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Greener pastures

Jacqui Wilson-Smith


Greener pastures

Jacqui Wilson-Smith has used her marketing know-how to help business innovate and mitigate risk. Her career focus has been agribusiness, food and beverages, and she has worked for Gourmet Garden, Kraft Foods and Buderim Ginger. She is currently the global innovation manager for McCormick. She was recently awarded the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation’s Queensland Rural Women’s Award 2017.

Where on the Sunshine Coast do you live? On five acres in Eerwah Vale.

First job? An accountant.

What are you currently working on? I am trying to figure out how to embed design-led thinking into a large organisation.

Your family includes… Husband James, twins Sam and Grace, aged 11, and Max, the chatty one, aged 10.

Do you have a nickname? Biscuit and Jacster.

First car? The purple people eater, a 1973 Toyota Corolla.

Favourite book? I loved My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell as a child. Recently I enjoyed Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.

What are you reading now? I have two on the go – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I have never read this classic) and a business book, 10 Must Reads on Innovation by Harvard Business Review.

Favourite song? Such a hard question. Totally depends on the time of day – whether there’s a coffee cup or wine glass in hand, the company of friends or strangers, and the mood I am seeking. At our wedding, our first dance song was What a Wonderful World. I guess I am sentimental.

Best advice you’ve been given? Be true to yourself and kind to others.

How long have you lived on the Sunshine Coast? Since 1979, but I have also lived in Alice Springs, Brisbane, London and Bristol in the UK.

Why do you live here? Deep roots.

What is your favourite place on the Sunshine Coast? It’s a secret.

Where do you take visitors when they come to the Coast? Drive up to Point Glorious lookout, climb Mt Eerwah, bushwalk in Noosa National Park, cruise Noosa River, four-wheel drive up North Shore, drive to Kenilworth via Montville and Maleny, swim in Booloumba Creek, dinner at Spirit House, drinks at Eumundi Imperial Hotel and lunch at Ricky’s.

If you could change one thing on the Coast what would it be? Faster internet and better mobile reception.

Best day in your life? The day I met James. It wasn’t a particularly amazing day, but amazing things came of it.

Can you nominate a day in your life that turned out to be a turning point? It was November 20, 2006. James and I landed in Adelaide from England. We left good jobs, friends and his family behind. I was heavily pregnant with Max and the twins were only one. Neither James nor I had jobs lined up. We immediately bought an old Pajero and started the long drive towards the Sunshine Coast. We soon got sand bogged in Coorong, but it was an exciting day as our young family life in Australia began.

Your greatest regret? Not having enough ‘me’ time, which often translates to time with close friends.

What achievement are you most proud of? I can still do a cartwheel.

You are happiest when? My family is happy.

What frustrates you the most? A messy house.

How do you deal with your frustrations? I shove the mess into cupboards and under the bed just before people arrive.

If you could tell your 18-year-old self anything, what would it be? It’s OK to make mistakes. You’re human. You’re kind. Everything will be alright.

What is your preference, tea or coffee and how do you have it? Both. English breakfast tea, with milk, swiftly followed by a strong flat white with fat milk. Honey sometimes.

NRL or AFL and who do you follow? I prefer tennis.

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