This week we are interviewing Coogee-based, Elizabeth was born in England grew up in Scotland. She works in both educational and mental health fields. Elizabeth is a counsellor, psychotherapist, and educator, specialising in working with young people and their families. Elizabeth’s writes children’s books and poetry and is part of the NSW Children’s Book Council Executive. Elizabeth writing focuses on social and community health matters as well as environmental themes. She released a collection of poetry co-authored with fellow writer and local author Libby Hathorn. Elizabeth’s latest release Ruby’s Release is out now and is a story of resilience and community action in the wake of a bush fire.

Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east?

I moved to Australia in 2008 and have always lived here in the ES. I can’t quite believe that was over 14 years ago!

Three words that describe what it’s like to live in the eastern suburbs?

To be honest we live in a bubble – to be so close to the ocean, world class amenities, and have the world on our doorstep is such a privilege. On a day-to-day basis life still throws all the usual thrills and spills our way so that keeps us all real! 

How many children?

Two darling grown up daughters! I also have the world’s smallest dog. – a Choodle called Odie – my girls say he is the favourite child in the family!

Favourite Park:

Barden Park is my local park. It is dog friendly, so my pup loves it too! when I put a street library there both Council and the local community were so supportive. 

Favourite Beach:

Coogee! I live nearby and swim there every day. It never stops impressing – every sunrise unique and it is community-friendly and well patrolled.

Favourite kid friendly cafe:

My girls used to love Kürtősh when they were at school, I’d take them there for afternoon tea or after we’d been at the Ritz cinema. Back then the café offered free tastings too – so that was a big hit! Nowadays my daughters take me for coffee – usually to Coogee Bay Rd to Gusto or Calipress!

Favourite Coffee Spot:

OOOO! That is a tough one – we are spoilt for choice! I would say it is hard to go past the Chish kiosk – it’s got it own community and heart and everyone is welcome there! It is open before dawn and the team there are friendly – they love their locals – it’s one big family!

Favourite date night place:

A local date night is always fun at Una Más – these days it’s usually it’s late lazy lunch morphing on into the evening for a quick boogie at the Pav! Our other little fave local date night is at Bat Country for cocktails and tapas – movies optional!

Where in the east have you yet to explore and would like to?

Mmm, I’d like to go ore often of the restaurants in Double Bay and Rose Bay – we can get a bit complacent and stick to post work city haunts or the very local usual places but there is so much more the area has to offer! 

What would you like to see improve in the eastern suburbs?

Can I use shouty capitals? Only kidding! I have been campaigning to Randwick Council for years now to improve Goldstein reserve next to the Chish and Fips Kiosk as the area is in a bad way with unlevel ground, grass erosion and is so unsightly. Having said that is aw something on the RCC website about upgrading plans so perhaps my wish will come true! 

Favourite Local Shop:

Humble Beginnings is a fabulous gift shop. It is sop beautifully appointed and the staff are incredibly helpful and caring. They know their customers and go out of their way to help them find the perfect gift as well as having a genuine interest in their customers’ wellbeing. The team at Humbles gets involved in so many community-focused projects and sources their stock sustainably. The gift wrapping is exquisite, and I love their Christmas shopping evenings!

Favourite wet weather location:

I love a wet morning walk down to Gusto or Chish! The ocean is always wet, so rain is no excuse not to swim! There is nothing a refreshing as splashing across Arden Street and down the rainbow steps to have a dip before a hot coffee. 

On a stormy night I love a dumpling and cocktail night at Lucy Cat in Coogee Bay Rd, and I have to confess that although I love shopping on Gould St and Bronte Rd, the Westfield shopping mall does have appeal on a wet day!

Favourite Local family Weekend Activity?

Take the tram to the city and explore some of the new gallery spaces, mooch through the local markets at glebe, Paddington, or Bondi, or even just go hang at Clovelly Beach!

Work or SAHM?

Over the years I’ve done both, from full time to contract work, part time, casual, studying, SAHM, school committees, volunteering, all sorts! I taught for many years and have run my own businesses too. Now I split my time between my writing career and my work in the mental health sector where I work in private consultation as a psychotherapist when I am not writing.

Motherly advice?

Take time to smell the roses. These years with your children will melt away all too quickly and what seems challenging now will what helps to form the future. So be kind to yourself and whilst the advice and example of others I useful you are the expert of you and your family so hold true to what is best for your family. You do not have to be the best mum or the have it all figured out – that is unattainable, and it is in experience of motherhood that the memories are formed. May these bring wisdom, strength and compassion and may you always find hope, love and joy in your lives.