- Playful seal salutes beachgoers
- 'This smells like a Napthine government rort'
- Cruel thieves swipe oxygen trolley
- 'We need to get tough on truckies'
- Hinch freed from jail sans beard
- Woman nearly dies after lack of labelling
- Melbourne's rail horror
- Beach rules are a dog's breakfast
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What we're talking about
- Luke on Playful seal salutes beachgoers People are so clueless to what damage a wild seal can do to someone, particularly a child. But then many people are totally ... more
- ivan tipp on 'We need to get tough on truckies' Truckie bashing is GREAT for a few points Neil. But remember the driver of that small truck was a ratbag. more
- poppitt on Hinch freed from jail sans beard 50 days for $100,000.00 wow why would anyone pay fines. more
- jgl Melb on Hinch freed from jail sans beard A garden variety prison release,or the second coming of Christ? more
- Gloria on Hinch freed from jail sans beard Derryn, please, please, please grow your beard back. more
- PH on Hinch freed from jail sans beard My first though looking at that photo was Darren James in 30 years time. more
- Pat Heuvel on 'We need to get tough on truckies' Definitely not the right thing to do. You want to crack down on someone? crack down on the ones that use their phones while ... more
- darrin on Hinch freed from jail sans beard Derryn your lucky i know people have had to spend 1 day per $100 but i guess like most people with some fame to there name ... more
- Sarah on 'We need to get tough on truckies' Truck drivers are constantly speeding on the roads I travel. I have watched a truck in front of me lose control and jack ... more
- joe on 'We need to get tough on truckies' I think a good idea for the point system on your licence is that the first 4 points are normal fines. Then next 4 points are ... more
- Russell Watts on 'We need to get tough on truckies' Neil, it should not matter if you are a truck driver or not, if you lose 12 points then you lose your licence. But the laws ... more
- Andrew on 'We need to get tough on truckies' Hi Neil. Why not extend fines to trucking companies as well as drivers? Truck company gets the same fine as the driver? Or a ... more
- poppitt on 'We need to get tough on truckies' They are supposed to be professional drivers, they are supposed to know the law. I think most truck drivers are fantastic ... more
- poppitt on Woman nearly dies after lack of ... Everything packaged or not should be labelled. It is not enough for the customer to ask, my son has gluten intolernace, asks ... more
- Wendy on Woman nearly dies after lack of ... How ridiculous not having to label fresh salad ingredients by law! It's still got ingredients and someone is still going to ... more
- Hazel Finney on Beach rules are a dog's breakfast Bass Coast Council brought this ban through without proper consultation from the public. more
- Olga on Beach rules are a dog's breakfast We pay to camp on the foreshore on the peninsula where dogs can roam all day. They pee on our towels our kids are scared. ... more
- Aria Judilla on Beach rules are a dog's breakfast Forget the beaches, we can't even take our kids to the park anymore because of the dogs that run up to them and paw them and ... more
- col on Beach rules are a dog's breakfast NO CONFIDENCE in the Bass Coast council more
- col on Beach rules are a dog's breakfast Dogs on a lead at all times along Inverloch beach. Fine then $500 Bass Coast. We got a new Council full of spin and lies and ... more
You be gentle with me, won't you: Dame Elisabeth Murdoch
Don’t be fooled by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch.
You look at those photographs of a dear old lady smiling gently out at you. Don’t be fooled.
Yes she was that, but she was also a character, a stirrer, a great sense of humour. She was even capable of sending herself up, which is not something you expect from a woman who had been a leader of Melbourne society for 50 years.
I have met her many times, but back in 2007 I spent quite some time with her. It was an Order of Australia dinner and she was 98-years-old. I interviewed her on stage and sat with her a dinner, and that is where I saw the character.
Neil Mitchell with Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at the 2007 Order of Australia dinner. (Photo: Order of Australia)
She arrived with only her driver, pushing her in a wheelchair. I shook her hand, she said she was well aware of me and what I had done. I worked as a Murdoch editor for two weeks after the Herald was sold. She knew the radio program, she knew what was going on in the world, and she was edgy about the interview.
She leaned forward to me and whispered confidentially in my ear that she was nervous and said: “You be gentle with me, won’t you.”
Those were exactly the words used by another great person a few years earlier when I interviewed them. They were exactly the words used by a man just before the interview – that was Nelson Mandela.
He had charisma, dignity and humility. So too did Dame Elisabeth. But she also had a streak of the trouble maker about her, a streak of danger, a touch of the unexpected, and that was endearing, entertaining and rare.
I remember too, she was telling us at dinner about her life. Remember, she was nearly 100. She said she got up very early each morning, about 5:00am I think it was, and swam a few laps. Then she made breakfast for her gardener.
Every morning, she made breakfast for the gardener, talked about the garden, went back to bed for a snooze, wrote letters, went to functions and was in bed quite late at night.
I was jealous of the pace and I was sneaky. I asked her about that during the interview.
Anyway, at this dinner, the Order of Australia dinner, she arrived, sat at the table, out of the chair (she had some trouble walking), and immediately ordered a glass of white wine.
That went down pretty quickly. She ordered another – that went down a little more slowly.
She chatted to people around her, dozed off for a few minutes – or rested her eyes, and then said ‘okay let’s do it’.
We got on stage, she kicked off her shoes and charmed the audience. Mesmerised the audience. It was one of the easiest interviews you could ever do, and when it finished, she put her shoes back on, went back to the table, another glass of white wine and off home. After all, she had to be up early to swim laps and cook breakfast for the gardener.
Yes she was a great lady, she had a privileged life, she had money, she did enormous work for charity, and it was genuine. She was a great Victorian, but she was also a great character.
I hope now more people step forward to say just what she was really like, because to me that is the most fascinating part of the story. To me, and she didn’t like this, to me she was a feminist before feminists. A strong woman, an independent woman, a decisive and powerful woman who took a step back for nobody.
There may be a state funeral. There should be some type of garden in tribute to Dame Elisabeth.
LISTEN: Neil Mitchell interviews Dame Elisabeth Murdoch at The Order of Australia Victoria Branch dinner on 7th December, 2007: