Where are you from? Sydney, Australia
Where else have you lived? London, United Kingdom
Hong long have you been in Hong Kong? Nine years
Where in Hong Kong do you live? Pokfulam (Bel-Air)
Children and their ages? My daughter Sophie will be 15 next month, and my son William will turn 12 in October.
Do you work in Hong Kong and what do you do? I job share as the school nurse at Kennedy school in Pokfulam. My kids both went through there, but have since moved on to secondary. It’s such a lovely, friendly school though, that I love still being able to stay connected to it. It is also walking distance from home, so a huge amount of our neighbors and friends are students or work there. It makes for a lovely community feel. I also supply nurse work for a lot of other international schools, when I have the time. It is great to get out and see how other schools are run. They are all so different, and I really love the variety.
What did you do in your past lives? I graduated university and became a registered nurse almost 20 years ago. I went into coronary care briefly, but always had a passion for mothers and babies/children. As a result, I soon moved into child and maternal health. I had a number of years off when my kids were little. Initially it was because Sophie was born with terminal disease and needed me 24/7. We spent the best part of her first year in the hospital and then she was in and out for some years following that. She was lucky to receive a liver transplant, just in the nick of time, and is now an incredibly healthy, gusty, and driven teenager. My husband and I count our blessings every day. My last job before leaving Australia was running an early childhood clinic for new mothers and children up to age five. I love my school nurse work, but still miss cuddling those gorgeous bubbas some days.
What brought you to Hong Kong and why have your stayed? My husband was working for an Australian investment bank and they asked him to come and sort out a problem for them in HK. We were only meant to me here for nine months!! I had traveled through HK as a child with my family and always loved it so, HK pretty much “had us at hello” as soon as we arrived, and we decided to stay. We haven’t really looked back since, and have no plans to leave.
What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? I don’t really check Hong Kong Moms at a particular time. I just follow the posts that come up on my normal feed throughout the day — so, I sometimes miss the really good stuff!
What posts do you comment on and why? I often comment on the medical posts because of my background. I stay away from the immunization posts now though, as they can get out of control! Sometimes it is hard to sit on my hands though as Sophie is immune suppressed due to her transplant, so can’t be vaccinated against certain things. We really rely on herd immunity to keep her well and out of hospital.
What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms Post? I like to think that I don’t take myself too seriously though, so any poster who can have a little fun and have a bit of a laugh at a situation always cracks me up.
What do you ask Hong Kong Moms? I mostly ask pretty bland things such as, where I can buy a decent toaster, favorite places to visit when on holiday, or the best places to get a dress alteration. I also like to recommend places and services when I have had a good experience. New moms and new HK arrivals are so fortunate to have this resource!
What is your biggest Hong Kong fave? I love getting up into the mountains for a run or hike. Without them, I don’t think I would have survived this long. It is such a unique city. I live on the second top floor of a 50 story building. Within ten minutes of leaving home though, I can be up in the mountains and feel like I am the middle of nowhere. I also love the safety of HK. I have never felt threatened, and my kids lead very happy, carefree and independent lives.
I also love that my kids are very open minded and culturally aware as a result of their HK schooling upbringing. I really notice the difference between them and their contemporaries when we go home for the holidays.
Having a helper has been a very positive thing for us as well. We have had Julie for nine years. As I have had the privilege of being a stay-at-home-mom and then working school hours, I have rarely had to leave the child care up to her. Instead she has looked after all the mundane jobs in our house, allowing me to spend amazing quality time with my kids and my husband. That has been a true gift. My life back in Australia was far more stressful with a husband working long hours and no home help. My kids spent FAR more time in front of the TV, simply so I could get all the chores done. I’m so grateful when I see the stressed lives many of my friends at home are leading, trying to hold down a job, run their homes and be a perfect wife and mother. The kids mostly have to be in daycare centers or after school care for long periods of time, as nanny’s are very expensive. We are so fortunate in HK that our children can be looked after in their own homes.
And frustration? Pollution and people not caring about the environment around them really bothers me. It is such a stunningly beautiful place to live, yet it is being so spoiled by a simple lack of care and awareness.
Which Hong Kong Mom would you like to see featured next? Renu Malani