At the outset, I should say that the years I spent at Oak Bay High were very happy and I have great memories of those years. Consequently, I had a hard time leaving that great environment, and spent the most part of the next decade trying to figure out who I was, sporadically attending University, travelling throughout Asia and Australia, playing music and having my daughter, Layla, in 1975. To the relief of my parents, I finally finished studies at University of Victoria with a degree in Law in 1984, and spent the next 8 years practicing mostly as a Crown Counsel in Victoria
In December 1992 , I married the love of my life, John Cowan, Naval Officer, and moved to Halifax, NS, where I practiced for two years as Crown Attorney in Halifax and Dartmouth, NS and John went off to a NATO deployment in the Adriatic Sea for seven months. When John was posted back to Victoria, I established a private law practice with Donna Iverson, until September 1996, when John and I moved to Sydney, Australia, where John had joined the Royal Australian Navy and I became a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW.
1996 – 1998 – was a contracts manager at the Naval Dockyard in Sydney, NSW and entered the field of government contracting and ship repair
1998 – 2000- was Commercial Manager and Deputy Project Manager for Alstom Australia in Sydney, NSW, on its major subcontract to provide mechanical, electrical and hydraulic services for the M5East Motorway Project during the design phase – the works involved boring and servicing a 4.4km dual carriageway tunnel under residential Sydney
2000-2004 – joined fellow escapees from the Naval Dockyard who had formed a facilities maintenance company in Sydney to develop the systems necessary for the company to better perform facilities maintenance and construction, including developing and integrating management systems and in-house legal counsel work. I am still peripherally involved with this company.
2004 – 2009 – joined Raytheon Australia Limited, the third largest defence industry company in Australia, in Canberra, ACT, and became Director of Ethics and Contract Operations, then moved to Melbourne and became Regional Manager for the training arm of the company, delivering training for General Motors Holden in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2009, I left Raytheon and developed a consulting practice in government contracting and management systems development and integration, working in Canberra and Sydney, mainly in the defence and construction industries. This made it possible for me to be able to follow John around, who, at this time, had seagoing commands in Fremantle, Sydney and the United Kingdom.
I have been passionately involved in politics for the past decade, running campaign operations during elections. In the middle of 2015, John and I bought an acreage in the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, with the intention of retiring and becoming reasonably self-sufficient, but I have, once again, been drawn into Commonwealth politics and handling all the campaign logistics for the Liberal candidate in our electorate.
John will retire in 2017 and is looking forward to his next career driving whale-watching boats out of Mooloolaba and Noosa. When we are not working, we spend most of our time growing vegetables and maintaining our property, and visiting Layla and her two daughters who live near San Diego. In my spare time, I garden, play bass in a rock trio, and do woodworking.