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Helen Machalias: My favourite things

Helen Machalias moved to Canberra in early 2018 to join YWCA Canberra as Executive Director, Communication, Advocacy and Engagement. This role allows her to pursue her passion for women’s leadership and violence prevention, and she is an ACT Ministerial Advisory Council for Women member, advisory group member of the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance, and Country to Canberra mentor. As a politics junkie, country girl and new mother, she loves the lifestyle, landscape and opportunities available in the ACT. Helen is currently completing a First Seen creative development with The Street Theatre for her new play Barren Ground, set on Christmas Island detention centre, which features elements of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. She has previously worked with The Street to adapt Robin Klein’s People Might Hear Youand produce In Loco Parentis, a play about sexual assault on university campuses, which received a Canberra Critics’ Circle Award.


Walking is how I relax and process ideas, and I often unravel knotty writing problems on foot rather than in front of my computer. Some of my favourite routes nearby are the bridge to bridge walk, Weston Park and Jerrabomberra Wetlands.

close up of feet walking

Supporting local businesses

It’s a tough time for small business, so I consciously buy local. Some of my favourite Canberra region gems are Rowdy Digital, Four Winds Vineyard and Mallaluka wines, Three Mills Bakery, Morks Thai and Alison Jackson jewellery.

woman wearing a mask and holding open a door


I proudly share my life with my gorgeous crew (husband Rey and son Alex) and am close to my family spread across NSW and Queensland. I’m excited to start passing on family traditions to Alex that I treasure from my own childhood (being Greek, many of them food related!).

couple walking with their child


Typewriters are a meaningful symbol to me, as I wrote early plays on my Grandma’s typewriter as a kid. Guests wrote us notes on a vintage typewriter for our wedding guestbook, and one of my favourite pieces of jewellery is a bracelet made of typewriter keys that Rey gave me.


I feel very lucky to live in Kingston. We live in an apartment block with community-minded neighbours, and I love Kingston’s convenience, variety of cafes and restaurants, and the proximity to the lake and national cultural institutions.

a lake on a sunny day

For more My favourite things:

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