remote sheep farm for 11 years, my husband, our two young children and I lost our family home during the 2020 summer bushfires.
During the recovery phase and the clean up of the burned remains of our previous farm paradise, I met some amazing resilient people that helped us not only stay focused but me personally to look excitedly into the future.
I decided to become self-employed and once again work as a copywriter, editor, and proofreader and use my knowledge and experience in PR and marketing to help Australian businesses. I am also volunteering as a proofreader at Distributed Proofreaders, proofreading old classic books for Project Gutenberg in German and English.
My international background and wide-ranged adventures all around the world have shaped me into the person I am today. Whether working as a quad bike tour guide, public relations manager, hotel receptionist, waitress, accommodation and property manager as well as bookkeeper, promotions manager and beekeeper’s assistant—I took a lesson and great learnings out of every opportunity given to me. I have gained a great deal of knowledge while working for many businesses and the most recent natural disaster has sparked a lot of personal growth in me. I hope to now be in a position where I can help others along their journey.
After the 2020 fires and losing our farm home, the children and I relocated one hundred kilometres away into a different community while my husband stayed behind to clean up and rebuild the farm. While feeling misplaced and disconnected, I felt the urge to close the cap COVID created on top of the bushfire isolation and started to interview local Kangaroo Island residents. Whilst filming my very first documentary film ‘January 3rd’ about the timelines and stories of the fires, I also chose to start a project called Humans of Kangaroo Island in July 2020 to tell the stories of islanders one at a time.
Since then, I have told hundreds of uplifting and inspiring stories of our island community members and have fundraised over $60,000 for an initiative to re-equip local farm firefighters who have lost so much in the Black Summer fires.
In March 2021, I was awarded the Community Champion award at The Advertiser and Sunday Mail ‘Woman of the Year’ awards in Adelaide and stood proudly alongside five other inspiring South Australian women, including public health officer Nicola Spurrier. This award was recognising my achievements since the personal loss in 2020.
It didn’t stop there for me. The inaugural Humans of Kangaroo Island Film and Literature Festival opened its doors on the 8th – 10th of October to showcase local talent. Giving resilience projects a stage that had been created since the fires, we got to hear poems, book readings and watch many short and documentary films, including my own called ‘January 3rd.’
The festival raised over $4,000 for the new Parndana Childcare Centre, shortly followed by the release of the first Humans of Kangaroo Island book raising funds for a new playground at the fire-affected Western Districts Sports Centre.
I received the great honour to be inducted into the 2021 SA Women’s Honour Roll for my community work and for helping to rebuild communities after a disaster through the power of storytelling. The award was presented to me in mid-November 2021 during a reception at Government House by Governor Frances Adamson AC and Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink.
Since then, the book sales have added around $10,000 into the fundraising pot for a new Westend playground and Humans of Kangaroo Island has been awarded the Project of the Year at the 2022 Australia Day Awards by the Kangaroo Island Council.
It has been humbling to attend World Red Cross Day celebrations at Government House on the 9th of May 2022 to receive a State Humanitarian Award 2022 from the Australian Red Cross for my fundraising and community work with Humans of Kangaroo Island, the documentary film ‘January 3rd’ and the ongoing relationship and cooperation with the Red cross.