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If you want to know why I, an average-looking, unremarkable short woman, has the unbridled confidence of a middle-aged white man, blame my dad.
He always called me beautiful, believed in me more than warranted, and told me I was smarter than any of my three sisters (who all became doctors).
God, I miss that biased liar. I was totally his favourite child, and I didn’t realise it until after he died. I took that love for granted, not understanding it is so rare.
And I also wasted years before his death in semi-estrangement from him.
As a kid, until I left school – the point at which dad did something that seemed unforgivable – I worshipped my dad. He was my hero.
If it would be remotely entertaining for you, I’d spend the next nine paragraphs talking about how my immigrant father, from dire poverty, made an incredible life for all of us in Australia – and yet remained humble, and known for his immense generosity and charity.
With English as a second language he loved Shakespeare – and I inherited his fascination with the written word, comedy and the media.
My dad taught me so much, had a great sense of humour, worked hard and played harder. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for me.