Born in Gisborne New Zealand, with family roots stemming south of the East Coast of the North Island, Debbie spent most of her time growing up in Mahia Peninsular, a small seaside settlement, with her whanau (family). She has fond memories growing up with her cousins; swimming at Lollipop Rock, sliding down the hill, the gathering of kaimoana (seafood) and picking wild blackberries. There was always music and storytelling, and everyone and everything had a nickname. Life was simple.
After meeting her husband Shane, they travelled together to the USA with their eldest child Sharnie; later marrying in 1993 at a wedding chapel in Las Vegas (and no, Elvis didn’t marry them although Debbie wishes she had a dollar for every time she was asked!)
In 1998, Debbie and Shane moved their family to the Gold Coast, Australia. Ten years later after working hard and growing their family, Debz made a huge transition which changed her life. After raising their 5 children and being a stay at home mum for 16 years, she swore an oath to serve and protect the Queensland Community and became a Police Officer.
Debbie’s service to the community was recognised in 2016 when she was presented the Gold Coast ‘Police Officer of the Year’ Award. This Award was selected by the community she serves and recognised her community policing spirit as the Surfers Paradise School Adopt-a-Cop.
Debbie’s care and concern for children and their wellbeing extends to our furry, feathered, and four-legged friends. Their two beautiful German Shepherds are treasured extensions of her close-knit family and the creation of Rainbow Zoo is a loving reflection of this.