Brought up in suburban Sydney, I’ve always loved the bush and been fascinated by moving water. Unfortunately, the only moving water in Sydney was in a storm water drain after heavy rain. After finishing general nurse training in 1982 a friend and I travelled to Tasmania, exploring many rivers and driving a Holden panel van nearly to the end of the Mt McCall track (now full 4WD) to walk to the site of the proposed second Franklin dam. The controversy over the river’s use was just beginning. I fell in love with the island’s amazing wilderness and sense of isolation.
We returned to raft the Franklin River over 15 days in 1986 in small rafts - it was the best thing I had ever done. In those days, running the river was more of a survival exercise for many groups, and still is for some. I trained with Cairns-based Raft & Rainforest Co. before starting as a rafting guide with Wildtrek (later Peregrine) from 1987 till 2003. When Peregrine ceased operations in 2003 I bought their remaining gear and started Water by Nature Tasmania.