SAM ARMYTAGE: Our next guest was Australia’s fearless foreign minister and is the same age as me…
DAVID KOCH: …taking on politicians at home and abroad. But now Julie Bishop is using her expertise for another big project.
SAM ARMYTAGE: I hope she wasn’t listening. It’s like nothing she’s ever done before. And it could be her toughest gig yet.
VOICE-OVER: As our deputy leader and foreign minister, Julie Bishop has challenged some of the most powerful people in the world.
JULIE BISHOP: (Video) Australia will encourage the United States along that path.
VOICE-OVER: She oversaw the largest expansion of Australia’s overseas diplomatic presence in 40 years and she represented Australia at the United Nations Security Council.
JULIE BISHOP: (Video) I called on Russia to use its influence over those armed groups.
VOICE-OVER: After 20 years in federal parliament and with yet another leadership spill playing out, in August Julie Bishop threw her hat in the ring for the top job but it wasn’t meant to be.
QUESTION: Can you see a point where the Liberal Party will bring itself to elect a popular female leader?
JULIE BISHOP: (Video) Well, when we find one, I’m sure they will.
VOICE-OVER: Now Julie Bishop is taking on another big challenge. She will mentor the all-female crew of Wild Oats X in this year’s Sydney-Hobart.
SAM ARMYTAGE: And federal member for Curtin Julie Bishop and skipper Stacey Jackson join us now from Sydney. Good morning to you, ladies.
JULIE BISHOP: Good morning, Sam.
SAM ARMYTAGE: Now, Julie, what do you know about sailing? Will you be joining these brave women on the high seas?
JULIE BISHOP: Well, today we’re launching Stacey Jackson’s all-female professional team – the first all-female professional team to take part in the Sydney to Hobart Race, starting on Boxing Day. And I’m delighted to be the ambassador for the team, and I’ll be supporting them. I believe in Stacey’s passion for female participation in sport and clean oceans and ocean sustainability. I’m hoping to be on the boat at the start of the race in Sydney Harbour. I’m just trying to work out how to get off when the boat leaves the Heads and turns right to Hobart. But I’m not there for the technical advice. Stacey’s done 11 Sydney to Hobarts, and the team she has put together have done 68 Sydney to Hobarts and they’ve done about 21 laps of the planet sailing.
DAVID KOCH: Stacey, why don’t you just strap Julie Bishop to the mast and just turn right and head straight for Hobart?
STACEY JACKSON: Yes, well, she doesn’t know that could be the plan yet.
SAM ARMYTAGE: Now, Stacey, Julie Bishop has faced some of the toughest politicians not only in Australia but around the world. Do you think she’ll be good as a mentor, she’ll know how to provide some mental toughness?
STACEY JACKSON: Yeah, absolutely. Like, Julie’s keeping this pretty low key. She’s a bit of a sailor herself and I think she’ll fit in really well with our team. And we’re honoured to have her as an ambassador and an honorary part of our crew during our training before the race.
JULIE BISHOP: And we’ve got a great boat. We’ve got Wild Oats X. The Oatley family have gifted the team that magnificent 66 foot mini maxi that you can see behind us. So, with the right boat, the right crew, what could possibly go wrong with me as the ambassador?
DAVID KOCH: Yep. Absolutely right. Look, Julie, we haven’t talked to you since the leadership spill in August, how are you settling in to the backbench?
JULIE BISHOP: Well, it’s a busy time but it’s a different kind of busy from being foreign minister. I spend more time in Perth, I’m spending a lot of time with my constituents, I have time to take on great projects like our Ocean Respect Racing. In parliament I have a somewhat more elevated view of the proceedings – if I can put it that way – from the backbench, and I’m quite enjoying that perspective.
DAVID KOCH: Do you miss it, Julie? You were such a popular politician, would you ever consider returning to the frontbench?
JULIE BISHOP: Well, I’m still a politician, I’m still the Member for Curtin and I’m out and about, I’ve been invited to speak overseas in my role as former foreign minister. And so, I’m keeping very busy. I’ll just take it day at a time. My focus now is how to get off this boat when it heads to Hobart.
DAVID KOCH: Well, look, the only way is to jump off into the sea like our cameramen do after they go through the Heads. You can’t bring up a boat, so I reckon that would be less dangerous than you going back to the frontbench, given the disunity within the frontbench at the moment, everyone having a go at each other.
JULIE BISHOP: Oh come on, Kochi, I’m part of this team and I’m part of the Liberal team. We’re all working for the same outcomes and that’s – well, in our case – to lift the Tattersall’s Cup. We’re actually aiming to take overall handicap line honours in the Sydney to Hobart. So, that’s a pretty exciting challenge isn’t it, Stace?
STACEY JACKSON: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s a goal that we’ve been- we’ll work towards throughout December, and a lot of our team has aimed to do for all their career sailing this race. So, it’s definitely something that we’re aiming to do and we can achieve.
DAVID KOCH: Okay. Stacey, here’s a fundraising idea that we’ll open on our Facebook, an amount of money to actually push Julie off once you get through the Heads. And that could go to the charity.
SAM ARMYTAGE: It’s going very fast that boat when it leaves the Heads.
JULIE BISHOP: Why doesn’t Channel 7 send over a helicopter and lift me off?
SAM ARMYTAGE: We’ll get our people to talk to your people.
DAVID KOCH: Yeah, alright.
JULIE BISHOP: Hey, Sam, I want you on board as well. Sam, I want you on board as well.
SAM ARMYTAGE: Julie, I want to come out and meet the girls. Definitely we’ll do a story on the Harbour. But remember what happened to Bronwyn Bishop with the helicopter, we’re not going to send a helicopter in to get you off.
JULIE BISHOP: Can the helicopter.
DAVID KOCH: Stacey, good luck with the trip down. Thanks for joining us, ladies.
SAM ARMYTAGE: A great girl crew. All the best to them.
– Ends –