From Gympie to Disney World, she’s found her dream

FANTASY REALITY: Gympie's Sally-Anne Smith is working a dream job overseas.
FANTASY REALITY: Gympie’s Sally-Anne Smith is working a dream job overseas.

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.

Sally-Anne Smith enjoys the fun of Disney World.
Sally-Anne Smith enjoys the fun of Disney World.Disney

“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.

Sally-Anne Smith has brought Gympie to Disneyworld.
Sally-Anne Smith has brought Gympie to Disneyworld.Disneyworld

“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.”


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