Meet our Operations Manager Jane Collins
Where are you from?
Christchurch New Zealand. I’ve been in Australia since 1996.
What do you do when you’re not in the water?
I have photography and photo imaging qualifications and I love photography. I recently did my drone qualification, which is really exciting. I was also the President of the All Girls Surf Club here at Lennox Head for several years. And these days I work for Surf Getaways and that certainly takes up a lot of my attention and time, but I love it.
How long have you been surfing?
I started when I was around 19. I had been a competitive swimmer and keen surf life saver, but never surfed. One year I came back after spending a year in Canada and went surfing with a girlfriend and I was immediately addicted.
I kept surfing that whole NZ winter in eight-degree water. I had no proper lessons and learned everything the hard way.
After that I started going to Indonesia every year with a bunch of friends during winter.
It wasn’t until a lot later that I actually had lessons.
Why did you take it up?
I love anything to do with physical activity—I used to be a keen skateboarder until I injured myself badly and had several operations and a long recuperation. And as I said earlier, I’ve always loved the water. I’m a water baby. It is just such a natural fit for me.
Apart from the joy of surfing the waves, what else has surfing given you?
It’s given me this job, which is amazing, and it’s shown me who I can be. It has given me confidence and a belief in myself. Of course it’s connected me with a network of amazing women in this area, many of whom are my great friends and supports. I now have a career that I love, which uses all my qualifications, experience, and passion. That’s so rare for women in surfing, and I feel so lucky.
What would you say to a woman of any age considering trying surfing for the first time?
Just go for it! It's never too late to learn. Surfing is one of those experiences that, at any level, is truly life changing.