Opinionated and passionate with a no bulls**t and #nofilter approach, Lisa Oldfield (or Lisalocks for those who know her really well) has been a hot topic of media conversation since appearing on The Real Housewives of Sydney. Through her provocative stance in conversations, her wit, intelligence and intellectual speed are often received in a very mixed light. Admitting to the fact that she polarises people, some will stand by Lisa and some will stand up to her. One thing is for sure, she is the one woman that can speak with such vulgar language but make it sound so eloquent. Her extensive vocabulary is a testament to her sharp mind.
Minus the fluff, you have a woman that uses her power for the good. Lisa is a force to be reckoned with as a career woman; smashing the glass ceiling in the world of global business and technology. Admirably, she built her success and became and entrepreneur in very much a ‘man’s world’. She is also a passionate advocate for family fertility and is heavily involved with the Australian Egg Bank.
A self-confessed Tomboy, Lisa enjoys her farm life with her family. She is a mother to her boys Harry and Bertie (Albert) and wife to former politician, media host and most recent contestant on Hell’s Kitchen David Oldfield. Lisa’s family unit, as we saw on RHOS, emphasises the diversity of parenting in the millennial age.
Despite what your opinion is of the astute Lisalocks, one thing is guaranteed; she leaves a lasting impression and this interview is a testament to that.
You are known for your #nofilter approach. Your sense of humour, wit and extensive vocabulary seem to either get you into or out of trouble. Is there anyone that can outsmart Lisalocks?
Yes, my 5 year old son Bertie. He is an extraordinarily lateral thinker. When I asked him “Imagine you were being chased by a dinosaur, what would you do ?” he simply replied “I would just stop imagining”
Reflecting on your rise to success in a ‘man’s world’, what attributes made you stand out from the crowd?
My father instilled in me that “Success is the best revenge” – I could easily have fallen to pieces when my successes were ridiculed or when my male colleagues would attribute my wins to “sleeping with the client or the boss” but I took those barbs as milestones to my success. If people weren’t jealous of me and weren’t gossiping about me, it meant that I wasn’t working hard enough.
Your character on RHOS has been received in a mixed light. What are the positives and negatives of being on the show?
In the real world Lisa Oldfield is received in a mixed light! Some people are attracted by my candour and honesty, others are confronted by it.
The biggest positive was meeting my dear friend Athena Levendi. I’d happily take all the slings and arrows all over again just to have Athena X in my life. It’s also wonderful to have a profile that can be used to garner support for causes near to my heart, such as marriage equality and animal welfare.
The biggest negative is that some people are a little scared of me before they meet me. I’m extremely warm and welcoming, which people soon realise when they get to know me, but having seen me explode on the show, assume I’m always like that.
As David Oldfield’s wife and your recent exposure through RHOS, how has the experience been raising a family in the spotlight?
My marriage was in pretty dire straights during filming. I stupidly thought the show would be a positive distraction from the issues we were experiencing at home. Not likely! The show amplified and magnified our problems! As a couple that would consciously obfuscate their vulnerabilities from even close family and friends, it felt very raw to be sharing our pain with the world. On the plus side, there was an overwhelming outpouring of support towards us and again, I think viewers appreciated that we weren’t putting up a pretence that our lives were perfect like some of my RHOS castmates.
You recently took on the challenge of Dry July to raise money for cancer charities. Were there any withdrawals from not being able to have a sneaky drink?
You make me sound like that loveable old drunk Andy Capp! There was certainly no physical withdrawal; I mean there was no delirium tremens! I have pretty strong willpower, so turning off the switch and saying “no” to the grog wasn’t a problem. Where I fall down (literally and metaphorically) is saying no to more than one drink. Abstinence isn’t a problem for me, however stopping at one drink for me is nigh impossible.
You’ve made it very clear that you support marriage equality and will fight until Gay Dave and Kyle are able to marry. How do you encourage others to support this?
It’s a sensitive topic and I always approach any discussion with a modicum of understanding and empathy, even for my opponents. No one ever won an argument by calling the other side “homophobes” and “rednecks”
If Marriage Equality in Australia is going to win, then we need to win the hearts and minds of middle Australia. Middle class, middle income, middle aged Australia. And much of that demographic isn’t impacted by Marriage Equality and do not hold a strong opinion either way.
As a successful businesswoman and a hardworking mother, what qualities do you think are important in juggling the two roles?
Outsource ! Outsource ! Outsource ! Those two little boys are the dearest things to my heart. My time with them is a rare and valued commodity. I outsource ironing, cleaning, maintenance and every other crap job so that the time I have with Harry and Bertie is good solid quality time.
I’ve also made a resolution to start having a “date night” once a week with David to better communicate and decompress (ask me how that’s going in a couple of months time).
Did anything surprise you about becoming a mother?
Yes. As silly as this sounds, that babies cry! I read every available handbook, purchased every available contraption for the nursery and thought I could not have been better prepared. Yet I nearly died of shock when Harry came out crying. Fortunately for me, I had two text book good babies who didn’t whinge all that much!
Staying true to your character, what are some parenting tips you can share?
Don’t ever talk to them in “baby talk” – it’s bullshit and it’s annoying for the kid and for you when they start talking back that way. I speak to my children in exactly the same way as I’d speak to an adult.
Never get frustrated with questions and shut your child down. At least 20m times a day, Harry will put to me a scenario such as “Who would win if a colossal squid and a great white shark had a battle ?” As much as I’d like to say “fuck off, I don’t know” I know that response would be so damaging to his innate curiosity. So I turn it back on him and ask under what conditions the colossal squid and great white squid are fighting and how things like temperature, size of combatants, pre-existing injuries might help determine the outcome of the battle.
When I’m putting them to bed, I never fail to remind them how special they are, how proud I am of them. I remind them that family is everything and they need to look out for each other (not always easy to do when one has the other’s head in a vice like grip).
Is there a moment when you switch off? What does ‘me time’ look like for you?
I am an avid reader and love history. Particularly medieval European history. Every night before I go to sleep I will try and at least read a few chapters of a book that currently tickles my fancy. At the moment I can’t get enough of Ian Mortimer and his guides to living in different historical eras.
I also schedule in a 30 minute fast walk with my little Jack Russell dogs, Lulu and Dinky everyday to help stay grounded and to reflect on my current situation.
What’s next for Lisa Oldfield?
I’m currently writing an historical fiction novel set in the early 19th century of colonial Australia. Then there’s the work I do with Australian Egg Bank helping infertile couples realise their dreams of having a family. A couple of production companies have approached me about hosting a documentary and there’s the usual entreaties about doing our own reality show. It’s really all bullshit until I see the colour of their money.