ED’S LET­TER

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - Sar­rah

It’s usu­ally the race that stops the na­tion, but on Tues­day Novem­ber 3, 2015, it was a wo­man – namely Michelle Payne – who did the stop­ping. Her his­tory-mak­ing Mel­bourne Cup win, and her sub­se­quent dec­la­ra­tion that the naysay­ers could “get stuffed”, brought mil­lions to a stand­still. Stel­lar’s deputy edi­tor, Jes­sica Prince-mon­tague, was on a shoot with some of the coun­try’s most prom­i­nent fe­male ath­letes, in­clud­ing Cate and Bronte Camp­bell, Jes­sica Fox, Sally Pearson and Caro­line Buchanan, when the women took a break to tune in to the race. “When Michelle Payne won we all knew an his­toric mo­ment had taken place and it was weirdly prophetic – and al­most eerie – to be shoot­ing the best fe­male ath­letes in Aus­tralia and to be watch­ing some­one on screen who had just joined that elite club,” Jes­sica re­calls. “There was not a per­son in the room who didn’t have goose­bumps.” Eigh­teen months later, Payne tells Stel­lar how she has ad­justed to be­com­ing an un­ex­pected role model. “That feels like the most spe­cial thing – to be a great role model to the girls com­ing through.”

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