• Jessie Shedden

I totally lost interest in school when I realised, I would not be allowed to do nursing.

"My one desire as a child was to become a nurse like my mother, however, I totally lost interest in school when I realised, I would not be allowed to do nursing."

Elyse Chugg from Australia describes herself as a very caring friend although she admits she does have a slight tendency to wait for her friends to contact her as she worries that she'll smother them. She says she makes friends easily however doesn’t have very many of what she would call best friends.


How many years have you been free?

33 years


What is the one thing in life you’re so happy you did? (other than escaping)

Study I studied early childhood education but have never really used it in work as life went in different directions and now work in a private hospital with predominantly elderly patients which I love.


What would you tell your younger self?

Believe in yourself.


Who is the one person who changed your life the most?

My husband


What is the biggest lesson(s) you’ve learnt since starting your new life?

There are way more true Christian’s out here.


What are you most passionate/grateful about being able to do now as a woman that you couldn’t do before?

To be able to work and help my husband with finances.


What is most important for your mental health?

Again, being able to work, I work in healthcare. I found being stuck at home annoying after our children were all at school full time and I love getting out working as a team member and helping the public regardless of their age or status I also took some time off to help look after grandchildren, so I didn’t miss out there.


What in your life gave you courage?

My hubby as he always said ‘Just try and you just might surprise yourself.’ and he was not afraid to push me beyond what I thought were my limits were.


What ignites your sense of injustice?

Disrespect and abuse.


What’s the greatest gift we can give ourselves?

Self-respect and kindness.


What’s the greatest gift we can give each other?

Support when needed but also not to become overbearing. To allow people to make their own mistakes as that is how you learn, and to know when to step back as helicoptering is too close to eb’ism. (cult behaviour)


Is there anything else you’d love to say?

I was 28 married with 4 children in a very strong relationship so my responses and needs may be slightly different from others. I definitely value my freedom to choose which is very important to me as my one desire as a child was to become a nurse like my mother (she came in from outside the cult back in early 1940). I totally lost interest in school when I realised, I couldn’t do nursing – I thought about it when I left but I didn’t feel I could cope with the workload with 4 kids. Then I felt I was too old, now my daughter is a midwife!


Thank you Elyse Chugg it's been an absolute honour to raise your voice up from the farthest corners of Down Under.


#internationalwomensday2021 #IWD2021 #girllegends




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