I was thrilled and honoured to be awarded the InStyle award for Business at the Women of Style Awards this week. I have never been to this event before so I didn’t know what to expect. My sister, Lisa, lives in Sydney and I never spend enough time with her, so she was my date for the evening. She gave me strict instructions not to leave her alone, which I obeyed like a good younger sister.
We got picked up from the hotel and were in a taxi with two fascinating passengers. One women was up for an environmental award and she was doing extraordinary things in the climate change space. Her date was an ex-lawyer who lives in Chesterfield, Sydney, and has completely cut himself off from the grid; which means all power, water and sewerage and he lives basically in the city with solar energy. Thanks to Sydney traffic, we got to go into great detail into his journey.
We eventually arrived at a massive warehouse to the glamour of the red carpet. I was surprised to see celebrities as well as other leading women in their field, whether that be social, science or medical. I absolutely scored by sitting next to Dr Georgina Long who is on the precipice of finding a cure for cancer. She is a clinical researcher and a medical oncologist at the Melanoma Institute. Her husband was divine and we spoke of all the challenges and wins that we have in our two worlds; including balancing family and our passions. The stories she was telling me about some of the inroads she was making were really inspiring.
There were people like Gillian Armstrong, who I have been a fan of since I saw The Piano, Layne Beachley, Michelle Bridges, the incredible Yasmin Abdel-Magied, who won the Charity and Community award. She was born in Sudan and at 16 years old launched Youth Without Borders. Her energy and passion for what she does was addictive; you just wanted to stand next to her so some of her energy rubbed off. There was also the beautiful Jo Horgan, who won the Beauty award for her business Mecca. You cannot get a smile off your face when you talk to Jo – she is just full of fun.
I know people say it on the podium but I really didn’t think I was going to win, to the point that I didn’t have a speech prepared. So when my name was called, I stumbled for a minute before anything came out of my mouth. Thank goodness something eventually did and off I went. The bugger of the whole night was that when I was dropped off and getting my bag out of the boot, my award was driven off by the driver… Bugger.. Luckily they managed to track it down the next day…
I have to thank InStyle Magazine for a great night to celebrate some truly extraordinary women.