Her name means ‘youthful’ and this lady with a keen sense of humor and zest for life,
Gillian certainly lives up to her name. Her endless energy, curiosity, and love of learning
keep everyone around her on their toes.
Her first job as a teenager was as a cellist with the local town orchestra in a seaside town in South Africa. The youngest of 3 siblings, Gill has a unique insight into life in differently-abled families because her eldest brother had Down Syndrome. After school, she obtained a Bachelor of Social Science Degree in Developmental Psychology and Sociology from Rhodes University in Grahamstown. Student days were certainly something she looks back on with many giggles and funny anecdotes.
Soon after studying, marriage and motherhood followed, along with emigration to the USA – aged 23 and heading off with only 2 suitcases and an infant to a new country was certainly an adventure! Pittsburgh, PA will always hold a very special place in her heart and there is no more patriotic adopted American then Gill! After five magnificent years in the USA, it was off to Melbourne, Australia where she spent the next 4 years. During that time, she worked as an integration teacher for special needs students at a local school, before returning to South Africa and undertaking an Honors degree in Social Work which she obtained Cum Laude.
Gill spent the next few years working in the private education sector, where she engaged with kids from age 3 to 18. One of her specific interests is in developing well-rounded kids, not just academically bright kids, but the creation of daring, empathetic, independent, active, fun-loving, curious, and adventurous young adults who will be positive agents of change in the world. During this time, she was a dedicated single parent to two very differently gifted children and juggled a full-time job while at the same time ensuring that her children reached their full potential. She was the ever-constant support crew, taxi, and cheerleader for everything from polocrosse matches, marimba competitions, rowing regattas, piano recitals, modeling competitions, science expo projects, pottery classes, and show-jumping events.
More recently, Gill has specialized in the field of Marketing and Events. What started as a short stint with a radio station became a long-term contract and it was here that she gained experience in coordinating large events, from triathlons to huge concerts that featured celebrities like Joan Armatrading and Johnny Clegg. Throughout her career, Gill has been actively involved in the creation and production of written marketing materials, newsletters, reports, magazines and yearbooks which has refined her reporting and editorial skills.
In her free time, Gill is devoted to her assortment of farm and domestic animals, raises free-range poultry, and keeps an extensive home vegetable garden. You will most often find her baking up a batch of homemade cinnamon cookies or making homemade preserves in the farm kitchen with some lively ABBA tracks blaring in the background. There is never a dull moment and every day is filled with plenty of chores and exciting projects.
Each day is an adventure and an opportunity to learn something new!
Feel free to check out some of her writing samples below.