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On the Couch
16 August, 2007  
Elenore Eriksson

Don’t shoot the messenger. Elenore Eriksson has spent much of her life as a Canberra insider working on myriad messages. She has strategised with pollies on the “Hill” and run government relations for the finance industry. These days she is the media’s first point of call for the Law Council of Australia – the buffer between the nation’s lawyers and the rest of the world

imageElenore Eriksson is the director of public affairs at the Law Council of Australia. She is the force behind the voice of the national lawyers’ lobby, whether it be on issues such as David Hicks, Mohamed Haneef, the Aboriginal emergency, terror laws, sedition, the death penalty or tort reform.

The Law Council has been a singular and consistent campaigner in support of human rights, the rule of law and the promotion of lawyers. Eriksson has managed those often difficult-to-reconcile messages.

Our couchee comes from a deep and meaningful background in public affairs and communications. She knows just about all the tricks there are to know, having been the director of strategies at the Office of Government Information and Advertising. She has advised ministerial committees and managed major government campaigns on superannuation and tax and worked on the Hill in the Keating days.

Even more challenging, she also put in the hard yards as the media and government relations manager for the financial services industry – the Life Investment and Superannuation Association (LISA).

The woman behind the message is on Justinian’s couch.

Describe yourself in three words.
A typical Leo.

What are you currently reading?
Gerald Stone’s “Who Killed Channel 9?”.

What’s your favourite film?
Anything big – “The Big Chill”, “The Big Sleep”, etc.

Who or what do you fantasise about?
Lawyers lead in the most-respected profession polls.

What stimulants do you recommend?
Challenging debates and feisty dialogue.

What is your greatest fear?
Running out of my favourite things like time, chocolate, Noon Grenache or RSW Shiraz.

What words or phrases do you overuse?
Now listen…” or “They should say what they think!

Who would you most like to meet?
Someone with the looks of Clooney, charm of Clinton, forgiveness of Mandela and an ability to evoke the best belly-laugh!

Who do you envy and why?
A Sydney barrister who has a very famous, seriously gorgeous brother.

What is your most disturbing personal obsession?
My president, Tim Bugg.

What’s your most glamorous feature?
A sense of humour.

If you were a foodstuff, what would you be?
A dinner party – no one course describes me.

What human quality do you most distrust?
Insincerity and saccharin smiles.

What would you change about Australia?
Spiralling intolerance and blatant disregard for protecting the rights of individuals and the rule of law.

Who or what do you consider over-rated?

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Answer media calls.

How would you like to die?
Too quickly to notice.

What would your epitaph say?
She came, she saw, she loved, she laughed!

When you shut your eyes and think of the word “law”, what comes to mind?
A world where every worthy cause has a Lex Lasry, John North or Michael Slattery in their corner.