Twenty Questions with Alice Renouf
Welcome to Twenty Questions!
Every week I invite a twenty-something onto the blog and share their responses to twenty quick-fire, intimate questions. No one featured on Twenty Questions is a public figure, and most of these people I don’t know very well, or at all. My hope is that by taking a peek into someone else’s soul you will realise that, despite our fundamental differences, we still have similar insecurities, make similar mistakes and have fought similar battles to become the people we are today.
What is your full name?
Alice Rachel Renouf
How old are you?
How old do you feel?
25! In the past I always felt older than I was – I think that was mostly due to the nature of my job and the fact that I worked fulltime while my friends were at university. I have seen A LOT in my 25 years and was forced to grow up pretty quickly but now I feel like I’ve reached an age I really like. It also helps that my friends are now working fulltime and are at a similar stage of life.
Where were you born, and where do you live now?
I was born in Taupo and live in Auckland.
What do you do for work?
I am a Constable in the New Zealand Police and am currently a Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) on the Air Support Unit, more commonly known as the Police helicopter Eagle. There are 14 of us on the unit and I’m the only female. The unit has been around for 30 years and in that time there have only been 38 qualified TFO’s.
We operate with a crew of three – we have a civilian pilot and two TFO’s on board at any time. This allows the pilot to concentrate on flight safety, communication with Air Traffic Control and maintaining separation from other aircraft while we focus on the action below. Ourexpertise is in commanding and controlling ground movements, searching for targets, managing pursuits and operating the FLIR (forward looking infrared camera) and interpreting what its showing. We work from a wide angle aerial perspective and are equipped with night vision goggles and gyro stabilised binoculars; meaning we always have the best point of view both day and night. Once we have located a target we are able to manoeuvre the ground units into position to best deal with the incident, or make an arrest.
We will land and deal with an incident ourselves if necessary and we are trained rescue swimmers if the need to deploy into the water arises.
What do you do for fun?
I love catching up with my girlfriends (it’s a bonus if it’s over a drink!), getting out on the boat or Jet Ski with my boyfriend and just being outdoors in general. I’m a particularly happy camper if it’s near/on a lake or river – I love swimming in cold fresh water! I also love curling up with a cuppa and a good book.
Did you go to university? If so, what did you study? If not, why?
I didn’t go. I didn’t need to for what I wanted to do and didn’t want to go just for the sake of it.
What is your favourite movie of all time?
That is such a hard question for me because I’m more of a TV series or book kind of girl. Nothing in particular comes to mind and I can’t even remember the last movie I watched. That’s bad, I know!
What is the biggest risk you have ever taken that has paid off?
When I was 19 I flew to Istanbul to nanny for a family I’d only spoken to on Skype for 10 minutes. While speaking to them they said they wanted me over there in two weeks so I handed my notice in to work the next day (this was pre-Police) and I was on a plane two weeks later. I loved it!! I put Police College off to go over there and I’m so pleased I did – the Police was always going to be there but an opportunity like that wasn’t. I did a fair bit of solo travel while there which was a bit scary for me but the best experience.
Hardest moment of your twenties so far?
Finding out my boyfriend of two years had been cheating on me.
Best moment of your twenties so far?
Landing my dream job with the New Zealand Police!
Who do you miss?
My Nana who lives in Taupo and my parents who have just moved back down there.
What do you like the most about yourself?
Probably my ability to get stuck in and match the lads. I work in an environment dominated by alpha males but feel like I can hold my own.
What do you like the least about yourself?
I can happily say nothing! There was a time where I’d care too much about insignificant people’s opinions but I am thrilled to no longer give a shit. Current mood – do more, care less.
If you had toget a tattoo, what would you get? If you already have tattoos, which is your favourite and why?
I don’t have any tattoos (my mum would KILL me!) but I like the idea of a small matching one with my sisters or best friends.
How would your friends describe you?
A beautiful friend said: “A wonderfully kind and generous soul who will always make time for her friends and treats everyone with the same respect no matter who they are or where they’ve come from.”
How would your parents describe you?
I asked them to describe me in two words and they said “capable and resilient.”
When was the last time you cried?
A couple of nights ago when someone died in the T.V show I was watching…. It was ridiculous, I wasn’t even that invested in it!
What are you afraid of?
Ending up old and lonely. (Good grief, that sounds grim!)
If you could start your twenties again, what would you do differently?
Nothing! I feel very fortunate – I’ve travelled, I’ve loved, I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve laughed and most importantly I have learnt so much.