Sunday, October 11, 2009

following in mum's footsteps

Lady Mary Fairfax AC OBE

When the rather splendid Bondi Beach hotel Ravesi- favored base away from home for actors like Keanu Reeves and Terrence Stamp, opened it's new cocktail bar on Thursday night, most eyes seemed to be on the Cockney accented fashion designer Wayne Cooper and his wife Sarah Marsh.

It's less than a year since Cooper was placed on a good behaviour bond in Waverley Court over an incident between he and his then estranged wife Sarah. On Thursday they couldn't have looked happier.or healthier.

Also beaming with good health was actor Steve Bisley and his current partner Amanda Imrie . Bisley will appear in front of a magistrate at the Downing Centre court in December over an alleged fracas between he and estranged wife, publicist Sally Burleigh at their former marital home in Balmain. Sally was last spotted at the Variety Club bash a week ago.

Sarah Marsh & Wayne Cooper at Ravesi's Wine Bar (C)

Ignored by most and dining quietly in a corner were another couple who are enjoying marital bliss with the birth of the third child , David and Anna Cleary.

Anna is the only daughter of Lady Mary Fairfax and heiress to the Fairfax publishing fortune. Like her mother, Anna has become a tireless charity worker and financier husband David told the Shuttle of Anna's plans to bring the all important organizations that deal with the increasing and serious problem of mental health and depression, under one banner. There are already excellent charities like the Black Dog Institute and Beyond Blue, one headed by former Victorian premier Jeff Kennet which are working away to bring public awareness of depression which is reaching alarming proportions which Anna feels will benefit from greater co-operation.
Fortunately many sporting stars who suffer are now speaking out publicly in attempts to dispel the idea of shame that was once associated with what is, a frequent illness.

Like her mother Lady Mary, Anna likes to take a low key role behind the scenes and put her university education and organizing skills to good use for the benefit of others.

David tells me Lady Mary, now 83 and sadly confined to a wheel chair, is still in good form and in chatty moods, eager to hear the latest as the Fairfax clan meet for lunch on Sundays at the family home Fairwater.

Lady Mary received the ultimate accolade recently when she was featured on the nation's stamps and it's reputed she has given over $15M to charities just in the past 5 years.

It's seems Anna has adopted her mother's motto ; “Touch every life with good.”

Sally Burleigh (right) with broadcaster Chris Smith and his wife at the Variety Club (c)