2024 is the start of my sixth decade and I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude for the extraordinary journey that has brought me here. I love the changing of the decades for so many reasons. It has been my experience that each has its own wisdom and energy, and I look forward to what this new adventure will bring. 

 Over the years, many people have asked me when I will share my story and I have often threatened to write a book called “Strong Woman Syndrome” amongst others. If I could be given a gift, it would be for a year’s sabbatical to write and reflect. Life, however, has other ideas, so I thought I would use this year for those who would like to come with me to share some of the lessons I have learned on this journey called life. For those of you who know me you will recognise this quote:

 “To live will be an awfully big adventure.” 

 These words, spoken by J.M. Barrie in Peter Pan, encapsulate the essence of my 50s—a decade of exploration, exponential growth, and boundless possibility.  It was the decade where I crystalised my leadership focus, graduated with my second masters, started and then intentionally gave up my PhD. I had my proudest moments as a mom with my boys who have loved, lost, won and learned and who have been my greatest teachers. stepped on to the global stage, established my second home in the UK and painted my first artwork.  I remember sharing at a conference that one of my keys to success has been putting myself in rooms I don’t belong – and then belonging.  It was the decade that I finally recognised that I am enough!

From the feature picture, you will see two themes that have been part of my story. The first is my MG sports car, Marylin who symbolises freedom, adventure, and the delicate balance between work and life. She reminds me that every moment is precious, and life is meant to be lived to the fullest. She is waiting for me in South Africa and preparing for our next road trip.

For me, butterflies are symbols of freedom, transcendence, agility and the infinite beauty and spirituality found in nature. The butterfly effect speaks of an impact that is felt on the other side of the world. Like the butterfly, I have undergone profound transformations, shedding limiting beliefs and embracing new possibilities. I have transcended from being a shy, awkward child to a single mom with no experience or qualifications to living my best life, with all of its ups and downs, on a global stage. Whilst this may sound romantic – growth is often painful and challenging. We learn who we are in the struggle and find joy in the times between basking in the sunlight. I have learned that I am both light and shadow, gloriously flawed, scarred and a little battered around the edges. That is OK, I have lived.

 In her own inimitable way, my friend Janice B Gordon role-modelled entry into this decade as not 60 but 6.0. And I love the idea of the next venture being an upgrade. And as the developer, I get to decide what gets included and left out of this version. It was also Janice who encouraged me to finally launch my new African Keynote. So, I will include the elephant matriarch as part of this story as I am learning so much from her about leading with strength and compassion, and leaving a legacy.

I share this birthday year with two of my closest friends, the fabulous Kerry Manning and Paul Missing. We have been friends since early primary school and know too much about each other to NOT be friends!  We have been there for each other through in the darkest moments, the joys and challenges of raising five amazing sons between us, our greatest moments of celebration and those quiet and ordinary time over tea, wine (lots of wine) and great conversation. Even though we live in different parts of the world, our friendship has endured and only got stronger. I would not be who I am or where I am without them. This evening we share a glass of wine to celebrate the first of three birthdays and laughed at the precious memories of a lifetime of being there for each other.  


As I step into this new chapter of my life, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for the adventures ahead, the opportunity to build a legacy of significance and contribute to a better world. We have the power to speak the world we want into existence. I know that I want a kinder, more human world for my children.