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Episode 101 – Catrina | My Body. My Story PODCAST| 45 Over 45 chapter

In this episode, you will learn 10 FACTS about Catrina, how she survived domestic violence and sexual abuse as a child, and achieved a lot in her life, regardless of what she’s been told as a child with special needs. We also talk about aging and body image issues in modern society.


You can READ the interview transcript HERE 


10 Facts About Catrina

(at the time of the project)


archive photos are provided by Catrina

1. 56 years old.

2. Catrina was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in the spring of 1967 and moved to Australia 20 years ago

3. Catrina’s mother nearly died when giving birth to her. Catrina was born as a child with complex needs and was told, that she would never achieve anything, but she knew deep inside her that she was much more worthy than these professionals were telling her.

4. Catrina grew up in an alcoholic and quite abusive family. When she was 10, her mother left her husband.

5. Also, Catrina is a survivor of sexual abuse twice, once with a family member, and another one with the next-door neighbour

6. Catrina went through some therapy and wrote a list of exactly what she wanted. Anyone who didn't treat her right got red flags. But she met an amazing man, and they’ve been married for 27 years and had two children together – a son and a daughter. They are now 24 and 26.

7. Catrina has written a book, which has been reviewed and hopefully get published. It's called, It's not okay, in the prevention of child sexual abuse. It's an interactive book for children. Also, Catrina is writing another novel now called Broken Sunflowers.

8. Catrina runs 2 businesses. First is Airbnb which is called Serenity On The Bay, because she lives by the beach near Nelson Bay Area. Also, Catrina runs a training business. She trains people to work in community services.

9. Catrina loves to climb mountains. She climbed several peaks, including Meara Peak and Kilimanjaro.

10. When Catrina’s daughter turned 18, they went on a trip and did 18 countries, raising awareness for domestic violence.





Hi, you're listening to the My Body, My Story podcast.


Yeah, exactly. It's very, very hard. And I know I'm very, I think we know you suddenly have 50 you got, oh, this is what it's all about. This is me, this is what I've been doing. I've been looking for you for a while I lost you when you were a baby. And I found you again. Because I think when you look at a newborn baby that's very authentic.


This is the 45 over 45 chapter where we celebrate Rule Breakers and role models, the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show their sensuality beauty, soul, and true essence. Here we talk about what it's like to be 45 Plus, adjusting to the changes that come with time, and we listened to the stories about participants. If you have an interesting story, we'd love for you to participate. You can email us at That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website


Hello, everyone, and welcome to the My Body My Story project and today with us Katrina in the studio. I'll be asking her a few questions. Hi, Catrina. Welcome to the studio. Welcome to the project. And let's start and tell us 10 facts about yourself.


Thank you for having me here today. It's been a pleasure working with you today. I was born in Christchurch in the spring of 1967. And when my mother gave birth to me, she nearly had a death experience. So yeah, so I was lucky. So my mother and basically, they gave you the wrong blood group.


Oh, my God,


here are Yeah, it was quite horrific. And so she nearly died. And my mother was British and my father was English. So what a combination to to England and the Catholic Church, my father was actually had a alcoholic problem. So I grew up in an alcoholic family and quite abusive family and my mother, at the age of 10. Left her husband, which was quite dramatic in those days to not know if we're going to have any food or anything like that it was amazing thing. Also, that there was always lots of problems going on a family and I'm a survivor of sexual abuse twice, one with a family member, and one with the next door neighbour. So at the same time, and I was born with a child with complex needs, so I was told as a child, that I would never achieve anything by how proficient or be anything I suspect I had. And during my time, I've had about nine to 10 I operations couldn't see properly as a child couldn't walk, couldn't read or write properly to later in life, probably to about when I was about 11, or 12. So I had very, very complex needs, I would hit but I would rock as a child. But I knew deep inside me that I was much more worthy than these professions were telling me. So I've gone on to do University gone on to do everything. And and I'm very, very passionate, I suppose that's where my passion comes for human rights and humans, dignity and respect, so much that I don't like seeing any kind of form of abuse. So currently, I now and I'm very, very fortunate. I'm very, very thankful. I went through some therapy and my young age because I was in a domestic violence ended up being in the same cycle. And so I met this amazing man, I wrote a list exactly what I wanted. And anyone who didn't treat me red flags, I went. So I read. And I met this amazing man, and I've been married to him for 27 years. He's still today, when he dates me goes and opens the car door for me. He's a real sweet, and his name's Warwick. He's really lovely. And we had two children together. And I'm very thankful for my for my life. And this is the time where I'm starting to get back. This is the time where I stopped caring about what other people think about me. And I love to face my fears and challenge myself and I love to climb mountains. So anyone who tells me I can't do something, I'll challenge you. challenge me, and I'll do it. Watch me. Watch me grow. Yeah, definitely. So that's probably my detailed clear determination. I'm also a very visual person so I actually visualise myself before I actually get there. So my mind I'm quite strong headed. But I also listen to my instincts and listen to others because everyone I meet has a gift, a message and a lesson to teach me.


So you said you have two children?


Yes. They are adults now. So one's a train driver, oh, he loves it. And the other one is working in IT


How old they are?


So one is nearly going to be 24 and one is 26.


Nice. And so what you said about challenges that people say you cannot do it, what, what is your biggest challenge you complete it and you proud of?


I think probably doing University. Because being dyslexic or having a learning disability and actually writing with a big thing. But I've actually, that other challenge what I've achieved Now, witch, I've actually written one book, which has been reviewed and hopefully get published. It's called, it's not okay, and the prevention of child sexual abuse. So it's an interactive book for children. Because I think you can, you've got two choices in life, the way I see it, you can let your dark thoughts control you. And we all need to have dark moments in order to blossom, and be appreciative. And you can let that identity be you or you can change it you have the power? Who controls your thoughts? I do. I control my own thoughts. People can tell me something, but I actually control my own thoughts.


But how did you reach that conclusion that you need to do this healing process and how old you were when you were


I think at different stages of my life, I've had to do healing, like I've and I think it's finding someone that you really connect with, that you really trust that you can open up to. And it's, you might, and it's not just the therapy you might do with a therapist or psychologist, it's what you do outside, whether you're dealing wanting to do the work. So, and I always had someone who told me write a healing letter, say the healing letter. So I was quite good. I'd write down what I want to say, actually on toilet paper, then use that and flush it and let it go. Because I don't think it needs to define your identity. Yep. I don't think the past the past can teach us something. But it doesn't mean that you who you are. And so I've written also writing another novel at the moment called Broken sunflowers, which is great. And I run two businesses. So I run it Airbnb, as well. Yes. Which is great. We get all these people want different things, but people from different cultures and backgrounds.


It's actually in your house.


Yeah.The back of my house. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can come and stay. billion v. And it's called serenity on the bay, because we live by the beach near and Nelson Bay Area, call it which is a beautiful community and loving people. And then I also run a training business. So I train people to work in community services, so the diploma community services, so that can be youth age, domestic violence, job, youth, children, homelessness, every form of community services. So currently, I'm contracted out to an international school at the moment. So I've got a contract for two years with them.


But if someone wants to find you how they can


well, basically, I would probably just be on to Job lines for those. I don't need to I'm being really lucky. I don't need to advertise. Yeah, I love what I do. And I just people just ask me, like this job just came about someone heard about me and ring up about it. Do you want this job? And I went, Yeah, I think always lucky to fall on my feet like that. Because I think I just put out there. I think if you're going to be bitter and grumpy and you're you're going to get bitterness. If you're going to change your mindset and be positive in things that don't even look at it a positive. Look at possibilities. What's the possibility here?


I agree.


Yeah. Yeah. What's the possibility? He knows what's the possibility? I've met you for a reason? What's the possibility? What your we can go? Yeah, yeah. So I think that's probably ah, and to that, and I've travelled lots. So in my 20s, I backpack the world by myself, went to Europe, lots of Europe and then my daughter when she turned 18. We did a trip which was amazing. For three months here and I when at some times we went I've just had enough of you. I love you. When we went off and did our own thing that we did 18 countries.


Oh wow.


Raising awareness for domestic violence. So I raised awareness. I ran around raising awareness and joined all these rubber groups. So I actually had a one page called running for love, because I love to trail run. And it brings me so much to way. And it was looking about how different cultures deal with Divi and the supports and up there as supports. That's interesting, which is very, very interesting because, and Morocco had just been in 2018 had just been realised that domestic violence law was going to pass. So you know, African countries with no can prosecute. And we met amazing young woman who was doing theatre three DVDs. So to prevent domestic violence happening,


you said 18 countries, in Europe?


yep, Europe and Iceland and Morocco with us, do we go? I went to New Zealand. Let's do we go. Yeah. And three months, we just went anywhere that was cheap. We went, we jumped on a plane and went.


So when did you move to Australia? And why did you move?


I moved to Australia 20 years ago. And why did I move here is because my husband got a job. So I've lived in lots of, I've lived in four countries and around the world. And he got offered an employment and I thought, why not? We'll just take it go.


Do you like it here?


Yeah, I do. I think I've found my tribe. Hmm. So I think when you find your tribe, your tribe becomes your sisters. And I think that's the greatest thing about getting that connection is actually finding your tribe. And sometimes it takes a long time to find your tribe. And it can be quite lonely sometimes. And it can be isolated. And it can be coming here to Australia with two young children not knowing anybody. And everybody had their clicky groups was really, really hard. It was trying sometimes.


For me, it's logical that if you go and take your kids to school, then you meet parents, and you get to know each other, or it doesn't work like that?


But sometimes it doesn't work like that, because they've got their own tribes. Okay. So I mean, you know, you find that you're trying to figure out where you belong and where you don't belong. And I think that's sometimes that can be quite, that can be quite hurtful, and quite painful. But I think in the end, you just need to keep trying. Yeah. And your tribe will come to you.


I agree. So what did you do to find when Where did you find it?


So I found my tribe, I suppose that's why branding has been so much to me. It's not about the physical exercise. It's about for that connection. Yeah. And, you know, and finding people with similar minded as me, and who don't want to fit into a certain hole or betray to beat your synth, you know, person, I think the greatest thing you can do for yourself is to be authentic, to be real, and to be honest, and sometimes it's hard.


It's hard to understand what is authentic you?


Exactly. It's very, very hard. And I know, I'm very, I think we know you suddenly had 50. You go, oh, this is what it's all about. Yeah, this is me, this is what I've been doing. I've been looking for you for a while. I lost you when you're a baby. And I found you again. Because I think when you look at a newborn baby, they're very authentic. They're not worried about who's who they are. They just want their basic needs. Yeah,


but okay, you somebody can argue with you. That's why we're not babies. And we more than just basic needs. And that's for me, it's always a question how this transformation happens. And it's the long the psychology question long time ago, started asking that? Is that your genes, or it's your upbringing in the family and society? So basically, it's both


Yeah, I think it's a combination of both. Yeah, I don't think you can do without anyone. But why I'm not saying that the baby but the baby still needs the connection and still needs the luck. That's what I'm saying as you grow and that always and you lose that sometimes.


So moving to the ageing subject, as we have touched it (already), so what does ageing means to you? 


Okay, so ageing means to me that I'm very proud my body survived. You know what I mean? I don't see myself as 56 years old. But I certainly did not want to go be like my mother, who was grossly out of weight in and out she and her lifetime had about 45 operations in and out of hospital all the time. So as a child, I know she was going to come home so time. So I didn't want that upbringing for my children. And my father, he died when I was 15. So from cancer, so I saw them ageing. And because I used to work and at the age of 16 work in an aged care facility, I saw people want couldn't even walk. And they were 65-70. And so I decided I didn't want that for me. So I made the choice to, to respect my body. I think that's what it came down to respect my body and feed it in nutrition as well. Yeah. And that includes good old croissant net on the class. I mean, not to be so restricted, because I've got a family member who's got the opposite of what my mother was. And they're anorexic. You know what I mean? So they have an eating disorder, because, and I think it's also dealing with your emotions as they arise and acknowledging them. Yeah, and not hot and not feeding their emotions, like by eating lots of chocolate or by not eating or whatever. That's, and I think that that's how you can just age gracefully. That's what I think. And when I look at a friend of mine, he's 83. And a year ago, he ran 100 km 22 hours on the Blue Mountain, so anything's possible. And it's quite funny because he is. He's a short Italian. So when I run with them, they go, Oh, who's that kid you're running with? So on the young one, and he's on the old girl, and he's the young one. Yeah, so yeah, I think ageing is just you could just gotta go with this stage of life and face will eventually we're going to die. So we might as well just get on and live with it. Yeah.


So what if you could go back to any age what it would be? Why, and what advice would you give yourself at this age?


I think it was 10. When I was being abused, sexually abused by the neighbour next talk, because I was wild enough. I would say learn my book says no, to say no, because that's what we can give the best gift for our children saying no. And that's why if I did that, but then I think that I wouldn't have written the book. So I mean, it goes both ways. I think you just have to accept things in life having a reason with a good or bad or whatever, that just just happens. And it makes who you are today.


So you wouldn't change anything?


No, not really, it really happened for a reason.


So if we talking, if we move to the body image questions. My first question he has, if your body could talk, what do you think it would ask you or tell you at this age


that they say? Yeah, um, you're beautiful. Excellent. Beautiful. I mean, I mean, when I was probably in my 20s, I was the tall skinny one, which can be hard reputation to live up to, you know, to fit on the tall, skinny. And then I had, I had a whole family of tall skinny sisters tall, skinny. So we were the tall skinny sisters. But that's, that's sometimes a harder reputation to live up to. So now, I just think I'm beautiful. And, and just to remind myself that to be kind, kindness is the greatest thing you can do for yourself. So


what do you think are the main causes of body image issues or insecurities?


I think there could be many, many causes. I think of this trauma, being past trauma. The social, it can be a complex issue for each individual. And I don't think you can put it into one little box people say social media. I've heard people say social media social does. But everyone's an individual. So it depends. What how people perceive their body image. Yep. I think it's an individual thing. I mean, we can keep blaming social media, and maybe it does have some influence. But this could be deeper. I think it goes deeper than that. And you really need to get to the core of the problem of why people are having this body image thing and why they need to use fillers and why they used to pump the face up and why we need to produce you know what I mean? I agree. You know, I think there's a lot deeper psychology to this. It's an it's an it's an I can see it as a family member who's dying now, through an eating disorder. You know, it's quite horrific watching someone that you care for dying through an eating disorder. But the whole point is that she hasn't dealt with the emotions. Yeah. So I mean, and there's nothing you can do. with, you know, a family member that's at that stage, there's nothing you can do. So you just have to accept it. That's, and I think sometimes body image for someone who has an eating disorder, or obesity or whatever, it becomes the identity, it becomes so they get some benefit from it. Yeah. So you know, so you have to, what's the benefit? There's got to be something behaviour doesn't happen for a reason. Yeah, that's true. You know, you're getting something back from people going, Oh, you look so sad. Or you could be you know, you could be dying, you know what I mean? So, that's all I'll say.


How do you think it can affect this body image can affect relationship, in what way and I'm talking about all sorts of relationships with women and men.


So, I think if you've got a body image and you and how you're feeling could be, I mean, it's, as I said, it's an individual thing. But I think it puts the person at high risk of a domestic violence situation. And the reason is because their self-esteem could be very, very low. Generally speaking,


how you think it can put them at higher risk?


Because the person obviously doesn't think they're worthy. So if you don't think you're worthy, then you attract people who are going to treat you like you unworthy. If you're not kind to yourself, and you're hard on yourself, you're going to attract people who are going to be hard and critical yourself. So you believe that?


So how do you overcome body related insecurities when they come up? And has it changed with age?


Yeah, it's definitely changed with age. I think the thing is that, as I said, before I write a healing letter if I need to, or write down what it is get it out to the universe and burn it. Or you can write it on paper and let it disappear. Or you could do a pros and cons list. Which mean you'd write the pros or cons of why I'm thinking this challenge the thought. Or you could write yourself a letter and send it in the post. Now who gets a letter in the post these days? Yeah, exactly. I mean, you could write yourself, dear such as such, if it was for you, Alex. Dear Alex, this is how I'm feeling. And you'd look at the letter and go, Why am I thinking hat? Yeah, I mean, this is this is you can challenge that thought. And you get this letter in this post going, Oh, my God, it's a letter. Somebody's writing to this person. Who's this person? Yeah. So I think you can challenge the thoughts. Because as I said before, who creates the thought you? Where does the thought come from? That's the deeper question.


So you said that you run and so you probably it's one of your way to bring yourself into a good body shape do you have any other ways.


Um, I think the thing is that I listened to my body. I've listened to it. So if it's feeling tired, and I can have it rest, I'll go and have a rest. I think it's really important. My stress levels are probably quite low, I would say and I'm very thankful for that. I basically. So I nutrition, the correct way, which is that there's a correct way from my body. That includes eating dark chocolate every day. So having a big hole chocolate bar, or five of them at the same time. I do other go in the water. I love being in the water. I'm not a great swimmer. But I go into the water afterwards the C, which is really, really good. I do strength class twice a week. And I think getting me on track because I'm running an ultra again in February. So we're doing 50 ks and one day




Yeah, I've done 100 km before. One day.




Yeah. Do you do mental? It's just your mental game.


So what do you say to yourself like what I can do it or


this brightness, having a thought? Because then I separate myself from the brain is making that thought happen. So this brain is having a thought because it's just the thought the thought will pass. So I think I've always used exercises that form of but I don't want to get to the point where I'm obsessed with it. Like if I didn't run today, I'd be like yes. And I also have got found a wonderful coach who keeps me on track. So that's where really, really handy. I want to say to her I don't want to try and today I don't feel like she gets good. Yeah, she like she listens to you. It's about listening to your body. So it's


So you have a coach in running?


Yeah, Coach and running, and she does a coach and swimmer. And this you can get coached. It's called Training peaks. So if you look up training peaks, you can find all the different kinds of coaches for running, swimming, cycling, whatever. And yeah, and it's just starting, they do a training programme and they look at your heart rate. They look at your stress levels, they look at everything, and they change the training programme to suit that. And if you're injured, like she, I was rolled my ankle, I'm always rolling my ankles. And so she just changes the training programme for injury. So, but it's quite nice because I did my Garmin the other day said, I was the my fitness age was 20.


And you told me earlier that you feel like you're still 20. It's just aligned with your feel.


Yeah. So I think for me, it's really important being having a certain amount of fitness because then you can go and do something and I love to climb mountains. I've Clent climbed in the last two years, Calum and Jarrah are really Yeah. And Africa went to Africa, Africa. So I ride. If I'm going to do something I don't, I've got to the stage of my life. My husband doesn't want to travel some parts and that's okay, because he had a heart attack about four years ago. So I just organise it myself. And people go, Oh, want to come along. And I said, Well, this is where I'm going. This is what you organise it. I'm not organising people anymore. It's too much cheaper. And so I did Kalam and climbed Kilimanjaro, which was quite amazing. But then I did mera peak, which was 6470, this year, and off to Peru next year, this time next year to climb another seven. So I love being in that meditation state for six hours when you're going to Summit.


My last question is, what is your favourite saying or quote about being a woman?


Okay, I really love Brene Brown, have you heard of Brene? Brown?




she's great. I belong to me. And this is true about belonging and who we really are. So it means you don't have to go and fit the hole. Because if you try to fit a mould to what the group wants you then you've lost your true, authentic self. I agree with that. Yeah, the night is beautiful.


Thank you, Catrina. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and for sharing your story. I hope that you enjoyed the day and the photoshoot and thank you again for everything.


Well, thank you so much. It's been a pleasure meeting you and I've learned so much.


If you have an interesting story, we'd love for you to participate. You can email us at That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website







This is the 45 over 45 chapter of MY BODY MY STORY podcast, where we celebrate rule breakers and role models - the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show their SENSUALITY,  BEAUTY, SOUL, and TRUE ESSENCE.


For more information about the project visit:


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