There’s one interview that Lisa Wilkinson wishes she’d done
She’s interviewed some huge names but there’s one person the television presenter wishes she could sit down with – her late dad.
What’s your greatest strength?
Courage. I went through a pretty rough period of being bullied during my high school years. The day I finished my final exam, I made a promise to myself that I’d never again allow someone else to decide for me who I was or how I should live my life. And I haven’t since.
And your greatest weakness?
What scares you?
The effect social media has on our lives. It puts crazy pressures on us – particularly on kids to be fully formed at an age when stumbling along the path to adulthood should be a private rite of passage.
What virtue do you most admire in people?
Generosity in all its forms. Humility. Optimism. And a sense of humour.
What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?
I’m a frustrated singer.
What’s your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring. It signifies so much and neither Pete [FitzSimons, journalist and author] nor I have taken ours off since the day we got married on 26 September 1992.
If you could do any other job, what would it be?
An architect or interior designer. Our house [in Cremorne on Sydney’s Lower North Shore] was built in 1903 and has been a work in progress since we bought it 20 years ago. We’re completing the last of the work next year and I really can’t wait. I adore old buildings and creating spaces that invite you in.
What’s your idea of absolute happiness?
Pottering at home with some music on, singing as if no-one is listening.
If you could have dinner with two famous people, who would you choose?
Michelle and Barack Obama – I still can’t decide who I have a bigger crush on!
What travel experience is on your bucket list?
Taking three months off to travel Italy. I recently spent a week on the Amalfi Coast and was blown away. I want to see more.
How do you switch off ?
With a very early morning or sunset walk by myself, somewhere near water.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Fossicking through flea markets. Paris has the best ones and every time I go, I always end up with a treasured something. Last time, I got a gorgeous old quilt that’s now sitting on the back of my favourite couch at home. It makes me smile every day.
If you could turn back time, what would you change in your life?
I’d sit down with my beautiful late dad [Ray Wilkinson] and record the story of his life. He died suddenly back in 1990 and there’s so much about him that I wish I knew. He was an incredible leader and yet he was completely without ego. I’d give anything to hear his voice again.
What is your greatest achievement?
My three kids.
What would you say is the most Australian thing about you?
My childhood in Campbelltown [in Sydney’s west]. Playing street cricket with my brothers until well after the streetlights came on; swimming in the local river after Sunday school; watching Countdown on television; buying Dolly magazine and poring over each and every page with my girlfriends during geography class; and being slathered in zinc during school holidays at North Wollongong Beach.
If you were an animal, what would it be?
An eagle. Sometimes I dream that I can fly and I always wake up happy.
How would you spend your last $20?
I’d go to a two-dollar shop and stretch that baby out as much as I could.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a good mum and as a partner who added as much to Pete’s life as he added to mine.