The Northern Territory news Sat 16 Apr 2022
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
Saturday April 16 2022 WEEKEND 29 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA thought and I dont mean this to sound pathetic but I honestly thought love wasnt going to happen for me. Haydon and her close girlfriends joked theyd all grow old together like the Golden Girls, and buy a block of land up on the Central Coast to retire to, building separate bungalows and meeting for happy hour drinks. Id gotten to the point in my life where I was really happy with my career, she says. I was happy being single and I remember people would always say, Oh it will happen when you least expect it, and I used to find it patronising. Id think, Yeah, okay. And Im not here to say its a fairy tale but, genuinely, when we met, I certainly didnt have expectations that it was going to be a relationship. I thought I was going to have a beer with a really interesting person who I liked as a politician. If wed had a beer that night and gone our separate ways, it would have been a wonderful thing. I wasnt star struck. In my job Id come across politicians all the time, because when you work for unions at different industry events and things like that they often were keynote speakers. It began as just a drink but we got on really well, Albanese says. We met up again a few weeks later, having a night out at various locations around Marrickville. There was a connection. Then Albanese invited her to join him at the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland, where he was to give an oration in honour of the late Labor legend, Bob Hawke. In hindsight, Woodford should have shown Haydon that life as the partner of the Leader of the Opposition wasnt very normal at all. It was a large crowd, and he had police protection, something she found surreal. He was hanging out with people including Hawkes wife Blanche dAlpuget, and former prime minister Kevin Rudd. But Haydon was more focused on the fact she was about to spend four days in a shipping container with a bloke she barely knew. It was very early on, remarkably early on, Albanese says. Wed met like two months before, but wed only been on a couple of actual dates. Wed probably been in the same room five or six times. I was into music, Jodie was into music, and I said, Im going to Woodford, do you want to come? It was really early on to sort of dive in like that. We barely knew each other. It was the first time we had been away together, and, romantically, we stayed in a shipping container, which is what you do at Woodford. I was grateful for the plumbing, Haydon says. I was grateful for a towel and some sheets. I think he was road-testing whether I could rough it, was this girl a princess? I think I passed the test. Haydon says she enjoyed seeing the playful side of Albanese and how much music meant to him. She had loved music since she was a little girl her father had an enormous collection of vinyl and her job in the music department at Grace Bros had helped cement that passion. At 20, she started work part-time with the Transport Workers Union superannuation fund, known as TWU Super. I very quickly learned the power of superannuation, its connection to the workforce. And there was my career for the next 20 years. Over the years, Haydon worked in retail funds including for BT (formerly known as Bankers Trust), the global company Mercer, and industry funds including AustralianSuper, GuildSuper and HESTA. She lived in Melbourne for six years until 2006 (long enough to adopt Richmond as her AFL team) and went overseas for a year on an adult gap year at the age of 36. She returned to Australia to work for First State Super, now known as Aware Super. In February, she decided to try a new career, and became the womens officer for the NSW Public Service Association, which she had got to know through her role as a union delegate for them at Aware Super. Within two weeks, she was drawn into the political fray, with comments she made on a union podcast seized on by one online publication as a political attack on the Morrison Government. Haydon had noted that the Respect@Work report by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins contained 55 recommendations but that some of the government responses were missing in action, we havent seen these implemented more broadly. It wasnt the first comment she had made that became a story. In February 2021, Haydon was in Adelaide with Albanese. Asked how they had met, Haydon joked it was on hook-up site Tinder. Within days, the comment reached the newspapers. Lesson learned, Haydon says ruefully, when asked how she had managed to start the story. Thats my sense of humour. That was an off-the-cuff remark at (Labor frontbencher) Mark Butlers wedding. It was a few people who asked, How did you and Albo meet? As a joke I said, Oh you know, on Tinder thinking everyone would get the sarcasm, because as if he could be on Tinder. Ive got to say when I saw it in the paper I was like, What? People took that literally? No they didnt, Albanese notes. Haydon says there is only so much preparation a person can do to ready themselves for such scrutiny and interest. Im respectful of Anthonys position, she says. I will always be my authentic self. I think thats really important but, like any relationship, I do have to be mindful of the impact I might have on Anthony. Haydon says she had asked herself if she was ready for the level of scrutiny her relationship had brought. Sure, if youre human, you do question, this is all really overwhelming. Theres anxiety, all sorts of things, a rollercoaster of emotions that come with it. But I reflected on my life without Anthony in it and I reflected on my life with Anthony in it and it comes back to the fact that I am happier with him. I always thought he was so approachable and authentic, so there was part of me that really hoped that was who he would be when I went to meet him. And he was. He was all of that. I am in this relationship because I love Anthony. I have found someone I respect and get along with and admire and who is good company Jodie Haydon at the footy with her parents Pauline and Bill Haydon.