Judy Butler has finally found her happy place, a place where she can sit and marvel at her surrounds, where she can pick up her prized camera and capture life as it races by.
But, Judy had to wait until she was well into her 50s before finding 'paradise' following a life peppered with sorrow and tragedy.
Even now as she sits in a hospital chair at Forster Private Hospital oncology department, Judy finds joy and a strong determination to overcome the breast cancer which came into her life in April.
Sixty-three-year-old Judy and husband Bob moved to Tuncurry from Sydney back in 2015 on a whim following a day-long visit with a friend
"It was a spur of the moment thing," Judy said.
Within a matter of weeks the couple had sold their Sydney home and relocated to the Great Lakes, a move she has never stopped basking in.
"It was like an awakening when we moved up here; for the first time in years I felt good about myself.Judy Butler
"It was like an awakening when we moved up here; for the first time in years I felt good about myself," Judy said.
At the same time Judy discovered the magic of photography, buying her first SLR Cannon camera just weeks later.
A short photography course gave Judy the confidence to move forward, replacing her Cannon with a Nikon Coolpix P1000 a camera.
Excitedly, the camera has enabled Judy to capture the moon and Saturn's rings, breaching whales, birds and dolphins and lots more.
"I love nature, the whales, birds, dolphins and turtles we have here," she said.
During the whale watching season, Judy can board the Amaroo up to three or four times to capture and watch these beautiful creatures, or she will visit Bennetts Head Lookout for hours to catch a glimpse of the passing parade of mammals.
"They are just euphoric," she said.
It's not unusual for Judy to go 'missing' often taking a detour via the lookout to the Tuncurry supermarket.
"I take my camera everywhere with me; I don't go anywhere without it. I'm addicted.I bore people to death with my photos."
However, her duties as a Busways school bus driver is one of the rare occasions Judy has to frustratingly leave her camera behind.
She has been ferrying students around the Great Lakes for the past four years.
Judy's bus driving duties have been temporarily put aside as she receives treatment for her cancer.
During the past six years Judy has accumulated more than 60,000 happy snaps just on her iPhone and many thousands more on her iPad and hard drive, many of which have been published by both NBN News and the Great Lakes Advocate.
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