Caz Allan Profile Pic















































































































































How did you become a fixture on the Swell Mama scene, instead of on, say, the croquet scene?

I started surfing when I was 13. I remember it was June and the water was freezing. My first board was by ‘Oak’ surfboards and it was an ironing board of a thing but I was still proud. I had passed my maths test to get that board as my Dad sent me over some money to buy it. Eventually I got my first wetsuit – a springy. I was hooked. It was all I talked about at school in Melbourne and my walls were covered in pictures from surf magazines. At the time, my girlfriend and I (who then lived at Waratah Bay) – were, to our knowledge and that of the other male surfers in the area at the time, the only chick surfers. We never saw girls in the water with a surfboard. I didn’t think I was too bad at the time either. I moved on from that ‘Oak’ board and upgraded to a Trigger Bros thruster, then eventually I got a board shaped by a guy in Sandy Point. It was a great board but that was 16 years ago now. I bought a 7S last year as I kept sinking on that old wafer of a thing. (Obviously fault lay with the board of course –hehe)

I’m a goofy footy, which was great when surfing the Prom and Sandy Point but I’m not so great on my backhand and never fully developed that side. I’m a bit weird in that maybe I started surfing on the ‘wrong’ foot to begin with as I can ride a skate board Natural footed and not goofy – work that one out?! I intend to swap feet out in the water to see if I can ride with either foot forward just for the entertainment value.
Ed – You’d need a crowd for that, so let us know and we can arrange an audience!

I got involved in the South Gippsland Board Riders when I was a teen and won a few trophies BUT it was always against my girlfriend or sometimes me, by myself, competing with the knee boarders. Naturally I won the women division when that happened.

I went into a surfing hiatus for a while in my 20’s – trying to handle other aspects of life like University, work, boyfriends and other responsibilities.  It wasn’t until I was on family leave from work with my boys that I decided I needed to be back out in the water. I heard about the Swell Mamas and thought it was a good idea and a great fit for me and I just turned up. That was a few years ago now.

When you were little, what did you think you would be when you were bigger and who were your personal heroes? How has that list of personal heroes changed?

 You know, for some reason I struggled with this question and had many nights and days to think about it. I was going down the track thinking did it have to be someone famous or someone who had some awesome story about themselves? But it doesn’t have to be; in fact I don’t think I had a ‘personal hero’. I had deep respect for all kinds of different people and for a whole heap of different reasons I met along the way. Depending on what I needed at the time, those different aspects of people would strike a chord with me and teach and guide me along the way. The nice thing about that is it keeps happening and evolving so I’m always going to get lessons and directions on life. From a perspective today though I would say I’m pretty impressed with my mum Helen. What a beautiful thing it is to have a permanent comfort zone to fall back into when you’re growing up. It’s the one constant that was without exceptions. It’s the greatest thing you can give your children.

Ed – completely agreed!

Helen & caz

You are a bit of a fitness fiend, I gather. I was wondering, for the benefit of those of us yet to plunge into a fitness routine (or those of us who promise to return to such a state year after year), what kinds of things you think about when in the throes of exercise, any mantras you may use, to keep you going to the end of your exercise session? Are you an early morning exerciser or a later in the day exerciser?

Exercise is most defiantly a learnt behaviour. It needs to be a part of daily automatic function. Ed – doh! People say to me where do I find the motivation or the time but you don’t need either – you just need consistency. If you do something long enough you will get a result. That applies to good and bad personal behaviours. Some days I struggle to find that consistency but it’s ok because I know I will hop back into it tomorrow. I try not to beat myself up about it. I walk daily about 5kms. I do it because I enjoy it, because it makes me feel good; because I love seeing the sun rising over the inlet and because it gets me into a good mindset for the day. I also do Boot camp at the gym 2-3 times per week and I can tell you, I don’t think about much except how many more sets I have to go and when the hell is 45 mins over?! I was also a keen basketball and runner but injury stopped me from those things. Its been nearly a year since I snapped my ACL in my knee and I have learnt a lot about balancing a more peaceful approach to exercise and getting off the over-eat / over-exercise train. It’s been a positive thing. My main worry through was not being able to surf but with some physio and some luck (I decided to go for the non-surgical approach in regards to my knee and fortunately fell in the 1/3 of people who don’t experience knee instability), I eased back onto the board in January. Ed – phew!
I exercise mainly in the mornings, as the nights can be crazy. My alarm goes off at 5:45am and my brain automatically goes into ‘paralysis by analysis’ mode. I think of all the reasons why I should stay in bed and then just shut myself up and get up. Sometimes you just have to do that!

Please choose and describe 3 things that inspire you and put a zing in your heart?

Three things? HHmmmm. I love great stories. I especially love hearing about people’s experiences in life and uplifting stories about how they overcame hardship or circumstances. Sometimes it’s just a story that isn’t so great and the outcome is no better – but you can still find positives in them simply sharing with the rest of the world. ‘A problem shared is a problem halved”.

Listening to guest speakers is always great and I love when the opportunity presents itself. I’m fortunate to come across quite a few lately. Anh Do, the comedian from Vietnam who wrote the book ‘The Happiest Refugee’ was so great to listen to. What a complex story full of highs and lows. A funny man.

Caz with Anh Do

One speaker who I know I won’t forget is Barry Heard. A nasho’s experience of the Vietnam War. I was speechless listening to him. I was so moved by his courage to speak out about his experiences at war and when he returned home. Again, if you’re looking for a history lesson of one which we should not repeat and want to understand it from the soldier’s point of view then buy ‘Well Done Those Men’. Ed – mental note to self, for sure.

Caz and her hubby

I think it goes without staying that I think my family is pretty fantastic. My hubby Trent makes me laugh everyday – he is seriously the funniest guy I know and his quick wit gets me all the time. That’s a talent. My children Sash and Lucas let me experience childhood all over again. We have some great laughs and fun times hanging out. They pretty much do everything with us. I love just watching and staring at them. They are my mini-men and to watch them interact and grow and be silly and crazy is enjoyment plus.

Caz and her boys

I have many things that inspire me but a final one is teenagers. I love all the awkward, hard, insecure, amazing things about them. Having taught in the secondary Health Sciences for 6 years I developed many relationships with all kinds of students, many of them extending their trust to me and I enjoyed a mentoring/motherly/significant adult role in their lives. The zing happens when you see them later in life, as young adults driving around in cars, going to university, getting jobs or having children of their own. You didn’t know it at the time but I love it when you bump into them and they let you know how in some way you made a difference. That’s pretty cool.

Ed – the best kind of ‘famous’

Describe your intuitive talents, and how you have nurtured them, please.

This is a strange realm for me to comment on myself but here goes.
I have always been pretty good at turning my hand to new opportunities. You only have to look at my career path to know that I like a challenge. Firstly there was nursing (but only for a year), then a 4 year Hairdressing Apprenticeship and managed a salon in Melbourne for 2 years before then applying for Deakin University full-time and completing a Double Degree in Applied Science (Health Sciences) & Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) – then teaching for 6 years before THEN having family leave and turning my hand to the artistic world of Colour Consulting and Interior decorating. Whoa that look sooo bad on paper but I guess I have succeeded at all these things and experienced various degrees of success and happiness. I don’t think I have ever failed at something because I’m too determined to do things and finish them. Is that a talent??

Ed – it has to be a talent – I’m dizzy just reading it.

Beautiful Girls Painting

I like to draw and paint and still doodle around with it a bit. I always loved Picassos colour and was draw to Expressionism (think Van Gogh) and Surrealism (think Dali) art.

I am totally AWESOME at Connect Four; you know where you have to get the 4 tokens in row. I think I nurtured this talent by passing the time away on all the flights I used to go on to visit my Dad overseas every year. I would play this arcade type vintage electronic game thing that had a solo chess game where it was you against the microchip. Connect Four is like Chess because you have to have so many moves in different formats ahead of yourself. I know – I’m a bit weird.

Ed – as the saying goes, “everyone is somebody else’s weirdo”, so just slot yourself right in there, Caz.

I am quite perceptive when it comes to the emotions of others – almost like I can tap in without conscious thought and sometimes without wanting to. I often will be affected by those sometimes not even around me - especially in the middle of the night and the cause presents itself either the next day or a few days afterwards. I can locate lost stuff often by visualising it and am pretty good with the ‘gut feeling’ on things. I freak my husband out. Spooky eh!

Ed – that’s a great gift…spooky, and great!

What keeps you living on the Bass Coast, gracing our lives with your effervescent presence, and not lured back to the Big Smoke with your talent and ridiculous good looks?

Oh ha, funny but I’ll take it thank you!

This is a no brainer. I’m going to say it; I know it’s a strong word so avert your children’s eyes but I HATE THE CITY. There – it’s done. I grew up there, went to school in Glen Iris, rode the stinky train home each day and longed for a beach life. I begged my mum when I was in Year 9 to let me move to Waratah Bay. The city and the burbs just wasn’t a fit for me. When you live large you loose the opportunity to be part of a community. That’s my opinion. I kick myself every day at the beauty I’m surrounded with here in Invy. It’s the atmosphere, the sea and of course the people – it’s beautiful. I LOVE it when people tell me how jealous they are that I live here. I think YES, you should be because life is great and awesome and too short to spend in the city. I have a greater sense of peace living here and I’m happy. I know this is where I’m meant to be.

Ed – we concur.

One more question before I let you go. When we meet for coffee before a surf, what kind of coffee do you order, and why is this so?

I always order a skinny cappuccino or latte. I’m yet to learn the difference between the two except for the froth and choc sprinkles. (Someone is going to tell me now) It’s always large and I like it hot. Its always skim milk as full cream tastes like I either have sugar in it or the milk has gone sour. I always want two in a row but feel that you all may look at me sideways so I resist – and save my self money so it’s a win/win. I’m open to donations of this nature of course.

Ed – you never know your luck!