“Embrace the challenge of educating the wider community"
Born and educated in Sydney, Vicki married in her early twenties and made her home in the Hunter Valley after she and her husband purchased the Bushrangers Bar & Brasserie at Largs, near Maitland, in partnership with her parents.
Vicki, 51, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in January 1991, six months after her only child (a son) was born. Whilst it took nearly six weeks to confirm the diagnosis, she did not experience obvious signs of the disease, and did not actually have a second "episode" for nearly six years.
In the 27 years that Vicki has been the hotelier and restaurateur at Largs, she has embedded herself in the local community and was actively involved in local government. Vicki was elected to Maitland City Council in 1999, was re-elected in 2004 as Deputy Mayor but stood down from Council in late 2008.
Vicki’s hotel has been the recipient of many awards and accolades over the years, winning the NSW Australian Hotels Association (AHA) Award for Outstanding Community Service and Achievement five times, the NSW Restaurant & Catering (RCIA) Award for Best Restaurant in a Pub five times, the Sydney Morning Herald 1 ‘Schooner’ for two years running & has been a finalist in the NSW Wine list Awards for the past three years. All these awards are testament to the love & passion that Vicki has for her business & the industry that she is in.
Whilst Vicki's MS has started to noticeably deteriorate in recent years, through the support of her husband she continues to enjoy an extremely busy but balanced life of work and play. She has days of frustration, but just takes each day as it comes. MS sadly has become more visible to others, though Vicki just continues to take it in her stride. Vicki is also an MS Peer Support worker, which she thoroughly enjoys & loves helping others diagnosed with MS through a challenging & sometimes difficult phase.
Vicki thoroughly enjoys her role as an MS Ambassador and has embraced the challenge of educating the wider community and raising the profile of people with MS.