“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”

Mother Teresa

Hello and welcome to Living on the Downs!

The Darling Downs is a vast region in southern Queensland, that stretches from the Lockyer Valley in the east, to Chinchilla in the west, right down to Stanthorpe in the south, and is home to the Jagera, Giabal and Jarowair people. Right in the centre, perched on the Great Dividing Range, is Toowoomba, one of the fastest growing regional cities of Queensland and my home.

I haven’t always lived in Toowoomba, but growing up in Adelaide, South Australia, I learnt to appreciate the great beauty of the Australian landscape and the diversity of its people through family camping and caravanning trips. Every community has a wealth of history and culture to explore, people with stories to tell, and opportunities for us to develop our connection with nature. History, stories and nature are just some of my great loves.

Since moving to Toowoomba in 2015 with my family, we have seen many changes in our family life. My two teens are now young adults in their mid-twenties. My son Dan, has autism, so disability plays a key role in our lives. Since moving out of home into supported accommodation, we have seen Dan achieve a wonderful quality of life – all thanks to the National Disability Insurance Scheme! My daughter Bec has graduated from high school, moved to Brisbane to study, and then moved back home again to continue studying at UniSQ. She is a musician, photographer and like me, an avid reader.

In the same time I have completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and English Literature, and since I was so in the habit of studying I decided to keep going and do Honours as well! History and literature teaches us so much about what it means to be human, and with a passion for human rights and disability, I am researching the critical role that women with disabilities played in the Australian Disability Rights movement. Like women for so long, disability has also been invisible in the pages of history.

So I am a student, reader, occasional traveller, lover of history, stories and nature, and explorer of the Downs. Here at Living on the Downs you will find stories about life, history, nature and our explorations of our local and wider community, as well as book reviews and anything else that might take my fancy. I hope you enjoy learning more about all the ways that we love, learn and live together.