I’m a Sydney girl raised on the sands of Bondi Beach, a former National Surf Lifesaving competitor and with family still at the top of Surf Lifesaving Australia. I headed west as a young journo’ in the late 80’s and met my farmer. I love being a country woman, with a big heart for Sydney, and a broad understanding of our regions and their people.
I have enjoyed a career in community strategic development, marketing and communications while raising three children out here at Trangie. Most recently I was contracted to Rural Financial Counselling Service, NSW as their Marketing and Comms Director – probably during their most challenging years of drought, bushfires and floods. I joined the Federal Government’s Drought Roadshow travelling throughout NSW with the key agencies.
My husband and I operate a mixed farming and grazing operation – he’s the heavy lifter and I bark figures at him from behind the computer, pay the bills, and manage the bank manager ! We grow broad acre winter crops including wheat, canola, chickpeas, barley and lupins and when there is water available we grow and irrigate summer crops such as cotton, sorghum, maize. We raise crossbred lambs for the domestic and export markets and have a finishing lot to carry lambs through from pasture to plate ensuring their weights are spot on (you get docked for over or under!!) And their meat is perfectly succulent.
One aspect of raising country children I was not prepared for was sending them to Boarding School. I knew that was our only option for their secondary education, and my ties to Sydney had me searching there, but the emotional roller coaster (and financial commitment) was new and taxing territory.
Boarding Schools Expo provided Ross and myself with the information we needed and the confidence in our decision making process. Put simply, I know BSE works. My youngest completed his education in Sydney last year – my eldest two are taking on the world having also been to boarding school. The investment, for our family, has, and continues to pay dividends on so many levels.
Joining the team here at BSE this year is Emma Menzies. Emma is a dynamic executive administrator. She has worked in the Independent School sector for 17 years, but that’s not why I knew she was the perfect team mate for me.
Rather it’s her personal background, raised 250km north west of Bourke on a sheep station, educated via School of the Air (Broken Hill) before heading off in Year 6 to boarding school, and then going on to send her own two children to boarding school in Sydney. We have been ‘connected’ through our education, families and regions for over 35 years.
Emma, and her husband Geoff operate an Irrigation & Water consulting business supplying and installing irrigation and pump systems for farmers, corporate agribusiness and homes. Geoff was raised out at Nyngan on a mixed farming and grazing property and his family continue to operate out there.
In her ‘spare’ time Emma operates ‘Em Menzies Art’ – an art business where her creative flair comes to the fore. Having dabbled in art for over 20 years she decided to pursue it more fervently following a chat with her son. Coming to the end of his gap year in far northern QLD on a remote cattle station, Em asked him what was the most important thing he learnt during the year? He paused and replied, “mum, it was how to back myself.” Wise words for her at an opportune time, she listened and just went for it! Producing tea towels, cards, prints and original works has Emma surrounded by ‘her girls’ and bringing love and joy to people’s homes.
WEB DEVELOPER & DESIGNER
Belinda is an integral part of the team and we’re delighted she’s continuing with BSE having been part of the business for 14 years. We’ve already produced our first digital and print campaign launching with the National ICPA in November and social channels – ‘Destination Boarding …. From Wherever You Call Home’.
Belinda is based in Rose Bay, Sydney. Originally from New Zealand, she moved to Australia to study art and then veered into design and advertising, started a home wear label (where she also developed web skills) and then settled into her freelance design and website development business, that she has run for the last 13 years while raising her daughter.
Belinda has more than 25 years design experience. Her work as an Art Director for Saatchi & Saatchi (in Sydney and San Francisco) received international recognition.
Art is at Belinda’s core and her still life paintings have been selected for both the Mosman Prize and Sulman Prize and products in her home wear label No One You Know featured in international magazines, design books and exhibitions.
Belinda now combines her skills in design and advertising with her experience in marketing through the web.
Another familiar face for many of you, Simone has been front of house at the Dubbo Expos for many years. Meg valued Simone for her friendly warm nature and we’re so excited that Simone has agreed to come on board for every Expo event. She will greet and register with her signature smile and knowhow, answering your questions and those of visiting families.
Simone and I are actually besties if truth be known – which makes her commitment to this next chapter for BSE even more exciting. We are Godmothers to each other’s children and live within 10km of each other (which is basically next door out here!). We walk together most mornings, I ramble on and she listens – she’s a great human.
Simone was raised at Narromine on a mixed farming property and headed off for boarding school in Year 7. She sent her daughters to boarding school, and her husband Bill is also an ex-boarding school kid.
Up until 2020, Bill and Simone had been farming at Tottenham, a bit further west than Trangie, and operated a successful school bus run too. Last year they moved east to Trangie and have settled on the Macquarie River – closer to family and the Ferrari’s !!
Simone has travelled the world prior to marriage, living for a time in South Africa and on a kibbutz in Israel. She has been an integral community member at Tottenham, committed to volunteer organisations too many to mention and her move to Trangie has been a true loss to that small remote town. Simone is working casually as a Teacher’s Aide in Trangie, though it is her global outlook and innate kindness that lends her so perfectly to her role with BSE as Event Concierge.
Every team needs one, a spring chicken that is, and Lucy is ours. BSE will be dropping into ears via our brand new podcast series ‘Destination Boarding’, with Lucy as producer and editor.
Rural storytelling is in Lucy’s blood! Hailing from Dubbo, as well as attending Abbotsleigh as a boarder (2009-2012), Lucy Samuels has spent the last four years back on her home turf as the local reporter for Prime7 News and Win News across the Central West. She’s also recently produced and co-hosted an award-winning podcast Extraordinary Outback Stories .
This time, she’s joining forces with the talented team at Boarding Schools Expo bringing to light extraordinary, funny yarns of those who have lived the boarding school life !
No matter where you’re from, be it the outback of Australia or the bright city lights here and abroad, Lucy has an innate ability to grasp an audience, bringing wonderful conversation and stories to your ears.
Stay tuned, and be prepared for plenty of outrageous yarns as Lucy hosts the podcast “…
You won’t want to miss it!