What makes Fernie special to you?

When you first look at Fernie, it looks a lot like a whole bunch of people vacationing.  But if you hang around and get people talking, you realize Fernie is a wonderful place full of goofy REAL people wanting to effect real change.  That’s what’s special – living in a space with people who have such an appreciation for the environment and the world around them, people growing and hunting their own food instead of buying mystery meats.  People who understand the mountains – I love that.

What makes you proud to be Canadian?

The most meaningful characteristic to me is that we are accepting of others – no matter what their race, culture, religion or sexual orientation.

Second to that – Jim Carrey, Seth Rogan, both of the Ryans, Trivial Pursuit and, of course, the Ceasar!

What is your Fernie story?

I am Australian born.  Knowing what I wanted but unsure where that was, I started searching.  I meant only to pass through but as we stopped in Fernie, I felt the mountains in my blood and I was hooked.

After a little while, working odd jobs (albeit with wonderful bosses), I was lost.  Leaving to work at a fishing lodge in Hadai Gwaii, I thought I might not come back – but I couldn’t stay away.  Still, I needed more, as I told my partner Brad and his wonderful sister Coco.  Coco told me that the fire department was hiring – something I always wanted but never imagined here in Fernie.  Being from Australia, I knew I would have to work hard to convince them I’d be an asset.  I kept going back until they finally gave me a chance and hired me.  I’d like to say I’ve proven how important the department is to me and in return what a WONDERFUL and incredible group to work with.

I miss my close knit family every single day but the focus I have to become better within myself and for the community keeps me growing.  Mama always said never be dependent on people, real love transcends borders, that they will always be there.