Stephanie

I grew up in Brisbane as the youngest of five children. Both my parents always worked so I became independent quite early, catching the bus into town on my own by age 10, walking long distances to visit friends and exploring with my neighbourhood friends. At the end of Year 10 I was told I needed to repeat. This was upsetting to leave my friends but I was given no choice.  My parents’ marriage also broke down and they separated. Like many 14 year olds, I started to play up. I got caught underage drinking and driving my parents car and occasionally ran away from home.

During Year 10, students were required to select an industry they wanted to do ‘work experience’. I chose the television industry. After proving that I was hardworking, Channel 10 offered me further work experience on school holidays and by the time I had finished Year 12, Channel 10 offered me a job. As I didn’t get good enough grades to go to University like my brother and sisters, I decided to pursue the television career. I started working for Channel 10 in Brisbane however soon decided to move to Sydney. I was 18 and knew very few people in Sydney but liked the idea of the challenge. I moved and really enjoyed my new career in television and was being quickly promoted at work. By this stage my parents had divorced, my mother moved overseas and my father remained in Brisbane. I would return to Brisbane only for parties or family occasions.  

One weekend I returned to Brisbane for a friends party. I was 20. After the party my friends and I had plans to go out to a nightclub in the city. Three friends and I jumped into a taxi together to head to Brisbane’s city nightclubs. My friends jumped into the back of the taxi and I sat in the front next to the taxi driver.  One of my friends vomited in the taxi and the driver told her that he would pull over at a petrol station and she need to clean it up and pay a fine. She refused and left. Meanwhile the other friend in the taxi started to have a punch up fight with the taxi driver outside the car. I was still sitting in the front of the taxi and decided to move over into the drivers seat and drive the taxi off... 15 minutes later I was surrounded by five police cars, questioned and then taken to the police station. My friends left.

Read the Flipside