Amanda Keller from The Living Room asked to come over to my house and have a chat with me in my living room about Mothers Day (as you do). I instantly jumped at the opportunity…and then I remembered I didn’t actually have a living room to sit in! It was at that point I pitched the idea of welcoming Amanda over to what is now a construction site…but it is a special one at that. This was an opportunity to bring the living rooms of all Australia the story of a great Australian mother, that is to tell the story of Maybanke Anderson – a woman of passion, persistence and purpose.
Amanda came to visit what is now just a shell of the original 1871 home was once lived in by Maybanke Selfe-Wolstenholme-Anderson. A great pioneering woman. The building has had many alterations over the years – and alas had become an eyesore in our community. We have undertaken a historical reconstruction to reinstate the street scape to it’s former glory.
Maybanke was a woman who agitated and lobbied to make our society better 150 years ago. A mother of our community, as well as seven children of her own (only two survived to adulthood) – However she lived at a time when women did not have the vote and struggled to own property.Maybanke Anderson (1845-1927) was a feminist, a suffragette, a journalist, public speaker and educationist. In fact she was a blogger of her time – creating a newsletter known as The Woman’s Voice” She was an agitator for women’s rights. Her passion for women to have a voice that was recognised was evident throughout her life – she was adamant that it was only with the vote that women could achieve the social changes necessary to progress as a society. She brought kindergartens to Australia, lobbied for children’s playgrounds and forced an increase in the age of consent for girls from 14 to 16 years of age. “Maybanke Anderson was a woman who suffered and endured, a teacher who knew the power of the word, and a leader who wanted to leave the world a better place than she found it.” (Ruskin Rowe Press).
Amanda offered to take off her shoes as she entered my ‘living room’ however she would have been better off with work boots – After sharing my insights on Maybanke and an early role model and mother of our nation. I talked about my book Live What You Love, where RedBalloon came from and Shark Tank. Then I realised that Amanda had an alternative agenda – she had come up with some ‘sure fire’ business opportunities that surely would be ‘the perfect pitch’. One definitely had potential… but as we have seen too many times on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank her valuations were very ‘special’.
What fun to have Amanda join me at home to share with Australia this great story from our past. Though she might have mentioned that really I could have had Barry Du Bois drop over and he could have whipped the whole renovation up in one episode rather than the 60 weeks the project will take.
Catch The Living Room on Network TEN. Tonight 8th May, 8:30pm.