For me 2018 is going to be a year when my mission and my passion collide. I am proud of the work I do. Deciding to share my story for a living was not an easy decision. The temptation to put the past in the past and let it rest was strong. But, I decided to use my skills, knowledge and experience to help bring about awareness and change.

Creating financial stability for those impacted by DV is my mission

This has been the most rewarding decision of my life. My mission is to educate as many businesses as I possibly can, so they are in a position to assist both employees and customers living with domestic violence. I believe financial stability is key to improving outcomes for those affected. Publishing my book is one of the big things on the agenda for 2018, it has been a lot of work, but worth every moment.

Poverty is mean and unforgiving

From experience, I know poverty is mean and unforgiving and certainly not for the faint-hearted. I was left homeless and in poverty after decades of abuse and poverty can be as mean and cruel as any abuser.

Although I was in a shelter followed by a safe house, I am lucky in the fact I was never without a roof over my head. Those are the years when I realised how much easier it would be to stay out of poverty than to climb out.

So my mission was born, do all I can to help ensure I can help prevent other from falling through the cracks.

Marathon running is my passion

It was in those years after I first escaped a lifetime of abuse, that I started running. Running literally saved my life. I started running to help alleviate the devastating impact my depression had on my sense of self.

I call it my Forest Gump era because I started running and just didn’t stop, running my first marathon in 2008 in Sydney. This achievement underpinned my belief that true and lasting healing was possible.

New York Marathon – What an experience!

Running a marathon had been a dream of mine since I was 16, there is a story as to why it became a dream, but I will leave that for another day. But, having held the dream for so long, it was beyond my wildest dreams to get a spot in the New York City Marathon, but I did in 2013. It was beyond amazing, and even on the saddest of days the memories make me smile.

Going home to run the London Marathon

This year I am beyond excited to have a spot in the London Marathon, it is hard to put into words the significance of this to me. This is England my place of birth but also the place of so much abuse. Going home and completing the London Marathon will be me saying to myself, my abusers and the world,

‘I am here, I am strong and I have survived, you may have beaten me, but you did not break me’.

It is such an important part of the healing puzzle for me.

Injury and illness

The last few years have been marred for me by both illness and injury, so to be back training and preparing for London is an amazing feeling.

Proud to run for ActionAid

Beyond what it means to me personally, I am honoured to be running for ActionAid, my mission is so closely aligned to theirs. Empowering people through eliminating poverty. This is my passions and my missions colliding.

Thankful for my survival

I am hoping this run will bring awareness to the issues and create a conversation. Above all, I am thankful to have survived, so I am here to make the most of the amazing opportunities I now get to create.