When Dani Meyn got her first taste of motor sport, she was barely old enough to pronounce the brand of cars she was watching, but it was enough to get her hooked.
Born in Wheatbelt, Western Australia, Meyn’s family were passionate motor sport fans and would take advantage of the local drag scene before moving up to the picturesque town of Broome.
While the move north restricted their ability to watch drag, the family got hooked on a new form of a motor sport in Speedway and Meyn’s father even put the helmet on himself, competing in karting instead of Speedway.
A move back south saw the family end up within the vicinity of Perth's popular Barbagallo Raceway, where father and daughter were able to experience their first form of volunteering.
“It has always been a joke that I was born into motor sports and I can safely say my earliest memory is travelling to an event with my dad and pop when I was no older than five years old,” Meyn said.
“Motor sport has always been part of my life and when we moved to southern suburbs of Perth, dad thought the best way to deal with his unemployed teenage daughter was to go to Barbagallo and help set up a Supercars event by putting up signs around the track when they were in town one year.
“I remember when we finished, we asked if there was anything else we could do to help and we were advised the flag marshals because they always needed extra people. The rest, they say, is history.”
Since that historic day, Meyn became involved with Wanneroo Flag Marshal Association and for the next 20 years, she has held onto a variety of roles, including sitting on the committee and even as President.
Meyn eventually wanted to take on more of an event commander role at races so she gained valuable experience through the Vintage Sports Car Club of WA working on the club’s ‘Round the Houses’ events.
Not long after, Meyn wanted to stepping into event command roles with Motoring South West during races at Collie Motorplex.
Eventually Meyn moved into a Deputy Clerk of Course role at Collie under the guidance of John Hurney OAM and Dave Walker to the point where she was able to obtain her silver event command licence.
Despite having the desire to be category race director, the current WA State Officiating Panel Chair will always stay true to the sport and her first role.
“I’ve never stepped away from my flag marshalling roots and I have been Chief Flag Marshal at a number of WA Sporting Car Club events at state and national level,” Meyn added.
“The WASCC also supported me in the Chief Flag Marshal role at their Supercars event, where I gained my Gold level licence for Circuit – Flags.
“I constantly want to give back to our wonderful sport, so I now work on supporting all officials with providing them knowledge and experiences in their choice of officiating roles.”
While she has spent a majority of her motor sport life volunteering in Western Australia, she also has had the pleasure of volunteering overseas early in her career, something she believes contributed to the person she is today.
“I was lucky enough to have Kon Melle as my mentor and through him that I gained international experience at the Grand Prix of Europe at the amazing Nurburgring track for a Formula 1 event, and the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hour,” Meyn explained.
“To this day, I can still remember the Post Chief completing documentation of how far the officials on the post had travelled for the event and him laughing when he was able to write down 14,000km.
“I have personally grown from a very socially awkward teenager to someone with great confidence in myself as a person and have gained skills within the motor sport context that I can use through all aspects of my life.”
This article is part of a series celebrating motor sport officials around the country.