At home with Kerry Chikarovski via SMH

Kerry Chikarovski opens the door to her home, a high-rise apartment in The Rocks to show a pram and stroller parked in the hallway. Ceiling-to-floor windows provide a gun-barrel view of the Gore Hill Freeway. The Harbour Bridge carves the vista into two: Opera House and skyscrapers to the right, harbour and suburbia undulating to the left. All is framed by the bright primary colours of a walker, a Thomas the Tank Engine scooter and a Dora the Explorer motorised car parked on a rubber play mat over polished parquetry floors.

The object of Chikarovski’s devotion sits in a frame on a nearby bureau: a toothy, blue-eyed and blond-haired tot, son of Chikarovski’s daughter Lisa, but the spitting image, so she thinks, of son Mark. ”I thought about putting this all away,” she motions to the toys, ”but this is my life now.” The spare room is fitted with a cot and change table. She is conspiring to take her grandson overseas skiing next year. ”His mum can come, I guess,” she says, chortling with that big throaty trademark laugh of hers.

A few mementoes of her days at Macquarie Street adorn the walls of her home. There’s the waxed, sealed appointment to the NSW cabinet and a picture of Chikarovski seated on the green benches of the lower house, her cream suit the only relief from the black and grey suits of her colleagues.

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