AFR: How nuns helped Kerry Chikarovski’s political career

AFR Interview – How nuns helped Kerry Chikarovski’s political career

My father worked for the United Nations and I went to the UN school in New York. We had kids from all over the world, and in that atmosphere the tensions of the UN were reflected in the school.

So when Russia invaded Czechoslovakia [in 1968] the Russian kids were pulled out of school, when the Arab-Israeli war happened [in 1967] the Arab kids and the Jewish kids didn’t speak to each other.

But in spite of that there were no racial tensions or religious tensions. And I became a lot more politically aware than other kids would have been.

There were kids were who Indian or Pakistani or South African or American or English: everyone was just friends. It meant that I had a very cosmopolitan view of the world.

I came back in 1969 in year eight to an all girl Catholic school in Sydney which was very different to what I had in the US. I don’t think there was even a female member of the lower house of federal parliament then, and I promptly announced to the nuns who taught me at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College that I was going to be prime minister one day.

hose women encouraged that ambition. They never said to me don’t be ridiculous, they never said that’s not what a good Catholic girl does, they actually said: if that’s what you want, go for it.

One of the nuns later handed out how to vote cards for me. She tells everybody that I told her at 13 I was going to be prime minister. And she was determined to help me advance my political career and become NSW premier.

This interview first appeared via the Australian Financial Review. Read the full article here