From Gympie to Disney World, she’s found her dream
IT IS known as the happiest place on earth, and now Gympie is right in the heart of it.
Sally-Anne Smith has brought our region to Orlando’s Disney World as a merchandise cast member, and her name tag proudly proclaims where she is from.
The 23-year-old scored the glamorous role in August last year as part of the Disney World International College Program, after graduating from University NSW with a Bachelor of Business. And it turns it the first question is not always about where it is.
“I have been asked how to pronounce Gympie quite a lot,” she said.
“I usually describe it as a regional town around two hours north of Brisbane.”
“And they get quite excited when they hear how close we are to Australia Zoo,” she said.
“The Irwin family are really big celebrities here, probably more-so than in Australia, and talking about Australia Zoo is a sure way to engage with Americans, particularly children.”
Unfortunately, visitors to the park from our region have been scarce.
“I have not yet met other people from Gympie, but I have had some great conversations about Gympie with guests from Mackay, Maroochydore, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
“It’s always the highlight of my day when I get to talk about home with someone who knows the area.”
Ms Smith moved to the region with her parents, and while she only lived here for a year she still calls it home – and, being more than 14,000km away, part of her were was still there.
“More than anything I miss the little things,” Ms Smith said. “The sound of kookaburras outside my window in the morning and being able to find Vegemite in the supermarket.”