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Celebrity News

Jude Dobson: Beautiful inside and out

We chatted with TV presenter and producer Jude Dobson about what makes her feel beautiful.

By Kelly Bertrand
On the surface, they're all different – a cross-section of sensational women of varying ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. They are all stunning, that's for certain, but their beauty is not the sole reason the Weekly has gathered together Jude Dobson, Samantha Hayes, Dame Rosie Horton, Miriama Kamo and Sophie Pascoe. The reason is more than skin-deep – they're here because these five incredible women are making a tangible difference in the lives of others.
Some are just beginning to dip their toes in the water, while others have made charity their life's work – each taking a stand in her own way, and proving that their beauty does indeed come from within. In our series "Beautiful inside and out", we chat with these five gorgeous Kiwi women about what inspires them. Here, TV presenter and producer Jude Dobson shares what makes her feel beautiful.
What causes do you stand for?
I have supported many charities – some ad hoc, some formally as an ambassador, others informally, by helping make things happen. I started with Life Education Trust back in 1989 when I was on Sale of the Century. I've sponsored a child through ChildFund (CCF) for 20 years – first Pascal, now Andrew. I am an ambassador for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, the Young New Zealanders Foundation and the Perinatal Mental Health New Zealand Trust. I have put my energy into my own "charity" – it is a non-profit venture which now houses a video library for Kiwi parents, called Raising Children.
Why did you decide to do that?
I, like many others, have been horrified by the increasing neglect and abuse statistics in New Zealand. There is no one answer here, but we are a small country and we should be able to do better. I also knew as a mum of three children that being a parent is challenging even if you're well supported. I wanted to see quality video information available to help parents with the everyday stuff and unlock some knowledge of how a child ticks. With my background as a registered nurse, telly presenter and producer, I felt almost duty bound to make it happen! I was quietly thrilled recently to win the Mumtrepreneur of the Year award for the Best Online and Technology Business, for the Raising Children website and app.
To you, what makes a person beautiful?
Someone who has the wisdom and will to look outside themselves – a generosity of spirit, I guess you could say. Being humble, authentic and grateful are traits I also find appealing. Being able to laugh at yourself is always good too.
When do you feel at your most beautiful?
Well, this photoshoot was a departure for me – I don't own clothes like this or manage to do my hair and make-up like that! But the more pedestrian times that spring to mind are perhaps when I'm relaxed on a family holiday and, come evening, pop on a summer dress and enjoy a good glass of wine with the people I love. Maybe it's because when I look back at the photo, we are all relaxed – it fills me with a beautiful feeling.
What do you value the most in the world?
Family. My parents are in their eighties and nineties and I am aware they will not be here forever. I am so very grateful for them – what they have done in their lives, for us four kids, their community and the things their grandchildren learn from them. My husband Graeme – we've known each other for over 25 years now, and he is a good man. My kids Ella (20), Jack (16) and Rosie (12). It's been quite a journey thus far, with more to come as they find their paths in life. It's pretty cool to see them grow and develop.
What inspires you?
Good people, great leaders and inspiring speeches. I love Obama's "Amazing Grace" speech in Charleston, and the idea that we have new humans on the planet every day who could make a difference – as long as they are nurtured properly to start with!
What makes you happy?
Happiness is a nebulous thing. I think you have to draw your attention to it when you are happy or it gets gobbled up in the minutiae of life and all the other feelings in a day! It might even be little things – a dinner with friends or walking my dog in the park. I do enjoy supporting others and seeing them do well, though – that makes me happy.

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