child mags blog

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HOLLABACK GIRL

How amazing is it when an idea you have in your head becomes reality. For my final cover for CHILD Magazines I collaborated with the uber talented Nathan Johnson from Blacklist Studio (and dad of two) – he created all of the coverline artwork. Surrounding yourself with ridiculously talented, genuinely caring people like Nathan and my amazing photographer Sue Stubbs, who nailed this shot for me, is the best.

Gwen Stefani aka Hollaback Girl was my inspo for this cover art. The song is said to be Gwen’s stance on her preference for being a leader not a follower (ie: not a girl who is confined to holla back what others say for her), and that’s what I wanted my final August 2016 ‘Creativity + Education’ cover to express.

Read more about what stories I chose to run in my very last issue of CHILD at the beautiful childmagsblog.com

 

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#HIREMUM

Recent return-to-work mum and talented copywriter Jane Woolard wrote to me at CHILD Magazines about her struggle to return to her career in the creative industry she loved. Jane had been out of the paid (‘office job’) workforce for almost 12 years but had maintained a successful paid freelancing portfolio working from home.

When she finally landed a great role with flexible, part time hours, her new boss company director Emelye not only asked all about Jane’s family, she sent the kids this letter.

#EmployerOfTheYear #HireMum #BossGoals

 

Clare Bowen

STILL ME

Rather than our usual studio cover shoot, for the May 2016 issue I planned a visit to the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick to meet a super special and seriously cool kid – Olivia. Isn’t she beautiful?

May cover CHILD magazine

I showed my daughter Scarlett the cover shots of Olivia after the shoot day and we had a great chat about ‘difference’ and what’s considered beautiful and ‘normal’. Love challenging beauty norms.

The inspo behind this cover came from one of my fave TV show’s Nashville (did I just out myself?). Last year, my favourite character in the show (played by the soulful Australian actress/singer Clare Bowen) cut off her stunning, angelic, super duper long golden curls to a short pixie cut. Why such a big change? Read the beautiful story.

 

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MAGAZINE FIRST

Thank you! What an incredible reaction we’ve received for our April 2016 cover of CHILD and the stories inside. In the issue, we explored what the idea of home means to three different families, in particular, our cover kid Tjandamurra who is being raised and valued within a family that spans generations imbued in Aboriginal culture as well as European influences.

I have mixed feelings that this is CHILD’s first cover, and possibly the first mainstream parenting magazine cover, to feature an Aboriginal child. I’m proud and excited that I created it and that it meant so much to Tjandamurra’s family and so many readers, but I’m also sad that it took so long for this to happen in Australia.

The April issue also includes an exclusive book extract from acclaimed journalist Stan Grant’s new book Talking To My Country. I was so moved by his speech last year that it woke up my thinking to consider more deeply what life is like for Australia’s indigenous families and children. The extract is Stan sharing about his childhood and our shared Australian story.

Continuing our exploration of what home means, there’s also a powerful piece I commissioned which sheds light on the five domestic violence warning signs a survivor of 15 years wants our daughters to know.

Being a journalist, my intent is that my storytelling shed light on matters you may never have considered before. I hope you derive great value from the April issue of CHILD as you consider, what is home to you?

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CLASS MUM MATERIAL…

It’s been an interesting start to 2016 and I never (like, ever) thought I’d do this…I replied ‘yes’ to an invitation to fill the role of 3F Class Mum 2016.

Have you ever been a class mum and totally regretted it, or loved it and volunteered again? I think I might need your tips.

Here are the three reasons why I said yes to being my daughter Scarlett’s class mum.

 

 

February CHILD Magazine

GOT EVENT FATIGUE?

In 2016, I know what I don’t want, which is why the February issue of CHILD magazine (out now) addresses a super important issue for all of us: Permission Note Fatigue – the cause and effect on parents of too many school events, volunteer requests, newsletters and notes coming home – and what you and your school can do about it. It’s time to tone down the crazy.

You can read more about the Feb issue here and watch our video of our CHILD Cover Kid Search winner! Ariana was a total stand out for me among the kids who entered our search. I loved her spirit and confidence. I worked with the fun team at Network Ten’s Studio 10 – Sarah, Joe, Ita and Jessica – to cast their favourite votes, as well as the fabulous Robyn from The Carousel. I think it’s one of my favourite covers. I created something that was a little bit The Belles of St Trinians circa 1954, a bit Chrissy Amphlete and maybe even a little ACDC, but really just lots of fun.

I hope your new school year isn’t too overwhelming and you’re finding your feet in February.

 

Photography: Image and flatlay styling by my fab digital content person Jenna Templeton. Cover photography: Sue Stubbs

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ETHICAL FASHION

I love retail therapy and I love fashion. Towards the end of 2015 however, I found out where some of my clothes are made and I’ve never shopped the same since. (Read my article here.)

This year, watch The True Cost movie (it’s online and also on Netflix).

Turns out, some operators in the fashion industry are not only the second biggest polluters of our planet (after oil, seriously), they employ women, children and men in conditions you would never work under.

It’s not as difficult as I thought it would be to shop more ethically and sustainably. After you’ve watched the doco do these two things:

  1. Download the free Good on You app to help you find ethical labels near you in Australia plus you can give your fave labels feedback to do better
  2. Discover ten of the ethical fashion labels I love here and here

Happy shopping.

 

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80’s SKATE PARTY

A childhood spent skating up and down, and up and down, our driveway in a pair of blue and yellow suede stripe skates plus birthday parties at the local roller rink (the music! the disco lights!) inspired my first fashion shoot for CHILD’s September 2015 issue.

What could go wrong inviting a group of kids to a party and putting them in roller skates, for the first time, ever?

Fortunately there were plenty of helpers and no spills, but lots of laughs and reminiscing about what we wore in the 80’s. Pink terry toweling play suit anyone?

This is a video of behind the scenes, including all the final shots and yes, that appears to be me jumping around behind the camera like I’ve had too much sherbet (not that too much sherbet is a thing) trying to get one of the kids to crack a smile. Anything for the shot.

Photographer: Sue Stubbs, Stylist: Olivia Waugh

for my daughter

FOR MY DAUGHTER

When I started writing more frequently for childmagsblog.com my digital editor Bron asked me to write about something personal to do with motherhood.

Where do you start?

Being a Virgo, I searched for ideas among my back files of stories I had written when the kiddos were babies. I was delighted (mission achieved) when I found something that could work but also moved by the private letter I stumbled across that I had penned for my daughter when she was just a wee two year old.

Here are the 10 things I want my daughter to know.