Tracey Pope, mum to a 14 year-old daughter and a 17 year-old son, always tells her children not to be afraid to dream and enjoy life along the way.
Having lived within minutes of numerous Gold Coast beaches for many years, she and her family take full advantage of the laid-back lifestyle they relish, often taking the kids for a morning swim and surf before school.
Tracey has been a proud Stockland employee for 10 years, working as an admin manager at Benowa Gardens Shopping Centre – the perfect spot for a surf club mum, or ”clubbie” as they’re affectionately known.
The Palm Beach Surf Club is a hub for Tracey and her family.
“We live on a wonderful street where we all had children growing up together. On a Saturday it’s common for four or five of our neighbouring families to walk up to the surf club.”
Tracey and her husband enrolled their children at Nippers from the age of six. Her son and daughter both wanted to learn how to surf, and it was important to Tracey that they understood the dangers of the ocean and how to get themselves out of trouble.
“If my kids lost their board while surfing, they’d know where and how to swim in.”
With her administration skills, Tracey likes to help the club as much as possible including organising local and state carnivals, and state dinners.
“It’s a wonderful club. You spend half your life there. It’s the same with our children. The kids get a good grounding as well, and I know we are setting the foundation for them to continue to have a healthy and fit lifestyle. “
Growing up fast
Her son, now 17, is a passionate surfer and ocean swimmer. While Tracey was once his chief taxi driver to his favourite surfing spots, these days, he doesn’t need a lift.
“Now, when his mates come around and he no longer needs that lift, it breaks your heart! You’ve got to treasure your time with your kids.”
She adds proudly that he was in the 2018 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, which featured a contingent of lifesavers performing key roles.
Making family memories
Some of Tracey’s best family memories come from the family’s 16-year ritual of holidaying in a beach cabin each year at the coastal town of Evans Head.
“Over the years, we’ve brought other families in as well – with their caravans, their campervans. It’s those little things when you look back on them – they’re the biggest moments. “
“From making that small family commitment to holidaying in the same place each year, we’ve built a lifetime of memories and friendships. It’s where a little means a lot.”
About: 'Those who mum' series
Meet 40 women across Australia, from as far as Cairns in North Queensland to Baldivis in Western Australia, as part of a 40-part editorial and portrait series that celebrates the faces of women and mums from across Australia.