It's fun being Mum



Firstly, you have long called Balmoral home, what is it that keeps you here?

My husband Chris and I moved here just before I fell pregnant with our daughter Piper (10), and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. 

There’s such a warm community spirit, it’s like a little village, and the proximity to the beach and all the parks and playing fields is perfect for our family. Of course, I also believe Balmoral is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and I feel so lucky to be so close to it!

Speaking of Piper, is it true that you almost gave birth to her on the Today show set?

I was reading the news for the Today show, it was a Sunday morning and my waters broke. I didn’t tell anyone and continued to read the news for about two hours! 

Chris was on a trip to Canberra, so I had to ring him in the commercial break, and say, ‘Start driving, I think I’m having the baby’. Then, in the commercial break, I rang my Mum and said, ‘Come and pick me up’. After two hours of reading the news, I told my executive producer and she’s like, ‘What are you still doing here?’

I was six weeks early, so I was not expecting to have Piper then. I hadn’t even thought about a baby’s room or anything. But she came and she’s beautiful and everything was fine.

Consummate professional to forge on under that sort of duress?

In retrospect I don’t know why I did it, but I think my thought process was, ‘This is the last thing I’ll ever do for myself. I’m about to become a mum, so I’m just going to enjoy this two hours’.

I have since watched that news bulletin and you really couldn’t tell, I was quite surprised, I managed to hold it together – probably because I was in denial.

What is about motherhood that you enjoy?

Being a mum is amazing! I’m probably being biased but my kids are gorgeous, and in another life, I would’ve had eight of them.

They keep me very busy and it’s fun to watch them grow up and their little personalities develop – seeing how much they take after you or your husband; what they’re good at; and what they’re passionate about.

I’m one of four children and I’m very close to my family, and they all have children as well, so all the cousins are super close too.

What’s your daily routine with the kids?

I have my mornings with the kids. So, I get up, get them ready and walk them to school. After that, I go into work and do all my research, preparing for the weather bulletins.

As I’m on the evening bulletin, I don’t get home until bath-time or story-time, and I’ll put them to bed.

It is a juggle but like most working mums will tell you, you just make it work. I also have a very supportive husband, who runs his own business Sherlock Creative in North Sydney, and he picks up the slack in the afternoons and evenings.

We have a very 50-50 role in parenting and household duties, and we complement each other. For instance, he’s a wonderful cook whereas I’ve been told to avoid the kitchen at all costs.

How did COVID affect this routine?

It was a bit of a challenge when the kids had to be home schooled. I would take the morning shift and then I would tag team with my husband. Because unlike most people, neither my husband nor I worked from home during COVID, we both still had to go to the office.

Part of it was lovely, with the kids being home we got to see more of them than we normally would, but I also felt sad for them that they couldn’t be with their friends, and I worried about the social aspect for them.

Did you embrace the outdoors during COVID?

We have a little fishing boat, so we’d take it down to Roseville bridge or Naremburn and get out on the water as much as we could just to break that cycle of being home together so much.

But we’re very outdoorsy anyway. I’m the mum who’s always saying, ‘Grab a ball, let’s go to the oval’ or, ‘Get your bikes, let’s go for a ride’. We’re a very active family, the kids play sport, and on holidays we camp a lot and love skiing too.

Where are you taking the family on holiday once the world opens up again?

As much as I love the beach, as I mentioned I’m also a very passionate skier – so my first place would be skiing in Japan. I don’t see us going to America or Europe any time soon but hopefully we can open up a travel bubble with Japan. My kids have been skiing since they were four, and my husband loves it as well. 

You’re an ambassador for the Balmoral Burn, how did that affiliation start?

Obviously, my daughter arrived early, so she was in special care for a month before we got out of hospital. So, the Humpty Dumpty Foundation is something very close to my heart because they raise funds for children’s hospital equipment.

Unfortunately, because of COVID, the Balmoral Burn hasn’t been on the last couple of years, but we religiously participate every single year. Piper and Zac (7) want us to do it with the dog next time, but I’m not convinced ‘Teddy’ can make it up the hill.

I’m also an ambassador for Miracle Babies, who support premature and sick babies, so you can see the theme.

You’re currently a member of the dominant 6pm Nine News bulletin team, how did you establish a career with the network?

I knew very early that I wanted to be a journalist and I pursued it quite strongly. So, I feel quite lucky that I always knew what I wanted to do. I went to university to study journalism and then I got a job in TV straight out of school. 

I started off as a financial journalist working for the Commonwealth Bank, and then moved to London to work for a finance company over there, before linking up with Sky News as a finance journalist. 

I joined Channel 9 as a business and finance journalist and progressed into news reading, and obviously weather presenting, which, as you said, I now do on our flagship bulletin with Peter Overton and Cam Williams, and I love it!

I think I’ve worked on every program across Nine over almost 15 years, from the Today show, to the morning news to the late news… I’ve had an amazing career and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring.

Joe McDonough, Editor-in-Chief, North Shore Living Magazine

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