(nee Rostan)
6 Nov 1973

HERBERT, Danielle Rose Marianna Claire (nee Rostan):

DANIELLE ROSE MARIANNA CLAIRE2 ROSTAN (FRANC1) was born 6 November 1973 in Melbourne Australia. She married MATTHEW CHRISTOPHER RONALD HERBERT 20 June 1998 in Slovenian Catholic Church Kew,Melbourne Australia. He is the grandson of KATHLEEN NORAH7 FLEMMER (MARIUS TOGER6, HANS CHRISTIAN5) born 12 August 1914 in East London South Africa, and died 31 October 1972 in Cape Town South Africa.

My name is Danielle Rose Marianna Claire Rostan-Herbert, wife of Matthew Christopher Ronald Herbert. My name was long to begin with, but chose to add Herbert as I truly became part of this wonderful family. When I was asked to write about my life, I thought my life was not very interesting to tell. 

I was born in Melbourne, Australia on November 6, 1973, second daughter of immigrant parents Franc and Lubica Rostan (Talevska). My Dad comes from a farm in Slovenia, where he worked hard from a young age. He was very smart at school, particularly with Maths, but he was unable to finish high school when the school was bombed during World War II. He came to Australia in 1961 with one suitcase, looking for better opportunities for his future family; a good education and a good job, which did not involve manual labour. I love my Dad and never thought I would find anyone as great as him to share my life with. He is the most loving, understanding and gentle, giving person I know. He is quiet and listens to everything I say.

My Mum, on the other hand, is a real chatterbox - probably where I get it from. She came to Australia at the age of 26, when her Mum thought it was time she got married. Her older brother said he knew a nice man from Slovenia, and suggested she send a photo of herself, with her details on the back. On receiving this photo, my Dad thought she would be a good bride, and asked her to marry him without actually meeting her. Mum flew halfway around the world to meet her future husband. Their traditions from Europe came to their new home with them. Even though they lived in an inner city suburb of Melbourne, they had a flourishing vegie patch, and made their own tomato sauce, wine and pork products. 

Although I was born in Australia, my first language was Macedonian on my mother's side and Slovenian on my father's side. English came third, and I spoke it with my sister, Tania, who is eight years older. 

I loved my childhood. I went to Wales Street Primary School and on Sundays to St Mary's for church school. I was a good Catholic girl; I had my first Holy Communion when I was ten. I felt special dressed in a white dress with lace trims and a double veil. Being chosen to take the wine to the altar on the day made me so proud. It happened to be my birthday, so there was a big party for me. I must have been really important, as I had a number of my uncles over the night before preparing the pig for the spit. 

I remember swinging on the clothesline in my parents' backyard; hanging upside down on the lemon tree; and feeding stale bread with water to my favourite chicken, Penny. She loved it. Well, having European parents, when they saw Penny they saw food. When I saw Penny, I saw a good friend. Penny got older… and my good friend ended up as soup stock. Now you can understand the vegetarian in me. My poor parents thought I had gone mad. 

I was a bit of a nerd. Because my parents did not have the opportunity of a good education, it was the number one thing on the agenda for me. So I had my head in the books ever since I could remember. I must have a good education in order to have a good job and it was important to be self-sufficient if necessary. Having quite strict parents, it was difficult for me to go out until the age of 18. To make up for my lack of social interaction, I had a very creative and imaginative life. I thought a better path would be to marry a prince and he could look after me. Anyway, that thought did not last too long.

In 1990 I completed my VCE, studying mainly maths and science in order to give me the most options at University. I did well and studied Engineering at RMIT, and then went on to complete my Masters of Engineering in Environment. My real passion was dancing - but that was not a real job, according to my parents. In 1997 I started working at the University of Melbourne, where I am an Engineer in the area of Environment, Health and Safety. Having completed my higher education and secured a good job, it was my turn to do something I love to do. I studied to became an aerobics instructor, teaching four classes a week. I love to see my participants excited about exercise. 

I met Matthew while working at the Crossley Hotel in 1995, while completing my Masters. I was 21. The moment our trolleys bumped into each other that was it. I had found my soul mate. He is my best friend and treats me like a princess. I didn't travel until Matthew proposed to me on December 20, 1996, prior to our trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Not only was it my first time overseas as an adult, but such an exotic place. 

Matt and I married in June 1998, on a cold winter's day in Melbourne, but perfect for our honeymoon to Germany, Austria and Slovenia in the European summer. My favourite part was Salzburg: iced tea and apple strudel. But the best part was the surprise my beautiful husband had organised: the Sound of Music tour, singing all the theme songs, and going to the church where Maria married Captain Von Trapp. 

Until I married, I lived in the same house, in the same area, with the same friends. While I didn't leave Thornbury, moving in with Matthew after we married was like moving to a different world. We built our house together. One made of mortar and wood and the other, love and trust.