A short biography

Who we are depends greatly on our biography. This is a short summary of the time I have spent on this planet – providing some background to where my philosophies and theories are coming from.

1982-1984

I spent my first two years in Jakarta, Indonesia and traveling the world. The adventurous nature of my Dutch mum and Aussie dad seeded in me a passion for travel and I think the lovely Indonesian ladies who looked after me as a baby probably seeded in me a love for people and cultures.

IMG_30281984- 1999

Returning to Sydney my sister was born and I spent the next 15 years in the Northern Beaches attending a small Christian school in the same suburb, working as a kitchen hand in a local retirement village, and enjoyed a somewhat middle class Australian childhood.

1999- 2002

At 17 (the youngest in my grade) I followed my Dad’s advice and went straight to the closest university to my house and for the next three years I completed by Bachelor of Business (Distinction!) but again, with majors in Marketing and IT, I really didn’t feel I learned that much.

2002- 2004

I was 20 when I finished uni and after a couple of years working hard and saving up money to “see the world”.

2004-2005

osaka show

After a short holiday in Thailand I landed in Japan where I stayed for the year and a half that followed. Here I taught English, “acted” in TV shows, short films & commercials, and did my first on-stage parade – in lingerie!

This was a dream come true. When hairdressers turned my hair yellow, green and purple I shaved it off and was surprised when this opened an opportunity to further my dreams – in Paris!

2006

I modeled in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Majorca, and L.A. And in-between jobs I traveled around London, Barcelona, Hamburg, Munich, to name a few. I met wonderful people and gained a new perspective and appreciation for life.


Feeling homesick for family, mangoes, beaches and everything else that comes with the Australian summer I made a rash decision: I cancelled my plans for Europe, canceled my return trip to Tokyo, and booked a ticket home, turning up on mum’s doorstep on Christmas Eve.

2007

With an apartment in Tokyo and modeling agencies awaiting my return in Europe, I had some decisions to make. My Dad was in my ear with the typical fatherly “time to get a real job” speech and approaching 25 years old I (nearing retirement age for models) I had a quarter-life crisis and thought for a moment he was right. Selling advertising space for fashion magazines sounded like a good job that involved both but at the interviewer it was one little comment the interviewer made that changed my life.

He said, “And you know what the BEST thing about this job is? When you see the digits on your bank statement!!!” He said it with such enthusiasm. My insides curdled and I knew it wasn’t for me. But if not this, then what?

opa

Photography? Fitness instructing? That would be a good life. My Opa (grandfather) at 91 years old had a fall and I offered to move in as I “skilled up” as I called it.

I assisted some fashion photographers, did part-time modeling in Sydney and became a qualified Pilates instructor.

I also got lost on wikipedia and in library books – teaching myself the things I’d either forgotten from my schooling, or never been taught. I was teaching myself a lot about science, history and religion – revisiting my childhood “faith” in the Christian doctrines, trying to reconcile it with my developing understanding and experience with the peoples and cultures of the world.

2008-2009

DSC_0114

Realising I was never going to join the corporate world (much to my Dad’s disappointment) I took the time to go back to university and skill up more formally. Then I came across “Peace and Conflict Studies” at Sydney University, applied for a MA which I completed over the two years, making use of uni holidays to travel South America, which I am using to write a book about travel, life, love and contemplating the future.

2010-2011

I love learning so much that I submitted a PhD proposal on Narratology, Panentheism and Peace to start mid-2010. Prior to that I worked on submitting journal articles to get publication “points” and travelled to India to speak at a conference in Mumbai, do a yoga and ayurveda retreat in the hills of Coonoor, check out the Taj Mahal, and hang out in Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal.

This sent me on an adventure through Krakow, Poland, to speak at a “What is Life?” conference, and on to North Carolina, United States, to teach Storytelling (in Humanities) and co-teach War and Peace (cross-listed Philosophy and Political Science) at Lenoir Rhyne University in Hickory, for the second half of 2011.  Along the way I dedicated a lot of time to editing “My Brazilian… and a kombi named Betty”, for which I am awaiting the right publisher…

2012-2014

DSC_0137

On the way home from the United States I spent time visiting friends and hanging out in Vancouver, and teaching Pilates and hanging out at my friend’s bar Encuentros in Granada, Nicaragua.

By the end of this trip I realised my home: Sydney. I moved into a house with the most creative, fun and intelligent people who quickly became some of my best friends and inspirations.

graduationI started part-time work as the Executive Officer of the Sydney Peace Foundation, a small not-for-profit organisation within the University of Sydney who award the annual international Sydney Peace Prize.

I finished my MPhil (a half-size PhD) in March 2014, and finally (on my fifth application) was awarded a scholarship to do a full PhD, beginning mid-2014.

2015 onwards:

Like anything worthwhile it’s a looooong journey, and a lot of work. But that’s what makes it great. As long as I’m enjoying the process I will continue this journey my whole life.

Through this little slice of cyberspace somewhere on the world wide web I offer my story as it unfolds. I share my spiritual, mental and physical adventure in quest of understanding peace, justice and my place in the universe — traveling, researching, thinking and creating.

Similar posts
  • What is life really about? What is life really about? Walking on the beach this morning I had a sort-of epiphany, an experience of what I interpreted to be the two worlds created by the left and right brain. I realised there really are two distinctly different ways I can be in the world: One way I could be in the world, as I walked along the [...]
  • Why the right (brain) is right… Are you a right-brain or left-brain type of person? Is there such a thing? Are there differences between our left and right brain hemispheres? Does it matter? Research into the left and right brain hemispheres was popularised in the 1970s, it exaggerated and reified the two sides of the brain as if some people were “right-brain” dominant: creative, image-based, intuitive, emotional; and other people [...]
  • New life: reflections on being a new ... Every year I seem to have less and less time for blogging. This year has the record for the least number of entries, but for a very good reason: motherhood! Oh. My. Gosh. What a new appreciation I have for all the mothers of the world. Maternity leave is not a holiday by any stretch of the imagination. There is no time for reading. I certainly [...]
  • Orwellian Australia: the “[Un]F... On 15 April 2016 the so-called “Fairer Parental Leave Bill 2015″ was “Lapsed at prorogation” and the current status on the bill is (thankfully, at this stage) “Not proceeding”. I’m not sure whether this is a permanent status, or whether they just ran out of time and will return to the bill later…  When I see the word “fairer” associated with this bill [...]
  • Alan Watts’ ‘dramatic model’ and the ... My latest academic publication – on the work of my favourite philosopher of all time: Alan Watts, and how his “dramatic model of the universe” can contribute to peace 🙂 Abstract This article explores the contribution of Alan Watts’ ‘dramatic model of the universe’ to the pursuit of peace. It locates Watts’ critique of dominant Western worldviews alongside process philosophers, ecologists and [...]

9 Comments

  1. 25 Sep ’09    

    What a fascinating person you are! I feel so fortunate that we met through facebook. I am studying your dissertation with great interest and thank you for setting me off on new avenues to research.

    Your blog is great! How does so much talent get compressed into one person?

  2. 26 Sep ’09    

    Thank you so much!!!

  3. Beant Deacock
    31 Oct ’09    

    Seek and you shall find.

    Good work here and hope our paths will cross again when we can chat just about anything.

    Love (as love is all there is). Beant

  4. S. Said
    9 Apr ’11    

    Feel lucky to stumble upon your blog. You wrote strange things that interest me. In fact I was searching for the “EYE” for my Facebook, and yours are among the top. I am an old retire but trying to go to uni again for PhD, something on history and narratives. Best wishes.

    • 23 Mar ’12    

      Thanks Said! Make sure you check out Paul Ricoeur’s book on “Memory History and Forgetting”, and his other work on Narrative… good luck with your research! Stay in touch

  5. dominic
    17 Nov ’11    

    Absolutely love your site. Was thinking of teaching a course called Creativism and came across you. What a delight.

    • 18 Nov ’11    

      Thanks Dominic! I’d love to hear more about your course on Creativism… what a great idea!

    • shamikh
      17 Oct ’12    

      Fantastic and beautiful biography , you are creative .

  6. Riaz Papin
    26 Nov ’13    

    Just stumbled on your blog while researching and was so deeply moved by your creativity and your pursuits that I had to hang on for an hour to read on the stuff that you write and the other things. Amazing. I am so glad to have been lucky to come across your blog. Sitting here in a War zone in the Af-Pak region and fully involved in it professionally, I find your reearch work very interesting (which I am planning to read through whenever I can find time). I was really impressed by the way you described your life. Hoping to learn something from your work and your views. Best of luck.

No Pings Yet

  1. ‘our purpose here’ | «double vision» on 20 Oct ’12 at 11:40 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archives

Categories