The Hobart

Max Heerey

by Stephanie Williams
Max Heerey

Where in Hobart do you live?

I live in North Bay/Rokeby with my partner Grace.

Why Hobart?

Where do I start? I grew up in South Hobart and had the best childhood. I was, and still am, always out being active, playing footy or soccer, rowing or surfing. I have lived in every state on the east coast of Australia and there is no place like Hobart. You can be up the mountain in the snow, then 30 minutes later down at the beach surfing. I love the lifestyle and the people.

Tell us a little about your work?

I am currently working as the Manager of the Grace Tame Team and am the Chief Operating Officer of the Grace Tame Foundation. My work changes quickly based on the political climate, however we mostly work to push to create struc­tural change.

What did life look like before this whirl­wind of change?

Before the tornado hit, I was working as an Associate Advisor at a wealth man­agement firm in town. Grace and I were living in a house that I bought with my best mate Tom Howard in Clarendon Vale. We had no support in place when Grace had won the Australian of the Year award. After a night of celebrations we were put on a plane back to Hobart and we then sat in the lounge room for a day or two to try and figure out what we were going to do whilst we got hounded by media. We were told by the powers that be that Grace wouldn’t make much money relating to the awards, and there was no financial compensation for her time (only reim­bursement for travel to National Australia Day Council Events), so I spoke to Tom and we sold our house so we had enough money to possibly get through the year (thanks Howy!).

I imagine 2021 has been a year of growth for you. Have you found some coping mechanisms amongst the intensity?

Absolutely! 2021 has really put both of us to the test. We have met some great people, but we have also had to deal with some not-so-great people. Growing up in Hobart, I believe bad people here get caught out. Where it’s easier for people with ulterior motives to hide in big cities as it’s harder for their track record to be exposed. Halfway through the year, things were really tough, I was flying with Grace everywhere to try and support her whilst also working full time from cafes, on planes and at events. It ended up getting too much and I had to resign from work. As far as coping mechanisms go, Grace and I find that exercise helps a lot. I really value F45 (shout out to Jamie Needham!) and going for runs.

What do you love doing outside work?

Outside of work, Grace and I go for runs together (when I can keep up), I play football in the Old Boys League and also go surfing with friends.

Max and partner Grace

Who do you admire?

My Grandma (Hi Gran if you’re reading).

Favourite podcast or tv show?

The Office (American Version) and All Aussie Adventures.

Secret vice?

Berry Smoothies with extra protein powder.

What are you reading now?

The Body Keeps the Score – Bessel A. van der Kolk (A must read).

What gets your goat?

The Spoon Man continuously bagging out the Hobart City Council.

What was your first job?

My first job was as a dish pig at the Riverview Inn in Taroona. I would jump off the bus on the way back from school at Taroona High.

What are your daily news/social media habits?

As part of our work, we have to monitor social media to keep on top of evolving news and politics, so I use social media intermittently throughout the day.

Your favourite place for…

Breakfast: The Macquarie Street Foodstore

Lunch: Tommy McHugo’s

Dinner: Frank Restaurant

Favourite team?

The Melbourne Demons.

Favourite Hobart secret?

Watching the sun set over the Mountain on Mount Rumney.

What does 2022 have in store for you?

2022 for me is still very much evolving. We have a lot of advocacy work planned through the foundation. We are trying to really capitalise on the momentum from 2021 and push for some constructive change. The Federal election is looming and we’ve just established our foundation.

Having spent a bit of time away this year, what have you missed about Hobart and what are you looking forward to getting around in 2022?

I have really missed the genuine community in Tasmania. I’m not really a fancy person and we have had to spend time with people whose values don’t necessarily align with ours, which is fine but in small doses. I like the simple things. I shop at Kmart. In 2022 I’m itching to get back into footy and spending more time with friends and family.

Max and Grace in Canberra

Parting words?

“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss

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May 2022

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