Creativity is a core part of my personality, and I have been fortunate to create a career where I can make the most of this. I graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) in 2004 and began working as a graphics/web designer immediately. Over the following decade, I enjoyed creating designs for clients, and as the online industry grew I did so along with it, learning new skills and programming languages to create new online experiences.

In 2014 I was diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses. I experienced severe symptoms and could not sit at a desk without pain, or function as well as I once could — eventually the illness forced me to stop working altogether. I became housebound for some months, but with the support of medical practitioners, family and friends, I slowly began to recover.

During this stressful time, I came to see the world around me differently, finding deeper compassion for people with disabilities and the elderly. In my own home, what had once been easy was now difficult: slopes and stairs became obstacles to be avoided for fear of falling. As I regained enough health to visit the supermarket again, I found myself always looking ahead for benches or ledges to rest on, even ground or accessible lifts. With constant pain as my guide, I began to truly appreciate how architecture has an enormous impact on our life, health, and recovery.

In January 2016, still unable to sit a desk, I resolved to become an architect to transform my life positively and hopefully, the lives of others. I felt that although my career to this point had been fun, I could do more to help improve people’s lives. I am fascinated by the concept of a ‘forever home,’ a home in which no matter what happens to the people who live in them, they won’t have to move out of the location they love: the house adapts as living requirements change. I want to design seamless, accessible public spaces, without alienating people with disabilities. I believe that the harmony of architecture and our environment is key to living happy, healthy lives.

In 2017, I began my studies as a Master of Architecture student at the University of Melbourne. I’m officially on my way to becoming a skilled, compassionate architect specialising in accessible, sustainable, and comfortable living spaces!