Ashlee took up the new role after returning to live in New Zealand with her husband. For the last two of their four years living overseas, the pair had been based in the remote coastal town of Karratha 1600 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia.
There, Ashlee was employed as the town’s event manager responsible for community engagement, in part overseeing an arts and culture programme. In this capacity, one of Ashlee’s personal favourite jobs was organising Ballet on the Beach showcasing the West Australia Ballet to the Rio Tinto mining community. It was an event few imagined could be successfully pulled off, and yet – not only was it an overwhelming success, one of the young local dancers who performed in the opening act was also asked to audition for the West Australia Ballet.
Despite the satisfaction of her role and the many surprising outcomes, Ashlee was drawn back to New Zealand by family connections and the natural beauty of her birthplace.
“We travelled a lot internationally and wherever we went people raved about how much they had loved New Zealand. We thought it was time we came back to do some exploring and see for ourselves.”