Tim Mathieson was married to a woman who was a Liberal Party candidate, lost his licence for 16 months after driving with a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit and once owned a Gold Coast hair salon that is now owned by Tony Abbott (no, not that Tony Abbott!). Now he is better known as Australia’s First Bloke – the partner of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
He is also a self-confessed, God-believing Anglican who claims he has not even discussed his faith with Australia’s most famous atheist.
Mathieson, recently announced as a patron of the Men’s Shed movement, appears tonight in a much-publicised interview on 60 minutes where he explains he will propose to Julia one day, but not any day soon.
“One wedding I think is enough this year,” Mathieson said, referring to the couple’s attendance at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. And in previous interviews, Mathieson said when they do marry it would not be in the church, due to Ms Gillard’s beliefs.
Apart from his best known occupation – hairdresser – the one through which he met Julia Gillard, Mathieson has also been an importer of Levi Jeans, supplier of marble interiors, a sales representative for a hair products company and is current job is as a property agent with Ubertas Group, selling apartments in a St Kilda Road 50-storey complex.
Mathieson has two adult children from his marriage to Dianne Stark and another daughter fathered in his teens, Staci Childs, who is well-known hair stylist known for her tattoos, parties and celebrity clients such as Lady Gaga.
There are other, what might be regarded, dark moments in his history – broken relationships, failed businesses, car-crashes. In the long run he is typical of many people seeking to make their way through the maze of life who found himself in love with a woman who became Australia’s leader.
And he has endeavoured to make the most of his newly-found prominence and apart from his Men’s Shed patronship, he is also a Men’s Health Ambassador and works hard to promote men’s health issues around Australia. Ironically, the idea of taking up volunteer work was first suggested to him Therese Rein, wife of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd…
The Australian Men’s Shed Association is a movement granting a special place for men who lack social outlets, to tinker and share stories over a barbecue.
Let’s pray that as Tim chats with men in sheds, interviewers in the media and his partner in the privacy of their home, that his faith moves to the foreground to inform his words, his choices and his into the future.