Berry Liberman on Clare Bowditch
Years ago, Clare Bowditch and I did the same course at university. Back then, she was already beautiful and talented, showing the promise and determination that would lead to her successful music and television career in Australia. Interestingly, at exactly the moment when most “stars” would be grinding the fame pathway, I hear about Clare through a close friend and serious businesswoman, who tells me she has just attended Big Hearted Business, a workshop designed to get creative people thinking about business and business people thinking more creatively.
For my friend, it was life changing. The brilliant mind behind it is Clare Bowditch.
It’s a brave step for someone already cast as a performer, in a world where we often pigeonhole everything into discreet boxes. For Clare, Big Hearted Business is the realisation of a decade long dream. Afraid of what the world would think, she avoided doing it for a long time but soon understood the power of being a role model for those who might not fit the mould, may have a wild idea and just might have the courage to make it happen.
In 2008, having won the Best Female Artist ARIA, Clare took her young family overseas for three months of reflection. A strange feeling of unease accompanied this time as Clare realised that success and all of its trappings were empty unless she was helping other people achieve their dreams too. The seed of an idea was born: How could she use all of the gifts she had to nourish and support a community of people with talent and great ideas?
I’ve never had a long conversation with Clare, just a passing “hello”; an acknowledgement of being in the trenches together. When I ask for an interview, Clare agrees: “Sure, as long as I can interview you too.” I find out that this is typical of Clare, who is as much interested in your story as she is in communicating her own. On the day of our interview the Dumbo Feather crew are buzzing at the thought of meeting her, but when Clare arrives, everyone gets a hug and a smile so genuine it’s disarming. You expect someone distant, cool and stylish. What you get is someone real, genuine and full of feeling.
Sometimes in life, we meet a rare spirit, the real deal. Someone who has been places, done things, climbed great mountains and asked important questions. For me, that someone is Clare Bowditch. From the moment we sit down I feel a rare and joyous connection with a kindred spirit; someone who lives a life of challenges and triumphs while valuing connection with others and herself above all things. Oh, and she can sing, man can she sing.