Profiles

All the people profiled here are prominent in their respective industries and their stories have been written for that industry's magazine so a writer must make concessions to the natural flow of creativity. Basically that means one cannot slag-off the subject just for the hell of it; one simply doesn't interview people whose activities are too controversial. Subjects' special-interest factor also means that one often has to include material relevant only to that special interest. I'm dying for an assignment to profile someone in the general public arena with no strings attached. None of which means the Profiles shown here aren't enthralling - Ann Sherry, the first Australian woman employee to admit to being paid $1 million+ a year; Linda Burney, Australia's first Aboriginal minister of state whose mother died without telling Linda she had a tribe of brothers and sisters living a few minutes' drive away; Joe Tripodi the affable politician people seem to love to hate; and Paddy Crumlin, one of the world's most powerful union bosses ... Hopefully the list will go on.


 


Ian Hansen, Australia’s leading marine artist
Modern maritime art is alive and well and in demand

He won his first adult painting prize when he was only 12 but it took another 26 years for him to win his next one, despite entering many more competitions. When he did win again it sparked a flow of international awards and recognition.

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Grant Gilfillan, chief executive officer, Sydney Ports Corporation
A Black Swan or goalie for The Jags?

Writing about Grant Gilfillan isn’t as easy as it seems. Invited to his office the other Thursday for morning water one got a visual image pretty much what one would expect: A large youngish man of middle age apparently in excellent health doing what port managers do.

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Linda Burney, NSW Minister for Fair Trading
A woman of the Wiradjuri

In a dusty rural schoolroom a 15-year-old girl is telling her careers teacher that she wants to leave school and be like her friends. The teacher advises against it and argues she has greater potential than that: "You could even become a barrister," she says.

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Joe Tripodi, MP
Everything’s the same as it always was. With one exception.

It’s late at night and a light’s still on in the garden shed of a working class home in a western Sydney suburb. It shines for years as a plump young schoolboy uses the shed as a study refuge from the bustling family home he shares with his parents and three younger brothers.

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Gillian Adams
How Gillian Adams built her palace of wellbeing

It's a prominent art deco building on the left, near Kissing Point corner, as you drive up the Pacific Highway. Once upon a time it was the Turramurra branch of the Commonwealth Bank. Today it is a sprawling complex best described as Gillian's Palace of Wellbeing.

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Padraig Crumlin, national secretary of the MUA

All you'll learn at sea is to drink and fight and make trouble, his father warned. So Paddy took a job in a surf shop ... for a while! He's one of our most influential non-parliamentary politicians and becoming increasingly so on the international scene. He's also a strong family man and an armchair philosopher who seems to laugh a lot at himself.

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Kerry Sanderson AO, CEO Fremantle Ports
How business-as-usual was never the same again at Fremantle

At the end of a day’s research, one can easily find oneself not knowing very much at all about the person that is Mrs Kerry Sanderson.

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Ann Sherry AO, CEO of Carnival Australia
The queen of cruise tells it like it is: There's a lot we can learn from the airlines!

So we find ourselves in the reign of Queen Ann at a time when many other shipping queens are visiting... Mary, Victoria and EII. Even the Queen of the Netherlands is here, albeit in Melbourne and as the world's biggest dredge not likely to receive a reciprocal visit by the first lady of Carnival Australia.

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John McGrath, McGrath Real Estate
"There's a big difference between having failed and being a failure'

From first sight John McGrath looks like he could make a good poster boy for one of the more inspirational courses on how-to-succeed-in-business.

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