Debbie Kruger
Photo by Henry Diltz

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Debbie Kruger

I started DebbieKruger.com in 2002, long before blogs and Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest came into prominence. I like to keep up with the pace but I am a traditionalist, too. I was, after all, a child of the seventies. The site is vast and covers both my personal and professional lives. This page is a brief introduction to me and how I got here. Welcome!

So who am I? Obviously I'm all the things listed on the sidebar of each page on this site. I'm a whiz (and wiz) at PR, a writer of some acclaim – being an entertainment journalist since the mid-eighties and a published author of a highly respected book on music, Songwriters Speak. I am a radio presenter, a traveller and someone who loves her home life, too, with all that encompasses.

As of 2013 I am also a blogger – eleven years after starting the Debsite – as my greatest passions other than entertainment are fashion and style, and how they integrate with travel and life at home, wherever home might be. As my life continues, I find that style gives great meaning to my life, and that is something I'm exploring here and in my blog, Flights Of Fashion.

So here's a potted history of some of what you'll find around the Debsite.

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, the too-cute first child of Lou and Lisa Kruger. My parents say that as a toddler I would climb out of my pram, get down on the pavement and declare, "I'm a doggy-doo." Clearly I was bold and adventurous from an early age. Not to mention articulate and profound. Debbie aged 2

Debbie and friends in 1972
That's me, top left, in the funky purple outfit, with Masada College girlfriends at my 10th birthday party. Rachel Ehrlich is at my elbow.
My childhood was fairly normal, if you can say that attending a small religious school with only seven children in my class was normal. My ego somehow managed to survive being regularly pipped to the post for lead roles in our primary school musicals (Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver! and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) by the ever-popular Rachel Ehrlich. I had other ambitions. At the age of 10, my greatest dream was to sing "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree" on Young Talent Time, and I spent hours practicing in front of the mirror.
From an early age, music was important in my life, and I was listening to the radio actively from around the age of nine or ten. 2SM was my station of choice and my 2SM Shrine, a site-within-a-site here, is one of the most popular historical media sites on the web in Australia. By 1976, well ensconsed at Killara High School, I was quite the groovy gal, heading off to Queen and ABBA and Sherbet concerts in my denim gear and blue Yardley pot-o-gloss eye shadow. A child of the '70s - and proud of it! There's a lot more about those days and music's influence on my life in the '70s in the Broadcaster and Music and Mayhem sections of this site.
Debbie in 1976
SADD My Young Talent Time ambition having never been fulfilled, I carried my hopes into the Killara High Entertainers Talent Quest, where my friends Shari, Alison and Derani joined me in what was possibly the first ever ABBA tribute band, SADD.

We didn't win, but our "Ring Ring" and "Dancing Queen" were awesome.

My high school days were instrumental in shaping my life to this day. Among my dearest lifelong friends are fellow Killara High alumni, and our reunions are grand events. I deal with the Killara High influence in the Homebody section of this site.
In the 1980s I travelled relentlessly, but still managed to pick up my Bachelor of Arts from the University of NSW and then my Master of Arts in Theatre Studies from the same university. I studied for the MA while also working full-time as a star journalist with the show business newspaper Variety. Prior to that, in 1985-86, I spent a year as the Membership Officer with the Australian Writers Guild, working alongside esteemed script writers such as David Williamson and Justin Fleming and gaining a wealth of contacts with which to embark on my journalistic career. I also worked on writing program material, assessing manuscripts and researching plays for the Sydney Theatre Company. Debbie at Graduation in 1985
Interestingly, I had decided in the early 1980s that I did not want to be a journalist. I even dropped out of the highly regarded Communications degree course at what was then Mitchell College of Advanced Education (now Charles Sturt University) in 1981 - although that could have been more due to the college's location in the NSW town of Bathurst, a place I have tried not to return to since. I felt more comfortable at UNSW, even though in those days an Arts degree for Jewish girls was considered to be a precursor to marriage.
At any rate, one's true vocation tends to catch up with one, and although my great career goal was to be a literary manager in a theatre company - either the Sydney Theatre Company or Royal National Theatre in London would do - I found myself pursuing a career as a high-flying entertainment journalist. More about this in the Writer section.
Debbie and Justin in London
Debbie with Justin Fleming
in London, 1991.
In 1990 I moved to London to pursue my dream of working in theatre, and I did read manuscripts for the National Theatre for a while, as well as review major West End plays for Variety during my year as a London reporter. But journalism prevailed over theatre as a career. It was during the two years I spent in London at this time that I made my first foray into PR, looking after all the communications and publicity for a fledgling group of Australian Arts professionals based in London, named Australian Actors Abroad. This – and more about my many stays in the UK and elsewhere around the world – can be found in the Jetsetter section.
Moving back to Sydney in mid-1992, I found Australia deep in recession and, after six months or so of looking at my options, for no paticular reason I got in the car and headed north to Byron Bay, where I stayed on and off for 20 years. I became a bovine-friendly, dog-loving, land-owning country girl with a paradisical base from which to write articles for national and international publications, a successful national public relations business, Kruger PRofiles, whose clients included the Brisbane Biennial International Music Festival and the Brisbane International Film Festival, and a weekly radio show called "Debbie Does Breakfast." Debbie at the Byron Bay Lighthouse
Debbie in Uncle Sam hat During my time in Byron Bay I found myself drawn to the United States more and more, with a number of visits there sourcing information for music and travel stories. I made a lengthy visit to Los Angeles in 1998/99, when I immersed myself in the Californian music scene that I have so loved all my life, interviewed some of my favourite artists, such as Linda Ronstadt and Chicago, and connected with legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. I have worked with Henry and his company Morrison Hotel Gallery over many years now as his international consultant, which has given me the opportunity to do PR for other legendary photographers such as Pattie Boyd.
Back in Australia again by mid-1999, I settled back in Byron Bay as PR Manager for Sunspirit Aromatherapy, but realised that my LA experience had me seeking new and more stimulating work that revolved around the music industry. So I rented out my house near Byron Bay and made a move back to Sydney, taking on the exciting role as Manager of Communications and Public Affairs with the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), where I worked with and on behalf of Australian and New Zealand composers and songwriters.
My lifelong passion for music, writing and communicating culminated in my first book, Songwriters Speak, released in August 2005. Featuring interviews with 45 of Australia and New Zealand's greatest songwriters, it truly was a labour of love, taking four years to put it together. There is a website on the book, detailing the process of interviewing and writing, the launches, media coverage and associated CD. The book garnered excellent coverage (it didn't hurt that the author was also a PR whiz) and is still commended and used as a resource to this day.

Hot off the press – my first book.
It was like giving birth.
After my book came some interesting jobs including a stint as PR Manager for Apple Computer, managing the media launch for iTunes in Australia, and some fun in tourism PR with Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. In late 2006 I moved back to Byron Bay and began happily working from my home there when family tragedy struck. I'd already lost my father in 2004, and now my mother, a relatively young woman still at 67, was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, and I took on the hardest role of my life as my mother's full-time live-in carer until she died in late 2007. My beautiful 16-year old dog, Morgan, who has a page all of her own on the Debsite, died six days before Mum. It was a bad week.
I spent the next few years travelling a lot. Hawaii was a repeated destination as I always felt more at peace there. Los Angeles was a regular go-to. I also spent time in Philadelphia, London, visited my mother's birthplace of Bucharest, and discovered the beauty of Provence in the south of France.
My radio show from the nineties in Byron, Debbie Does Breakfast, came back to life, and my PR work was busy and varied. But I was unsettled and wanted more than I was getting in my newly renovated home outside Byron with dreamy swimming pool and landscaped gardens, now known as Club Deb. I was living in paradise but missing a more thriving, more stylish, more challenging existence. So I did something I never thought I'd do. I sold Club Deb.
In June 2012 I packed up the house, left Byron Bay after 20 years there, and set off on an overseas trip of undetermined duration. But of course I returned to Australia, this time back to Sydney. My adventures on those travels during 2012-2013, primarily in fashion, music. food and people, will be told here on the Debsite and on Flights Of Fashion, as I resettle in Sydney in late 2013 and delve into great new work, all to be revealed soon.

Maybe not such a brief introduction, but it's just a smattering of what I have done and what I am about, especially as life and career are always a work in progress. So I hope you'll take the time to explore the site and find out more about my life and career, and keep checking in for news and updates.


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