Election day was a family affair for Woollahra Council candidate Harriet Price, whose older sister, television presenter Jessica Rowe, joined her army of volunteers outside the polling booth at St George’s Anglican Church in Paddington.
“I love to talk to people at the best of times and this is a lovely way to have a conversation with people and talk about my sister who I’m so proud of,” Ms Rowe said.
Ms Rowe said she was enjoying polling day despite Liberal Party volunteers not welcoming her presence (her sister has been a councillor since 2017 and is running on the Residents First Woollahra ticket).
“I was surprised that there was an issue with where I was standing,” Ms Rowe said. “And who would have thought there would be this intrigue and drama around local council elections?”
The drama was triggered by rules banning campaign workers from handing out how-to-vote material within 100 metres of polling booths, which Ms Rowe was adamant she had followed.
Mother Penelope Rowe was also at Five Ways on Saturday to offer support for Ms Price.
“I’ve always been so proud of my daughters,” she said. “They’ve had to in many ways be resilient from a very early age because I wasn’t always well. They have learned to rely on each other, support each other and just give each other a lot of love.”
The sisters call each other ‘Lade’ – short for lady – and Ms Rowe also calls her sister “Hammy”.
Both in the public eye, the sisters have also sought each other’s support at difficult moments such as the recent controversy over Ms Rowe’s podcast interview with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.
“Really the people who love you and know best, that’s what matters,” Ms Rowe said. “All the other stuff – even though it might be hard or hurtful at times – that’s just noise.”
A lawyer, Ms Price said she had been a stickler for rules and a “mini-councillor” during her youth, while Ms Rowe confessed she was “naughtier”.
“I would leave notes on the kitchen table for mum, signed ‘The Management’,” Ms Price said.
Ms Rowe said she was happy to be a part of her sister’s campaign on polling day.
“I’d do anything for my sister because I’m so proud of her,” she said. “She has worked so hard for her local community for many, many years.”
“It’s a very small thing for me to stand at lovely Five Ways.”