Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Mosman in Sydney – before it was super expensive and posh! I often say I grew up on Balmoral Beach, because we lived with in hilly walking distance, and once we were old enough, would just spend the summer holidays spending our days down there. Fond memories of the Sunday Jazz concerts at the Rotunda. I went to school in the inner city and used to catch the ferry to and from every day. Lucky is not the word!
Where do you live now?
I rent a small apartment in St Ives, which has always been expensive and posh. I’m a single mum with an 18 year-old-daughter. And while it might appear that the apple hasn’t fallen that far from the tree, I lived for two years in London in the mid-1980s (not allowed to donate blood because I’m a bloody mad cow!), in Orange and Millthorpe in the Central West of NSW for 5 years, and in Thornleigh and Cherrybrook in Sydney for 7 or 8 years before moving to St Ives.
What was your dream job growing up?
Is that what you ended up doing? This is quite uncanny, as I never really consciously “followed my dream”. Then I was asked this question and realised that I have actually – in a most roundabout way – followed my dream! The two things I wanted to be when I was young was an actor or a teacher, and I have managed to achieve both! Even better, I have now combined the two and am a Drama teacher in a school in the western suburbs of Sydney. I remember thinking as a teenager about how I wanted to change the world – now I change the world through the agency of others: my former students. I also wanted to be a writer, and still have that to achieve. I know have a book or two in me, and I look to LBista Savannah Blaze, who has blazed her own writing trail (pun intended) in her retirement. There’s life in the old girl yet! (I meant me, not Savannah! But I also mean Savannah….)
What is one of your most defining moments in life?
I think there are two: the day I worked out I was pregnant with my daughter at age 35 and decided to go it alone regardless, and the day (actually midnight) she was born and changed my life forever for the best. I have brought her up by myself, and am proud of all that she has become. She will always be my greatest achievement.
What are three of your favourite things to do?
(Could be small daily things or bigger loves) I love to swim in the lagoon in the summer at Valla Beach, where my mum and brother live. I always feel the city wash away the first time I go in. I also love to spend time with my real baby and my fur baby, both of whom are fantastic company. Getting creative, whether it’s sewing, knitting, cooking or making things for my drama classes is also something I love to do – it’s great to get my hands dirty from time to time. Art galleries and museums are also big on my list.
Your favourite aspect of being in the Leina Broughton Conversations Group?
The friendships! More than anything! I’ve made a few really lovely friends over the last year or so. I also love how – in Sydney – so many LBistas go out of their way to come to a get-together. It says a lot about how important we feel this connection is. I love the caring and sharing of ideas and how supportive we are of each other. I also love how generous we all are and how we like to give back in various ways through donations, events, etc. I think this is a proud community of women who seem to find something in the Conversations page that they don’t find anywhere else. And it’s precious.
Your “go to” LB piece?
Anyone who’s a die-hard member of the Conversations group over the last two years will know that the Leopard Riley Jacket from Winter 2018 is my go-to LB piece in the cooler months. She’s a fabulous neutral that goes with anything and everything! And this summer, Eloise in Mustard Bamboo has been a bit of a staple. But with the job change, I really do need separates and have fallen in love with Quinn Culottes. I’m still hanging out for some more popping print tops, though! ·
What is your favourite quote?
Ah, so many quotes, so little time! At school, in the classroom, its: “Ms Marrée’s favourite F word is ….. FOCUS!” Outside work, maybe it should be “ … Because too many LBs and Frankie4s are barely enough!”
If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hey Big Spender. Enough said.
It’s 2020 – what are you choosing to leave behind and what will you be taking forward into 2020, your new year?
The best thing I’m leaving behind is a job I hated – so happy to have started a new one now! I’d like to leave behind the 12 kilos that found me through 2019, but that’s going to take a little more time, so alas, they’re coming with me into 2020 – thank God for LB’s flexifit! I’ve struggled on and off with Depression for many years, so I’m making sure that I take better care of my mental health this year, and I’m learning to love myself, courtesy of the LB community who are so embracing and accepting.