Every year in my hometown of Bendigo, there's a huge Easter parade.
It's been held since 1871 and features the longest Imperial Dragon in the world, Sun Loong.
The streets are awash with thousands of people watching the floats go by and waiting for the traditional ending - an energetic, captivating and somewhat chaotic procession of members of the Chinese community performing Dragon and Lion dances.
This connection with the big cats continued when my father was posted to Singapore - the Lion City - when he was in the army.
That was the early '70s and I don't remember much except having a housekeeper and my brother almost cutting off my finger with a machete.
One of my uncles played for the Fitzroy Lions for a year or so.
My husband, Craig is a Leo.
My love for the Brisbane Lions is well documented.
So, whilst we waited to be seated at a Gold Coast restaurant for my birthday dinner, it struck me that lions have been a recurring symbol throughout my life (in very different ways) since birth.
Happy 44th Birthday to me!