Covers: Sarah Murdoch resplendent in red for The Weekly

Covers: Sarah Murdoch (and more!) for The Weekly
Sarah Murdoch in Alex Perry for The Australian Women's Weekly's December edition
It's been a tough week at Satchel HQs, so picking up The Weekly this morning was just the thing to keep things sweet. A moment for a debt of gratitude and a platitude or two as we contemplate the nursing home fire victims laid to rest today, the families with loved ones lost from this world and the personal challenges we all face...

Stuffed with catalogues for Myer and Priceline and World Vision, with a beautifully designed Traditional Christmas recipe book stuck to the cover (Turkey, Cranberry and Peanut salad – yum!), the December edition of The Australian Women's Weekly, out today, is a spectacular way to finish the year's run of books. It is filled to the brim with goodness! So much so, I scarcely know where to start. Sarah Murdoch, with her brilliant pink lip, is a clue.

Murdoch speaks to Juliet Rieden about modelling, mothering her three children and her multiple commitments (host of Australia's Next Top Model, manager of her own production company, brand ambassador for Bonds and Vaalia yoghurt and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, and patron of the National Breast Cancer Foundation and international ambassador and board director for The Australian Ballet).
"I am the kind of person who wants to do it all. I don't want to miss anything," she says. Still, the one-time Today show host dispels rumours she will sign up with her husband at Network Ten. "I don't have any ego about having to be a huge TV star, I really don't. Not that I'm not an ambitious person, but my priority is my family and my children, so anything I do has to fit in with that... I'm very lucky, I get asked to do a lot of things, but it has to make sense for me to take it on, and I only work for the brands I really believe in."

MasterChef winner Kate Bracks is someone who also cherishes family values and her beliefs. She appears in a wonderful spread featuring five prominent Aussie Christians called 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful' (which put a swing in my step!). "We want to show the kids that Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus' birth," says Kate, who cooks up a chocolate birthday cake for him for Christmas morning and supports TEAR Australia through gift-giving. "It's easy for them to think it's all about the presents and the food."

On her faith, Kate shares: "I believe the Bible is God's inspired word to us." On the MasterChef set, she stayed true to her convictions, too: "If there was a question that I didn't think I could answer and still be pleasing to God, then I wouldn't answer it... I didn't want people to think I was praying to win. That's not what my relationship with God is about." 

Kate's fellow Christians include model/author Carolyn Donovan, who says, "Christian simply means follower of Christ and...what an example Jesus was. He always looked out for the ones who'd fallen through the cracks, regardless of their religious beliefs. Having enough compassion to do something is really what being a Christian means to me." 

Former swimmer Elka Whalan is another one: "Christian people who have a true relationship with God are forever content. You go through trials and tests, but it strengthens your character – so bring it on! You don't worry about what people say about you because you know that there's someone who loves you unconditionally all the time."

Then there's former federal treasurer Peter Costello: "In political life, to have moral constraints is sometimes judges a weakness. The people who belong to the whatever-it-takes school would say, 'You feel a moral restraint about lying and cheating? You're not equipped for politics, my dear boy'." On making tough decisions, such as sending troops to Afghanistan: "I thought the decision was right and I thought it would lead, ultimately, to less loss of life.

And, lastly, footy player and Mormon William Hopoate: "People seem to think we believe in polygamy or we don't believe in God," he says. "I didn't ask to win the grand final, but He knows our thoughts and desires – and He definitely answered mine."

This all makes me want to burst a little bit with excitement. Thank you, Helen McCabe and team!

Elsewhere this month is an impressive cast including, Rachel Griffiths ("I feel a little bit guilty about doing Broadway because it's so satisfying for me and I'm not getting home to tuck [the children] in"), Keira Knightley ("I don't deal with attention very well"), Denise Drysdale (who is open about her heartbreaking weight obsession and boob job), 'reluctant heartthrob' Colin Firth, Julie Goodwin, Sarah Wilson, Alison Langdon and Samantha Armytage ("I can't wait to get out of the city, get away from work, spend time at Mum and Dad's house in the country and lie by the pool, read a book and reflect").

But there are some other stand-out features, such as 'This Choir Saved My Life' about the Selah Soul Sisters (I cried), Peggy Orenstein's heartfelt and honest 'Cinderella Ate My Daughter' and Bryce Corbett's 'A Year of Living Gratefully'. 'The Great Australian Christmas' written by Bryce Corbett with photography by Anson Smart is a visual treat; Jordan Baker's 'For me, Christmas is the smell of microwaved chicken' column is cute; Pat McDermott's 'Claus for Concern' column will make you chuckle; and, oh my, the craft and books and fashion and food! 

In short... buy it and share it with your mum or other female loved one. And don't forget to catch Christmas With The Australian Women's Weekly, December 14 and 11, 6:30pm on the Nine Network.

Girl With a Satchel


theaccomplishedwoman said...

That's one gorgeous dress! Love the pink lips!