Chef, author and entrepreneur
We put Bali on the map in another exciting way and have created a literary hub on our little island.
Tell us your story – how did you get here?
My dad brought the family to Bali on a holiday in January, 1975. He decided it was time to have a tropical adventure – and that it certainly was. We arrived in wild, overgrown Ubud – my mum, dad, brother, sister and me. It was our first time out of Australia. I guess you could say it was life-changing! I returned in 1984 and met my Balinese husband on my second day, and since then, I’ve never really left.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Apart from having four wonderful, hilarious children – next in line I would have to say the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. And in 2023 we turn 20 years old! The Festival is like my youngest child, my baby – challenging and rewarding in equal measures. I couldn’t imagine life without it.
What impact have you made in Bali?
I guess I have helped turn around the image of Bali, or rather enhance it, to be a place where great minds gather and where leading writers from Indonesia and beyond, meet. We put Bali on the map in another exciting way and have created a literary hub on our little island.
What does 2022 look like for you?
2022 is looking extremely exciting! We are starting to make plans for the Ubud Writers & Readers Festivals so I am frantically reading up on potential authors for the 2022 program. The Ubud Food Festival is also simmering on the horizon, as well as a few other potential new events that I truly hope come to fruition. The marathon has started!
What do you love most about Bali?
I absolutely love the people – there’s no two ways about it. Second is the culture, and maybe we can slot the food in there too!
What's the quirkiest thing not many people know about you?
My sense of humour, although it’s embarrassing because I always laugh at my own jokes. And that’s not very funny when it’s only me laughing!
Who is your Local Legend and why?
I would have to say Pak Made Taro, a Balinese storyteller and educator. He was the recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival a few years ago. He has devoted his life to children’s education and the preservation of the Balinese culture. He teaches children traditional stories and games and has written many books. He works tirelessly and endlessly for his passion for children and for Bali and is an adorable, wonderful, inspiring man. He’s a national treasure.