"Live, Laugh, Love"
Loyal, funny, intelligent, affectionate and adventurous.
Mother, Nona, Sister, Princess; Bestie; Aunty; confidante.
"I ask all the woman a series of questions when we first meet, during and after their photoshoot. I learn so much about these woman throughout this process and then I hear parts of their story after the day in their interview that bring smiles to my faces and tears to my eyes. And this beautiful woman, was no exception.
Such a breath of fresh air, Shona was this strong, brave woman walking into my studio, absolutely nervous, but so ready for this day. I think my favourite thing about meeting this amazing woman was actually when she came back to view her images with her partner. The support, love and respect this man showed her during her reveal was so inspiring and heart warming and such a reflection of the beautiful woman she is, inside. This bond and commitment to bringing out the absolute best in one another was so incredible. And the tears, of course the tears.
Getting to know more about Shona my admiration for everything that she has accomplished despite the hardships she has faced throughout her life, and the outlook that she has is so inspiring. I don't know how many times I can write the word inspiring in this, but I want to, a whole lot, when it comes to this woman." - Haley Adele
New Zealand, born & mostly bred in Patea in South Taranaki. I have lived most of my life there apart from 8 years in Palmerston North during my primary/intermediate school years, and latterly 3 years in London doing an OE early in my married life.
Currently I am an Independent Contractor working as a Motel Relief Manager for the last 8.5 years which takes me around mostly the North Island and the top of the South Island. Prior to this I was a Branch Manager at ANZ for 7 years, having started my career with them in 1993 working my way up from a lunchtime teller.
As a child I wanted to be a Lawyer, until I realised just how much study was involved!! I did think I might follow something of a family tradition and join the Navy, like my late father and my brother but decided that wasn’t the life for me and went into Banking pretty much straight from school.
My biggest supporter is my ex husband, Adrian, we were married for 30 years - I have been through a lot of changes in that time, we had 3 children (1992, 1994 & 1996] I volunteered for Plunket for 25 years holding various positions, as well as volunteering on the local Medical Trust for 20 years. All the while he held the fort at home so I could do these roles, not to mention my banking career working part time, then full time & later being diagnosed with chronic depression. Even though we are divorced now, we still have contact and are on amicable terms... I am proud that we can because so many couples end up bitter towards each other.
Returning to Patea when my Dad passed away when I was 13 (Mum died when I was 1). I have been lucky to have foster parents & my ‘other mother’ is still alive at 93, she is doing very well and lives at home with my older brother (to keep an eye on her). One of the biggest things to me that I have overcome in my life was losing both parents before my teens, that was pretty hard growing up.
Do you have a nickname or name that your loved ones have given you?
Shonz is what my friends call me, and my Granddaughter who is 2 years old calls me Nona, which is a play on Shona, Nana and Nonna.
Do you have a favourite quote?
Live, Laugh, Love - which is tattooed on my ankle. I love it and I do my best to embrace it each day.
Where is your most favourite place in the world?
Home, where ever that is. The quote on the back of my caravan is "home is where I park it".
Give me 5 words that you would use to describe yourself?
Loyal, funny, intelligent, affectionate and adventurous.
Tell me why you wanted to be a part of this project?
I saw the photo call on Facebook & decided I could do this, after being single for a few years I have recently met a new man who is like a ray of sunshine in my life, we laugh, we do stuff together, we talk and he shows me that he cares. I feel loved and that is such a great feeling 🥰
What is the biggest thing to you, that you have achieved in your life and why?
Our 3 children, they have grown into wonderful adults who work hard and have loving caring attitudes to those around them.
NZ Cancer Society - yearly donation since my Dad passed away from Bowel Cancer at age 55 (1979).
If you could time travel, what would you tell your 20 year old self?
Eat the cake, wear the shoes, be kind & live your best life.
What do you want to do with your life from here?
Embrace my new relationship while maintaining my current ones. I don’t have a lot of friends but the ones I do have are great. I make a point of keeping in touch with them wherever I am working, and spending time with them whenever I am nearby.
What would you share about the Experience and how did you feel after your photoshoot and then after your Reveal?
I was nervously excited once the shoot was booked in, and like most things in my life I try not to dwell on what might/might not happen and just go with the flow. It was so much fun and I just wanted to do the best I could for Haley and make it easy for her.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole shoot from hair/makeup, choosing outfits and the actual shoot itself ... it was quite funny listening to what Haley wanted me to do, processing it then trying to actually to do it, by the end I was almost doing it automatically ... I have a newfound respect for Models lol.
After the Reveal: Emotional to say the least, seeing a wall of ME looking so glam was pretty special. Even now I look at the photos and think ‘wow, that’s me!’.
Which was your favourite photograph and why?
I love them all but MY favourite is the image at the top of this page - that one is for me, I love the ‘fantasy’ of the outfit it is like nothing I would ever own but is sooooo luxurious.
Thank you Haley for the opportunity to take part in this fabulous project. I hope you find more women brave enough to put themselves forward to be a part of it too.
- Shona x
This Over 50 and Fabulous Project is for women who are ready to say, "this is who I am and I am proud." For women who are ready to tell their story and have their lives documented. For women who are ready to exist.
Read the stories of the other amazing woman who have already participated below.
Ready to become one of the 50 Women?