Meet Sharn Coombes!

Meet Sharn Coombes!

Meet Australian Survivor's 2018 runner-up, criminal barrister and super-mum - Sharn Coombes. She was unable to persuade the jury to vote her way, and was ultimately crowned the second place.

We caught up with Sharn, 41, to ask her experience on Australian Survivor and about her past, present and future.

 Sharn wearing our activewear leggings 

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am happily married and a Mum of four kids. I work as a criminal barrister in Melbourne. I'm pretty adventurous and competitive and I love to continually challenge myself, so I participate in marathons and triathlons, raising money for various charities.

One of my favourite things to do in my free time is to spend a day at the beach with my family. I don't think you can beat the fresh air, sunshine and saltwater. What a combination! The beach is definitely my happy place.

You were on Survivor (& were runner up - congrats!), tell us about your journey!

Thank you! I am so proud of how I played the game and that I made it to the very end - Day 50! Yes, I had this amazing opportunity to play the world's greatest game - Survivor! I have always been a huge Survivor fan. When applications opened last year, I applied straight away. I'd thought about applying in previous years, but the timing wasn't right for me. This year everything was right, so when I found out I had been cast as a 'Champion' I was over the moon!

My survivor journey was amazing in every way. I got the opportunity to push myself on so many levels. Physically, mentally, emotionally - it challenges you and is tough stuff! I did really love the simplicity of life on the beach, and having the rush of everyday life stripped away. I loved tending the fire, fishing, being on the land and forming new relationships with my tribemates.

I took a lot of things away from the game because you do learn a lot about yourself when you are in that position; being away from your family and friends and without the everyday comforts that you are used to. Two greatest things I learnt was that firstly, I am mentally tough. I don't give up, and can dig deep and fight. Secondly, we as humans have created really complex lives for ourselves, when we don't necessarily need to live the life that we do to be happy. There was a lot of freedom in having less out there on the beach - I've realised we spend too much time in the 'digital' space.

We need to put down our phones and look up at this incredible world and to go and live IN it. I definitely made some changes in our household in that regard upon my return - the 'digital detox' that Survivor afforded me changed my perspective, and I think it's really important we are conscious of this moving forward as a society. We need to keep things real. 

Copyright: Nigel Wright, Network 10

Are you Indigenous yourself? Do you believe wearing and representing Australian Indigenous culture is important?

I am not Indigenous, but I absolutely love and cherish the Indigenous culture and history of our country. I grew up on the Central Coast of NSW, and I remember going to Kincumba Mountain as a child, and learning about our Indigenous culture. I remember being fascinated with the Indigenous art that was preserved at that place, and I have been ever since. It was my first insight into the ancestry of this great land.

I have always enjoyed listening to Dreamtime stories and visiting outback communities in the NT and far North Queensland. I firmly believe that wearing and representing Indigenous culture, as a non- Indigenous person in an ethical manner is extremely important. Collectively, we have a responsibility to respect the traditional owners of this great land. Whilst it is an opportunity to share with the world our amazing Indigenous art, it is, first and foremost an acknowledgement and recognition of the rich history of our Country.

One that is to be celebrated. It also provides the opportunity for Indigenous artists to showcase their work in everyday life, making their art mobile - to be appreciated and visible in so many places and forums - not just on the walls of a gallery! By wearing Indigenous designed apparel, I am able to demonstrate my pride in our Country's Indigenous culture, the first custodians of this great land. That is why, it is my view that regardless of background, it is of great importance to wear Indigenous apparel that is ethically designed. 


If you were to be remembered and known for one thing, what would you want it to be?
I would hope to be remembered as a person with a voice, who was courageous and tenacious, always fighting for what is right and just. Known to have lived a life with integrity, kindness and conviction.

Fave kind of exercise?

Tough questions! I love to work out! I love to swim, cycle, box, do pilates - but to choose one, I'd choose running. I just love tying up the laces, running out the door and taking off wherever the road leads.

I want to live a life with integrity, kindness and conviction. 

What's next for Sharn?
It's such an exciting time for me at the moment! After tackling Survivor, I have to find a new challenge, which I am still considering my options for. I am off to Hawaii in December to run the Honolulu Marathon. Professionally, I am continuing my career as a Barrister, but I am also starting to take on public speaking engagements. I would love to have a positive influence, particularly with kids. I've always had a quiet ambition to move into politics... So perhaps that will be on the cards one day. I am open to opportunities and I'm excited to see what is next for me! Watch this space... 

Follow Sharn on Instagram at @sharncoombes

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