“I love the idea of getting a little bit better each year at whatever it is I’m working on.”
Content producer Isabel van Gent brings a bit of the country to Cornerstone; lots of optimism, a can-do attitude and she says, the promise of a friendly wave if you happen to pass her “on the same dirt road.”
Perhaps it was the experience of growing up on her father’s farm and winery in Mudgee that encouraged Isabel van Gent to get her hands dirty. If a tree fell down, she’d chop it up. If a fence needed repair, she was out there with the pliers. Cattle needed moving? It was all hands on deck.
And feet too.
“I grew up helping dad squash the grapes in the tank. If he turned his back, I was so short I would sink and he would have to come and rescue me,” she says.
So, years later when the engine cut out on the old bright yellow Volkswagen on a road trip in South Africa she knew exactly what to do. Although Isabel is the first to admit she’s had less luck with cars than cows and grapes.
“I lived in New Zealand for almost a year. We went through an old car and we would have to park it on a hill so we could clutch start it. It was dumb, but we drove it up to the snow, and we ended up having 15 snowboarders pushing us down the mountain,” she says.
It was all these experiences that led her to the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Writing) at Macquarie University in 2011 where she learned to fashion her experiences with the pen.
“I learnt to write across the spectrum; journalism, creative writing, biography and memoirs. We did script and screen writing,” she says. “But I enjoyed fiction the most. It is a bit of escapism and there is always the element of the central character finding some power within themselves.”
When the opportunity to join Cornerstone came up as a content producer and bookings, it seemed like the obvious next step. For someone who relishes the opportunity to grow and challenge herself, she fits right into Cornerstone’s culture of improvement.
“I love the idea of getting a little bit better each year at whatever it is I’m working on,” Isabel says.
“I don’t come from a background in education, so I think I can bring a different perspective,” she says. “I am looking forward to working with teachers.”
Isabel is the friendly voice on the other end of the phone to deal with all your professional learning enquiries.
And if you ever see her on an old dirt road – she’ll be the one waving.
Get in touch with Isabel at firstname.lastname@example.org for enquires about our courses. Isabel also runs Cornerstone’s Writers Group.