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NSW born but Melbourne made

Elizabeth Proust has occasionally been referred to as “Madame Melbourne” and no wonder really. Melbourne, and many of it’s key institutions have ‘made’ her just as much as she has (re)made many of them. This is a woman who barracks for Collingwood Football Club and was also chair of MSO; who worked for two Victorian premiers at opposite ends of the political spectrum (Cain & Kennett) and who, like many believed that it was ‘just a matter of time’ before there would be equal numbers of women in leadership positions. She now says time’s up on that strategy.

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From Mildura to Berlin for a song

Mildura is not known for its opera scene. But it might gain an extra degree of cultural notoriety if Siobhan Stagg’s star continues to rise. I met Siobhan in mid-2012 when she performance at the Woodend Winter Arts Festival. The Festival’s Artistic Director, Jacky Ogeil, confided in me when she booked the 24-year-old: “Watch this one, she’s a find. She’s going places.” How right she was.

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From clearing to connecting

In grade 4, growing up in the wheat and sheep country of the South Australian Mallee, Fiona McLeay experienced one of her earliest memories of injustice and unfairness. Her good friend, the daughter of Irish immigrants was mercilessly bullied:  “I still remember thinking “this just doesn’t make any sense – why should how she talks make any difference to how she is treated?  Thirty-five years later, no one has ever given me a satisfactory answer to that question.”

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The Broady boy who became a lawyer

There was once a boy from Broady who became a lawyer, moved out to regional Victoria, went on the telly, the stage, sang, played the piano, bought land out in Gippsland and ran sheep… and also won two medals – one for bravery and one for his work championing access to justice. But what makes Mark Woods really interesting is that he defies pigeon holing. He is not defined by his job, his suburb or town (who among us are?), his interests or his achievements.

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When law and comedy collide

Some of the most high profile people in the world of business, law, comedy and stage started out in the peculiar tradition of ‘law revues’ at unis the world over – that includes people like Stephen Fry, and Rowan Atkinson, and locally, Libbi Gorr, Magda Szubanski. But in the legal profession in Melbourne, that also includes Hugh de Kretzer (now heading up the Human Rights Law Centre), Fiona McLeod SC (Victorian Bar Chair 2013 and well known for her work fighting human trafficking and slavery) and former TV actor – now Slater & Gordon lawyer Anna Jennings-EdquistRead more

Foreign correspondent. Story teller. Sally Sara

This is a bit of a cheat because I didn’t write a post about this person by speaking to them. But since this blog is about reallyinterestingpeople, I couldn’t miss a mention of ABC foreign correspondent Sally Sara. Back in the day when I dreamed of being a great investigative journalist I set my admiring sights on Jana Wendt, who was so calm, so cool & controlled, so smart, and just so damned polished (I could not claim most of those).  Read more

Compiling lists while watching QandA

It won’t be long before I post the first blog on a really interesting person. There’s a lot of interesting people ready to go – and a lot on the list of who fits the (very loose) criteria of being really interesting. This blog won’t be about me – I never planned to post a note like this but am feeling the emptiness of the page and itching to post ‘something’ – even if it’s trivial (like this). So for now, I will edit what I have, compile some lists of really interesting people, watch QandA for no particular reason other than I like it, and aim to post something really interesting in the next week or so.

PS. Suggestions of really interesting people to include will be most welcome – but please, not the good and the great (as worthy as they are). I want to write something a little less ‘done’.