“I didn’t speak about the assault for a long time because I lived in fear for so long, but I am happy to talk about it now because I feel lucky to have survived it.
It’s also taught me a valuable lesson about personal security. In this frightening world of cyber space fraud and identity theft you really do have to be careful about who you give your details to. I choose to give them to the people I trust, otherwise I don’t!” Sandra Sully.
She’s lasted almost 25 years in TV, survived a terrifying assault, a bullying ordeal and has now put those chapters firmly behind her with a loving family, exciting new social media endeavours and a sharpened focus as to what matters.
My first brush with Sandra occurred many years ago as a green reporter in the TEN newsroom.
She went out of her way to introduce herself (as if I didn’t already know who she was!) that day I was on the receiving end of her warmth.
Martine Harte: Your latest project #ShortBlack what are you up to?
Sandra Sully : I punch out a digital newspaper twice a day, it’s free and it gives people a snapshot of the days key NEWS events in an accessible, easy to read fashion that they consume over a coffee or on their daily commute.
I think the digital world has taken off at warp speed and people are so short of time; so this is delivered to their inbox twice a day or they can find it on my Twitter account @Sandra_Sully and other social media.
I called it #ShortBlack because I think people generally indulge in a little time for themselves over a coffee.
Many readers asked me to speak with you about your bullying ordeal. They applaud you taking a stand against workplace bullying after a female colleague tried to sabotage your career. She was ordered to stay away from you. Has the passage of time given you any fresh perspective?
Sandra Sully: The reason I didn’t say anything for a long time is because in many respects that had been part of the healing process for me.
The last ten years or so has been about coming to terms with what played out and also understanding how I handle myself and how to better handle that situation if it ever occurs again.
Other colleagues in the industry who were tormented by the same person have come forward to me and that’s been so rewarding; not to mention reminding the industry itself that our business is not immune from this disturbing behaviour – bullying can take all forms and reach all levels.
What has that little intuitive voice inside your head been saying lately?
Sandra Sully: At the moment I have a lot of grief around me, on a personal level, with some family, good friends and colleagues, so it just reminds me to seize the moment and the day.
I think all of us are touched by grief and sadness at various stages of our lives and I’m just mindful to tell the people I love how much they mean to me.
I’m a very tactile person so there are lots of hugs and I figure why not?
Life is short, I know that personally and professionally. I had a terrible incident many years ago with an assault and I really did think my life was over that day and I was going to die.
Why did you think you were going to die?
Sandra Sully: Well the attacker had a gun and handcuffs. He assaulted me, and then put the gun to my head and pulled the trigger.
You soon realise you take nothing for granted. You also can’t take anything with you, and all the things you once valued like material possessions and just that – stuff. How much ‘stuff’ do you need?
It’s people, it’s experiences, it’s about finding love, joy and happiness. It’s prompted me to prioritise and make me consider the choices I make.
I give back where I think I can help or feel I should help, at the moment it’s MS and I’ve been a co-patron of spinal cure for 10-15 years and the world will be a different place when we find a cure for spinal cord injury, can you imagine?
Would be amazing. Have you developed a certain wisdom after the attack?
Sandra Sully: Yeah falling in love with Symon and the last five years of my life has closed a chapter and I am in a nice place because I’m so happy.
I didn’t speak about the assault for a long time because I lived in fear for so long, but I am happy to talk about it now because I feel lucky to have survived it.
It’s also taught me a valuable lesson about personal security. In this frightening world of cyber space fraud and identity theft you really do have to be careful about who you give your details to. I choose to give them to the people I trust, otherwise I don’t!
How had your parents prepared you to be able to put your armour on?
Sandra Sully: I’d like to put a better spin on it, but at the end of the day, I often say to my mum and dad, “there’s just a bit of mongrel in me, they gave me street smarts.”
They taught me that if you feel you’ve been unjustly vilified and you have integrity then you must stand up.
Find out more about short black here (I subscribed and love it)
Tweet with Sandra here
Pic: thx to Australian Women’s Weekly