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- 'I feel like I've earned this'
- Ron Iddles: 'This could actually save lives'
- Footscray surgeon's 'miracle' recovery
- Shooting star Laetisha Scanlan with Neil Mitchell
- Newsreader gaffe: Who am I again?
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What we're talking about
- Tanya on Photos: Destructive winds lash the state Re the tree down in Coles - Bayswater.Why on earth did someone plant a monstrous gum tree in a car park?The mind boggles. more
- IBARKER on Ron Iddles: 'This could actually save ... This is not only a man V women it can happen the other way. more
- Milton on Ron Iddles: 'This could actually save ... Why wait for 3 breaches, why not 2 or possibly just 1? more
- Steve on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... How can this man expect anybody to believe such rubbish? Recording a private conversation is legal as long as it is not ... more
- Joe Garra on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Why did they destroy someone else's property?? more
- Eric on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... What a beat up,who cares it is of no importance in the running of the State. Just another example of Neil Mitchell making a ... more
- poppitt on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... It appears Mr Andrews likes to call other politicians out for lying, cheating, stealing, but when it comes to members of his ... more
- Vallipuram on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... so it is ok to vandalise someone elses property As leader of opposition you accept responsibility for vandalism of property ... more
- Dallas on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Peter dalglish forget about tying to find the State Labor website on-line the way you spell you'll end up at a maternity ... more
- Stephen on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Oh and Mr Andrews the property was not yours to destroy!! So theft and criminal damage! The potential charges grow!! more
- Marko on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... I'd like to know why no police charges have been laid against Daniel Andrews, Kosmos Samaras, etc? When I was a cop it was ... more
- Bruce on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Mr Andrews still did not take responsibility!He repeatedly stated "It is my responsibility to get to the bottom of it"He ... more
- Bob on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Dead man walking, Mr Andrews. You expect us to believe that all those around you knew about the tape, what was on it, copied ... more
- Kate on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Interesting comment he makes in the second half of the tape at 8.07 - "I first heard this and I am not entirely sure I have ... more
- Fred on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Someone needs to teach Andrews the definition of theft. Only then will he understand what a 'thief' is. Mealy mouthed ... more
- bc on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... poor baby huey andrews the carnival is over .One thing there are grubs on all sides grubby guy is after napthines job.Fancy ... more
- Peter dalglish on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Daniels Andrews connected with unions federal opposition leader connected with unions, see a pattern happening here.Now to ... more
- Big Al on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... I have no faith or respect for any of our politicians. They are all devious and incompetent. Most people I speak to are ... more
- Colin Lacivita on Woman disgusted over 'death' plate This is unforgivable. The driver of this vehicle should be exposed so we can see who he really is. He should not be allowed ... more
- IBARKER on WATCH: Daniel Andrews takes full ... Poppitt ?? Where are you for out thou. 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: