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True grit

30 October 2017

Maggie Beer Ok

Maggie Beer AM was born in Sydney, Australia. In 1979, Beer and her husband, Colin, established the highly acclaimed The Pheasant Farm restaurant in the Barossa Valley, which operated until 1993. Beer is the award-winning author of nine cookbooks and, in 2014, established the Maggie Beer Foundation to improve the quality of food for those in aged care. In 2012, Beer was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the tourism and hospitality industries as a cook, restaurateur and author, and to the promotion of Australian produce and cuisine.

Q What really matters to you?

“… In some bizarre way, my very difficult upbringing has helped me enormously in life – it gave me great grit. When I was fourteen my parents lost everything and I left school to support the family. My elder brother left school at the same time and our paltry wages – my wage was five pounds a week, his was seven pounds – kept the family going and a very beloved aunt rented a house for us. It taught me at an early age that you can do anything. I didn’t think about our circumstances a lot – I just did.”

New Zealand-based publishers Geoff Blackwell and Ruth Hobday travelled the world collecting the stories for 200 Women: Who will change the way you see the world (Chronicle Books, 2017). The women’s portraits were captured by celebrated photographer Kieran E. Scott.

The project, supported by Westpac, is accompanied by an interactive exhibit you can visit at Sydney Opera House Forecourt from October 25 to November 6, 2017, and podcasts to which you can listen.

All the stories in the book belong to the women themselves. Some are confronting, many uplifting, all authentic. And, while we accept that not everyone will agree with all views, we are proud to begin a conversation about a range of issues that are important to women and men alike. 

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