Dinner with Rachael Finch at the Lexus Prix de Marie Claire Awards. Photo: Cybele Malinowski
Rachael Finch is a TV presenter, Myer ambassador, health coach and mother to 19-month-old Violet. I caught up with the former Miss Universe Australia at the Prix de Marie Claire Awards, presented by Lexus to chat about Finch’s busy work schedule, her former dreams of representing Australia at the Olympics, and how she will celebrate her second Mother’s Day today.
What are your plans for Mother’s Day?
Relaxing! I treasure days I can spend from start to finish with Violet and my husband, Michael, so when they come up we keep it pretty casual. A day in the park with lunch at our favourite cafe sounds good.
What do you enjoy the most about motherhood?
I love watching Violet explore the world around her and develop her own personality. Every day I am amazed at what she can do, even at such a young age. I can’t wait to continue growing with her and share in some beautiful moments. There is a beautiful wholesome feeling that has come with having Violet. I can’t wait to have more!
What advice did your mother give you that you will pass down to Violet?
Mum always taught me the importance of self-respect on a physical and emotional level. She always took the time to explain why it’s important to take care of yourself and to not feel guilty doing nice things for yourself. Mum also worked incredibly hard from a young age and I saw how much strength and determination she had as a mother.
Is your Michael a hands-on father?
He is like a second mother. I am very blessed. Because both our schedules are a mixed bag, we spend equal time with Violet so he is truly amazing at being a father. He is patient, warm and is completely in love.
What is a day in the life of Rachael Finch?
Every day is completely different. My week is mixed with photo shoots, media calls, presenting work, blogging, meetings, fitness, cooking, travel and being mum to my angel Violet. I love the variety in my schedule, it keeps me challenged, and I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to time.
Biggest personal and career highlight?
There have been lots of moments so far where I have found myself stopping to soak up the experience. Representing Australia in the Miss Universe Competition in the Bahamas will always be a beautiful memory, and competing on Dancing with the Stars is incredibly special because I met my husband on the show. Personally, marrying the man I continue to fall in love with ever day, and having our first child, have been magical moments.
You must have interviewed some pretty amazing people with your role on Channel 7. Is there anyone who stands out in your mind and why?
Interviewing Robin Williams when he came to Sydney to promote Happy Feet was a surreal moment. I remember going into the interview prepared with a whole page of questions for a seven-minute interview, and not having to ask one of them. He had such an incredible, unique energy about him that I have not seen elsewhere. I laughed the whole interview and will remember that for the rest of my life.
Have you ever been star-struck by anyone?
I have met Jessica Mauboy a few times through my television and radio work and think she is simply amazing inside and out. When I hear her sing in real life, my body is covered in goosebumps. I think she is one of the biggest stars to come from our country.
You are always in such great shape. What is your fitness regime?
Very sweet, thank you. Health and wellness is a lifestyle for me, not something I turn on and off. I love getting out of bed feeling amazing every day and having oodles of energy for Violet. I want to live to 120, but I want quality from those years. I try to be physically active every day, whether that means taking Violet for a power walk in the pram or taking a yoga class. I don’t like using the word ‘exercise’ and try to listen to my body on a neutral level every day to give it what it feels like. In saying that, I do like the idea of challenging by body to strive to become better.
You are also a certified health coach. What inspired you to do that and do you have plans to get more into that side of things?
Studying to become a health coach was an extension of my love of health and wellness. I wanted to expand my knowledge of food, nutrition and healthy living and the course did that. It has helped strengthen my values and opinions within the brands I currently work with and it’s exciting to think about future prospects in the health space.
You represented Australia at the Miss Universe competition in 2009. Was that a good experience and what did it teach you?
The Miss Universe competition was unreal. The competition ran for three weeks and every day I had lunch with a girl from a new country. It was incredible getting to know the women and hearing stories from their countries. It was my first real introduction to the world of media and entertainment and certainly taught me a lot about myself. Despite the stigma attached with beauty pageants, there was nothing more important than being 100 per cent yourself in every aspect of the competition.
If you hadn’t gone down the path of a career in media, what would you have done?
I would have loved to represent Australia at the Olympics. I competed in athletics for nine years and my dream was to make a career as an athlete. My favourite events were long-distance running and long jump. I’m incredibly grateful now that I can still combine my love of fitness with my career with the brands I work with.
What do you do for fun during your time off?
We love our food so our first stop on a day off is to eat somewhere yummy. Misha took me to Toko in Surry Hills on our first date and we love going there once in a while for sushi and a glass of red.
From your Instagram photos, you seem to be quite the chef. What is your signature dish?
I’m in the kitchen most days cooking something new or recreating something I know the family will like. Misha likes when I cook a rack of lamb with roasted sweet-potato fries and a side of steamed greens. It’s simple but I think that’s the key when it comes to cooking. We try to eat foods as wholesome as possible but enjoy little treats on the weekend. Saturday night we might have a bowl of ice-cream or go out for a pizza. I also like making healthy snacks like protein balls, granola and slices to last throughout the working week.
WE WENT TO the Prix De Marie Claire Awards, presented by Lexus, at Moore Park.
WE ATE Flinders Island lamb rack with wild thyme, baby carrots, parsnips and pearl onions; followed by Valrhona chocolate mousse with milk jam, raspberries and lemon balm.
WE DRANK Two Italian Boys Pinot Grigio and sparkling water.
RACHAEL WORE an Alex Perry gown.
I WORE Christopher Esber dress.