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Sally Obermeder

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Sally Obermeder

30th April, 2017

Sally Obermeder and I catching up at Mr G’s


Television host, lifestyle blogger and cancer survivor Sally Obermeder welcomed her second child, Elyssa Rose, via surrogacy last December. Obermeder had been diagnosed with cancer during her pregnancy with her first child, Annabelle, and began chemotherapy after the 2012 birth, later learning she wouldn’t be able to safely have another child. Obermeder, 43, talks to me about her surrogacy journey and Australian attitudes around it, the thrill of live TV, and her new range of frozen smoothies.

Do you love being a mum the second time around? 

It’s so different this time. I said to [husband] Marcus, “I can’t remember Annabelle smiling, I can’t remember this, I can’t remember that” … It was so tough at that time with Annabelle. It’s almost like this is, not like becoming a mum for the first time, but this experience, this new-born experience, is my first experience of it in this way and it is heavenly.

What was your surrogacy journey like? 

It was really good. Rachel [the surrogate mother, who lives in the US] is amazing. I still speak to her all the time … I think we’ll have a very tight bond for life.

Sally with her two daughters, Annabelle and Elyssa. Photo: @sallyobermeder


Will [Rachel] be involved in your life going forward?

Yeah I think so. We FaceTime all the time … it feels very natural. It’s just like sending photos of your kids to your friends.

What were the biggest challenges you faced during your surrogacy journey? 

A long distance is definitely hard because you’re not going to the appointments, you can’t physically. I would get up at 2am to be on a call when she was at an ultrasound or whatever … I think it’s also a challenge with Annabelle, because even though we talked about the pregnancy all the time and that her sibling was coming, for her it wasn’t in her face every day … And then suddenly you take her overseas, you’re like, “Bang, here’s the baby.” She’s like, “What?”

How is Annabelle [aged five] adjusting to being a big sister to Elyssa? 

She is a lot better now … I think she [initially] thought she was getting a sibling she could play with [right away], so she was not happy at all … With Elyssa, I see how her face lights up when Annabelle looks at her. It is amazing to see that bond that is already there…

What advice would you give to someone going down the surrogacy path? 

I’d definitely say, “Do it … If you can afford to do it and you want to do it, do it.” I have not one bad thing to say about the experience.

What attitudes did you experience in response to surrogacy? 

I think people are really blown away, obviously, by Rachel’s kindness … You will always get people who say things like, “Oh, you just went and bought a baby” … There’s nothing you can do about it. For us and for our family, this is like an amazing dream come true … If I could have adopted, I would have, but … adoption laws need to change because they’re so backward. Surrogacy laws need to change, they are just as backward …  I would like to see it become legal and I would like to see paid surrogacy become legal.

Where do you see yourselves in five years’ time? 

I don’t know, I think I’m still so obsessed with having a baby. I said to Marcus today, “I could have another one.” He was like, “Are you mental?”

Congratulations on your new frozen smoothie range, Super Green Smoothies. 

We’ve been working on that for about three years now … I had been doing smoothies for ages, and to really do them well, in a sense that you’re being efficient with your time and with your money, you need a prep day … I had this light bulb [moment]: I was like … why can’t you just buy it ready done? And then you can just add the liquid, like I would at home … We really agonised over making sure that everything is in there that you need, so that you’ve got this great big shot of health.

How do you juggle it all? 

There just always is someone unhappy. If you’re spending lots of time at home, then someone at work is unhappy. If you’re spending too much time at work, then someone at home is unhappy. And it’s very hard. For a long time, I drove myself crazy trying to make this perfect set routine … Now I’m like, “Oh, I give up” .. I really just roll with each day as best I can …

When do you head back to work [on Channel 7’s afternoon show The Daily Edition]? 

I go back at the end of August … I popped in a couple of weeks ago to introduce Elyssa to the team … The adrenaline rush comes back and it’s funny … that buzz of live TV, there’s nothing like it.

What do you love most about live TV? 

It’s not pre-recorded, and then if something happens, it’s just on. It’s unfolding as you speak … You realise there’s more to the world than the small little bubble that you live in, and that’s actually really quite exciting … To be a part of it and to be able to share it, it’s amazing.

What has been your biggest pinch-me moment in your TV career? 

In terms of celebs, definitely I would say Jon Bon Jovi, just because it’s like that was the era that I grew up in. I went to every Bon Jovi concert. The whole time the 13-year-old in me was like, “I cannot believe that this is happening”.


We went to Mr G’s, Intercontinental Hotel Double Bay

We ate Fish Tacos with kingfish tartare, finger lime & flying fish roe; King Crab Sliders with Alaskan king crab, cucumber, celery & lemon aioli; French Beans with smoked bacon & herbs; BBQ Creamed Corn

We drank Still mineral water

Sally wore vintage Levis and a Swiish choker knit

Kate wore Skins and Threads 

Date with Kate

Date with Kate: Sally Obermeder

29th September, 2013

art-SO-620x349TV presenter Sally Obermeder is the co-host of Channel Seven’s afternoon show The Daily Edition, as well as author of best-selling book Never Stop Believing, in which she shares her courageous battle with cancer. Obermeder was announced as the new style ambassador for Westfield and is set to compete in this season’s series of Dancing with the Stars. I caught up with the 40-year-old to chat about how she juggles it all, how overcoming her cancer battle has changed her perspective on life, and how sharing her story has inspired others to never give up.

What are you up to?

I’m juggling so much at the moment: The Daily Edition, I have Dancing with the Stars training, my blog Swiish, I am the new style ambassador for Westfield, where my job is to guide women on trends and fashion tips and tricks, and of course [my daughter] Annabelle. Some days I feel like a rock star and feel I can do anything, but it’s short-lived when I realise that I’ve forgotten to get dinner (laughs).

You have a crazy schedule.

Yes, at the moment it’s busy. It was busy before but Dancing has taken it to another level because I have no rhythm – I’m out of my depth.

What attracted you to Dancing with the Stars?

I just wanted to push myself. I think after being sick I just wanted to challenge myself and see if I could do something physical again. It had been so long, my body has been through so much, and I wanted to see if my body could.

What made you start your lifestyle blog

When I was sick I really wanted to have my own blog about things that I love. I am the person who will be wearing a belt from Target, and as much as I love to have a Chanel bag, that’s an anomaly in my wardrobe. Everything else is Zara, Witchery and Portmans. That’s really what I am about: affordable, and having it still look great. So that’s why I started Swiish. It’s been almost nine months now and we are at almost 1 million impressions a month. My sister works on it full-time and then we have eight staff. It’s an amazing team.

How do you juggle it all?

I try to not beat myself up about things and go: ”Yes, you didn’t manage to make dinner; you had takeaway. Yes, you didn’t do your exercise. Yes, you were late to your appointments, but it’s OK. Has anyone died today? No, it’s all good!”

It’s fantastic to see you doing so well.

Yes, I feel really blessed and really grateful but mostly I’m grateful for good health. Every day I just go, ”Thank you.” It puts life into perspective. Suddenly, everything is very simple. It’s good that everything is going well, but you realise that these are just the bonuses in life; the cream on top. Everything could change in a second if you or your family were sick.

What sort of positive message would you give to someone who was about to embark on the same journey you had [to go on] with your illness?

I would say that there is no guidebook, there are no instructions. Just be kind to yourself and do whatever it is you need to do to get through each stage. It’s OK to lean on people, it’s OK to ask for help, it’s OK to break down. But the most important thing is to not give up. It’s never over until it’s over.

Have you found the response to your book to be overwhelming?

It blew me away. Especially because it’s not just a book for someone who had cancer. It’s a book for anyone who has ever struggled and about getting what you want in your life. Sometimes I walk down the street and people stop me and pull the book out of their bag, and it amazes me because you always think no one will read it – except your mum.

Does a particular story stand out about your book inspiring others to keep going?

We get hundred of letters every single day. I think my personal favourite is from people who plan to give up, people who say: ”I can’t do any more treatment; it’s too hard,” and then they read the book and they go, ”OK, don’t give up.” It was painful to write the book, but that makes it worth it.

What made you never give up?

Annabelle, I think. It’s hard to imagine having a brand-new baby and leaving her with no one, and that was the biggest motivator of all. And, of course, my family.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope we have another child. I hope Swiish will still be going and hopefully I’m still on TV. But as long as I am healthy, it’s all good.



WE WENT TO The Tea Salon, Westfield Sydney, the city.

WE ATE Classic high tea.

WE DRANK English breakfast tea and herbal tea.

SALLY WORE A Zara jacket, Willow top, Forever New pants and Tony Bianco heels.

Photo: Ben Rushton