Each week Rachel Moore is on the hunt to find out what makes Canberra special to all the wonderful folks who live here.
As I write this, Fiona has a mobile nestled under ear resting on her shoulder, holds a small child whilst making me a cup of tea (yes, I feel guilty) and shouts “be there in a few seconds” to a customer from the back room in the freshly renovated Wanniassa Homemade market. Other children of different ages are swarming around, some are Fiona’s, some are not, all are happy and laughing. After hanging up the phone Fiona declares how glad she feels it is quiet at the time I came for the interview. Yep. Fiona said “Quiet”.
Just hearing that Fiona Lester is the mother of nine children, a grandmother and recently opened a local business, you vicariously feel like a nap! You might expect to hear Fiona is sometimes exhausted but the self-declared “Big Kahuna” could not be more full of love, life, energy and joy. It is in this Faces of Canberra you will meet our very own local Wonder Woman.
Name: Fiona Lester
Occupation: Big Kahuna/mum/wife/lover of life
How long have you lived in Canberra? I hitchhiked from Townsville to Canberra in 1991 to visit a friend, was supposed to be a visit… but I never left!
North, South or Q-town? Southside all the way baby!
Most memorable event attended in the ACT? My family and I love to go to the balloons in March – the early morning wake up is worth it for the yummy hot breakfast and buzz of watching the balloons inflate.
Things you love about Da Berra? How close everything is, the sense of community and all the groovy family events held throughout the year.
What you loath about the city? The perception that we are just a city full of politicians – and having to go outside in the freezing Winter – Winter is an indoor sport for us!
Most cherished memory in the capital? Our wedding day – only James, myself and our 9 kids were there (and the wedding celebrant!) at the House of Rep. Rose Gardens at Old Parliament House – the most perfect day.
Which Canberra local do you most admire and why? Samantha Kourtis – watching Sam’s journey to success and beyond has been inspirational. Sam showed me the importance of community and staying true to yourself. Seeing her accomplish so much and still being the warm generous person she is – is my definition of success!
Most precious item you own? My Meema’s (grandma) crochet hooks and accessories. I grew up getting crochet face washers for every birthday Easter and Christmas from her – so having them is super special.
First Canberra kiss and where? First one that counted – kissing my first born daughter 22 years ago!
Most delicious Berra place you adore eating at? My Husband and I met at Dickson Tradies in 1991, had our wedding reception there in 2013 and are regular schnitzel eaters. Dickson Tradies legendary schnitzels are quite possibly the yummiest thing in the land!
What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy – I want to be happy!
What is a question you would like to ask everyone in Canberra? A much-debated question in our house… where is the safest place to hide in a zombie apocalypse?
Caption’s: Top, picture of Fiona Lester by her Daughter Rachel Boland. Middle, Fiona Lester and her beautiful family. Above, Fiona and her Husband James – Picture by Rachel Boland.