Lesley Freeman ~ Groups 1, 2, 3
I was born in New Zealand and immigrated to Australia in 1968, where I completed my university education. After many years of working in Reproductive Technology, and a period of time as a teacher of Certificate III for the Companion Animals Course Box Hill TAFE, I am currently employed in Disability Services.
My recreational interests for the past 30 plus years have been mainly dominated by the breeding, showing and judging of pedigree cats. Initially I started with Siamese and added a few Burmese along the way (prefix Tokiwi). However, the hobby really developed into an obsession when I encountered Colin and Di McKenzie and their beautiful Birmans, (prefix Khadine). I commenced breeding Birmans under the Eldorato prefix with my first litter being born 10 days after my last baby. The gene pool was very small within Australia at the time, and importation was difficult and expensive. Fortunately, breeders were very generous with sharing their lines and the breed has now built up to where it is today. I am very proud to have been part of this evolution and count myself very fortunate in the friends that I have made along the way.
I undertook my Group 1 (all longhair) Judges licence in 1998 and completed my Group 3 (all shorthair except Siamese), in 2002. I became an All Breeds Judge in January 2006, after passing Group 2. In addition, I am still actively breeding and showing Birmans. Initially I started with seal and blue breeding only, but then started to dabble with the chocolate gene and this has proved to be an exciting new challenge. We have achieved the status of GCCFV Group 1 Breeder of the Year for 8 years in all. My husband, Kevin, shares this interest with me and we are very fortunate to have achieved a great deal of success in the last decade, winning 4 Cat of the Year awards, 2 kitten of the Year. I am currently President of The Birman Society Inc and Chairperson of GCCFV.
In addition to our cat breeding and showing, my life is shared with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. I also enjoy reading, travel, watching sport, (rugby is my passion).