The ‘Eastern Suburbs Set’

20 Sep

One of the things we were looking forward to about Australia is the perceived sense of egalitarianism; no snobbery about who you are, where you’re from or who you know but then again, as with all places, the latter can always help!

We discovered this at a cocktail party hosted by the officers at HMAS Watson. The annual event last night was a chance for a bit of a meet and greet with some of the more high profile members of the community and for us, the opportunity to get to know our new neighbours a little better as Eden and Alfonso (Alfie) were both there and introduced us to some of their friends.

There were murmurings that a ‘Malcolm Turnbull’ was there, who we discovered is the local MP for the electorate of Wentworth. Three facts that were good to know just before he arrived at our table and got chatting to us. (We subsequently learned he was the former leader of the Opposition and could potentially be the future Prime Minister if the Liberals win the next election).

The conversation was more an exchange of pleasantries and the ever-coveted business card (although it was a one-way offering) and a brief chat about how we were settling in and what jobs we did. A charming man who seemed very friendly and sociable, unlike some other politicians I’ve come across, the free-flowing drink may have helped.

His wife was equally charming and later, thanks to Eden and Alfie, we also met two news presenters from the Seven and Nine Networks, who were being admired from one corner by a group of girls, who eventually plucked up the courage to ask for a photograph as they were ‘huge fans’.

With our brief brushes with Sydney’s ‘glitterati’ most of the evening was actually spent admiring the views over Watson Bay and out across the harbour, talking about the move and how we were coping with the transition with James’ colleagues and getting to know about life down under from those with more experience than a mere three weeks.

It was the following morning that the benefits of those ‘brief brushes’ came to fruition with several email exchanges and a phone call with a certain Malcolm Turnbull MP… Within an hour of logging on and signing in, I had a meeting set up with a head of news at one of the networks and a dinner invitation chez Turnbulls.

We shall see where this all leads of course but it seems we’re mixing in the ‘right circles’, although that may depend on your political persuasion!


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