PROFILE MAGAZINE - Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia 
Edited by Genine Howard, Written by Jessica Jane SammutLuxury means something different to every person you meet. To Victoria Millar-Wise, it is the freedom and ability to design and style your own life – to create your world as you want it, following your purpose and your true passions with clarity, consistency and congruency in the creation of your own ‘dream sanctuary’. Jessica Jane Sammut talks to Victoria about her life, loves and longings. 

Victoria Millar-Wise – a woman who has certainly lived a life. Lived a life of love and despair, joy and sadness, constant change and, finally, peace. A woman who has lived in 32 houses, to date, nine of which she renovated and four of which she designed from scratch. A woman with an inner strength as strong as an ox and an outlook as positive and warming as a ray of sunshine.  A woman who is the epitome of what a female role model should be – a true battler. 
Victoria was born in the ‘60s in Christchurch, New Zealand. She adored her parents who introduced her to building design through frequent travel around the stunning countryside of New Zealand’s South Island. 
When Victoria was 12 years old, her father passed away, and with him went the life she had known. It was all change as Victoria’s world began to alter at a rapid and unsettled pace, the innocence of her childhood disintegrating before her eyes. Victoria’s mother became involved with an abusive partner and it was only Victoria’s drive as a high-level athlete, plus her love for the soul-nourishing outdoors, that kept her sane. 
“I learnt to rely on myself and my peers. “Whereas a part of my world had closed down forever, another part of my world had opened up.”
At 18, Victoria was put on an aeroplane and arrived in Australia with only $90 in her pocket. Showing her tenacity and will, by the end of the week she was managing the kitchen of a suburban Sydney shopping centre cafe. At 20, she had her own food business and at 21, Victoria gave birth at home to her first and only child; her daughter arrived half an hour before the midwife, but Victoria embraced the moment with courage. 
Around this time, Victoria started to dabble more seriously in interior design, studying it at college while also raising her daughter. On completing her studies, Victoria undertook work experience with an interior designer, drawing up designs for a local country hotel with great success. What she saw as her first ‘real’ project was a raging success, and this marked the start of Victoria’s career. She progressed to become an award-winning interior designer in the middle and upper market for both residential and boutique commercial projects (such as luxury resorts), achieving coveted awards such as Designer of the Year for Contemporary Design in Western Australia in 2002, with her creations written about in magazines and newspapers all over the world.
While Victoria’s business was flying high, Victoria was suffering personally as her marriage was violent and abusive. 
“I could not go on in the relationship any more, and it was extremely sad. I was forced to end my marriage. The business was doing great but then the global financial crisis happened and things were looking bleak. I went off to Fraser Island and rested for five days ... I recognised I needed to get back to a simpler life.”
So Victoria stood up straight, puffed out her chest, held her head high and shifted direction, geographically, mentally and professionally.
“I loved running my interior design business, but it was time to let others benefit from my 18 years’ experience. I decided to write a book to encourage others to take control of their homes and their destinies – to live their lives and express their dreams and to find that beautiful, personal place inside of themselves.
“And in writing my book, I have not only had time to reflect and re-energise, I have also been lucky enough to meet the new love of my life and set up home on the Sunshine Coast.” 
And Victoria’s vision of sharing the knowledge learnt over a lifetime with others is fast becoming a reality. Her book Create Your Dream Sanctuary is published and Victoria is now in the process of adding an uplifting and inspiring seminar series to accompany the book, in addition to offering luxury retreats to teach people how they can “achieve brilliance in every aspect of their life”. 
“The Create Your Dream Sanctuary ethos is about following your soul purpose and your true passions with clarity, consistency and congruency,” Victoria explains.
“People don’t realise how important it is to create a sanctuary – to have the things we need; to organise our lives in a way that inspires us; to simplify our daily routines; to allow ourselves to be creative.”
I get a real sense Victoria is not only incredibly talented at what she does in interior design but also very intuitive and wise. And it is this extra facet which has given her the ability to break her specialism down so she can teach it. A true entrepreneur in my book; an entrepreneur spreading the love at that. And there can never be enough love in the world, right?