Reeves new development officer
SARAH Reeves may speak with an English-sounding accent, have completed her secondary schooling in Indonesia and worked for a number of years in Dubai but she is sure she has what it takes to make Stanthorpe’s economy shine.
Born in the hub of the Granite Belt, her family settled in the wine country in 1856.
Ms Reeves has just been appointed the new Southern Downs Regional Economic Stanthorpe-based economic development officer and, just three days into the job, she is settling in well.
Except for one minor hurdle on her first day.
“Not much scares me and I’m not the sort of person who gets nervous but I was nervous when I had to meet the councillors and the mayor on Wednesday,” she said with a laugh.
Ms Reeves has a huge array of experience from starting her own furniture import business in Dubai at just 25 to working as an air hostess for Emirates and studying international relations.
She left Stanthorpe in 1988 when she was nine to move to Papua New Guinea and returned to the Granite Belt briefly before heading to Indonesia three years later.
She completed her secondary schooling in Indonesia, predominately at international schools, and Ms Reeves said it was there she picked up what her “English” accent.
“I think it came about for two reasons,” she said.
“I went to international schools for most of my schooling so most of the teachers were either American or English. And when you can’t speak a language you have to speak clearly.”
Ms Reeves speaks fluent Indonesian and is “conversational” in Arabic.
When she finished school, she started university in Western Australia before leaving her degree to work in the advertising game in Indonesia. She moved to Dubai with her job as an air hostess, where she started a furniture importing business and lived for six years.
In January 2007 she decided to return to Stanthorpe for what was supposed to be a couple of months, but her grandfather fell ill with pancreatic cancer so she decided to stay with him.
When she returned she also decided to finish her degree, majoring in international relations, and then took up a job with the Granite Belt Wine Tourism.
Ms Reeves believes her broad knowledge of business and family connections in Stanthorpe will give her the artillery to succeed in her new role.
“At the end of the day there are a lot of strong industries here and I look forward to any challenge that’s thrown at me,” she said.
“I’m a sponge when it comes to knowledge and I believe in loading myself up with knowledge which is what I’m currently doing.”
Ms Reeves said she looked forward to having a close working relationship with her northern counterpart, Warwick-based John Randall.