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On the Couch
15 September, 2004  
Nicola Roxon

Shadow Attorney General Nicola Roxon doesn’t go to films, doesn’t believe in animals, had an unpleasant experience with brain patties, and is hooked on Ventolin. Find out what’s she’s like On the Couch.

Meet Nicola Roxon MP who, according to opinion polls, stands an even chance of being the next Attorney General, in a Latham government.

Nicola Roxon is the Shadow Attorney General (since December last) and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on the Status of Women (since February 2003).

She was elected in October 1998 as the ALP member for Gellibrand in Melbourne’s west.

She has been shadow minister for population and immigration, children and youth and the deputy chair of the legal and constitutional affairs committee.

Before her parliamentary life she was a senior associate at Maurice Blackburn & Co, associate to Justice Mary Gaudron on the High Court, a solicitor and articled clerk at Holding Redlich and an industrial officer and later an organiser with the National Union of Workers.

Roxon is a first class honours graduate in Law and Arts from the University of Melbourne and won the Supreme Court Prize for top graduate in 1990.

Her honours thesis in industrial law dealt with women in the textile, clothing and footwear industries.

There is no official record of the year she was born or any other personal details.

At the moment she is in the middle of a fiercely contested federal election campaign. She will debate her opposite number Philip Ruddock MP at a special event at Parliament House, Sydney, on September 21. (The Gilbert + Tobin Centre for Public Law at the UNSW has the details.)

Describe yourself in three words.
Strong, passionate, tired!

What is your favourite book?
To Kill a Mockingbird.

What was the last book you didn’t finish?
What I Loved” (the name of the book bore no relationship to my feelings for it!).

What is your favourite film?
Who gets time to go to films???

What is your favourite conspiracy theory?
Patience is a virtue.

_Complete this sentence: “God is …”_

What is your most disturbing personal obsession?
Food. I think about what I want to cook for dinner before I get up in the morning. Is that wrong?

What physical feature do you find most attractive?
Shoulders (not many to be found around parliament).

What is your greatest fear?

What is the most dreadful meal you have eaten?
Brain patties (Mum tired to tell us they were salmon patties.)

How long is a week in politics?
During the campaign, about twice as long as normal.

What is your most underrated physical feature.
My smile?

What words or phrases do you overuse?
My pocket PC doesn’t work.

_What do you never leave home without? _
My Ventolin.

What sort of underwear do you prefer?
I don’t want lawyers thinking about my underwear!

If you were to die and be reincarnated, what object or person would you like to be?
I don’t believe in reincarnation.

If you were an animal (non-human), what sort would you be?
I don’t believe in animals.

If you were a fruit, which one would you be?
Ohmigod – I don’t believe in fruit!?

Have you ever been arrested?

What is your favourite piece of music?
Honest John by Greg Arnold, Things of Stone and Wood

What human quality do you most distrust?
People who drink hot water.

What kind of fingernails do you respect?
Those that allow your fingers to function.

What stimulants do you recommend?

Who would you most like to sleep with?
My partner Michael.

What would you change about Australia?
Sooo many things – that is why I’m in politics. Can I get some extra space for this one?

Close your eyes – what is your gut response to the word “law”?
Hmm. With my eyes closed? Jude.

What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Turn on “AM”.