Sometimes, you just have to put on a brave face and remind yourself that everything will be okay… even when it seems like it won’t be.

Last year was a real test for my whole family and myself, but more so for my Dad, who suffered a major heart attack and required a life-saving operation.

Dad was forced to spend a long time in hospital; there were a number of unknowns following his heart attack, which was scary, and we had no idea what the outcome was going to be.

It was such a challenging time for my family and brought so much stress and sadness.

However, going through that made me appreciate my family and friends whole lot more, and gave me a level of perspective I’ve never had.

My sport is great, but it is not my everything.

My family is my everything and so I cherish that more now than I ever did in the past.

Any argument, big or small means less to me now, and spending quality time with loved ones and just saying I love you means the world to me.

I feared this experience might happen to my family, and if there is a silver lining in it at all, it is that I realise what is truly important in life. Cliche, but oh so true.

Dad’s health scare put me in a really dark place, but I’m thankful that he battled through and came out on the other side. Physically, he is in a really good place right now.

The dark days, when I had no idea if everything was going to be okay, was reminiscent of the struggles I went through following the 2012 London summer olympics.

18 months prior, I moved away from home not to longer after I finished school in a bid to train in the national program in another state.

I have always been super independent and self-sufficient, but I also am a huge family girl and love being home.

But moving to be closer to the national team program was essential for my diving career and helped me achieve my goal of making my first olympics.

However, I struggled really badly at stages and found myself in some dark places.

I internalised a lot because I didn’t want anyone to worry about me, but it was really really hard.

The tough times definitely taught me strength and resilience.

I eventually moved back home to Melbourne and reached out to professional help. We began to break down the beliefs I had formed about myself during the hard times and it made me understand why I begun to think or feel a certain way.

It was a wonderful learning and healing process and I am proud of the strong, independent, passionate and driven woman I have become today.

When I was young I had goals of becoming a paediatrician, but ever since completing work experience in Year 10 at the Royal Children’s Hospital, I have had a big fear of hospitals but have tried to help in other ways such as volunteering through Starlight Foundation and other opportunities to help kids who are sick or less fortunate than me.

I am a strong advocate for education, and believe every child in the world deserves an opportunity to receive first-class student learning.

Education is wealth and I believe the biggest growth occurs when we learn new things. I also have a passion for sharing my knowledge and my experiences with others, especially the younger generation, so that they can hopefully gain knowledge and learn from my unique experiences. I take my responsibility as a positive role model through the sport very seriously.

My aspirations for 2019-20 are high, but so they should be. I’ve never wanted to put a ceiling on what I can and can’t achieve.

Our Olympic qualification all starts this year at world championships in July and my goal is to be selected for the Worlds team and secure the Olympic spots for Australia.

Unquestionably, my goal for 2020 is to be selected for the Tokyo Olympic Games and win a gold medal with the national team.