Elspeth Thixton is the personification of FABULOUS. She is inspirational, gorgeous, fun, stylish, super intelligent and is full of pearls of wisdom. We had such a good day photographing Elspeth; lots of laughs and ah ha moments. Elspeth has a way of saying it how it is and she does not miss a beat! A real joy to be around. Everyone needs an Elspeth in their lives.
We wanted to know more about Elspeth; her attitude towards life, tertiary study, career change during the 1970’s and all while raising four children. A true pioneer of equality for women, read on to see what Elspeth had to say.
What is your secret to looking so good and having such a great attitude?
I can always reflect on the wonderful influence my mother had in the lengthy process of developing self. A great woman- born long before her time- a difficult but gracious model to follow, mind body and soul.
Looking good of course comes from feeling good and striving for a positive attitude to life. As with most people I’ve had my times 'in the pit'. But always managed to be cushioned out by loving family and friends.
I believe it’s of prime importance to make loving connections in our life -we are all becoming...
Do you have a motto to live by?
a life philosophy really. Again from Mother. Having not read Freud, she taught me that life is 'to love and to work'. I believe all emanates from this.
And so important to consider that we were 'put here to love and be loved'.
You divide your time between Australia and France. What do you miss about France when you are in Australia? And what do you miss about Australia when in France?
I guess you could call me a Francophile! I so love the South of France - the culture, the antiquity, food, wine and of course the people. On a cycling holiday 18 years ago, we (my husband journeyed to his heaven last year) found a house in a village in Languedoc. Entranced by the vineyard country and lifestyle, we bought there and then. What an experience since. Two different but incredible worlds. For me, Australia will always be ‘God’s own country’, where my family are (here in Sydney) and precious old friends. The vineyard country in Southern France celebrates the summer - art, music, soirées, vide greniers, cycling safely - ending with the wonders of the Vendange. I also find summer all year works well (wearing all my linen lovelies!).
You were a young mother when you decided to study Psychology, what inspired you to study while looking after a baby and what inspired you to take up Psychology?
I was a mother of 4 when I decided to re-educate. I had been a registered nurse, specialising in orthopaedics and managing the orthopaedic ward at RPAH. However, after the birth of my 4th babe, I was seriously injured in a car accident fracturing multiple vertebrae. Consequently no more nursing!
It was very difficult for women studying at this time - 1970’s. Women were ‘burning their bras’, but unfortunately the long conditioned ‘bread winning’ men began ‘burning the books’! This attitude created much difficulty for many women. For me (without books being burned) it was enormous struggle maintaining the status quo of wife, mother, cleaner, bottlewasher, student! Phew - did it...
You sure did! On completion of your study, was it difficult for you to get a job in your field and were many women working in the Psychology field?
Having completed degrees in Psychology, I managed, with much difficulty and many rejections, to gain a position with the Department of Corrective Services, (sometimes Dept of Courts). Exciting, stimulating, wonderful work.
I moved into private practice as a Psychotherapist about 1990. I so loved the next 25 years as a practitioner, working with individuals and couples. Such rewarding work.
What advice can you give women today who are juggling their career, motherhood and a work life balance?
Writing this history causes me to feel much concern and empathy for today’s women - a great many working long hours in highly gratifying positions and often the main family 'bread winner'. They experience much stress and anxiety for similar reasons described above. As we all know, in many instances today, it is often not a choice that both parents work. An absolute necessity to 'pay the mortgage'.
Having worked with many couples striving to find balance in their lives, I consider
women must continue to seek their individual selves. To see themselves in a reflection of their own eyes - not others.
To focus more on finding the meaning of their lives and their own becoming on their journey. To allow themselves to experience a life within and without their relationships (and children). Generally speaking men have been able to choose this path. The research is showing that men are now more involved in parenting but not a great deal more of the ‘chores'.
Considering all the sociological and technological change of the last 50 years, relatively little has changed for women.
We must continue to strive for equality, and importantly, love and respect our female selves - the bearer of all children.
You always look so stylish and have your own unique look, which we love, have you always been interested in Fashion?
My stylish self? I have always loved fashion, particularly the quality pieces of such wonderful creative young designers as yourselves.
For me the stylish self comes from the self-respecting self.
Under whatever life stresses and issues- caring for self- mind, body and soul. Staying responsible for this care. Healthy food and plenty of exercise is a good place to begin!
What’s your favourite fashion decade?
I have no favourite decade of fashion - just adore the exciting (and expensive!) never ending changes.
What are your favourite UNIK by us pieces?
My favourite pieces of yours are, of course, the wonderful pieces I have just acquired. So fabulous - love them - Thank you!
What is the best thing you have done?
The most important thing I have ever done is have my children. Wondrous gifts.
Given to me to help grow and develop in this wonderful world- to then let them go- to become themselves...