Studio Ten host Sarah Harris is nominated for a Silver Logie at this weekend’s Logie Awards but she put some time aside to talk to Jules Sebastian for her Youtube-series Tea With Jules,
Here the popular TV presenter discusses being raised by a single mum in housing commission, how having her son Paul changed her body image and why she “definitely” wants more kids.
Born in Western Sydney before moving to Queensland at the age of seven, the Logie-nominee lived in housing commission houses and caravan parks her entire childhood.
Sarah said of motherhood: “I have whole new-found respect for what my mother did now that I have a child myself.
“She had me a week after her 18th birthday. I couldn’t even keep a pot plant alive at the age of 30, and I had my first child at 34! Despite her youth, she encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams, and said ‘Never let a man tell you, you can’t do anything’. She gave me my first taste of feminism.”
Sarah says she believes growing up in poverty gave her the drive to be successful.
“When you’re at that level at poverty, you have to make big decision. Do you pay rent or do you put food on the table? For me, it was a driving force to make me want to succeed and make my mum proud. I don’t begrudge where I came from – I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me, so I’m grateful for that upbringing,” she says.
After her English teachers placed her at Channel 7 for a work placement week at the age of 16, Sarah – who had wanted to be a playwright or lawyer – recalls that very first day at the TV station.
“I wasn’t very excited at first for the work placement. But it was this sliding door moment because when I arrived there, I just fell in love,” she says.
After the work placement week, she landed a casual job at Channel 7, and slowly worked her way up from the mailroom and making coffees to researcher and finally an on-air journalist.
“I did a lot of work, lot of hours. It was a case of luck meets hard work,” she says.
However, Sarah admits pretty much growing up in the industry at such a young age, “my weight was always a source of concern for me”.
“If the number on the scales was smaller, I felt better about myself,” she explains.
After she and husband Tom Ward welcomed their first son Paul in 2015, Sarah said it changed her entire body image.
“Having a child – and I definitely want more – completely changed my perspective on my body and what it’s for. My body is different; there are jiggly bits, fat bits and cellulite-y bits, but I don’t look at it with disdain, but instead as a badge of honour. My days of wearing a bikini is over. But who cares? I get to look at my son’s beautiful face every day,” she explains.
“It’s just important that I’m fit and strong enough to run after my crazy toddler. That’s where my focus lies,” she says.
In the interview with Jules, Sarah also opens up life with husband Tom Ward and how their favourite guilty pleasure at the moment is watching Real Housewives of Sydney.
“This is what I love about Tom, it’s his favourite show – he’s such a girl inside. After the very first episode, he said ‘I think we’ve found our new favourite show’. That’s what I love about him, he can be very serious, but he can be very silly and fun,” she laughs.
Watch more videos with Sarah Harris on the Game Changers series with Ellyse Perry:
And the Wear White Again campaign :