Friday, March 8, 2013


It was a year ago when I started this blog. I fulfilled my goal to recycle my Maire Claire each month of a year’s subscription. Which brings me to today. International Women’s Day, March 2013. I would like to spend this blog post reflecting on a year’s worth of Marie Claire.

A few articles with weight got my attention, like the pledge for the Australian Childhood Foundation in April’s issue, July's emphasis on marriage equality and the November issue that highlighted domestic violence and White Ribbon Day. 

I noticed over the last twelve months that only three Australian women made the front cover of the Australian Marie Claire. I understand that a cover of a curtain, non Australian women may sell better, but to what point does an Australian magazine have the responsibility to reflect and represent Australian women? And to a greater extent, what responsibility does an Australian women’s magazine have in representing, support and informing Australian women about issues, that actually relate to the Australian women of today? 

In the December 2012 issue, touching on both the political and personal, editor Jackie Frank hosted a sit down chat, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Sports Minister Kate Lundy, Attorney General Nicola Roxon, Families Minister Jenny Macklin, Finance Minister Penny Wong, Community Services Minister Julie Collins and Employment Participation Minister Kate Ellis – this was a great, fresh, current, breath of journalistic air. It was the kind of content that I personally think should be in an Australian women’s publication of Marie Claire's target age group (25-39). However I think it’s worth noting that Marie Claire did not seek this interview but it was apparently suggested to Jackie Frank by Ms Gillard's, Labor party ‘people’.

Of course I have totally directed this blog at Marie Claire, I have made no attempt to include or showcase any other Australian women’s publication and I recognise that. I simply picked up one of the many magazines that are available to us. But as one of Australia’s highest distributed women’s magazines, what option do we have? Is it a case of what we want or what we get given? For me personally Marie Claire wasn't enough. I often felt a certain, shallow undertone. Despite me being within Maire Claire’s target market, I just liked, but did not fall in love with this mag.

I feel Australian women’s publications are missing out on (I’d even go as far as to say excluding) readership. We need to find a way for Australian women’s publications to move forward, in both image and print, to stop talking at us and start talking for us. I don’t want to bore you with stats but out of 22,683,573 Australians, over half are female. Today one in every five people living in Australia, was born in another country, with two of the larger immigrant groups being from Vietnam and China. And of the 832,921 Australian women aged 25-29, over 20,000 of them are indigenous.

Publications have been revolutionary for Australian women of the past. I would like to see a change in women’s magazines for today.


Monday, February 25, 2013


Unlike Marie Claire’s target market some women don’t have $149 to spend on a Splendid white shirt for work or even want to ‘groom for success’ with a $280 Mason Pearson hair brush – both of which are recommended purchases in Marie Claire this month.

Some women trying to get into the work force don’t own the ‘wardrobe essentials’ needed to walk confidently into a job interview. That’s where the amazing non-for-profit organisation Fitted for Work comes in.

Working alongside job agencies in New South Wales and Victoria, Fitted for Work helps dress women for interviews. With assistance from volunteer stylists, the women try on and select outfits from a wide range of high quality second hand clothing donations and walk away, ready to walk into a job interview.

I think this is such an amazing, important organisation, where people’s time and money is well spent.

Fritted for work doesn’t just take clothing but money donations too. If you have an old, ill-fitting suit, or a beautiful blouse that you love but never wear, then help a sister out, Fitted for Work is the perfect place to donate.

You can donate here...


Thursday, February 21, 2013


February’s issues had a successful career theme,

- Closet Confidential was five pages dedicated to fashion’s hottest bloggers.
- Transformers showcased 10 different women who are “raising the bar in female achievement”

- Lead from Where You Are, a heap of advice on how to be a leader.

- Power Dressers, profiled thirteen of Australia’s busiest women on how they tailor their clothes to their careers

- Groomed for Success, style tips from successful women.

- Office Romance, a look into the two different beautiful officers.

- Give You Finances a Face Lift, tips on how to take control of your money matters.
- It’s All in a Day’s Work, followed the 9 to 5 workday of an artist relations manager, paediatric trainee and a womenswear manager.

- Woman of Influence, the Telstra business women’s award.

This issue is the exact reason why women’s refuges don’t accept women’s magazines. It either could be taken as inspiring and motivational or depressing and demoralising, a double edged sword. It did make me wonder about ‘inspiration’, where we get it and who we get it from?
I realised this month that I’m an inspirational fridge’a. I collect pictures and quotes (usually cut out of newspapers and magazines) and stick them on my fridge. In my last house, my flat mate and I covered our fridge doors until they disappeared under a collage of entertaining cut-outs and butterfly magnets.
And the house I’m in now, the fridge theme, ‘the summer of love’

I believe collecting images that spark a thought, that’s positive or amusing, should be kept. Positive affirmations, stick them on the fridge, that’s my advice. The other thing I do is arrange the most creatively inspiring images on my bedroom wall, or stick them down on cardboard.

I found the article on Office Romance inspiring and Holly Garber in Power Dressers, but for me, that was about it. So I went through February's issue of Marie Claire, cover to cover and every time I thought ‘that’s inspiring’, I cut it out. I had quotes like “are you ready to jump out of bed and have a spring in your step?” and “celebrate today.” I cut out images of fruit, girls with amazing eyeliner and books. I had a stack of images, quotes and colours. Then I arranged the best together to create something that is personally inspiring – an inspiration board.

So before you throw out your magazine, flick back through, and cut out and keep the images you find inspirational.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013


This January I went to visit my Nan, at 75 years old she opens her house and her arms to my big family at least twice a year.

I took my January issue of Maire Claire with me and it got Nanna’ed (a term my family uses to refer to something that goes missing) I assume it’s in the stack of magazines that sits on her coffee table and I only hope she gets some use out of it.
My Nanna lost her partner, my Pop, some 18 years ago and has lived alone ever since in a small town, where the main attraction is fishing.

My Nanna, as so many other women of her generation in Australia, was married young and dedicated all her time to three children and her husband. The all of a sudden her children were grown, with lives of their own and her husband in an urn beside her bed. She was alone for the first time in her life and she slipped into depression, guarded, nervous, scared and sad.
She kept to herself, and would walk alone, and after several years of walking past the same fisherman, one of them approached her insisting she should join his wife’s walkers group. I can only imagine my Nan’s embarrassment, as she absolutely refused.

Weeks went by and Bob the fisherman kept persisting, one day telling Nan if she didn’t show up to walkers the next morning his wife Betty would come collect her from her house. Mortified Nanna was pushed to the edge of her comfort zone, something that scared her more than someone she didn’t know was someone she didn’t know coming to her home.

I imagine my Nan, in her early sixties, brushing her short, curly, grey hair and apply her light pink lippy. Lacing up her trainers and feeling ill with nerves as she walked herself to the local walkers group. She was naturally such a shy person, when anyone tried talking with her she would blush red. She must have just wanted to turn around, go home and close her front door. But she didn’t turn around and the several steps she walked that day with the other seniors in her town helped her take a giant step forward.

Fast forward seven or so years and I was sitting next to my Nanna on the little bus that the walkers had hired for their monthly excursion, we walked around a lake in some random town, ate at a boiling club and visited a chocolate factory, my Nanna laughing and chatting with the other ladies all day.

Today, the walkers meet up once a week, Nanna and Betty still walk every day. Poor Bob the fisherman has since passed away but thanks to him my little Nanna came right out of her shell. I would now describe my Nan as a woman who’s independent, capable, and strong.

I’m so glad my Nanna found her local walkers club.

The Heart Foundations walkers groups are Australia’s largest network of free, local walkers groups, including groups for over 50’s. The Heart foundation website has a page for people wanting to find a walkers group in your local area. Walkers groups are a healthy and amazing activity for women. Community and socialising is an important part of life no matter how old and walking is a great way for seniors to get active.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


 A couple of year’s back I volunteered at a Salvation Army Christmas lunch in Surry Hills. I remember it being uncomfortably hot, in the air-conditioned drop in centre. What I also remember from that day was a room filled with kids toys, as if the contents of a toy store were in one small organised room. Even as a 21 year old I pocked my head around the doorway in awe and excitement. After lunch, as I was leaving the children were allowed to go into the toy filled room and choose whatever they wanted!

To my understanding these gifts came from donations. They were toys collected from under the Kmart wishing trees. As a kid I use to buy things for the wishing tree, wondering where my gift would end up, a good deed I seemed to have unfortunately grown out of. Maybe as a kid you take more notice of the wishing tree and of presents and Christmas shopping is not such a chore.

 Luckily the wishing tree is still getting noticed by christmas shoppers. Last year the wishing tree raised over 461,000 gifts. It’s a great appeal, an avenue to get presents to kids that aren’t as fortunate as my niece and nephew.
The Salvos do some amazing work for our communities, and runnging every December for the last 25 years, The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal, is one of them.  


This December I recycled my Marie Claire as rapping paper, it was easy, creative and looked great!

Friday, November 30, 2012


Have you heard of Post Secret? They invite people to anonymously contribute a secret, written on a postcard and sent to the group art project ‘Post Secrets’. The secret can be about betrayal, desire, humiliation; anything as long as it’s true and something you have not felt comfortable sharing.  

I asked friends if they could share a time when they’ve been a witness to or been aware of violence against women and felt they remained silent.

These are their secret regrets including one of my own. Written on collaged postcards that I made from recycling my October and November Marie Claire.

Thank you to those involved. And I'm sorry to the four anonymous woman who were the victims in these stories.