INTERVIEW

BENJAMIN LAW

AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR and journalist

Benjamin Law

We sat down with BEN to discuss his life in THE media and how he is adjusting to today's uncertain world.

We have been extremely lucky to have Benjamin as a customer for many years. During this time we have built an amazing relationship and are constantly inspired by his work creating conversation around important social issues in Australia.
 
Benjamin gave us an invaluable insight into his career and shared with us how working from home has impacted his work. We also discussed some of Ben’s proudest moments throughout his career, as well as some of his most challenging.
 
Read below. 
Benjamin Law

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you chose to pursue a career in writing.

To be honest, I didn’t dream of being a writer when I was a kid. Instead, I was fixated on a much more realistic goal: being an actor on Home & Away. (This isn’t even a joke.) At the same time, the things I loved doing most as a kid were reading books and watching TV – and then, as a teenager, I was obsessed with magazines. So maybe in a way, it makes sense that I’d end up writing books, screenplays and feature articles. Plus, I’m also a massive nerd; I love learning things, and I like to share. And that’s ultimately what writing is, really: learning things and sharing them the best you can. 

 

What topics do you enjoy discussing the most? And what have you found to be the most challenging? 

I like to write about anything I’m interested in: politics, cooking, queer culture, pop culture, the arts, exercise, family. Good writing is a lot like good conversation over a great meal, and I’m pretty omniviorous with my interests. The most challenging thing I’ve written is, hands down, my Quarterly Essay about the media-manufactured moral panic over Safe Schools, Moral Panic 101. Part of the research involved reading nearly 100,000 words of hateful – and often, misleading or false – reports from the Australian newspaper about the queer community. It wasn’t fun.

Benjamin Law
BENjamin WEARS THE IMPALA SAFARI JACKET IN GREEN SEERSUCKER
Benjamin Law

You contribute to the Australian media in many different ways. Which of your roles excites you the most and why? 

It really depends. I’m really excited that I was part of a team that delivered The Family Law (SBS) the first-ever Asian-Australian family at the centre of a TV comedy. I’m excited that I got to host Waltzing the Dragon, a two-part major documentary about Chinese-Australian history that reframed Australian history altogether and made people understand that Asian-Australian history pre-dates white arrival on this continent. It excites me when I get to help Australians see their country and community in a whole different light.

 

How would you define your personal style and how has your career in the media influenced your fashion choices? 

In some ways, I think my personal style is arguable norm-core and slightly lazy! Sometimes I need to MC an event or be on camera pretty quickly, so my approach is buying fewer items but  investing in pieces you can chuck on and not worry too much about. A dark blue blazer and a forest green one will make the simplest of shirts or t-shirts look decent. Add trousers and some decent brogues, and you’re done – and it’s the same effort as putting on jeans, a shirt, sneakers and a jacket. Also, I’m a skinner guy with an unconventional body shape for Australia. I’ve learned to (1) get stuff made-to-measure, (2) find a good tailor in my neighbourhood; and (3) shop in Asian cities.
Benjamin Law
BENjamin WEARS CUSTOM DINNER JACKET IN CREAM LINEN
Benjamin Law
What would you like to say to our readers to help them get through this unusual time and how do you ensure you stay healthy and productive while confined to the home?
 

As someone who works from home usually anyway, my biggest tip would be to plan out and structure your entire day. Plan your meal breaks, when you want to exercise, what tasks you want to achieve and your rewards before the day starts. Day bloat, your mind unravels and your body feels gross otherwise. Having a planned day or at least a to-do list will give you some well-earned satisfaction. 

Finally, Has working from home and adjusting to self isolation inspired you to take on any new projects?

Oh yeah, you better believe I’m back on my homemade sourdough bullshit, baby. I’ve even given my sourdough starter a name. 
 
 
 
You can find out more about what Ben is up to here: benjamin-law.com

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