I was one of 700 people who filled the Concert Hall in Newcastle City Hall. We were all very excited to be in her presence and listen to what she had to say. Her autobiography titled, ‘My Story’ is 504 pages long so she had many juicy stories to tell.
MacLean’s Booksellers, our local independent bookseller hosted this amazing event and I was lucky enough as a Newcastle Writers’ Festival committee member to be invited as a VIP for the evening. FRONT ROW SEAT!
Pre-presentation drinks with Ms Gillard were top secret – even the press was not allowed in. I can’t tell you any of my secrets but I will let you know she shook my hand as we were introduced and she touched my shoulder as she left the room. She had a wonderful presence about her and she looked fabulous! What a classy lady.
During her conversation with Rosemarie Milson, director of The Newcastle Writers’ Festival and a Newcastle Herald journalist, Ms Gillard was captivating. I’m not interested in politics generally, but I listened to every word. She spoke with careful confidence and was interesting, inspiring and graceful. She spoke on many issues, but the issue that resonated with me was gender equality. She explained how she believes men should stand up alongside women and support gender equality in our society. The supporting applause was deafening.
I was quite teary at times as I listened to her account of her time as PM. Ms Gillard and Rosemarie discussed her growing resilience and how she used it to navigate her way through the tough times (and there were many). It was an honour to join the audience in giving her a standing ovation as we thanked her for sharing her story. I WAS IN AWE!
I’m now a proud owner of a signed copy of her autobiography and I have that moment in time when we met (twice actually). This was a very moving experience for me. If you get a chance to listen to Ms Gillard, you won’t be disappointed.
|This photo just will not face the right way!