My longest and dearest friend. A constant influence. Multi-talented. Ever changing. Animal lover. Voice of reason. Treasured by all. Can/will/does conquer. One for the history books.
So, you graduate soon. What are you going to graduate with?
AL: A Bachelor of Laws.
What do you want to specialise in?
AL: Eventually I want to get into animal law, equine law. To start with I’ll go into anything, preferably not commercial. I’d like to go into family law.
Why are you studying what you’re studying?
AL: I was in Wagga doing equine science, thinking I wanted to go down the path of vet. Then I met a lot of vets and different people and I remember we had to do this assignment on mulesing which is something that is done to sheep to reduce fly-strike so we had to go and watch and I was absolutely horrified at what a barbaric practice it was and that it is something that is completely and utterly accepted by the industry – and I thought “how am I going to make a difference to animals if this is what I have to do to be a vet?” and I thought that I could make more of a difference if I could do it from a legal perspective.
What riles you up?
AL: People being cruel. Dishonesty. Anyone doing something wrong to one of my friends. I’m quite defensive.
What scares you?
AL: At the moment… just life in general. I’ve always backed myself but maybe I’ve started to not back myself quite so much. What scares me is not living up to the expectation I’ve set for myself.
Do you have a favourite comedian?
AL: Luke McGregor. I think he’s hilarious.
What sort of creative talents do you have?
AL: I have a way with words if I’m in the right frame of mind. I am really good at sewing. Quite good at craft. I won a prize at Maitland Show when I was five for making a bag. I’m not scared of doing creative things. I used to really enjoy lino printing. I saw a course today that was being offered for lino printing in Armidale that I thought I might sign up for! It’s fun, I like to carve shit.
Where do you feel most at home?
AL: On my horse.
Favourite meal to cook?
Favourite place to shop?
AL: I enjoy markets. I like Frame because it is a small independent store that I like to support.
What’s your favourite thing to listen to?
AL: Music. Sad music. I get very obsessive over songs. I’ll listen to five songs for three weeks. At the moment, I’m really into Kaleo. I’ve always loved Florence and the Machine and Broods.
What’s your favourite place that you’ve ever been?
AL: That’s a really tough one. I really did fall in love with New York. I never expected it and then I did.
Talk about a memory in that place.
AL: Ice-skating with Margie in Bryant Park. And then with Gab – it was New Years and we were in Times Square. I was 17 and she was 19. We watched the ball drop. It was the most anti-climactic thing ever so we decided that we needed to find something to do. There were no cabs because it was New Years so we ended up wondering down the middle of nowhere and got in the car with a stranger. Well… strangers… who seemed nice enough. We went to go to this party with them but we all got lost so we left them and then we got into a snowball fight with some randoms and then we wandered home at like 3am.
Who do you admire?
AL: That’s a long list. Margie, always have. Beci as well for different reasons. They are the two people that have a very profound influence on me that I haven’t always been aware of. Margie has always been an older figure. When I was 10 she was 18 and whatever she did was just the best in my eyes. And then Beci has always just been more of a challenging sibling to have, and also the most caring person I know. If I’m ever in a crisis I will call her and she will get me out of it.
Tell me a little bit about your family.
AL: My mother is the nicest lady that I know. I can probably count on one hand how many times I got into trouble as a child. She is very resilient. My eldest sister, Margie, is an absolute champion. My big brother, Barney, has always been my number one supporter. He said to me that if I was going to the Olympics that I could and that I only need 10% talent and 90% determination. He said that he would be there to support me and Felix, which was very sweet. Beci… Ah, Beci is on a bit of a pedestal in my eyes. She’s just perfect. Just perfection. Dad was an interesting character. We didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but in saying that he was always so supportive and was never over-bearing. He always let us be free to do what we wanted and we were never questioned for what we wanted to do in life. So supportive. He never put any limits on us.
MA: The way you’ve all turned out is so impressive. You have a reputation in town for being known as “The Beautiful Family”. Inside and out.
AL: Yes, that’s ridiculous! “The Beautiful Family”… There you go… Interesting.
What are your thoughts on outer space?
AL: It’s a world that I can’t comprehend and I don’t understand it and I don’t feel a desire to need to know.
Any advice you should’ve listened to?
AL: “Don’t listen to anyone else’s advice”. That is the only advice I should listen to. Everyone is different and you’ve got to make your own decisions.
How do you take care of yourself and give yourself a break?
AL: Pilates. I do pilates 4 days a week. I enjoy it and I feel so much better after it. It’s a cleanse. Also riding definitely.
Talk to me about your house.
AL: It is big and welcoming. It’s a big cold and dark though – which is great in summer! It’s always been a place where you’re safe. You’re allowed to walk dirt in.
Talk to me about a second home.
AL: Wagga. It was the happiest year of my life.
Why was it the happiest year of your life?
AL: I was completely and utterly me. It was the absolute best feeling. I met the most genuine people I’ve ever known in Wagga. Besides the people I grew up with like you, Gab, and Sasch.
Inside or outside? Why?
AL: Outside. Free.
What do you believe in?
AL: I guess I believe in other people. I believe in my friends. I believe in you. I really do believe in you. I believe in myself most of the time. I’m lacking in that a bit at the moment I think because things are getting a bit stale and I need a change.
MA: You’re like that though, you’re always changing and growing. You’re always in places for random amounts of time until your next calling comes.
AL: I think courage is doing something and not being concerned about what anyone else thought.
What comes to mind when I say the word grass? What do you think of? Do any memories come up?
AL: Horses eating it. On the weekend Theo was eating this really weedy-looking, gross grass and he was curly each bit around his nose before he ate it.
What reminds your of your childhood?
AL: This house. Ballet. My sister and “The Baby Game”. Celinda was always my baby doll, I think she’s actually in my room at the moment. Playing spotlight. Horses.
Are you a protective person?
AL: Very. I’m protective of things that are dear to me.
What makes you feel powerful?
AL: Being independent.
What makes you feel calm?
AL: Feeding my horses.
What qualities do you admire in yourself?
AL: I’m strong. I’m loyal. I’m trustworthy. I’m great at negotiating. I like my clear skin. If I put my mind to something I can do it.
AL: Time. Ponies. My dog.
Tell me about happy.
AL: Happiness is an interesting things that I believe is often only felt when shared. I think you can look at something and say “oh my god, wow, that’s amazing” and then be like “so what and now what?” but if it’s shared it’s something that is more profound and just… better. It’s a red or orange. It’s upbeat. It’s the smell of horses. It’s patting my dog. It’s Mum’s cooking.
Find Ali on Instagram at alessi_x