CG – Tell us a little (or a lot) about yourself, where you grew up, what you have done to bring you to now?
I was born in Sydney on Saturday the 26th of February 1977, the same year that Elvis Presley died, the 1st of the good Star Wars film came out and disco was what all the kids were into (they were also into punk, but I love the disco). I won a national baby naming competition and then me, Mum and Dad moved back to Byron Bay before my first birthday. It was a big year.
My parents met on Main beach in Byron Bay, Dad is a 2nd generation local, my Mum had recently moved to Wategos after a massive solo world trip.
They fell in love, got married in the old Finbarr’s church and moved to Sydney for Dad’s work. After having me they decided to raise a family by the beach and back in my Dad’s home town. We spent the 18 months living with my paternal grandparents in their family home, which was behind the family business, the local bakery which explains my love of pastries. The family home and bakery took up the entire block on the corner of Jonson and Marvel Street which is now Bay Leaf, The Mez Club, Mister Zimi and Leaf and Grain.
We then moved to a house that was built on a block of land at the end of Somerset St which still had the local tip at the top of the hill. Somerset St was originally called Marvel St but there was already a Marvel St so with a single call to the council from Mum it became Somerset St.
I went to the St Finbarr’s primary school spent my weekends at the beach for fun on Saturdays and for nippers on Sundays. Then on the bus for an hour each way every day to go to high school at Trinity Catholic College in Lismore. Some of my best friends are those I met during those school years.
I moved to Sydney to study archaeology but there was too much history and not enough instant wearing of safari suits and pith hats so I became a florist instead and worked at Summers Floral in Woollhara, my boss’s surname was Summers it was meant to be!
Missing the Bay and the beach and wanting to get a degree under my belt I came home and got a Bachelor of Primary Education at SCU. In my last year at university I fell in love with Capoeira a spellbinding martial art from Brasil and when I finished my studies I taught in primary schools in the shire and a little stint in Papua New Guinea till I had enough for a ticket to Brasil.
2003 was the first trip for 9 months, 2006 was the second for 6 months and the third was in 2013 for 18 months. When I was not in Brasil I was in London, New York or Byron Bay doing a variety of fabulous teaching, nannying and sales jobs.
When I got back to the Bay in 2015 I fell into a wonderful recruitment job at SAE giving me the security and time to figure out how I was going to finally do what I had been wanting to do for years, matchmaking.
Single and just like the song looking for love in all the wrong places.
I was no longer going out every weekend and most of my friends were already in relationships. I tried online dating for myself and for “research” and found it painful, often a waste of time and energy and vey impersonal. I also joined Tinder and found my man, the Universe sure has a hell of a sense of humour!
CG – Tell us about your new business.
Mate4Life is an offline face to face matchmaking service for people seeking committed long term relationships. An answer for those sick of Tinder turkeys or suffering from online dating fatigue. A remedy for the time consuming and frantic online dating scene. At Mate4Life you will be individually matched based on values, personality and a hint of matchmaker intuition.
Gone are the days when you found that ‘special someone’ at church, the library or the grocery store. Now it’s all about online dating, apps and reality TV. Having said that I would love to bring back “Perfect Match” for those of you who don’t know it, Google it. My Aunty’s 15 mins of fame was as a hopeful single on one of the episodes.
Mate4Life was originally inspired by a conversation over dinner many moons ago in London. My dashing and “oh, so eligible” cousin and his equally dashing and “oh, so eligible” friends were having no luck finding the women of their dreams on their own in person or online and they suggested handing the reigns over to me.
We laughed at the idea initially, but found ourselves coming back to it again and again. Eventually we realised that our idea had legs and could go places, heck, it already had! Matchmaking has been referred to as the second oldest profession and has been practiced for centuries all over the world.
I have always been drawn to old fashioned things, black and white films from the 50s, Bossa Nova and vintage dresses just to name a few. The CWA is one club I can’t wait to be part of, bring on the scones! I think this is because I was lucky enough to grow up with and be very close to both of my Grandmothers.
No man or woman is an island, but we are all animals. Not aardvarks, hard wired to live alone, nor deep sea anglerfish who become so fused together that their blood vessels join, making them one animal. We are somewhere in the middle, like macaws searching for a mate for life who will love, respect and accept us for who we are, imperfect plumage and all.
It’s a jungle out there people, and the only thing setting us apart from the other animals is that we cook food, own smart phones and know the value of a skilled matchmaker.
So after making some successful matches and gaining a Certification in Matchmaking from the Matchmaking Institute in New York, voila! Here I am open for business, at your service, a slave to love.
You have all heard of the slow food movement and now it’s time to embrace to the slow dating movement.
CG – Is it your passion or just something you do?
Yes it is! I know this to be true because I have a freckle on the inside of my left forearm in the shape of a heart. Which in ancient times was known as the mark of the matchmaker!
CG – What is your greatest life achievement?
Spending 6 months in a Favela in Rio De Janeiro & living to tell the tale. Also setting up one of my oldest and dearest friends with the love of her life. They are now happily married and have just had their second child.
CG – How do you give back to our community?
I always try to shop at local fruit and vege shops, butchers and bakers. Setting up my offline and very personal matchmaking service I truly believe is my way of giving back to the community.
CG – What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A wedding. I love me a wedding! A celebration of love/ fabulous party I don’t have to organise or pay for. It has all my favourite things. The bringing together of friends and families and if I have hit the wedding jackpot cultures as well. Dressing up, flowers, tears of joy, champagne, hors d’oeuvres, cake and dancing. Also climbing into a freshly made bed with a great book as the rain pours down outside is pretty perfect too.
CG – What is your greatest extravagance?
Fresh flowers, scented candles and going to New York to see Bette Midler on Broadway in “Hello, Dolly!” the iconic musical about a matchmaker. I cried tears of joy.
CG – What is your favourite travel destination/why?
So far Cuba. For the music, the dancing, the cars, the buildings, the rum, the cigars and again the music. Brasil is also up there. I spent almost 3 years there over a 12 year period. You can take the girl out of Ipanema but you can’t take the Ipanema out of the girl.
CG – What is your most noticeable characteristic?
My quick wit. Coupled with my ability to 95% of the time finding a fantastic and on point fancy dress costume from my day to day wardrobe.
CG – Who are your hero’s?
Kate McCartney & Kate McLennan, the queens of social critique. The brains & beauties behind and in front of “The Katering Show” a parody of food shows and society’s obsession with them and “Get Krack!n” a parody of morning television. They are sensational writers and performers who possess such a deadpan sense of humour and razor sharp wit that makes me want to be them. Sisters doin’ for themselves whilst living out all my wildest sarcastic dreams. Oprah is also my hero, because Oprah always knows best or knows who does, or where to get it and then gives it away for free.
CG – What do you value most in your friends?
Loyalty, sound advice, support, love & laughter.
CG – What is your most treasured possession?
My party of friends.
CG – If you could choose what to come back as what/who would it be?
A macaw. They are beautiful & brightly coloured vibrant birds, who are extremely social, intelligent, playful and mostly vegetarian. (I have always enjoyed the idea of being vegetarian, but there are cured meats so it will never be.) They live in the forest & mate 4 life. Or a fly on the wall, who must know everything about everything.
CG – Which words phrases do you overuse?
“All of the things” “It is/was the most /best/worst…. (fill in the blank).” I am the queen of exaggeration. Look I just did it again!
CG – Which living person do you most admire/why?
Iris Apfel, the 95 year old interior designer, textile maker and accidental fashion icon. She is unapologetically colourful and a law unto herself. For me she is the personification of how knowing thy self leads to true success, internally and externally. The key to her success is her individuality. I try to live by something she once said.” If you’re not interested you’re not interesting.”
I would cure hunger and homelessness, seeing people living rough really upsets me. After that, I would make sure my family never had to worry about money again. Then buy a house, with a great veggie garden in the mountains overlooking a huge lake and house by the sea, with a view of the said sea. A yacht for international island hopping, a 1950’s Cadillac and a 1970’s Mustang. Also fortnightly massages and acupuncture sessions. That is just the tip of the iceberg I could go on forever with this answer.