2004 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour that left me deaf in my right ear and the right side of my face paralyzed.
2005 I had radiation treatment and through hard work and determination my face returned to normal.
Since then I have taught music for over 25 years in Australia, UK and New Zealand. In 2009 I moved to New Zealand and in 2012 I was a finalist for the NEITA Excellence in Teaching Award.
I am the founder of the Wellington City Concert Band, NZ Youth Symphonic Winds and the Wellington Band and Orchestra Festival. I am also the founder of the Hoa Project that provides support and mentoring to music teachers around New Zealand.
I have been a composer and arranger since high school and my works are performed by ensembles around the world. I have travelled to Washington DC for the World Premiere of my work “Welcome to Aotearoa” for concert band in 2019. My “Middle Earth Suite” was world premiered in Melbourne, Florida.
2021 I a stroke. My right side was paralyzed. Again through hard work, determination and educating myself, I recovered and discovered how the brain heals, how we can recover our lives when our world is turned upside down and how we learn on the way.
Surviving both a stroke and a brain tumour, I have a lot to share about how we can face adversity, vulnerability, staying positive, learning and healing.
Today, I am combining my over 25 years teaching in high school and university and over 3000 hours coaching, with these experiences and am a Life Guide & Coach and Teacher Mentor theteachingpractice.nz, workshop facilitator and speaker. My book “That Time I Had a Stroke” is due for release in 2024.