Angela Condous was Lady Mayoress of the City of Adelaide (married to the Lord Mayor) between 1987-1993.
Early Life and Career
Angela Condous was born in 1946 in Adelaide as the eldest and only girl in a family of four. Her mother was born in Queensland and her father came from Greece as a young boy and later served in the RAAF in World War II. When her father died at the age of 35, Angela and her brothers helped their mother in their Goodwood Deli. Angela attended Unley Girls Technical High School and after leaving school she became a secretary working at a firm of trustees, an advertising agency and then later at the retail grocery business of Steve Condous, her future husband.
When Steve ‘The People’s Lord Mayor’ became Lord Mayor in 1987, Angela had had experience as a committee member for “The Lady Mayoress Charitable Trust Fund Committee’” but had never given a speech before. Her first job as Lady Mayoress was to talk to 300 women at the Adelaide Club. Although she had never made a speech in her life and was petrified, she is now she is an accomplished speaker regularly talks at events and functions.
Steve had 3 terms as Lord Mayor and regularly worked 80 hours a week. Angela was beside him but made sure she was home to be with their little girl Anastasia when she got home from school. She spent four days a week at Town Hall with the emphasis to raise money for local charities which she became renowned for. The most glamorous of which was a fashion parade, whereby local designers teamed up with David Jones to show off latest fashions. The show was a news stopper and the next day, she had arranged for it to be repeated. Closely following this function was the dinner dance and Piaget Diamond Exhibition at the Hyatt. The Lady Mayoress Fashion Awards was also initiated.
With Angela’s charitable contribution to the community well known, by the end of her time at Town Hall she sat on a total of 12 committees all with the aim to raise money for various causes. The Adelaide based charities included WCA, Mary Potter Hospice Missions and Hutt Street Centre. After town hall, Steve went on to be the Liberal Member for Colton and so the Condous family continued to be in the public eye until 2002 when Steve retired from politics.
At the end of 1993, Peter Wylie, Managing Director of The Advertiser approached Angela to ask what she her plans were after Town Hall. Rupert Murdoch wanted to start a Foundation to give back to the community and so Angela became their Patron. After 21 years, what started as only two functions a year has grown to total of eight and attracts some of the biggest names in Australian showbiz (Kate Cebrano, Barry Humphries) donating their time to raise money at these sell out events of an attendance of 400 to 1000. Angela again generously donates her time to organise these events that raise money for charities.
Perhaps one of the most memorable key-event to take place while Steve and Angela were in Town Hall was the Royal reception of Prince Charles and Princess Diana and the 1400 people in attendance at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The event was hosted by both the Premier John Bannon, his wife, Lord Mayor Steve Condous and Angela. Instead of inviting all the usual attendees of civic functions, Steve tore up the list and started fresh by sending out 1400 invites from the government and the Adelaide Council. He invited residents from all over the city, city office and shop workers that wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to meet royalty - much to the displeasure of Adelaide’s society!
On the evening of the reception Princess Diana asked Angela about their newly adopted daughter and the Princess also commended Steve on the guests he invited to the reception. Both Prince Charles and Princess Diana were so impressed they made a point to try to talk to all of the specially invited guests. Another memorable visit was Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at a special luncheon at Town Hall in 1988.
The Advertiser, Partridge, L., ‘Our new lady wants to be treated like an ordinary’, 15 May 1987.
The Advertiser, ‘Mayor defends new-look Royal function guest list’, 30 January 1988, p29.
The Advertiser, Partridge, L., ‘Princess approves of workers amongst the guests’, 29 January 1988.
The Advertiser, Daw, M., ‘Not just a support act’, 8 September 1992.
Sunday Mail, Rawlins, G., ‘New mother’s have ‘claim’ on Mayoress elect’, 29 March 1987.