Member for Brindabella Andrew Wall with his mother Barbara.

Member for Brindabella Andrew Wall with his mother Barbara. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

The relationship between a man and his mother can be a minefield. Most men try to avoid being labelled a “mama’s boy”, but in fact, no one turns men to mush quite like their mums.

This Mother’s Day, Jil Hogan spoke to five Canberrans and looked at how their mothers shaped their lives.

 

Owner of Eightysix Sean Royle with his mother Coitrina Royle.

Owner of Eightysix Sean Royle with his mother Coitrina Royle. Photo: Jay Cronan

Andrew Wall, Liberal member for Brindabella
with mum Barbara Wall

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

Mum and I are very close. I can always rely on her honest opinion and she is one of my best supporters.

Clinton Hutchinson with his mother, Denise.

Clinton Hutchinson with his mother, Denise.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU CHAT TO EACH OTHER?

I am lucky that mum lives close by. We talk a couple of times a week and hopefully see each other once a week.

THE WORST PIECE OF ADVICE MY MOTHER EVER GAVE ME WAS:

Brian Tunks, of Bison Homewares ,and his mother Jeanette Tunks.

Brian Tunks, of Bison Homewares ,and his mother Jeanette Tunks. Photo: Jay Cronan

Eat your vegies. Probably sound advice, but advice I still struggle to follow.

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU TAKE AFTER YOUR MOTHER?

We both struggle to sit still and relax. There is always something to be done. I do wish I had more of her musical talent.

Harry Sayers of the band SAFIA with his mother Deborah Sayers of Hall.

Harry Sayers of the band SAFIA with his mother Deborah Sayers of Hall. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR MOTHER HAS SHAPED YOU?

Mum has taught me to always look for the best in people or in any situation and that family is always strongest; we all work together.

WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING THIS MOTHER'S DAY?

This is mum's first Mother's Day as a grandparent. The whole family will be doing the Mother's Day Classic (fun run and walk) in the morning and then having a relaxed lunch.

 

Clint Hutchinson, managing director, Zoo Advertising
and mum Denise Hutchinson

DESCRIBE YOUR MUM IN FIVE WORDS.

Positive, confident, passionate, energetic, driven.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU CHAT TO EACH OTHER?

Weekly. We have breakfast every Saturday morning.

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE MY MOTHER EVER GAVE ME WAS:

''Remember you're a Hutchinson'', which means be kind, behave and respect our name.

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU TAKE AFTER YOUR MOTHER?

I try to be positive like her, and always aim to put others first.

HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR MOTHER HAS SHAPED YOU?

Wow, that's hard. She has shaped me in so many different ways but she has taught me to be positive, and to always find lightness in darkness.

WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING THIS MOTHER'S DAY?

Spending it with my mum but also the new mum in the family, my wife Andrea. Her first Mother's Day.

 

Harry Sayers, guitarist - SAFIA
with mum Deborah Sayers

HOW WOULD YOUR DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

My relationship with my mum is great. She's always been there and supported me when I needed her. We get along really well.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU CHAT TO EACH OTHER?

Pretty much every day, unless I'm away playing shows. But I try to send her a message as much as possible.

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE MY MOTHER EVER GAVE ME WAS:

Slow down and embrace it all. Take it all in, life goes by too quickly.

THE WORST PIECE OF ADVICE MY MOTHER EVER GAVE ME WAS:

"Eat your vegetables so you grow up to be big and strong." I'm still skinny mum!

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU TAKE AFTER YOUR MOTHER?

Being respectful and easy going, never losing my temper easily.

HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR MOTHER HAS SHAPED YOU?

I think my mum has shaped me in many positive ways. Mainly to always have a positive attitude towards life and to work really hard to pursue my goals.

 

Brian Tunks, CEO and creative director - Bison Home
with mum Jeanette Tunks

DESCRIBE YOUR MUM IN FIVE WORDS:

Elegant, engaging, protective, inquiring, considerate.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU CHAT TO EACH OTHER?

We speak nearly daily and spend at least two days a week together.

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE MY MOTHER EVER GAVE ME WAS:

That ambition is good, providing it doesn't interfere with your moral compass.

THE WORST PIECE OF ADVICE MY MOTHER GAVE ME WAS:

That her purchase of caramel and chocolate brown platform shoes was a sartorial stroke of genius. Possibly not for a 1978 high school formal in a country town better known for rugby and guinea pig races.

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU TAKE AFTER YOUR MOTHER?

My mother is a talented pianist and she often accompanied me at eisteddfods and encouraged me to view difference as a strength. We both love literature and design and in my dotage - I turn 50 this December - I have become a fiend in the garden. People often say how much I look like my mother's family.

HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR MOTHER HAS SHAPED YOU?

Mum has always been a fierce advocate for education. As a headmistress, and my own teacher for one year, she allowed me to pursue my dreams of working as an ancient historian and archaeologist in Syria, along with supporting my year in Sweden as an exchange student. I firmly believe I have inherited a steely determination and a sense of fairness from my mum. Her grace under fire in a home filled with boys and also in her professional life has had an enduring impact on my own.

 

Sean Royle, owner, eightysix
with Coitrina Royle

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

Our relationship is great! We are really close. She knows everything and offers wisdom when called upon. I really consider myself to be a bit of a mama's boy. She still buys all of my socks and underwear. Seriously!

HOW OFTEN DO YOU CHAT TO EACH OTHER?

We talk pretty much every day. She has a notorious habit of calling me at the most inconvenient times, like five minutes into dinner service on a Friday night. ''Oh, hi darling, just calling to see how you are?'' ''Not now mum, not now!'' She means well, she's great!

THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE MY MOTHER EVER GAVE ME WAS:

Hard question - she has given a lot! Probably do what makes you happy; if it makes you happy it's probably right and it'll all work out.

Don't worry what other people think of you is also a good one.

THE WORST PIECE OF ADVICE MY MOTHER EVER GAVE ME WAS:

Don't ever get tattoos. That went well for her. I now have a tattoo that says ''I love mum'' that was a Mother's Day present.

IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU TAKE AFTER YOUR MOTHER?

I wear my heart on my sleeve. You know where you stand with us. I can talk forever - not as long as her!

WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING THIS MOTHER'S DAY?

Working. She really gets the short end of the deal. Mother's Day is amazing to work. You only serve people who are out to make someone feel special, and being a big part of someone else's happiness is really amazing.