Our Peo­ple - Karen Oliver

From her time spent work­ing at kin­der to train­ing and mar­ket­ing man­ager at the cin­ema, it is ev­i­dent that Karen loves meet­ing new peo­ple

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - Weekly pro­file on our peo­ple by Courier jour­nal­ist Sa­man­tha Rouget [email protected] ne­me­dia.com.au

CUR­RENTLY, Karen Oliver is the train­ing and mar­ket­ing man­ager at Mans­field Arm­chair Cin­ema, but she hasn’t al­ways been a res­i­dent of Mans­field.

“The cin­ema has been open for nine years, and I’ve been here eight,” Karen said.

“Orig­i­nally I was work­ing a ca­sual shift one or two nights a week, but I even­tu­ally moved in to other po­si­tions.”

While she works full time at the cin­ema, you can also find Karen in the com­fort of her home knit­ting, cro­chet­ing, sewing or cook­ing. “I al­ways cook,” she said. “I bake ev­ery day – I get up and bake.”

Be­fore mov­ing to Mans­field nine years ago, Karen had grown up in “a lit­tle coun­try town” called Dublin in South Aus­tralia.

“My first job was wait­ress­ing at a lo­cal ho­tel,” she said.

“I en­joyed it – I got to meet lots of peo­ple. “I love peo­ple.” Af­ter fin­ish­ing her ed­u­ca­tion at Balaklava High School in South Aus­tralia at the end of year 11, Karen be­gan work in the coun­cil office at Port Wake­field.

“I was there when the first com­put­ers came out in 1982 un­til my hus­band and I got mar­ried,” she said.

Karen and her hus­band have been mar­ried for 35 years, af­ter meet­ing at her older brother’s work in Eudunda.

“We met in 1981 and were mar­ried in 1983,” said Karen.

The cou­ple have three chil­dren – two that were born in South Aus­tralia, and one that was born in Vic­to­ria.

Her el­dest son, Jonathan, works in the Coles and Myer IT depart­ment.

Her sec­ond child is Ali­cia, who is now 31 and liv­ing in Ade­laide with the first of Karen’s grand­chil­dren, Charles.

Ali­cia is work­ing three times a week in a fi­nance job.

Ed­ward, her third child, was born in Vic­to­ria.

“He comes up more of­ten be­cause he likes to hunt,” said Karen.

He lives in the Yarra Val­ley and is a builder, but did his ap­pren­tice­ship with Paul Richard­son.

“When he fin­ished that, it wasn’t long be­fore he moved away,” Karen said.

“I don’t see them of­ten enough, but a mum will al­ways say that. “I love kids.” Karen and her fam­ily of five have also pre­vi­ously lived in Yea, af­ter her hus­band de­cided he wanted to work on the land again.

“We lived in Yea for 18 years run­ning an­other pas­toral prop­erty,” said Karen.

“When we were in Yea I worked as an as­sis­tant teacher in the kin­der for 15 years.

“My kids have this joke that I never grad­u­ated kin­der be­cause I was still there when they left.”

While Karen was very com­mit­ted to her job at the kin­der, she was also busy coach­ing netball.

“I used to play a long time ago,” said Karen.

“I also used to um­pire and coach netball in Mans­field for the Ea­gles,” Karen said, re­fer­ring to her time spent coach­ing and um­pir­ing the U15 and B Grade teams here in Mans­field.

“We ‘re­tired’ from netball and football af­ter over 20 years – we thought we’d done our time.”

When Karen and her fam­ily haven’t been busy with work or sport, they have en­joyed time away on hol­i­days.

“We’ve been over­seas a cou­ple of times, but more re­cently was our trip to the Simp­son Desert,” she said.

“We are plan­ning an­other out­back trek for next year, but for now we are just vis­it­ing our grand­child in South Aus­tralia.”

PARTY ON: Pic­tured are (back, from left) Karen’s sons Ed­ward and Johnathon, (front from left) Karen’s hus­band Adrian and Karen Oliver cel­e­brate their daugh­ter Ali­cia’s (middle front) 30th birth­day.

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