Linda (Garry) Bretherton; Award-winning Creative Marketer (& lover of mid-century style

We have been in Surry Hills for nearly 15 years. To us, Surry Hills means the village and community. We love that we can walk out of our house at any time of the day and run into someone we know. There is always someone who says hello or stops for a chat. We know the dogs, the kids and the shopkeepers. We connect through walking our dog, the school community, going into shops and our neighbours.

We have seen so much change in Surry Hills since we moved in. It was still quite colourful back then. Now disappointingly , a lot of that character is disappearing… although we are probably a part of that having bought and renovated our terrace. I’m worried that the change – driven by the house prices now – will drive away the spirit of inclusion and real people that was here when we moved in. The demographic and the dynamic are changing.

I’m on the SHNC board and I joined because I wanted to give back to the community. To help recognise and support all the people who make our community.

I’ve always had a strong belief in supporting those who need it. When I was a school teacher I felt I was giving back. In the corporate world I found other ways of giving back , volunteering through organised groups or just on my own.

The other thing I think is important is acceptance – of one another and of our differences. To celebrate diversity and to gain insights that will help create cohesion. Not only in the community but in the workplace.

A corporate event I attended recently was all about diversity, diversity of gender and ethnicity, so it’s great that this notion is being shared at a broader level. I used to go to “Women in finance” breakfasts a while back, but then I thought “It’s about everybody. Just because I’m a woman I don’t need to focus on that”. But over the last few years having seen what I have in the corporate world, and the way that women, or people with “quieter voices” in general can be perceived, I thought “Yep it’s time to get on board with this and make a difference”.

It’s encouraging that there is change happening in the corporate world.

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