Born in Gippsland in 1958, Bernadette’s family later moved to a dairy farm in Central Victoria. Bernadette first discovered the power of renovating at 13, when she made over her bedroom. This renovation taught Bernadette not just about the physical changes of renovation but the energy and sense of self-worth it generated.
Never one to keep still for long, Bernadette completed her high school years at boarding school before moving to Melbourne, where she trained as a nurse. After school, she took off to Europe, visiting Germany, France and Poland, and travelling behind the Iron Curtain to the Soviet Union. On her return to Australia, she spent time in Darwin, where she met her husband, Stephen.
A builder by trade, Stephen helped Bernadette propel her renovation skills and shared her passion for taking old, ugly, unloved properties and breathing new life into them.
At 30, Bernadette retired from nursing to raise four children. During this period, renovating provided a profitable outlet for her creativity. Before long, Bernadette had combined her renovating resourcefulness with Stephen’s project management principles to develop a system for producing $100,000 profit on each project.
The School of Renovating was born as a way for Bernadette to share the power of renovating. It has now grown into a community of like-minded renovators and investors who inspire, empower and support one another.
Bernadette is highly regarded as a mentor and speaker. She has been featured in dozens of publications, from the Australian Financial Review to Prevention Magazine. Bernadette and Stephen reside in Sydney’s Redfern, where they enjoy sharing a cosmopolitan life with their children and grandchildren.