School was hard with lots of bullying and fights, but I made do and that’s what made me into the woman I am now. I started competing in swimming when I was nine. I was the first person with cerebral palsy to go to the Seoul Paralympics in 1988. I won gold and silver medals there. Then in 1992 I went to Barcelona and broke some world records. Later I received the Queen’s Birthday OAM for services for sport. I’ve done lots of things like coaching swimming, building a house, studying small business and art, opening a shop and creating art. My motto is “Never say no to me. Let me try and then I’ll know whether I can or not, and if I can’t do it your way, then I’ll find a way of doing it my way.”
I’m very happy doing my own art now. It’s helped me work through losing my Mum. I won’t part with those paintings. I paint in my home studio or at a community studio and occasionally have an exhibition. I experiment with lots of different styles and use of colour. I prefer to use my fingers or other tools, not often paintbrushes. There are often blue and water themes in my paintings, not surprising given my swimming history.