I am a 44 year old female from Cleveland (Brisbane), Queensland Australia. My home town is Wollongong, New South Wales where I studied at the University of Wollongong. I started out in Informatics, studying a double major of Computing Science and Mathematics. The next year I switched to Education (Primary) and in 1999 graduated with a Bachelor of Education (with specialisations in Information Technology and Communication specialisation, Educating Children with Special Needs, and Children’s Literature).
I taught as a primary school teacher in Wollongong and Shellharbour NSW from 1992 until 2000. Then I retired from teaching full time due to health reasons. I was born with deformities due to growth hormone insufficiency and other factors.. My pituitary gland didn’t develop properly and I don’t have a pituitary stalk. This led to the medical diagnosis of panhypopituitarism (pituitary disease ) which I manage by taking cortisone three times a day as the lack of a pituitary stalk means that there is no connection between the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. I take a thyroid supplement and a lot of supplemental medicine.
I was also born with Talipes equinovarus (severe club feet). Teaching was difficult as I did a lot of standing, sometimes on uneven ground when on recess, lunch and sport duties. I did my best but some days I could barely walk and was in significant pain.
I developed my first website in the mid 1990s with the subject of ‘land hermit crabs as pets’. It became a very popular website with many emails from hermit crab owners asking questions, the answers to which became a part of the website. I created an online community called the Land Hermit Crab Owners Society which is still active and popular today.
In December 2000 I removed myself from the roster for casual teaching and moved to Tasmania with the death of my father-in-law and became a full-time website developer. I lived in Tasmania for two years and during that time I became a published author, writing two books on land hermit crabs as pets. The first written in conjunction with Mathew Turnbull and Mary Francis. The second on my own.
I also created an online website called The Crab Street Journal, a publication of the Land Hermit Crab Owners Society which is still running 16 years later and is a wealth of knowledge. From my studies at University I wanted to create a Collaborative magazine with members of the society contributing content. It was published in print and featured in a movie and will be published as an interactive iBook publication by 2017.
In May and October 2002 I was a demonstrator at two Pet Expos, (Melbourne and Brisbane) teaching people how to care for land hermit crabs as pets. They were very rewarding for me, if very draining due to my lowered immune system and long days. It is my goal to return to the Melbourne Pet and Animal Expo as an exhibitor and then do other Pet Expos. Hermit Crabs are thought of as throwaway pets by the pet industry and that needs to change.
In December 2002 I moved back to Wollongong, NSW and returned to education for a time, tutoring primary and high school students as well as running a photography, website design & development business and lived there until 2011 when my husband and I moved to Cleveland, Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. We run Right-Click Website and Social Media together as well as Vanessa’s Crabitat, the website I started over twenty years ago.
My hobbies include ceramics, food photography, and dining out. I created a Documentary Food Photography website called ‘An Instant On The Lips‘ where I share photos and reviews of food, products and restaurants. I update Instagram on a daily basis and the Facebook page regularly.