I was born in Elizabeth, a little town about 30km north of Adelaide, South Australia. It has the dubious distinction of being regularly voted South Australia's ‘most dangerous suburb'. In hindsight, this was a brilliant training ground for the argy-bargy worlds of advertising, acting and public speaking, the three pillars underpinning the mosaic of what I amusingly call ‘my career'.
After watching too many episodes of the American sitcom Bewitched, I decided upon advertising as my career of choice, a back-up plan in case my acting career didn't work out (a wise move in retrospect).
Having completed a business degree and endured 22 years of ‘Girl from Elizabeth' jokes from well-meaning friends (What do you call a girl from Elizabeth in a white tracksuit? The bride. What's the first question to get asked at a trivia night in Elizabeth? Whaddayou lookin'at?), I escaped . . . I mean . . . left Elizabeth for greener pastures and took up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work as a marketing manager for a computer company in the United States.
Upon returning to Australia I landed the job of my dreams in shiny, happy Sydney, and became an account director and then copywriter with Wunderman Cato Johnson, the direct marketing arm of the multinational advertising agency Young & Rubicam where I worked on campaigns for Apple, American Express and Optus, to name a few.
I had a brief but formative stint as a celebrity publicist with Harry M. Miller and later achieved ...