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Playing cool beside Hugh and Deb

World Vision
14 November 2012 by Stephanie Cully
Playing cool beside Hugh and Deb

World Vision Ambassadors Hugh Jackman, Deborra-lee Furness, Mel Doyle and World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello raised support for World Vision’s work at the Seeds of Hope event.

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness walked in to the room all smiles and G’days. It didn’t feel the way I’d imagined this past week.

The week started off normally. Until my manager’s manager asked if I could attend the World Vision Seeds of Hope business dinner. She then added, “Oh and you’ll be managing media for World Vision Ambassadors, Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness.”

Play. It. Cool. Steph.

“Yeah, I don’t think I have any plans. I’d love to help out.”

In my head this sentence sounded more like: WOLVERINE!!!! BICEPS!!!!

So, what’s it like to be at a World Vision Australia gala and know at some stage you’re going to be in an enclosed space with Hugh and Deb? I get to call them that ‘cos we’re friends now.

Being with Hugh and Deb is what you’d imagine it to be – and they smell amazing! (Why was that the first thing everyone asked me?)

My job was to make sure the Channel 7 Sunrise crew were ready the exact minute Hugh and Deb walked in the room to sit down and do an interview with World Vision Ambassador, Mel Doyle.

When I ran in for the third time to say, “They’re definitely coming this time guys, I promise,” it was game faces on.

They looked a million dollars, but it was like I was shaking sweaty hands with a friend’s friend for the first time. I felt like we had common ground.

During the interview Mel, Hugh and Deb cracked jokes on camera like old friends, we all laughed, some snorted. Everyone has a toilet story from a developing country of some kind.

When the interview was over and everyone moved on I found a secret spot to watch the dinner by myself.

They showed a video of a young Ethiopian coffee farmer Hugh and Deb met through World Vision.

As Hugh watched, I saw his face change; he swallowed hard as his hand searched for Deb’s. Everyone in that room was watching Hugh as he stood under the spotlight trying not to tear up.

In my secret spot I was about to cry too.

To know you’ve done something to change a person’s life forever, to know a child won’t go hungry anymore, will go to school, will have a future, is to know what it is like to go to bed with a heart that is full.

So how did it feel to be in an enclosed space with Hugh and Deb?

It felt like we had common ground.

Stephanie Cully is a Public Relations Officer at World Vision Australia.


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