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Naomi Mackey

So here we are a family of five bringing home our third and possibly our last little boy almost 10 months ago .

We live in a small country beach town just an hour south of Sydney called Wollongong . Wollongong is a growing little town which has a reputation of having everything close at hand . At one end we have an amazing beach where we pretty much spend our whole summers on and on the other side we have the mountains with beautiful rainforest and many walking tracks . A place both Chris and I completely find our freedom in and so do our boys as they have extremely adventures spirits and love to wander through the forest and collect sticks for swords or find rocks to throw or trees to climb . Their constant energy and love for nature and adventure is enthralling.

We live in a very old home bursting with atmosphere and character it is that old that our light switches are a pull string and our ceilings are high and our fireplaces havent been used for years. Our backyard is almost an acre in size and half of that Chris has made into a veggie garden where we grow a lot of our own produce where sometimes we get so much produce we are able to share it around to our family friends and neighbours . We have 12 clucky chickens which the boys love to chase and harass regularly so fresh eggs is always available at our fingertips. we are in a neighbourhood that is surrounded by italians Greeks and Macedonians who are always so generous and love family, we will always be finding ourselves sharing and swapping produce over the fence

Chris and I met almost 6 years ago , we were both in our last year of completing our studies to become social workers . We fell in love pretty quickly quite like your typical love story really ❤️ We met in February and we were married by September of that same year. We were and still are so in love with each other . We had both lived quite Careless lives previously which drew us to the welfare sector , we both had a heart and passion to help and support those who so desperately needed a helping hand. We decided to start a family quite quickly as we both wanted children and we were both ready . We had three children in the space of 5 years which has been amazing yet intense as well . After sol was born and just shy of his first birthday I was already 5 months pregnant with our second baby and at this point Chris and I were offered an opportunity to work and live as house parents at a girls homeless youth refuge. We lived on sight for almost 2 years, having our own little house out the back of another great big manor house the girls lived in the manor house and we lived in the back house we had chickens and veggie gardens whilst raising Sol , being pregnant and supporting young broken girls who walked through our doors was an amazing experience but also quite challenging. Life was never just ordinary. Nullah was born in August and we stayed at the girls refuge for another 9 months until moving to the house we are at now.

Our days are now filled raising our three wild adventurous boys who Rarely sit still for long, Chris still works with youth and I absolutely love taking photos and desperately want to keep photographing as much as I can so I don’t lose myself as an artist, a great passion I have always had and always ran in our family . My father was an incredibly talented artist where I would spend days as a child painting with him in his studio flicking and listening to his great big collection of records such as, Lou Reed Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd and the Beatles, just to name a few. My great-grandfather was a very talented photographer who made himself known as a photojournalist during the war in Amsterdam where my family originated from.

My childhood was a rollercoaster of having a dad who was a flamboyant artist and a mother who was trying to raise three young girls in a foreign country where money was scarce. Once I hit my 20’s i left home and I travelled most of Australia backpacked my way through sharing lifts with other travelers bunking up at Youth hostels for months at a time living and working in an outback hotel 3 hours to the nearest supermarket. After living in the city for a few years and experiencing the outback it was defiantly a moment of realisation as to how simple life can and should be. Ever since then I have made pact to myself that I would never fall into the traps and pressures of society and not end up being a consumer of things but enjoy the simple things in life .



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