DURING my journalism career I had some incredible mentors and people who inspired me. However, there’s one who stood above them all. And I’m not just saying that because we stole a kiss in the office file room. Shhh, don’t tell.
That person is my husband. The father of my two princesses. You know him as The Bloke in The Shed. Yesterday Julian added one more title to his name. He was announced Editor of The Advocate Newspaper and I couldn’t be prouder.
It was inevitable this day would come. He lives and breathes newspapers. On weekends our kitchen table AND the lounge room floor are covered with papers. It near drives me batty at times.
He walks around with his portable radio, ear plugs in, listening to Melbourne radio station 3AW. When you peek over to see what he’s doing on the computer, it’s either a news site or Facebook (where he’s picking up more and more stories these days). Oh, or stupid Supercoach. Really, what is the point of that?
He got the job based on more than passion though. He’s worked hard for it. Right from those early days as a skinny kid (yes, skinny) heading in for work experience every school holidays. It only increased when, out of Year 12, he got his first break. I was fortunate enough to witness the moment he became the paper’s youngest Sports Editor, then Chief of Staff and eventually Deputy Editor.
There’s another factor in the equation too. His family. He’s been brought up surrounded by high achievers. Most of you will have read about his brother, the new CEO of Woolworths. But it doesn’t end there. As the youngest of seven children, he’s surrounded by siblings who have excelled in their chosen professions. And atop them all is a mother who taught them to keep their feet on the ground and a father who showed them the possibilities from sheer hard work. It’s easy to see why it’s been such a natural progression for him.
When it came to this week, let’s just say there was a slight level of stress in the O’Brien household anticipating the interview. Then there was the little fact of some ash cloud causing flights to be cancelled from Tassie to Melbourne – including the one that was to take The Bloke in The Shed to his interview. Slight panic? Yes.
We’re not kidding ourselves. The next six months won’t be easy. Especially because I’m going to have to start doing the ironing myself. The li’l princesses won’t be seeing much of their Dad as he commits himself to getting the paper to where he wants it. For now, the focus will be on quality time with the girls, while quantity just isn’t possible. And, in years to come, that’s what the girls will remember most.
By the way, Julian’s now on Twitter. I know, wonders will never cease. You can follow him at @Julian_OBrien