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Inside Teaching : June 2010
Inside Teaching | June 2010 20 QUESTIONS 32 THEWAYIWASATTHE START LINE AT THE SYDNEY 2000 OLYMPICS WAS FOCUSED TO THE POINT WHERE I DIDN'T EVEN HEAR THE CROWD OF 119,000 PEOPLE SURROUNDING ME. as a teenager and then moved interstate. How did having a sibling who wasn't capable of running and doing the things you could do affect you? Put otherwise, what can we learn from being with disabled people, in schools and in life generally? My late sister Anne-Marie, who had severe cerebral palsy, taught me to see the light in everybody's eyes regardless of our differences. She showed me that the language of love transcends the physical and can be felt if you love in the first place. Anne-Marie helped me realise many things, including making the best of what I have and of my life. Once she'd passed away, I knew that she was always going to be a big part of my life. Who has been your most inspiring teacher? My mother definitely springs to mind immediately. She is gracious and accepting, funny, loving and most of all compassionate. Her morals and values have taught me to be centred and anchored. My mother is brilliant. She has a sharp mind, a particularly good sense of people, is compassionate, funny and beautiful. Did you ever run away from her in the supermarket? I can't recall a time that I did, probably because I was ensuring that my two younger brothers behaved themselves, which was a pretty tough job to do. I'm sure I would've run away from my mother in the supermarket at some point as a toddler though. Were you proud of your school reports? Absolutely not, because I didn't at all apply myself or understand the importance of a solid education. Your ambition at 14? To be the world's greatest athlete. Was there a piece of clothing from your childhood that really meant something to you? An oversized jumper, with an odd pattern of red roses all over it. I used to wear it proudly as a teenager and it reminds me of my times with my late Nanna -- my maternal grandmother -- and my late sister. Have you got a special thinking spot, walk or place? I certainly do and it's by Port Phillip Bay here in Victoria. I also find the ocean with its shores and trails so soothing. If you had children would you give them an outback education? Absolutely, as the outback is very muchapartofwhoweareasa nation and not just our cities and semi-urban regions. To be truly representational of Australia's true identity, we need to take into consideration the outback. The bush with its harshness and isolation is an asset to us all and we should celebrate this wonderful feature and our people who are a part of it. Which book previously read would you most like to cuddle up