About Me

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I am a full-time mama with a passion for writing and talking to fascinating people. I live in a one horse town with a Cowboy and my son. Thank Lord for cyberspace! I lived a colourful life in Sydney for a number of years. Working in advertising and journalism for FPC and the Sydney Morning Herald. During my time in Sydney I competed in a Dragon Boat race, choreographed a dragshow, used the Share Accomodation advertisements as a way to meet men and was told by Noiseworks frontrunner Jon Stevens that I was a bitch! Then came the decision to move back to country for 3 months to help out my Father with newspaper business while he was having treatment. Convinced I was a city girl I was caught by surprise when I fell in love with a farmer (and no, he didn't want a wife... still doesn't it seems!) convinced him that we needed to see the world, popped off to Vietnam to teach english in Saigon - before realising that the "food" in Nam didn't agree with me... turned out to be Monte - my son who is now with the Cowboy and I back in country NSW! I am in a wonderful stage of my life where I am focusing on the things that really make me tick. Including writing these chronicles.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sarah Wilson : Inspiring Woman of the moment

I am stoked to bring you an interview with a refreshingly down to earth Sarah Wilson.
TV star, columnist, trend spotter, radio and online personality- this gal has the media covered!
Her next obvious step was to appear on my chronicles, right?

As regular readers know, I love to chat with inspiring women in all different capacities.
At the moment my focus is turning to women who inspire me in the Australian media.

For the uninitiated or the international - here is the lowdown :

Sarah Wilson is a media personality and journalist with a high-profile voice in television, radio, magazines, newspapers and online.
She's the former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and was the host of MasterChef Australia, the highest rating show in Australian TV history.
She's now the host and developer for the country's newest channel Lifestyle YOU, and columnist with Sunday Life Magazine.

(taken with permission from her website)

Thanks so much for agreeing to the interview Sarah - lets dive straight into it...

If you were to throw in your city life and head back to the country (where you grew up), what do you think it would change about you?

It would certainly help with my never-ending efforts to ground myself.
Being in dirt and around rocks and the rawness of nature always slows me down and anchors me firmly.
Now I get my nature fix every other weekend or so. I head off to the bush and walk for a day.
Or I do a mountain biking trip.
It's a little routine I have and it involves not showering in the morning, just throwing on running gear and heading off, getting dusty and sitting on a rock and just, well, sitting.

Do you think growing up in the country helped to get you where you are today, both professionally and personally?

On a career front, yes I do.
When you don't grow up in the thick of things, you're outward focused. You become an observer. You devour books and information about people "over there" who are living life so differently to you.
This has helped with my ability to write about observational commentary, and probably contributed to my focus and ambition over the years.
It is why a lot of people in the media are from the country, or regional areas.
It has meant my life has been a constant battle between the material world and the simpler, real life of dirt, rocks and trees.
It has been a tough battle at times, but one that has defined me.

As former Editor of Cosmo, what do you think are the biggest issues facing Australian women today?

The bulk of big issues women face boil down to our not being able to sit comfortably with ourselves and our feminine nature.
We were raised to strive "out there", to do it all, to beat the boys.
We have silenced our intuition and have become used to being harsh on ourselves.
I am a shocking product of this.
Eating disorders, loneliness and binge drinking all stem from this disconnect.

You work in magazines, television, radio and online - what is your favourite medium, and why?

Funnily it is radio. Funny because I've done the least in this medium. I like it because it emulates a good conversation. For a woman it is heartening because it is not about aesthetics. It is about truly connecting.

What was the greatest part about hosting MasterChef Australia?

Well there was the food. And the judges, they were like brothers to me. Mostly I loved witnessing the big human emotions that went down.
It was fascinating and really raw at times.
Julie and I shared many big, teary moments. Eating and cooking food for others is such an emotional issue.

I see on your website you are a "Trend Consultant", while sounding like the most fascinating gig in the world, how does it work?

Yes, I've done work for thecoolhunter.net, it is not so much that I pick what's "cool"; I've translated the trends and discussed what they say about our society for companies such as Louis Vuitton and HSBC Bank.
This is far more interesting in my mind.

Who decides what is cool?

Everyone and no-one. It bubbles to the surface in crazy ways.

And finally, what advice would you offer to someone who does not have the celebrity behind them on building their online persona and brand from scratch?

I think media is all about good content now, regardless of your status.
You can no longer be a mere print journo filing a deadline each day. You have to build a brand that's built from having something to say, and then take your message across online, TV.. whatever...
The point is, you have to have something to say.
Many celebrities and media identities have very little to say.
Many non-media types have a lot to say. Because they have lived.
So I guess my message is - have something to say and just start sharing it. Use social media as it is meant to be used - connecting, sharing, posting comments on other people's logs.
Oh and don't rush things.
Be true.
The desperado blogger trying to accumulate followers with gimmicks is not appealing.

Thanks Sarah for your thoughtful answers, and being a guest on my blog.
Testimony yet again to the advantages of growing up out in the sticks!
I recommend Sarah's weekly column in the SMH's Sunday Life magazine about her quest for a better life.
Stay tuned (so not online speak is it??) stay logged on ...... I will be interviewing another legendary lady media personality Melissa Hoyer next.


  1. I love her and I love you. Thank you x

  2. Great interview with a very down-to-earth and smart lady.

  3. Her comment about radio is interesting. I listen to AM afternoon radio because I love the chat and all the diverse voices and points of view. Also great advice to have something to say and stay true to yourself. Great questions Sharni!

  4. I agree, smart lady. I like her comments about radio and how that medium works as a conversation.

  5. Great interview.

    The comments about creating an online persona have given me a lot of food for thought.


  6. This was a very cool interview. Even though I had no idea who she was, you know, being a bloody American and all. She was very gracious and real. Loved that! Often a little bit of fame makes women go berserk. She was totally grounded, maybe the nature girl in her!

  7. Awesome interview Sharni, and great to get more of an insight into Sarah. Good on her for supporting your blog, unlike certain other (ahem) "celebrities". I didn't really know much about her til she hosted Masterchef, but she seems like a real chick, not just some glamazon with no depth. Go Country Girls!!! I do think growing up country makes you more independent, resourceful and kick-ass, course, I could be biased... :)

  8. haha thanks everyone. I was very impressed by her too. - and Quix - I agree with you!! who needs the other 'want to be celebs 'when we have people like Sarah willing to come on my blog!


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