I grew up 90kms northwest of Esperance in a rural community called Cascades. Our school consisted of approximately 35 students from Yr1-Yr 7.
It took us 1 hour to drive to school in the school bus collecting children along the way. We lived a very sheltered life and would attend to all jobs necessary on our Merino Stud property from feeding animals, moving sheep on horse/motorbike, drenching, lamb marking, shearing, driving tractor/chaser bin, ordering parts for machinery, opening mail, making pots of soup & sandwiches for our Ashgrove Merino Field Day. Clients would come from near and far. It was a great life.
I went to boarding school in Mosman Park at the age of 12 which was a real shock. It took me a long while to get used to the very large class rooms and grounds I would often get lost. I made some life long friends and 30 years on we still catch up once a year.
In 1994 I landed a job with MG Kailis Pty Ltd and I worked in their Broome Pearls, Marketing department under David Norman which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The Head Office was in Fremantle on the Fishing Boat Harbour. We flew and lived in Broome from May-August to attend to the pearling harvest at their Broome office. Grading commenced and we carefully looked over approximately 110,000 pearls. Sizing, shaping, colouring & grading the beautiful gems was certainly a delight.
It was a 3 month process. We bagged up/priced and attended to clients wish lists. I was responsible for shipping the most beautiful product to UK, Paris, Spain, America, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, America as well as local & interstate jewellers.
Princess Diana was a great advocate for pearls at the time.
In 1997 I worked for Cape Inscription Pearls and attended to their grading and marketing of "Pinctada Margaritifera" black pearls which were grown off Shark Bay.
In 1999 I married John Andrew Hannaford and we have 3 beautiful children aged 15, 13 & 11 and a long eared basset hound called "Rosie."
In 2014 tragedy struck between my mother & brother which could've been avoided. Every day is a different day for me and my family. I think we are coming out the other end pretty well. I try and keep positive and always surround myself with those I love and trust.
I feel honoured to be chosen for the "Ride for Youth" helping & speaking with children in remote areas strongly resonates with me.
I believe it is paramount to have such a useful resource to support farming families who rely so heavily on weather and market prices for their annual income.
It can be extremely heartbreaking & stressful when drought and fire arises for their family business and in particular mental wellbeing.
Hopefully one day "Ride for Youth" may like to incorporate the very vast and beautiful area of Esperance.
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