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2018 has brought a change of pace for me. I am on a secondment to our branch on the Gold Coast where I am assisting getting our drivers ready for the Commonwealth Games.

So far it has been full on but I am hoping that the weekends will allow me some explore time down here. My first introduction to coast life was to be woken by a fire alarm at the resort where I am staying. Apparently, some person with cognitive challenges decided to set fire to a car he had stolen and dumped in the basement car park. Fortunately, aside from the acrid smell, there was little damage.

Last weekend I spent some time, with a friend, on the beach at Miami, just a few hundred metres down the road. We were discussing some photography techniques when I noticed a lass dressed in a crown and wearing a sash proclaiming,” Miss Australia, Continents”. We started to chat and it turned out that her camera had died and she was trying to get some blog shots on her phone.

Now, portraits are not my strength, but I offered to take a couple of shots for her. A bit of experience outside the comfort zone never hurt anyone.

Gemma White is our Miss Australia Continents 2018 and her mission, as an ambassador for Australia in this quest, is to promote and raise funds for ICANIWILL, a local children’s charity dedicated to stopping bullying of children by teaching the young that it is not OK.

She told me that she, herself, was once the target of such bullying as she was bigger than all the girls in her age group as she grew up. By hard work and determination, she has overcome such a lot to become the beautiful young woman that was standing on the beach that day.

You can read her story on her blog

She is now a property manager on the Gold Coast with aspirations, that having only spent a few moments with her, I am sure she has the courage and drive to achieve. If you would like to support Gemma’s charity you can check out the good work they do and make a donation at ICANIWILL

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