Looking across a crowded room, a distinguished man with mountains of luscious wavy grey hair was holding court.
As a very young and somewhat unworldly 22-year-old, my feet were glued to the floor as I realised I was in the same room as the former Prime Minister of Australia, Bob Hawke.
All I knew about the man at that time was he seemed to cry a lot on TV and had told people to have a day off work after Australia II won the America’s Cup – a statement my father had said was “irresponsible”!
I was in awe.
A few years later, not only did I find myself in the same room, but had the opportunity to shake hands with the then-current prime minister, Paul Keating.
Despite the fact he immediately dismissed me upon meeting me, I didn’t care.
I had shaken the hand of the Prime Minister of Australia and that meant something to me as a young woman.
Based on the actions of our political leaders, and I use the term leaders lightly, it appears the respect for the position of prime minister has diminished.
It’s a title that no longer belongs to the people.
Love them or hate them, they were our prime ministers – we chose them which is our democratic right.
And if they messed things up, we had the right to change our mind over the due course of a few years and if need be - replace them.
Who now owns that title?
If this past fortnight has shown us anything, it’s that we the people certainly don’t.
The hard right and the hard left mean nothing to our pensioners who go to bed at 6pm so they can turn off the lights and the heater because they can’t afford their bills.
The so-called moderates mean nothing to young men and woman struggling to find work in bad economic times.
I have always prided myself on having my say on election day.
But now I am so dumbfounded by the groundswell of egotistical and out-of-touch party factions who have shown complete disrespect for the people of Australia by deposing yet another leader.
And if you couldn’t be any more horrified, the polls showed quite a few Australians actually liked this last one.
But that opinion was disregarded.
Now the poor bugger who is our new PM – despite having nothing to do with this grubby political debacle – must face the consequences and clean up a mess he didn’t make.
One day I hope my kids get to meet a prime minister and feel the same way I did.
Hopefully by the time that happens, these major parties might have worked out the true meaning of public service