CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Clare Hine has just set up her own law firm on Palmerin St in Warwick.
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Clare Hine has just set up her own law firm on Palmerin St in Warwick. Elyse Wurm

'I'm only just getting to know the person I am now'

CLARE Hine has been a teacher, mental health nurse and general manager of a non-for-profit youth organisation.

As her children approached high school, she yearned for a new mental challenge.

She had watched her mother's generation embark on a journey to grandmotherhood in their 40s and despite being in the same age bracket, she embraced the new freedom women have to chase their passions.

Mrs Hine started a law degree and now aged 55, she has been practising for about five years.

"I believe women are always changing," she said.

"When you have kids you do what suits them, jobs that might finish at 3pm. You don't begrudge a second of it, your whole identity is being a mum.

"I had this great fear that one day you'll see me in the corner covered in cobwebs."

For seven years Mrs Hine woke up at 4am to study before leaving for her day job.

At the start she used the degree as a mental exercise, but it wasn't long until she was hooked.

After years of working in jobs that had a great emotional toll, teaching through the School of the Air in the Northern Territory and with youth at risk of disengaging from school, she enjoyed seeing world in a new way.

She has now set herself a new challenge and opened her own practice on Palmerin St.

Mrs Hine said women sometimes were not willing to take a bet on themselves, but her sheer determination was spurring her on.

"It was almost a grieving period but now I'm only just getting to know the person I am now," she said.

"I feel renewed as a human being. It's a wonderful thing when you finally do something you aspire to do."

Clare Hine Lawyers is at 32 Palmerin St.