Duncraig alumni Bree Kirk-Burnnand has followed two career paths since graduating in 2000 and they couldn’t be more different.
She went straight to University after school to study Commerce that led to a decade-long accounting career in London before she discovered hula hoops, which opened another world of opportunity.
“I went to a circus and saw this amazing hula hooper performing,” Bree said. “I didn't think I'd ever be able to do that but a few months later I came across a hula hooping class online and decided to give it go.”
“I wasn't very good but I was instantly hooked, so I practiced every day and lost a heap of weight.
“All my friends wanted to try so I started off teaching them and it just got bigger and bigger.”
Bree then followed her passion and moved back to Perth to set up Happy Healthy Hoops – a fun way to exercise with classes for people of all ages – with classes quickly selling out.
“We have an over 50s class but we also teach at schools,” Bree said. “Having the right size hoop and a good instructor makes the world of difference – anyone can hoop!”
While travelling through Europe a lot while living in London, hooping has taken Bree to India and Spain.The business has won a few awards and has opened a shop in East Perth but setting records tops Bree’s list of memorable achievements.
“I have held a couple of Guinness World Records. The first one was for spinning 181 hoops at the same time; the second was only a couple of months ago and we are waiting for Guinness to approve it before we announce it so stay tuned.”
Bree lives back in Duncraig with her husband, three-year old and teenage step-children.
“[Having] a toddler, three teens and business doesn't leave a lot of time for hobbies but I still consider hooping a hobby.”
She credits her time at St Stephen’s with helping her to be open-minded about the future.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do after school and fell into accounting which worked really well for me for years; it was scary leaving a stable career for a business which lots of people thought wouldn't work but I think I had enough resilience to know that if it didn't work I'd be ok.”
Find out more about Happy Healthy Hoops at www.happyhealthyhoops.com. Bree will also be at the School’s 35-year celebration Family Days in November so be sure to pop past to say hi and try your hand at hooping!