Chance to share wisdom

IT IS hard to imagine Catriona Rowntree could get nervous.

But that is exactly how the ifGetawaynf presenter felt yesterday as she prepared to front 340 women as the special guest at Launceston's International Women's Day luncheon at the Hotel Grand Chancellor.

Rowntree was nervous because one, she gets worried speaking in front of crowds _ ``it is different to the camera, in front of a camera it's just like talking to your best friend'' _ and two, she was launching her book A Grandmother's Wisdom: Lessons Learnt at my Nan's Knee.  which she thought she could never finish.

The book is something Rowntree started writing two years ago with her grandmother and greatest inspiration Riria Smeaton.

``At the time, my grandmother was struggling with her health, so I thought this could be a great motivator and I hoped it wasn't going to be a memoir,'' Rowntree said.

Unfortunately it became the latter and Rowntree wasn't sure she could finish it.

``Not only did my grandmother pass away half-way through writing it, I then gave birth [to Charles] and I found out my father had cancer,'' Rowntree said.

``I turned to the publisher and said `I cannot emotionally or physically do this'.''

The publisher told her they had ``absolute faith'' in her.

 Rowntree said she then realised: ``God damn it, I am going to finish this''.

Yesterday she proved she could finish, as the first copies were for sale at the luncheon.

Rowntree said the book stood as an example of the faith her grandmother placed in her.

``I'm a little bit nervous about that fact that I have been extremely honest and that I have revealed a lot about my personal life,'' she said.

``But I hope it allows people to know how empowering one person's love can be.''

Rowntree said launching the book at the International Women's Day celebration was great as the day was about celebrating women and the positive power women, regardless of their positions, can have on others_ which was what her book was all about.

``Women are powerful within their own right by the examples that they set to others,'' she said.

``This book is about the wisdom my grandmother passed onto me, which I would like to pass on and share with others.''

Rowntree said  without that wisdom, she didn't know where she would be.

International Women's Day is celebrated nationwide on Friday, March 8.

Yesterday's luncheon at the Grand Chancellor was put on by Clifford Craig Medical Research Trust and the Department of Premier and Cabinet  Community Development Division.

Catriona Rowntree

Catriona Rowntree


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