Managing director Maria Farmer on saying 'no' with empathy
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Maria Farmer is managing director of Maria Farmer Public Relations [MFPR] and one of Australia’s leading PR consultants. The company, which is characterised by the energy, authority and experience of its principal, represents many of Australia’s foremost actors, directors and media personalities. MFPR specialises in personal representation, film, television and radio PR, music industry, lifestyle, publishing and fashion PR and event management.
Growing up, what kind of career did you want to pursue?
Something that involved clever people and moving around the world.
Who is most surprised by your achievements?
My three sisters and my maternal grandmother [if she was still alive]. Same grandmother wore a black fur coat to my wedding in protest [I was 18 at the time].
Who inspires you?
Every woman that leaves an abusive relationship
Who do you regard as your mentor?
Sister Mary Eleanor, Principal of my catholic primary school and director of our many school productions including the Sound of Music [see below]. She gave me elocution lessons free of charge [7 kids in the family so that sort of expense was not a priority] as she saw potential.
What qualities do you most admire in a female colleague?
Articulate intelligence and good taste in shoes
If you could change another woman's life, who would it be and why?
My mum as she was fearful and sad for most of her life
You are a role model for women, how do you think you can assist in their success?
Demonstrate what is possible and encourage them to have no fear
What is the best path to success in your field of endeavor?
Saying NO with empathy
What makes you happy?
Starting a new Don Winslow crime novel
What brings you sadness?
When the Sydney Swans lose
What personal attributes have you used to overcome adversity in your life?
What are your career goals from here?
To say NO a lot more
What are your life goals from here?
What book/film/artist/soundtrack changed your life?
The Sound of Music, big, wonderful and colorful. I starred as Liesl in my primary school stage production in front of an audience of more than 500
What's your motto?
Do your thing and do it well