Yesterday was an historic moment. Although it was Barack Obama's second win, the sense of achievement following all that the US had experienced in the past four years was palpable.
I immediately was reminded of where I was when he won in 2008. We were about six months into the GFC in Australia. I had been editing a luxury lifestyle website and magazine, backed by a group of private investors. There were about eight of us in the office that day and we were glued to the oversized plasma screen that hung above the boardroom table at one end of our open plan office.
As each of the states turned blue or red, and then more blue than red, tears were shed in our office. We cheered and drank champagne. It was tough to get any work done in our office although there was one sales executive trying desperately to quieten us as she took an advertising booking over the phone. It's a day I'll never forget.
I will also recall forever the day that Princess Diana died. It was the weekend that I returned home from hospital following the birth of my youngest son 15 years ago. My parents were at my home and we went into shock as we followed the television news closely. What was initially reported as a car crash soon became a number of fatalities. The death of Dodi was shocking enough but we were consumed with the kind of grief normally reserved for family and close friends when we learned that Diana had died.
I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday but the detail of the day Diana died is still so vivid. Extreme circumstances, positive and negative, have extraordinary impact.
A stark memory from my teenage years, still, is the death of John Lennon. I was in year nine and at school on December 9, 1980 (it was late in the evening on December 8 in New York when Lennon was shot) when we heard. A group of boys in my year were big fans of The Beatles. At least one of them started sobbing. The next day we wore black armbands to school and sang along to Beatles songs at lunchtime. It was a surreal moment in my life.
Yesterday was another momentous occasion as Obama was re-elected for a second term. It was the first big event that my sons took interest in. My oldest was enthusiastic about the win and had been following the day's results closely, as had I. We chatted about it over dinner. It was a wonderful moment from a mother-son bonding perspective too. And one that I doubt I will forget any time soon.
I didn't shed a tear this time. The focus was on retaining rather than winning for the first time so it was relief that I felt when the result was called. I live-streamed ABC24 on my laptop at work and followed the Crikey live blog as it was updated every 15 minutes on a second window. Every now and then Women's Agenda editor Angela Priestley would shout out a result and an office discussion would ensue.
It was a good news day and one we won't forget.
Is there an event that you will never forget?
Marina Go is Chair of the Wests Tigers NRL Club, a non-executive director of Autosports Group and author of the business book for women, Break Through: 20 Success Strategies for Female Leaders. She was previously GM of Hearst Australia at Bauer Media. Boss magazine named her as one of 20 True Leaders of 2016. Marina has over 25 years of leadership experience in the media industry, having started her career as a journalist. She was appointed Editor of Dolly magazine at the age of 23, before spending the next decade editing a number of leading women's magazines. She has held senior leadership roles at Fairfax, Pacific, Emap, Bauer and Private Media, where she was CEO and founder of the career website Women’s Agenda.
She is a director of digital startup Daily Siren, and also a member of the Advisory Boards of the Walkley Foundation, The Australian Republican Movement and Women’s Agenda. She is a former director of Netball Australia, Odyssey House, Sydney Symphony Vanguard and The Apparel Group. She lectures on digital media at the University of Technology, Sydney, is a Mentor with the Women In Media and NRL Women programs and a UNSW Alumni Leader and Ambassador. She has an MBA from The Australian Graduate School of Management, a BA (Mass Communications) from Macquarie University and is a member of the AICD. She is a mother of two young men and passionate about diversity and equality.
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