Ladies at Lunch – Family ties
Scientists have been debating the age old question of nature vs nurture for decades. But just how much our personality is determined by our DNA or our environment is still a hotly contested issue. This month, the lunching ladies share their thoughts on the matter over a delicious meal at Dicky Beach Surf Club.
We’ve all heard of fascinating studies where long lost siblings are reunited after being separated for decades, only to discover they have many similar traits and mannerisms despite being brought up in very different environments. It’s certainly a fascinating subject, and while research has shown that both nature and nurture play an important role in a person’s development, some still strongly believe one is more influential than the other. To discover more, I posed the question to the ladies at lunch, who opened up about their own personal experience. Joining me for lunch was communications officer at Pacific Lutheran College, Stephanie Scarlett; manager of Hello World Travel Kawana, Suzy Lane; account manager at Profile Magazine, Casey Winefield; general manager at Dicky Beach Surf Club, Natalie Bell, and operations manager at Profile Magazine, Kristen Shields.
profile: Do you think our personality type is determined by nature or nurture?
stephanie: I would have to say 80 per cent nurture, 20 per cent nature. I think there are some things that are ingrained in you that you can’t quite quantify and that comes down to your genetics, but mostly it’s nurture – the influence of your parents, your friendship circles, people you work with, they all shape who you are.
suzy: I believe it comes down to a little bit of what you are born with and then you evolve into your own character through life’s experiences and how you are brought up. It’s a mix of both really. I am quite strong-willed like my dad, so that has certainly come through the genes.
natalie: I’m not entirely sure but I see a lot of myself in my mother. In fact, my partner often says “Okay Patsy” if I say something that sounds just like her!
kristen: I think it has more to do with how you are brought up. My sister and I look the same but couldn’t be more different in personality. In fact, I used to make jokes as a child about being adopted. Strangely enough though, we are really close, so the dynamics work.
casey: I’m laughing because I have a solid group of girlfriends I went to school with and every one of us are now mini versions of our mothers – the way we talk, our mannerisms, personality, everything. It’s hilarious for all of us because we all know their bad qualities and their good qualities. So in my case, it’s more nature I think. My sister is a mini grandmother and the other one is mini grandfather. Family genetics are strong.
profile: Do you think our birth order in the family unit determines or affects our personality?
kristen: Yes, I think so. I’m favoured more because I’m the baby. It might also be because I was more irresponsible so I got more attention. My sister was the good one – she did everything in the right order. I met the love of my life when I was 18 and we had a baby young and then I went to uni after she was born. I feel like my parents have nurtured me a bit more because my life hasn’t been exactly traditional. My daughters are seven years apart and I tend to baby the little one a bit more. I think it’s because in my case, she is the last so I am enjoying every moment.
suzy: Definitely. My brother is five years younger than me. He was the boy and he was younger so he was favoured! I was always a mother figure to him. He would say ‘I have a mother, I don’t need another’. With my daughter, I lean to her more because she’s the eldest.
stephanie: My parents have never done that, but I feel it more as an adult. My brother is three years younger than me. I am more protective of him as I have got older.
casey: Absolutely. There are three girls in my family and I’m the eldest. My dad was very strict on me. The middle sister is so easy going and then the baby one is strong-willed like me.
natalie: I’m the youngest, so I think that made me very independant. I think by the time my mum had me, she was much more relaxed. As the youngest, I would entertain and amuse myself and I’m still very independant today.
profile: Did your extended family play a part in your personality and development?
kristen: No. I don’t have a large extended family and my grandparents passed away early. My parents don’t have any brothers and sisters either so it was always just my parents and my sister and I. My sister recently had a baby boy, so it was fantastic to extend our family more.
natalie: No, not really. I know some families who are close to their cousins and aunts and uncles, but we weren’t really brought up like that – we were all different. I am very close to my parents. I feel very fortunate to have them living behind me these days. I can drop in when I get home from work and make sure they are okay, and have a beer and a chat with dad. He’s 82 and he still mows my lawn because he loves it.
casey: We are a close family but I have always been the runaway child, so I have always been very independent.
stephanie: Both my parents come from big families and they were both the youngest, so my brother and I were always the babies among extended family. We idolised our cool big cousins. It gets harder as we get older. I don’t have any living grandparents but I was very close with my grandad who lived in Dicky Beach. I lived with him for six months when I was at university. I’m so glad I had that time with him.
Dicky Beach Surf Club
Steeped in the rich tradition of the Australian Surf Life Saving movement, there is something special about dining at your local surf club. The beach is right there, the vibe is usually casual and friendly, and the kiddies are always well catered for. That’s certainly the case at recently renovated Dicky Beach Surf Club. Located right on the beach, overlooking the surf, it’s the perfect location to enjoy a relaxing meal followed by a stroll along the beach.
Boasting a spacious modern dining area, the club offers a varied menu to suit all tastes. From fresh seafood to handmade gourmet pizzas, head chef Harry Bajwa is passionate about ensuring the menu features a combination of classic surf club dishes such as the famous Dicky Beach club parmigiana as well as some new menu items like the chef’s signature butter chicken curry or house made Peking duck spring rolls for something a little different.
On the day of our visit, the lunching ladies were spoilt for choice when it came to the lunch menu. It was a hard decision between all the delicious dishes vying for my attention, but I couldn’t go past the barramundi, and it was delicious. Perfectly cooked, the sweet white flesh melted in the mouth and was perfectly accompanied with a fresh green salad (and crunchy chips of course). Other choices around the table looked just as appetising, including the creamy chicken linguini carbonara, hearty vegetable lasagna, and seafood marinara. Fresh and well presented, all of the meals offered a generous serving. The bar is well stocked with a wide variety of drinks to suit all tastes, from the wine connoisseur to the beer expert. Little ones are not forgotten either with a great range of $9.90 meals available, including ham and pineapple pizza, battered fish and chips, and grilled steak. All meals come with a drink and a Busy Nippers activity bag can be purchased for an additional $1 – guaranteed to keep them occupied.
It’s well worth joining the club to receive exclusive members-only discounts and entry into promotions.
There are also great specials throughout the week such as barramundi night on Mondays and Wednesday hump day roast – both excellent value at just $15.
Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, with a free courtesy bus and live music on Saturdays, the Dicky Beach Surf Club is one for the whole family.
Drop in and try it, you won’t be disappointed.
1A Coochin St, Dicky Beach
Phone: 5491 6078