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About Christine Sykes
Christine Sykes is a community worker and senior public servant, now retired. She was born and raised in Albert Street, Cabramatta, in Sydney’s western suburbs. She attended Cabramatta Primary School, Liverpool Girls High, the University of Sydney and ANU.
Her previous book, the award-winning The Changing Room, was based on her experiences at the non-profit Dress for Success which provides practical support and help for women looking for work. Christine’s interests apart from writing include tap dancing, performing and painting.
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But when the reforms Whitlam championed give Christine the chance to go to university, her world expands. She experiences the transformative power of education, struggles to balance motherhood with being the family breadwinner, and faces her own mental health battles. She follows a path forged by Whitlam, from scholarships he fought for, to local community initiatives he generated, and even as far as China, where Whitlam crucially initiated Australia’s relationship when he visited the country in 1973.
Written with genuine heart and humour, Gough and Me is a nostalgic and deeply personal memoir of social mobility, cultural diversity, and the unprecedented opportunities that the Whitlam era gave one Australian working-class woman.
- Virginia Woolf
Anna is in her sixties with her dream job and the man to match. Claire is a fourty-six-year-old philanthropist with a picture-perfect family. And then there is Molly, who has seen more strife in her twenty years than anyone should, but has more love to give than most.
When their lives are turned upside down, these women must discover how to start over amid a world of pain. Guided by Suitability, a clothing an styling service for disadvantaged women, Anna, Claire and Molly find the courage to rebuild their lives – with a few outfit changes along the way.
Inspired by the experiences of the women behind the charity Dress for Success, The Changing Room proves that sometimes losing everything leads you towards freedom, and that hope can be found even in the unlikeliest of places.