More than four years on, and the conflict in Syria shows no signs of ending. Over 16 million Syrians need help urgently. Many are seeking shelter from the fighting and the cold in damaged buildings, while others have become refugees in neighbouring countries.

Arriving at LaGuardia Airport in New York in early 1998 my proudly tattered sweat-stained passport was disdainfully perused by a humourless immigration officer. A page documenting my visit to Syria the previous summer prompted a brief yet terse interrogation. Why had I gone to Syria? What was the purpose of my visit? I replied honestly, “….Just having a look around”. The Official looked at me as if I were deranged and challenged the unlikely response. “It’s a beautiful country, I had a lovely time.” I felt, by his blatant expression, showing equal parts of derision and surprise the decision had been made that he was faced with a harmless idiot and the matter was let to rest. I sailed through customs and onto my next adventure.

Travelling in Syria was a less perplexing notion, however, to the steady throng of 90’s Backpackers and other World Adventurers, whom like me, trailed through the Middle East from Greece, Turkey and down into Egypt and onward. To us, a Syrian sojourn seemed perfectly natural. I regularly bumped shoulders with plenty of other interlopers treading the same route, a large propensity being Australian and New Zealanders. Given that most of us had attended the Anzac Day ceremonies in Turkey, the path to Egypt felt, in many ways like a rite of passage.

Syria was an unexpected jewel in a trip that proved transformative for me. It served as a mysterious back-drop to the evolution of some significant friendships that took shape as an intimate travelling posse drew softly together. Relationships formed in which I grew, changed and became better.

I was a chrysalis, coated with the charm of grand colonial buildings, rooms with soaring ebony French Doors and crisp white sheets, elegantly serving as basic accommodation. Haunting morning calls to prayer befuddled our youthful habit of sleeping-in. Hot arid days were soothed with rich tangy lemon sorbet from roadside vendors, their fruits hanging like garlands from carts ready to whip up a fresh juice quicker than you could say Boost Juice. Creamy chickpea paste patted and plucked by nimble expert fingers from large vats, plied and fried into delicious falafel balls, blanketed in plump flat bread and tabouleh, we had our fill.

Sticky windows of baklava and endless malls of lingerie shops lined Damascus streets. Lacy satin garments sometimes glinted through the seams of black burqas as women leaned in to scoop up a fussy child or reach for market wares. Genteel hostel staff dispensed herbal remedies for upset tummies and gently guided our upcoming adventures. Musicians masqueraded as backgammon playing coffee scoffers before breaking open their circle to invite us into their erupting party. Courteous gentlemen escorted us through city parks practising English in earnest.

My heart wrenches for the Syrian people fleeing with their babies in their arms, bloodied and desperate, being refused entry at freshly barbed-wired border crossings.

The majestic golden ruins of Palmyra, accentuated by the colourful rich hues of Bedouin nomads and their decorated camels, emanated ancient stories and Persian poetry, whispering with the desert wind. Studs in denim lapped up their youth from rooftop rooms with a ceiling of stars and an oasis their carpet. Gum trees were everywhere, Aussie arbols content and flourishing, as were we in the intoxicating gracefulness that was Syria.

A Syria that is, heart –breakingly, no more.

My memories no doubt read something like an Oriental Romance but they embody the essence of my experience of Syria. I was a carefree 20 Something, blissfully ignorant and unaffected by any political situation or social fracture. Had I been less naïve, I might have paid attention to the fact that Syria was still ruled under Emergency Law, its citizens stripped of their democratic rights since 1963 when The Ba’athist Party had taken control of the country after a succession of shaky post war governance.

Perhaps I would have noticed some disharmony, taking into account that the key figures of the Ba’athist Party were of the Alawite minority and that seventy percent of the population were Sunni Muslims. Maybe the musicians in Damascus and I would have talked politics and they would have told me of the harsh censorship to their craft, but there was no such talk, instead they tried to teach me how to play a little tablah drum. I was not impeded by any political unrest and my safe and happy interactions with the Syrian people remain fond memories of a genteel folk, impeccably mannered in their sophisticated cities and hypnotic deserts.

The borders of modern day Syria had been fashioned together after the First World War and ruled under French Mandate until 1945. After Syria had joined the United Nations, a war-weakened France relented to Syrian Independence. A period of political instability followed until The Ba’athists gained a formidable foothold in a 1963 military coup. In 1970 Hafez al-Assad headed the government until his death in 2000, after which his son, current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, assumed rule winning an election in which he ran unopposed. Optimistic hopes for reform on his appointment were dashed and by 2004 there were obvious stirrings of civil unrest.

During the Arab Spring of March 2011, The Free Syrian Army, a rebel force supposedly fighting for a free secular Syria, staged an uprising against the Assad government and civil war broke out. Most commentators agree that the current situation in Syria is complex and hard to decipher. The Free Syrian Army, reputedly backed by the Obama government has since collapsed and ISIS has filled the void in the conflict with a more brutal agenda. The United States have begun air strikes with Australian support over the country in a bid to subdue ISIS, which now control key strongholds throughout the country.

ISIS cannot be disassociated with the events of 2003, when The United States and their allies, including Australia, invaded Iraq under the dupe of Weapons of Mass Destruction and deposed Saddam Hussein; what followed is a well-known if confusing tale of hollow victory, chaos and decimation culminating in a frightening brand of terrorism. A teetering imbalance between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims and a rage against global invasion led to a combustion of conflict and its embers lit up the dry tense tinderbox of The Middle East. Syria has not been spared.

In 2001 I met an Iraqi journalist called Hani who had fled the Hussein regime. He was working as a trolley collector for Woolworths. In 2007 he travelled to Syria to visit family who had sought refuge there, like so many other Iraqis fleeing the war. I haven’t seen him since and I fear for his family and for him, in case he decided to stay. The images of Syrian cities razed and ancient ruins bombed and looted sadden me beyond words but it is the faces of the people carrying their children desperate for a safe place to go that I can’t erase from my mind.
My heart wrenches for the Syrian people fleeing with their babies in their arms, bloodied and desperate, being refused entry at freshly barbed-wired border crossings. Hungary has shut its borders and The Croatian Serbian border has also closed. Europe’s generosity has run out. Neighbouring countries, such as Lebanon are filled to the brim.

Saudi Arabia along with the United States and Russia seem agreeable to supplying weapons which sustain the devastation, yet are far less willing to give safe haven to the throngs of common people whose viability for peace has been wrested from them. These people have nowhere to go and I can’t reconcile to the concept that it has nothing to do with me. I’m a mother, a parent, a human being.

The image of the little boy who washed up drowned on the Turkish beach was a picture I never wanted to see, the familiar curve of his darling innocent little head dredged up the love I feel for my 18 month old when I watch him sleep. The anguish embedded in empathy I felt for his parents was confronting.

A refugee is someone fleeing life-threatening circumstances and yet so often they are treated with suspicion and fear. Rejected and turned away, the choices become more desperate, the risks become perils. The suffering closes in and hope becomes vague and they begin to change. The old give up and turn inward and the young get angry. Rejection, fear and greedy opposition is not what the decent people of Syria deserve. At this moment they deserve compassion, respite, healing and an understanding of the political undertakings which have brought innocent people to this desperate point. And they need somewhere to go.    

To donate:

The Red Cross

On average, Red Cross Red Crescent is helping a staggering 3.5 million people in Syria every month in practical, life-saving ways:

  • providing food parcels and baking bread
  • supplying hygiene kits with toothpaste, toilet paper, soap and other essentials
  • providing blankets to keep out the cold
  • providing clean water and restoring sanitation systems
  • providing first aid and medical care, including vaccinations for children

To donate to the Australian Red Cross Syria Crisis Appeal go to  


You can support UNICEF’s work for Syria’s children:

    1. Donate directly at
    2. Buy a UNICEF Inspired Gift at The gifts most needed are those that prevent the spread of disease. Choose from categories like ‘disease prevention’ or ‘clean water and sanitation’.  
    3. Challenge themselves and bring people together to raise money. We’ve had extraordinary physical challenges, trekking and even simple bake sales and workplace morning teas to raise money for children. Visit to learn more. For example, one team is doing a clean out of their wardrobes and organising a wardrobe sale to support UNICEF’s work for children in Syria and the surrounding countries taking refugees.


To support Oxfam’s humanitarian response the public can donate to Oxfam Australia’s Syria Crisis Appeal by calling 1800 034 034 or visiting

Oxfam program information

Oxfam has reached more than 250,000 vulnerable people in Lebanon. Their response has included:

  • Providing 3,200 hygiene kits (accompanied by hygiene promotion and awareness sessions), toilet cleaning kits, and 840 environmental cleaning kits, and distributing household, communal and municipal waste bins.
  • Building and repairing over 1,100 toilets, ensuring that each is shared by no more than 20 people.
  • Installing over 720 water tanks in communal areas.
  • Delivering 10 million litres of water through water trucking, providing refugees with clean water for drinking, cooking and washing.
  • Constructing or repairing 70 shared bathing facilities, and providing families with jerry cans and water storage containers.

Kristin Neff PhD, Associate Professor at the University of Texas and global expert on the academic study of Self Compassion, discusses the antidote to harsh self-talk and how a swathe of worldwide study is proving the benefits of befriending yourself.

Do you have a nickname for yourself? Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way writes about her inner critic she calls Nigel, “He looks down on the rest of me. Nothing is ever good enough for Nigel.” As a child I heard my mum call herself, Stupid, hyphenated with Idiot. She called me Darling, like I do with my kids.

Dr Kristin Neff, Associate Professor of Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas thinks I should start calling myself Darling instead of Stupid-Idiot; as a breadth of research indicates I could have better physical health, happier relationships, more motivation, less anxiety and depression and a stronger resilience for coping with stress and trauma.

But where would we be without Nigel?!” asks the stiff upper lip of our collective Western psyche. “People have false beliefs about Self Compassion. They think it’s going to make them weak, undermine motivation, make them complacent or self-indulgent but once you have the research it shows, well actually, it’s just the opposite. It helps people say, ‘Well, maybe I’ll give it go,’’’ says Neff, an academic pioneer of the subject who, in 2003, developed a ground-breaking research tool called The Self Compassion Scale.

Designed to evaluate trait levels of Self Compassion within an individual’s thoughts, behaviours and emotions, the scale has since been used in over 2000 studies with the concept continuing to gain mainstream interest.

What is Self Compassion?

“It’s a very simple idea,” says Neff, “It’s a common sense idea, it’s not actually radical. You just ask people to think about how they treat their friends’ struggles or a loved one and the type of things they say to help them in difficult times.”

Our self-dialogue is commonly very severe, full of admonishment and criticism which questions self-worth and often leads to feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression.

Neff has found, being harsh and critical doesn’t motivate but rather undermines motivation. She says, “It just makes sense that you’d want to encourage and support yourself and let the voice inside your head be a friendly and supportive one as opposed to a hostile aggressive one. Once people get that, they make the switch for themselves.”

Neff made the switch during her last year of Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley. She was completing her PhD in the examination of children’s moral reasoning when she became interested in Buddhism.

It was a difficult time, as she was suffering the break-down of her first marriage and had begun questioning her prospects and self-worth.

Through Buddhism, she found relief and noticed that Self Compassion, a central construct of Buddhist Psychology, had never been examined empirically and thus began her passionate devotion both personally and professionally to the practice and study of Self Compassion.

Neff explains that you don’t have to be a Buddhist or spend hours meditating to practice Self Compassion to gain the benefits but there are three components that all need to be practised in order for the concept of Self Compassion to be complete.

The Three Components of Self Compassion

MINDFULNESS Firstly, you must be willing to acknowledge that you are going through difficulty.  Often, during hard times, people are caught up in the narrative and don’t identify their own suffering.

“We can get so lost in the struggle, the storyline, that we have no perspective, we’re trying to fix it, trying to problem solve, we’re sometimes trying to shove it under the rug, we don’t even look because it’s too hard. And, it actually doesn’t make sense to be supportive of ourselves if we don’t know we’re struggling,” explains Neff. So, the first step in practising Self Compassion is voicing what is going wrong and how that feels so we notice our own suffering.

SELF KINDNESS means responding to yourself during imperfect times with a kind, internal voice such as, ‘I know you’re feeling scared and overwhelmed right now and this is a difficult time but I’m here for you.’

Placing a hand over the part of your body that is feeling stressed, stroking your arm or giving yourself an endearing name can soothe the emotions experienced, not with the intention of overcoming them immediately, but rather responding with love and support so the problem becomes less overwhelming and easier to bear.

COMMON HUMANITY “Is what distinguishes the practice between Self Compassion and Self Pity.” By acknowledging everyone has flaws and bad experiences, it allows not only an extension of compassion to oneself but also others, leading to less feelings of isolation.

“The problem, overall, is most people know logically we are all imperfect, but emotionally, when a person makes a mistake or something difficult happens, they react as if something has gone wrong. As if this is not supposed to be happening, if it’s not perfect then something is terribly amiss, which isn’t true,” says Neff, who believes that within our inherent connectedness, “That all people struggle, all people make mistakes, everyone is imperfect,” we are able to accept and cope better with our own failings and be less critical of others.

The Best Way to Foster Self Compassion in Children

MODELLING “Is the best way to foster compassion in your children. Model it out loud. A lot of parents are really careful of what they say to their kids but what they’re modelling is, ‘What??!! I’m so stupid, I lost my car keys.’ Children pick up those messages and think, oh that’s the way you’re supposed to be,” says Neff.

MIRROR NEURONS The Mirror Neuron System is somewhat debated in the field of Neuroscience. Mirror Neurons, special brain cells, which are activated both through action and observance are said by some neuroscientists to represent, among other things, the capacity for human empathy. Others have challenged the strength of this claim. However, Neff says, “We’re designed to feel each other’s messages. A huge proportion of the brain’s real estate is evolved for feeling others’ emotions.”

Neff believes humans do this at a primeval level and thinks what happens internally is just as critical as outward behaviour, in terms of what children are capable of picking up on. “We aren’t silos,” she says, “What we cultivate inside impacts others outside.”

“Children pick up those messages and think, oh that’s the way you’re supposed to be,” says Neff.

SELFISH COMPASSION, Neff believes, is of benefit to our children She explains, a lot of parents think, “‘Oh it’s selfish, I shouldn’t be focussing on myself,’ But what I tell them is, ‘Who do you want your children to interact with, someone who’s full of compassion, kindness and calm, so they get that through their mirror neurons? Or do you want them to interact with someone who’s frustrated and angry?

“My son’s autistic and I talk a lot about him and what a huge difference we’ve made. If he was in a space where he was really anxious and I felt really frustrated and anxious myself, I wouldn’t even say anything but he would ramp up, he would feel my tension. If then, I could just say (and I don’t say it out loud in this case, just to myself), ‘You know, this is really hard for me, I’m feeling really overwhelmed and I just don’t know what to do.’

“I then try to be kind supportive and say (to myself), ‘It’s Okay. I’m here for you.’ As soon as I’d changed my internal mind-state he would almost always calm down. So, those messages were received. That’s why I think Self Compassion is one of the biggest gifts we can give children. But we have to be willing to say that it’s hard to be a parent, it is hard, not always, it’s also joyous, but sometimes it’s really hard.”

“So, it’s at those worst of times,” says Neff, “That if we can acknowledge the pain and just give ourselves kindness and support, then the pain won’t overwhelm us. It’ll be more temperate, it won’t last as long, and then we actually learn to cultivate calm, kindness and connectedness in the midst of the worst of times and it helps everyone, yourself and your kids. ”

“Self Compassion is common sense, you know, but for some reason our culture doesn’t encourage it.”

Self Compassion vs Self Esteem

Western Culture has become reliant on Self Esteem gauging self-worth. Boosting a child’s Self Esteem requires the child be special or above average, placing others below them. The hierarchal demands of high Self Esteem create a risky, cut-throat validation system which fluctuates at the mercy of achievement. Self Compassion, on the other hand, shows up amid failure and encompasses compassion for others, who also fail, which provides a more constant guard of self-worth, leading to better outcomes for overall wellbeing.

High Self Esteem can also lead to an overestimation of one’s abilities and reduce the motivation to improve. A 2012 study conducted at University of California, Berkeley, involved students sitting a difficult test they were designed to fail. Two groups were formed, the first being told not to feel alone as others had also found the test hard and they’d do better next time. The second group was told not to worry because they’d got into Berkeley and so, must be really smart. Students were then provided notes with unlimited time to study before taking a second test. Students from the first group, who were encouraged to be Self Compassionate, spent more time studying than the group who had been boosted and were more realistic about what was required to improve.

“You don’t want to hate yourself, you want good Self Esteem, but we can’t always get it right, we can’t always be the better than others. Be a compassionate mess instead,” says Neff. 

RESOURCES Kristin Neff shares many free resources on her website and has developed an 8-week program to teach Self Compassion skills with colleague Chris Germer. She has also published a book, Self-Compassion.

Darling of the Musicals, Sweetheart of the Screen, hardworking mum and all round Good Witch, Lucy Durack, shows the value in seeking the support of family, friends and the odd stranger on social media.

When Lucy Durack got her childhood dog, her outnumbered dad, on learning it was a girl had one demand a tough name. Born and raised in an unashamedly girly girl house in Perth with her two sisters and a bitch named Bandit, this Fairy Princess was, as every good tale goes, destined for the stage.

With a wicked talent and spellbinding mix of resilience and charm, Lucy chats to Offspring from her home in Melbourne about family and her magically crafted career on both stage and screen.

“Polly wants to be The Fairy Queen of the Theater when she grows up,” Lucy laughs of her daughter. Clearly keen to follow in Mum’s footsteps, Polly must have been taking note of Lucy’s Glinda during last year’s GFO’s production of The Wizard of Oz, her four year old being no stranger to The Good Witch.

Polly, imbued in show business from the womb, (she was in utero during her mother’s reprisal of a fleshed out Glinda, in the smash hit musical, Wicked) will likely be understudying in the wings in January when Lucy treads the boards as Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical.

Although Lucy held similar childhood dreams, hankering for the lead in school musicals, she’s mindful not to narrow down her daughter’s choices and says,

“Polly is very keen on singing and dancing, and she’s got a smart little brain, so I want her to see what other things are out there.”

Lucy, a Helpmann Award winning actress, (she won the coveted theater prize playing Elle Woods in the Australian season of Legally Blonde) has broadened her own horizons.

Not confining her talents to the stage, she has a growing number of screen credits, including cop, Tugger, on popular Nine Network series Doctor Doctor, and wayward, Roxy, in Network Ten drama Sisters.

She’ll soon return to Sydney to resume filming, as a judge on Seven’s revival of family hit, Australia’s Got Talent (AGT). Mercifully, without hyperemesis gravidarum, the debilitating morning sickness that plagued her in early production.

She’s expecting her second child, a baby boy in October and describes her recovery as a “Miracle,” after suffering from the condition throughout her entire pregnancy with Polly which she says, “Was really hard,” a believable sentiment when considering the first five months were spent on stage.

Relieved the symptoms subsided much earlier this pregnancy and grateful for the solace she sought in a Facebook group of fellow sufferers she says, “It was a really useful group to just connect with complete strangers that were also going through this really terrible time.”

“Just having people who are going through exactly the same thing is really useful. I found having a Mothers’ Group really helped. I remember once we finished our four weeks, or whatever you do with the nurse, she was like, “Right it’s now up to you girls to meet on your own”, so I started up a WhatsApp Group, but I started it in the middle of the night when I was up feeding Polly.”

“Polly was born in June, so it was winter, and it was dark and cold, that isolating time when you feel like, you’re the only one in the world awake feeding your baby,” Lucy laughs. “And so, I thought I’ll just add the mums and when they wake up in the morning, they can join, but at around 2am I kept getting this ‘ding ding’.

All the mums were up feeding their babies, it was so heartening and it still gives me warm fuzzy feelings to think about, because it was just this moment where I thought,

‘Oh my God, I’m not alone, and we’re all just trying to figure this out in the middle of the night.’”

When Polly was six weeks old, Lucy auditioned for the role of Sophie in Alison Bell and Sarah Scheller creation, The Let Down, screened on ABC & Netflix. Now in its second series and steadily gaining cult status, the wry triumph peels back child rearing to its bare bones.

Lucy, in a fluster before the audition when the babysitter called in sick, had no choice but to take her newborn with her. Luckily, the role of Sophie called for a shiny new mum, who almost has it together when encountering an eclectic mix of characters at Mothers’ Group.

Polly, not only welcome at the audition, scored her first screen credit starring as Sophie’s baby in the pilot episode. Lucy’s agent called saying, “Well, if ever there was an audition where it’s appropriate to bring your baby, this was it.”

Childcare, a tricky balance to strike for most working parents is no different for Lucy and her theater director/choreographer husband, Chris Horsey, who face their own specific challenges piecing together the irregular shapes of their showbiz schedules.

Sitting down, at least monthly, with their calendars they nut out the gaps, Lucy says, “As long as we’ve kind of organised the next month or two, and I know in my heart that Polly’s looked after in the best possible way, then I can keep going.”

Lucy says it couldn’t work without Chris and his hands-on approach to fatherhood, “Chris is absolutely brilliant, such an excellent husband and dad. We don’t live the traditional roles of how we grew up, where our mothers were the main carer. Chris and I split it pretty evenly.” At times, that means either one stepping up to care for Polly while the other works.

When schedules collide, they arrange day care, a nanny or call on family. Once, when Chris was choreographing in Paris while Lucy filmed Sisters, they got a live-in au pair. Lucy’s mum is booked in for August. “Mum’s super helpful. She flies in and saves the day multiple times a year. She’s brilliant.” Lucy says.

With the long-term future often difficult to predict, Lucy relies on her and Chris talking things through, “Chris and I try to keep really open about communicating how we’re feeling because we’ve both had stints as the main carer.”

“It’s great because we both know how isolating that can be and so we can be a little more open about that. It’s constant negotiation, a jigsaw puzzle that we’re trying to sort out.”

Connecting industry parents who share tips and contacts for juggling parenthood and career through Facebook Group Actor/Singer/Dancer/Mother also helps Lucy piece the puzzle together.

“It has been an invaluable source, very, very useful. It’s a really great support network and for those really specific questions that come with being a mum, that are coupled with the uncertainty of performing life.

“That Facebook Group, on a weekly basis, gives me such help and support, and just makes me feel happy that we’re all there looking after each other.

“Oh, The worst thing that is going to happen is, I’m not going to do a very good job, but I’m not going to die”

Being open to support and asking for help has perhaps enhanced the bold and brave life of Lucy Durack. Suffering stage fright while studying Musical Theatre at WAAPA (Western Australian Academy for Performing Arts), she sought guidance from teachers and read books on the fight or flight response.

On realising her worst fears would not result in being eaten by a wildebeest, she overcame the anxiety. Laughing, she remembers, “Once I discovered ‘Oh, the worst thing that is going to happen is, I’m not going to do a very good job, but I’m not going to die.’ That really helped me.”

Accepting the possibility that, not doing a very good job, needn’t equal disaster has undoubtedly allowed Lucy’s talents to flourish and fostered her connections with others through the admirable mix of humility and optimism. 

Discussing the bravery of vulnerability, Lucy says, “Even to just reach out and say, ‘I feel like I’m failing,’ and everyone says, ‘Yep, we all do. Don’t worry,’ can help to know you’re not the only one.

I don’t think anyone escapes that feeling, at some point. I love Brene Brown, and I read a quote from her the other day where she says, ‘If we all operate from the perspective that we’re all trying our hardest, then everyone’s life’s better.’

“You know, it’s true. Everyone is trying their hardest, it’s just sometimes things are hard.

“Even to just reach out and say, ‘I feel like I’m failing,’ and everyone says,‘Yep, we all do. Don’t worry,’ can help to know you’re not the only one.”

Moments of vulnerability abound in the current season of AGT. Judging for the first time, Lucy has found the experience more emotionally fulfilling than expected and explains, “You’re watching people bare their souls and try things they, maybe, don’t do in their normal lives. It’s their big chance in the spotlight. It can be emotionally draining because you want to give them all your attention, but it’s also emotionally fulfilling and beautiful to watch.”

“Every single filming day, probably because I’m pregnant as well, I cried at least once at something beautiful that happened on stage. Some of the acts are heart wrenching, some hilarious and others are just ridiculous. So you have this roller coaster of emotions throughout your filming day. I’m really enjoying it and I’ve learnt a lot.”

Lucy’s next big act will be welcoming her son and brother for Polly in October.

She says, “Polly is super girly. Everything has to be pink and purple, rainbow and sparkles. I think having a boy will be really good for our household, to balance us all out. It will be interesting to see what personality this little guy will have and who he’ll take after.”

The little guy will be around four weeks old when Lucy starts rehearsals for Shrek the Musical, opening at Sydney Lyric Theatre in January 2020.

She says, “Knowing that Shrek is coming up, and we as a family will be in Sydney for a few months with a newborn baby, we’ve got some beautiful nanny contacts from when we lived there, so I’ve put them in place. I’m pretty excited because I love Shrek.”

“Now my life is so much about my family, a whole new part of my career that is really family-friendly, that I can bring my family to, has all of sudden become such a high priority. Knowing that can happen with Shrek, I’m looking forward to it. It’s a really funny, well-written show.”

Another well-written show, however, comes first. Lucy needs to prepare for Bonnie Lythgoe’s panto spectacular, Jack and the Beanstalk, and this Fairy Princess doesn’t fit into any of her clothes.

She’s off to buy maternity leggings from Westfield, she’ll probably drive. But perhaps, with a click of the heel or a wave of a wand, she might just fly in a pair of glittering wings, making every day fairy tales (like only Lucy Durack can) come true.