Speaking at public events has been one of the highlights of my career so far! I love the interaction with the audience, and making people laugh is tremendous fun.
My first talks were to gardening clubs where I realised it came naturally to me, sharing stories and amusing anecdotes. Since then I have talked to thousands of people at events ranging from Dymock's Literary lunches with an audience of 900 eager book-lovers; to small groups interested in travel (France in particular); Himalayan trekking and the joys (and agonies) of memoir writing.
For ten years I was an Australia Day Ambassador, travelling around rural NSW to speak at community gatherings celebrating Australi'as national day.
I have spoken at many charity fund raising events, as well as corporate lunches and for institutions like the Art Gallery of NSW (there I spoke on the history of Claude Monet's garden at Giverney).
'Mary was a resounding success, so much so, that even still today (some 3 years after the event), I STILL receive positive feedback from attendees on their experience - some even asking if we would have her back to do it again!
'Her energy, enthusiasm and warmth provided us all with a real appreciation of her life's journey from her childhood days spent at Balmoral Beach to the stark contrast of life on a farm near Bathurst. I still have woman comment on her talk.'
In 2004 I initiated an opportunity for like-minded women within the community to engage in a social forum through which they could interact with one another and to encounter the experiences of men and women who have achieved success and notoriety in their chosen fields. Thus the series of 'Different Lives' Luncheons was created.
A priority of the Luncheons was to provide guest speakers who were thought-provoking, engaging and able to provide a unique insight into their particular experiences and achievements. Guest speakers have included AOC President, John Coates; Arthur Sinodinos, previous Chief of Staff for then Prime Minister; Sydney Swans Coach at the time Paul Roos; Hoodoo Gurus lead guitarist Rick Grossman; Anne Sherry - AO, CEO Carnival Australia, previously CEO Westpac NZ etc. It was via the Different Lives' Luncheons that I came to know Mary Moody and to be privileged to be exposed to her exceptional life history. Mary was the guest speaker at one of these Luncheons where she provided a wonderful account of her inimitable experiences as a journalist, gardener, cookbook author and tour guide.
During her talk Mary recounted special periods in her life which provided those in attendance with an extraordinary insight into Mary herself. Her energy, enthusiasm and warmth provided us all with a real appreciation of her life's journey from her childhood days spent at Balmoral Beach to the stark contrast of life on a farm near Bathurst.
There would be very few people who have achieved so much across such a varied number of fields. It was invigorating for our group of women to be exposed to Mary's honest, candid and heartfelt narrative of her life.
Mary was so well received and appreciated that a number of those women in attendance commented on their intentions to purchase one of Mary's books or to find out more about her forthcoming tours. Mary Moody not only represents a very impressive list of achievements but an excellent insight into how wonderful and varied our lives can be.
'Mary Moody was our special guest speaker in May 2011 and attracted one of our largest crowds (150+) and had all the ladies enthralled with her 'tales of adventure'.
Karen Baldwin, General Manager, Royal Motor Yacht Club, Broken Bay, NSW