Danielle Crismani of Baked Relief – Interview

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I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Danielle Crismani of Baked Relief fame, for those of you who have been living under a rock for the past five months Baked Relief was a charity relief effort started by Danielle Crismani during the recent Brisbane floods.

Baked Relief started with a tweet and grew exponentially with people all over Brisbane offering their support and their cooking skills. The purpose of Baked Relief was to help out the helpers. The kind-hearted people of Brisbane who gave of their time to go out and help clean up the streets and the homes of people affected by the flood damage.

Danielle was inundated with people wanting to help out and lend a hand even if it was just to make a cake or some sandwiches to feed the growing number of people volunteering all over our beautiful city. Her story inspired many people from all walks of life to get involved.

We at TLC Books held a bake sale and raised almost $700 for flood relief and the responses we got from that were truly inspirational so I was interested to hear more about Danielle’s experiences too. I hope you enjoy hearing a bit more about her story and that it inspires more people to get on board and help out in any way they can.

First off tell us a bit about yourself personally ?

I am a mum to three children. Corey 13, Addison 11 and Liana nine. I work full-time in a government-owned corporation and have reformed packet cake cooking into ‘baking from scratch’ action in the office. I love renovating timber houses. Anything relating to the country and the beach make me happy. I have an extremely supportive ex husband and a wonderful man I belong with. Life is good.

Did you grow up with a love of cooking/ baking ?

We lived with my grandmother most of my childhood and she was an amazing baker. Her cheese cakes, caramel tarts and fruit mince pies were always talked about. She would start preparing for Christmas with me during the September school holidays. Everything was made from scratch. Ironically I was never allowed to take control of the beaters. It is a constant memory of her sporting a house dress and an apron and being covered in flour.
I didn’t start really baking until about four years ago when I was gifted a Kitchenaid and a set of Nigella Lawson cookbooks. WOW! didn’t that change my life.

How did you come up with the idea for Baked Relief ?

I was stuck at home. I wanted to do something. I am no way fit enough to sandbag but thought if I baked something and took it down the local SES that would help. Little did I know how well received that little batch of lemon muffins would be. Thats how baked relief started.

It went viral within a matter of hours, were you surprised by how huge it all became ?

At the time I was amazed at how quickly it grew. But when you really think about it, there were so many people who wanted to do something, to make a difference and help someone else out. They were just looking for a way to do that. Baked Relief provided that.

Are you continuing your work with Baked Relief in different areas now that the massive clean up is almost finished from the floods ?

There has been so much more required than I could have ever imagined. Like cooks loosing all of their cookbooks, Brisbane restaurants suffering due to people staying home and not spending money on dinners out, that everyone’s kitchen goods would be lost and their love of baking could not be fulfilled. That’s where we have continued to help out. Projects just come up as we see the need by talking to families who have been affected.

What has been the most exciting or proud moment for you since that first post about Baked Relief ?

Hearing an elderly woman say, with tears in her eyes, that baked relief gave her a purpose. There have been other proud moments, but that is one I will never forget.

I’m sure working with relief efforts you would have seen some amazing things in the fall out from the Brisbane Floods what is a memory that stands out for you ?

Walking Turner Avenue in Fairfield was the most confronting image of the Brisbane flood. The mud, the smell but the hundreds of people working like busy bees cleaning, laughing and making community happen.

Who are your personal idols or heroes ?

My Grandmother who in the 1974 floods baked for Fairfield and surrounding areas during the clean up and recovery. Nigella Lawson of course is an idol. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have begun baking four years ago. And very recently Premier Anna Bligh. I think she will go down in history as a woman to be admired. I have also seen some amazing work meeting women and men during this baked relief journey which have brought me to tears many times with their amazing stories of overcoming life’s challenges. Everyone has a story!

What is your dream for Baked Relief long-term ?

The long-term mission is to continue to empower people to make a difference in their own world. Random acts of kindness, paying it forward, encouraging teenagers to get involved in community. For the moment this has been through immediate and short-term support to flood affected families and communities. In the longer term it’s about creating a more philanthropic society of support.
             And Finally what are you working on now ?

We are working on the cookbook for cooks project where we are encouraging people to clear out their cookbook collection and donate a few books which they no longer use or need. We are assisting families by providing gift vouchers to local (often flood affected) restaurants and look at assisting families with helping to get their kitchens set back up again. We are also looking for sponsorship and support to keep this work going.
If you want to make a difference to your own life, start by making a difference to someone elses.
You CAN change the world one cupcake at a time!

A big thank you to Danielle for taking the time to answer my questions, I hope she inspires everyone who reads this as much as she has inspired me. ( all photos courtesy of ABC via Baked Relief official website)

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Would The Real Can Do Campbell Please Stand Up ?

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Well the shit hath hiteth the faneth in the words of Shakespeare (ok so im paraphrasing a little). But today (somewhat inevitably some would say) The Fake Can Do Campbell was outed on Twitter and I am not the first nor will I be the last to be not only saddened by this, but to be outraged ! Yes outraged ! Come on people ! Cant anyone take a joke anymore ?

The Twittersphere went ballistic today with people claiming left right and centre to be the fake Campbell in an act of support to someone whose tweets we have all come to enjoy.  The Fake Campbell is funny, insightful and lets face it a lot more interesting than the real person.

I recently got to interview the Fake Campbell and he is great ! The sad thing that has clouded the issue is that people were so concerned with finding out who the imposter is that a lot of people have missed the point !

None of that matters ! Not who he is or what he does for a job when he isn’t being funny on Twitter what matters is that people felt like they were getting a say. People felt as though finally they were being heard ! Whether or not the real Campbell Newman ever read it was beside the point for most followers.

Like me most people enjoyed the opportunity to have a whinge and say what they really think. And now because someone decided to play silly games a lot of people may lose that opportunity and I for one think thats a real shame !

Now we can all sit back and potentially lose something that made us all smile because some snotty brat couldnt shut up ! Clearly they havent read my blog post “If You Cant Say Anything Nice Then Shut The Hell Up”. Why did we all have to know? Wouldnt it have been better and a lot more fun if he had remained nameless ? Do we always have to know the identity behind the caped crusader ?

I mean come on people you will all admit that Spiderman is way hotter in the suit then when he is Toby Maguire right ? Or Bruce Wayne ? Not to mention Catwoman without the secret identity and that hot catsuit she is just a shy retiring nerdy secretary !

A little mystery is good for people it makes life more exciting, it gives us all a little thrill. And I know your all nodding your heads right now cos lets face it a little kinky role-playing between consenting adults is never a bad thing. Now ok so maybe Can Do Campbell role-playing isnt sexy and admittedly if you find it kinky ill be a little concerned, it’s the premise behind it. Without the mystery it’s just not as dangerous and therefore not quite as fun.

I for one hope that because of one big mouth we don’t lose this funny, entertaining twitter feed! Its kept me laughing and smiling and its given a lot of people a voice. And I guess for all you weirdos out there who think Campbell is sexy its given you something to perve on you sick freaks ! (but who am I to judge?)

Damn the Man save the Fake Campbell ! At least he is funny !

BlondiieC (A Fake Campbell devotee)


P.s If you want to read my interview with the Fake Campbell Newman it’s under the Interview category and If you want to read more about all of this then keep your eyes peeled because like the good little thing I am I have already asked the Fake Campbell for another interview so he can address the backlash and he has kindly agreed ! So watch this space people I promise you wont be disappointed !

Oh and Fake Campbell, I may not think that Campbell is sexy but you will always be a Bruce Wayne to me 😉

Interview with the FAKE Campbell Newman


This week I took the time to interview someone who I have wanted to know more about for quite some time now. I am a fairly political person and I find a great amusement from anyone who is willing to stand up to traditional politics with their middle finger firmly extended. And this is what the Fake Campbell Newman is doing but not just to the Real Campbell Newman but to politics as a whole.

He gets more genuine feedback from punters around Brisbane than real politicians and a lot of it is truly helpful and insightful suggestions. Perhaps if the real pollies spent as much time engaging with voters as the fake ones do we would have a more efficiently run government, or maybe that’s just wishful thinking?

I hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed putting it all together for you. I think the Fake Campbell Newman is someone for people to keep their eye on, because whether you agree with what he is doing you have to admit he is damn funny !

Well first I know everyone wants to know, you could impersonate anyone why Campbell Newman ?

There were some big issues that I didn’t agree with, but it was a couple of little               ones that tipped me over the edge. Also my wife went away for a few days and I was bored…..

You seem to have a lot of insider information from the LordMayors office and now from inside the campaign for state parliament, how much can you tell us about how you come into possession of this information?

Over the last few months, I have discovered quite a few people within the organisations that feel they need a voice, but their positions mean that they  that they can’t come out publicly. I can say what ever I want and that gives a lot of freedom. Kinda like a mini wiki leaks, but without being run by a creepy dude who looks like an escapee from “Children of the Corn”

Recently there has been a lot of interest surrounding you identity, will you ever reveal who you really are ?
Whats the point of finding out who I am? I am really nobody. And who I am is not important, it’s the message that is.
You get a lot of attention from your Twitter followers, Have you had any bizarre feedback or requests ?
I’ve had a few folk who seem to think I am a “Stooge for The Young ALP” They are wrong on all counts. I aint a stooge, I aint young, and I have never been a member of the ALP or any other political party….
There was recently some very negative feedback from the LNP what is your response to that ?
They can kiss my hairy arse. Some grumpy old grey-headed Luddites, who seem to think they run the show. How fucking wrong they are.

 Your twitter followers send a lot of genuine feedback about services in Brisbane especially about projects like the Clem 7 tunnel and City Cycle, does any of that find its way back to the “real” Campbell Newman ?
Only if he reads my twitter feed. Which I highly doubt. These guys don’t listen. They tell. And therein lies the biggest issue. 

There is a growing number of “fake” politicians online now why do you think they are so popular?
Australia has a great history of larrikins. And taking the piss out off self-important wankers.

 Is there any truth to the rumour that you are a member of the very successful band Tism ?
I wish I was. I have long admired those guys. One of Australia’s greatest comedic talent

People have drawn a comparison between you and such comic heroes as Batman/Bruce Wayne, is it you intention to be a crusader of sorts ?
Crusader is a funny term, but I prefer mischief-maker. And I really like the interaction with the great people who follow me.

And finally can you give us a hint to your real identity ?
Well I certainly ain’t Lady GaGa, and I am really not Justin Bieber. Oh and for the record, I am NOT John Birmingham either. He is way smarter than me at this writing caper.

A BIG thank-you to the Fake Campbell Newman for agreeing to be interviewed and for the great feedback ! This was a funnier and stranger interview than what I’m used too but I have to say I enjoyed the process a lot! 
I love anyone who will stand up and have a say about what they are passionate about and I think this is the way of the future, if people wont start to listen to what people want, well we will have to find a way to make them listen !