Member Profiles

After a long career in corporate communications and public health advocacy, Lesley feared she had written too many media releases and submissions to ever become a more creative writer.

But the Covid lockdown gave her a chance to challenge that fear and the opportunity to delve into the boxes of files and photographs accumulated over past decades.

During the seventies, Lesley was an active contributor to various sailing magazines and these stories led to her first volume of memoir – Not Plain Sailing – a rollicking tale of her adventures sailing with some of the great characters of ocean racing in an era when women were considered nothing but a nuisance on a racing yacht.

Lesley was a member of the first all-female crew to sail in the 1975 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and sailed as a crew member on Australia’s first maxi-yacht, designed by the legendary Ben Lexcen, a decade before he stunned the sailing world with his winning America’s Cup challenger, Alan Bond’s Australia II.

Lesley is now forging ahead with a second memoir about other chapters of her life. This embraces her early days in a small town in Queensland, her move to Sydney in the 60s where she ran a pharmacy in Kings Cross, called Lesley’s Parklane Pharmacy and Headache Bar, her work in corporate communications in the ‘greed is good’ eighties and culminates with her ground-breaking advocacy work for people living with pain, for which she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia. 


In this role, she had the privilege of working with world-leading experts in pain medicine to develop the World’s first National Pain Strategy in 2010 and establish an influential advocacy body, Painaustralia, which has helped change the way that pain – especially chronic pain – is understood and managed.