This is a really lovely story. We had this tiny little old Corolla in our family for forever-and-a-day, and dad said if I saved up for half of the value it could be sold for, then I could have it as my car to drive to and from uni. So I saved up my half, got the Corolla, and then later passed it on to my sister, who saved up for half of it as well. So it was a family car for a long time.
What happened to it in the end?
My sister killed it (laughs). She parked it out the front of the university that she was studying at and a truck came around the corner and literally flattened it like a pancake.
How did you find the whole learning to drive experience?
I remember thinking that I’m never going to be able to learn to drive because there are so many things to think about at once, as every teenager thinks. But the stakes were high, because my dad is a huge motor racing fan. My sister and I were always going to racetracks and watching V8s and all this kind of stuff, so dad wanted us both to drive really well. And he was incredibly patient (laughs), helping us with all of those hours.
Did you ever try your hand at some more extreme driving?
Funnily enough, I did. When I was a newsreader for Channel 10 I did a few high-speed laps around a rally course in Perth and it scared the living daylights out of me. I don’t think I’d ever do it again.
What are you driving now?
I actually have a love of vintage cars. I once had this lovely old Karmann Ghia and a few other beautiful old cars from the 1950s. But ever since I’ve had kids I’ve gone back to doing the very sensible thing of having small cars that are quite safe. So I’ve just got myself a new little Mazda3.
What’s your pet road peeve?
I can’t stand bogans honking at me to go faster. I think there’s enough agro on Sydney roads, frankly. I’m a very, very cautious driver, because I’ve got the kids in the car.
If you could go on a long road trip with absolutely anyone, who would it be?
I just saw the movie Suffragette the other day, so I would really like to have the women from the Pankhurst family, who led the Suffragette movement in the UK. I didn’t realise how brutal it was. I didn’t realise you had to risk your life for the feminist movement. Nowadays you send out a Tweet. Back thenyou could have died or had your children taken away.
$2500 – the amount I had to save for my Corolla
17 – the number of years we had it in our family
The lowdown: the highly popular media personality always takes a safety first approach to her time on the road.
Career highlights: presenting Channel 10’s national weekend and morning news for 14-years; writing, producing and presenting documentaries for NGOs in Bangladesh, Kenya, Papua New Guinea and India; being an ambassador for organisations including ActionAid, World Vision and Dying with Dignity; setting up mentoring and networking group Women in Media.