PM lookalike shares jubilation
THE messages of congratulations began pouring in shortly after 9am.
Well-wishers rushed up to her in the street to convey their support and have their brush with fame.
But Tracey Randall is used to the attention.
The Julia Gillard lookalike says it all began about seven years ago, when our new Prime Minister started to appear in the media and on the public radar. Now she is something of an identity around Lismore, and takes the stares and attempts at humour in the best of spirits.
“It's become something of a standing joke,” Ms Randall said.
“People have stopped me at Woolworths in Lismore Square and at David Jones in Brisbane.”
Her kids go to Coorabell Public School, and she said the children there thought she was the woman they saw on the television. “My children have thought I was on the television,” she said.
Her hairdresser has to keep up with the goings-on in Canberra. “He says things like ‘I saw Julia on tele and this week she's got a fringe. So we won't be going for that today',” Ms Randall laughed.
Does the joke ever wear thin?
“I never get cranky. It's just a bit odd,” she said.
But she has been tempted to try the occasional practical gag herself. In 2007, when Kevin Rudd visited the area, friends tried to coax her into ‘bumping into' him, and scolding him with: “I thought we'd agreed that it was my turn to do the Lismore gig today!”
The humour turned black when she was at a funeral and someone whispered to the celebrant there was an important figure present.
“The celebrant came up to me afterwards and apologised for failing to mention me,” Ms Randall said.
But does she see the resemblance herself?
“Not so much physically, but we also share some mannerisms. And she's a lawyer, I'm a lawyer,” she said.
There are also some political similarities. Ms Gillard is from the left, and so is Ms Randall, who worked for the Aboriginal Legal Service and Legal Aid before setting up her own practice. She still prides herself on being a champion of the underdog.
So does she harbour any political ambitions?
“No,” she says emphatically.
“But I could give up the law and be a body double, if it involved lots of exotic travel.”
Ms Randall said she had ‘definitely' never pretended to be Ms Gillard, but had offered to do the opening ceremony for the new classrooms being built at Coorabell under the former Education Minister's BER scheme.