Take 10: Judy Bailey

Take 10: Judy Bailey

You’re given the opportunity to talk to a 20-year-old ‘you’ and give yourself some advice for your future … what do you say?
JUDY: I would make sure I told ‘me’ to remember to believe in yourself! Don‘t listen to those little negative voices in your mind that tell you you can’t do things. Anything is possible. Embrace life and all it has to offer.

Judy Bailey

Julia Bloore chats with the Mother of the Nation …

1) You came to fame in New Zealand through your role as a TV news presenter. What was it that you loved about that job?

JUDY: I loved being on the spot when there were stories unfolding. I loved the buzz of the newsroom and I loved being able to bring those stories to people’s living rooms. It was a privilege to be a part of that. 

2) You’re given the opportunity to talk to a 20-year-old ‘you’ and give yourself some advice for your future … what do you say?

JUDY: I would make sure I told ‘me’ to remember to believe in yourself! Don‘t listen to those little negative voices in your mind that tell you you can’t do things. Anything is possible. Embrace life and all it has to offer.

3) Tell us about the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for you.

JUDY: My husband Chris organised a surprise birthday party for me one year. It was a biggie! He had contacted mates from all over the country and arranged for them to come to Auckland. I had no idea it was happening – I was completely surprised. I wondered why he seemed so stressed! He’d put so much effort into it … it was very special.

4) You’re Prime Minister for a day (or two!) … what do you do? 

JUDY: I’d run amok in the corridors of power! Seriously, I would reverse our social spend and concentrate on the early years of life. I hope that one day every child in this country will be able to grow up in a safe, happy, loving home so that they can reach their full potential. To achieve that, we need to focus on the early years of a child’s life, and support young families through that time. There is, the economists say, a much better return on your investment if you plough your resources into the initial years.

5) Where is the most amazing place you’ve travelled to, and why was it so incredible?

JUDY: It’s really hard to answer that question because everywhere is so different. I immediately think of two places. Firstly, India. Chris and I went there to do some work for World Vision. It was a total assault on the senses. We loved the energy of the place, the people, the colour and the chaos.
And then there’s Africa. We spent three weeks this year in Namibia , Zimbabwe and Botswana. Again the people were outstanding – warm, welcoming and great company. And then there was going on safari. To be able to see animals like lions, elephants, leopards and hippos in the wild was truly awesome. To sleep under canvas and hear the lions roaring in the darkness … spine tingling! 

6) Where do you feel most ‘Judy’?

JUDY: Home is my favourite place in the world. Wherever my family is, that’s where I’m happiest. Apart from that I guess I’m really an outdoor person. I love the beach and the bush. I love being close to nature. It’s good for the soul. I definitely try to do something outdoors every day. 

7) Favourite Christmas tradition? 

JUDY: My favourite Christmas tradition would have to be decorating the Christmas tree with the family. We have been collecting decorations for the tree ever since our kids were little. Each year they would choose a special decoration or they would make one. Now the grandchildren choose something each year! Needless to say the tree is laden and a bit haphazard, but we love it that way. The best part is that each decoration brings back a special memory.

8) Tell us about how you spend your spare time. Do you have many hobbies? 

JUDY: I love reading, watching movies and listening to music. But I also enjoy kayaking, skiing, boating and exploring the countryside. I love travelling and enjoy spending time in the garden. Photography is a bit of a hobby also! So a really eclectic mix of things.

9) What sort of things do you put into a house to make it a home?

JUDY: Like I said before, home is my favourite place. There are a few things in the house that make it a home – things that I just can’t do without … family photos, fresh flowers and books!

10) As a mother and grandmother what are you most excited about in terms of the future? Do you have any concerns? 

JUDY: I’m excited about watching my children and grandchildren grow and flourish. The thought of being around to see them reach their potential and achieve their dreams excites me.
What am I most concerned about? Well, I suppose we all have concerns about the future … we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. But I do try not to dwell on those things – I would much rather think positively!

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Issue 4 2013 Take 10 Issue 4 2013 Take 10 (605 KB)