How did you become an MC?
My radio partner John McCormack and I had the pleasure of interviewing ex-Channel 9, Channel 7 and Crown Casino boss Ian Johnson. It was one of my favourite interviews as he rarely does them. We chatted about the beginning of The Footy Show and he told incredible stories about Kerry Packer. After that interview, Ian asked me to MC the charity lunch for Sorrento Rotary Club. That was my first gig and how it all started.
Is it a tough industry for a woman to be in?
Whether you are male or female, having the right background for any job is key, and it’s no different for MC work. I had four years’ experience on radio so it was an easy and natural step to come out of the studio and talk in front of an audience on stage with a mic.
Tell us more about Everybody’s Talking.
Everybody’s Talking was an incredible time. Two years on commercial radio was such an achievement and I learnt so much. I loved every second of the journalism and producer’s role as much as the presenting. Unfortunately, Crocmedia took over SEN and our show was axed. You can still tune into Everybody’s Talking and listen to all shows on RPPFM 98.7 though.
Tell us about your connection with bees and why they are so important to you.
I love my bees and their honey. About 30 per cent of all our food depends on cross-pollination and 85 per cent of plants exist because of bees. My bee-wrangling friend Simon, from Save The Bees Australia, has taught me everything I know about bees. We remove and replace a few frames from the hive twice a year and take enough honey for personal use only. They are fascinating to watch. They all have different jobs and communicate with each other constantly.
Have you ever been stung?
Bees only sting humans when under threat. I’ve been stung once but that was only because it got stuck in my suit and couldn’t get out. It’s important to buy your honey from your local beekeepers so you know you are getting real liquid gold.
Do you go away once the sun’s stopped shining down south?
I love the Mornington Peninsula and the four seasons so I don’t go away over winter. I hibernate like everyone else down here. We are all sitting by the fire. If I do venture out it’s to sit in front of another fire at the Sorrento Hotel or to visit a winery or chasing culinary delights at one of our great eateries.
What do you think about the 50+ modelling movement?
I think anyone who can carve out a continuing career over 50 is lucky because that’s something that I have found challenging. I’ve been searching tirelessly for a long-term career project and I’m still searching. I haven’t modelled for 15 years but I’m all for older women doing it.
What’s Andy Donaldson’s favourite winter weekend outfit?
I think Victoria is the fashion capital and love long boots, jeans and jumpers. Beanies, hats, gloves and jackets. My favourite jumper is made locally. The designer is also the creator of not-for-profit group Tag for Life, which raises funds for white shark science and education. I also support Fusion Mornington Peninsula, which helps the youth in our community who are disadvantaged and left homeless.