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About Tennille

About Tennille. Thats me. Little ole me. Oh boy.

During my time turning Apikali into what it is today and continuing to build and improve it for our customer base, I have had the privilege of meeting some awe-inspiring mums and women. They have suggested that I share my story, or I suppose a little biography of how I ended up here. How have I ended up here? It certainly was not planned, if anything it could be considered a disappointment, but keep reading to see why it is not.

Lets go right back to the beginning. I was born in Canberra, ACT. I have lived in most states of this awesome country, with most of my time in WA, QLD or VIC. My primary school years were really boring, apart from moving around alot for my Daddy to find work and provide for his family. My parents struggled to provide for my brother (yep one sibling) and I throughout our childhood. Looking back now, I see all their tricks that they did. I might share that later, as those tricks helped me survive our early years as parents and to this day with 4 little munchkins.

I was a good girl at school and pretty average. At high school I did really well, until Year 11 where I lost my path. Why? I think it was boys and a bad choice of friends.My Mum tried to make it better though, but it was on me to sort it out. Come Year 12, it started to come together again with my first real casual job, where I met my husband, James.

I started university with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management. In those days they loved long obscure titles. It basically means, environmental science. I still am passionateabout helping the environment, growing plants and an interest in saving wildlife. So I followed my heart, even though all the career test suggested I do accounting. Yuck. I thrived during my Uni years. It was thought provoking and I had met my best group of friends, ever. They really help me become who I am today. During my Uni years I worked at a Discount Store, with James. This all came to an end in 2000. I was moving onto bigger things and I suppose growing up to meet the real world. I finished my Uni years at the top of my year group with First Class Honours and with a major in Environmental Economics.

Before I finished uni I was asked by a lecturer to work for him as a research assistant. I was moving into another world, which my family had not experienced. It was really scary and so exciting. So I worked a year as a research assistant compiling information on current environmental issues. It was intoxicating. My boss suggested I look at a PhD. A what? A Doctorate of Philosophy. So I did and it looked good. It would open some doors, especially for me to travel overseas.

Side note: I have this bad addiction for travel. Maybe it was from my youth after all of the moving around. I dont know, but as I write this I am itching to travel, SOMEWHERE. Anywhere.

I applied for scholarships to undertake the PhD and was awarded several. I was at the height of my life then. The PhD journey was more than research, it was also self development. I learnt alot about myself including my inability to give up. I met some amazing people as well and two of them work with me to make Apikali amazing…Sally and Trudy.

The PhD is meant to take about 3 years, mine took 6 years. This was due to my gorgeous daughter, Abbey and the development of her condition. That is another story I will share this month with you. I was so close to finishing my PhD when Abbey started having seizures. I was the State Secretary for several years for the State Branch of a large Economics Society. I had then moved onto being the National Secretary. At this time, I was at the peak of meeting top researchers, other PhD students, perfecting my research AND suggestions of jobs and career paths. They spanned from an academic, working at CSIRO to Government Departments. It was heady and looked financially and personally perfect.

It came to a crashing halt one year after Abbey was born. Her condition continued to allude us and the doctors,  I was unable to work on my PhD due to all of the therapy appointments and I had to give away the National Secretary position. It still cuts deep to be honest. I had become a mother and a carer.

For the next 3 or so years I worked on the PhD and graduated in 2008 with a Doctorate in Philosophy. I tried to make a career from it, as it was what I had been aiming towards. It just was not possible with the needs of my girl. I took some time to figure out what I wanted to do. I researched different professions and really had no luck. I needed something else besides therapy appointments, vomit and poo. Dont get me wrong, I love my girl, but I had years of high level thinking and the monotony of caring took its toll. Not to mention the emotional upheaval still going on.

I decided to go back to uni to study teaching at high school. I left after a year as Abbeys condition worsened and the career choice wasn’t fitting her needs or mine. I went and worked at Customs for about 2 years, but had to leave due to lack of carers to watch Abbey while James also pursued his career. I then went and tried one semester of Accountancy in 2012. It was easy and really a waste of my time. I didnt like it. I was still trying to find a career I could do with my girl at home. There was nothing available. I was disappointed, sad and getting desperate.

Of course in between all of this, I have had 3 more children, moved interstate and built a house. Not to mention severe depression and anxiety at one stage. Now dont feel sorry for me. Celebrate with me. My dreams were crushed.

In 2012, Nathan needed larger cloth nappies and our journey with Apikali began. Am I disappointed that I am here writing this little bio about me… No. I am the happiest and most content I have been in my whole life. I dont really know why. Maybe its because, through Abbey, I have learnt to accept more of what is presented before me, to take bigger risks and to love harder. I was very cautious during my Uni years and very emotionally closed off. Now I share me with you, with friends. It feels wonderful.

I see a future too building Apikali into a place parents from all backgrounds can come and discover solutions for their needs. To me, its not a place to buy stuff. We are not a faceless brand who sells stuff. For me, Apikali is about helping another parent where I can.

There is my very condensed bio. What did you think? Leave a comment below to tell me what you relate too.

Tennille

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