|| As part of our monthly segment, Our Community Leaders - Great Australian Leaders in Focus
which features the thoughts of some of Australia's great leaders,
this month we feature restaurateur and author Stephanie Alexander.
Stephanie Alexander OAM
Stephanie Alexander has been a leader in the Australian food
industry for decades. A restaurateur and author of cooking
books, Stephanie has been instrumental in the development
of an Australian food movement and the many festivals and
special events it has spawned across Australia.
Stephanie has also been a teacher for generations of chefs
and also children through a gardening and cooking program
she initiated at an inner-Melbourne school.
She has written a number of books, and contributes regular
articles to the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning
We started by asking who he considered to be three great leaders
of our time. And Why?
Our Community: What are the three attributes
you would consider to be essential to a leader? And why?
- Nelson Mandela - courage, principled, ability to inspire others
- Gough Whitlam - offered a vision that changed society; willingness
to hand out resources and see what grew from the initiatives; articulate
- Noel Pearson - has intellect; empathy, ability to influence change
of direction for one of our most shameful problems, the situation
of Aboriginal Australians
Our Community: What are the three greatest
barriers to new leaders emerging in Australia?
- Ability to articulate a vision that inspires hope
- Clear principles that many can relate to
- Wisdom, ability to engage in debate with opponents without recourse
to violence or abuse
Our Community: What advice would you
give to a potential leader to taken them to the next stage?
- Education does not encourage radical thinking
- Inequalities in education system
- Political apathy perhaps due to average high standard of living
- Political party system that plays politics rather than debates
Tricky one. Think. Develop a thick skin.
Our Community: Nature/nurture - are
leaders born or bred?
Who knows, probably bred from circumstance.
Our Community: What do you consider
to be the top leadership issues facing the nation?
Our Community: What insights have you
gained personally on your leadership journey?
- Social justice
- Aboriginal Rights & Welfare
Our Community: Who have been your own
leadership mentors and how did they assist in developing your own leadership
- It's lonely at the top
- Huge satisfaction in influencing others
- Big issues in life can take a long time to resolve
- Mostly writers about food ie. Elizabeth David, Richard Olney,
Alice Waters, Claudia Roden.
- My mother, who gave me a love of food and understanding of the
place of good food in a full life.
- A few friends in the hospitality industry - Damien Pignolet, Maggie
Beer, Janni Kyritsis - who gave practical assistance to problems
and an ear to listen
Published June 2004