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?
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 attributes
you would consider to be essential to a leader? And why?
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 are the three greatest
barriers to new leaders emerging in Australia?
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
Our Community: What advice would you
give to a potential leader to taken them to the next stage?
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?
Aboriginal Rights & Welfare
Our Community: What insights have you
gained personally on your leadership journey?
It's lonely at the top
Huge satisfaction in influencing others
Big issues in life can take a long time to resolve
Our Community: Who have been your own
leadership mentors and how did they assist in developing your own leadership
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