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Joy Jobbins’ life is rich in experience and humour. From an idyllic Australian childhood in Bondi, as daughter of Cinesound cameraman George Malcolm, through a candid portrait of marriage, Shoestring traces the trials and tribulations of a working mother of five, ‘tycooning’ as an advertising executive in the male-dominated fashion and wool industry of the 1950s.


In comic detail it tells about receiving personal advice from actor Chips Rafferty; being stranded on a snow-covered mountain with Helmut Newton and Maggie Tabberer; applying makeup to a nervous Lawrence Olivier; having lunch with Jimmy Stewart in the Mojave Desert; and pumping water out of the Sydney Opera House prior to its completion for a preview fashion parade.

It also navigates the hazards of alcohol consumption in the advertising world and in the rural bohemia of Eltham, Victoria, where she lived. It’s a memoir told with verve, which inspires the reader to live to the fullest – even if it’s only on a ‘Shoestring’.

Key selling points

  • A woman’s story in the style of Maggie Tabberer’s “Maggie”
  • A candid portrait of marriage and women’s working life in Australia in the 1950s and 60s
  • Appeal to people interested in the Australian fashion and advertising industry’s history
  • Local historical interest to Eltham and the Artists’ Colony at Montsalvat
  • Publication coincides with ‘Fashion from Fleece: 200 years of Australian wool in fashion’ exhibition at Sydney Powerhouse museum
  • Author interview on ABC Landline 5 August 2007
  • An ordinary woman whose remarkable life intersected with many well-known figures: Peter Carey, George Malcolm, Rupert Murdoch, Helmut Newton, Lawrence Olivier, Chips Rafferty, Maggie Tabberer, Henry Talbot and others

Publicity includes

  • SBS (Parade) interview for Aviva Zeigler’s documentary on the emergence of the Australian fashion industry, January 2008
  • The official book launch with a talk at The Powerhouse Museum on 26 September 2007, and a further talk on 25 November
  • A half page article in The Australian 25 July 2007
  • An interview on ABC’s Landline TV show 5 August 2007
  • An article in The Land newspaper August 2007
  • The author is available for in-store events and interviews

Title: Shoestring: A memoir
Genre: Australian biography / Autobiography / Fashion/ Wool industry / Women’s stories
Author: Joy Jobbins
ISBN: 978-0-646-46923-2
Publisher: Flock Publications
Binding: Paperback Extent: 288 pages
Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 1.5 cm
Photographs: 31
Release date: August 2007
RRP: AUD $24.95
Contact details Flock Publications
+61 2 9130 2002