Reflecting on her hugely successful career, Maggie admits that being a working mum wasn’t always easy.
‘I carried a lot of guilt as a mum because I worked so hard, well Colin [Beer] and I worked so hard all their lives,’ she tells New Idea.
‘But what we’ve done is have two very hard-working, independent and creative daughters.’
Growing up on their mum’s pheasant farm in South Australia, and being surrounded by food all their lives, it comes as no surprise that her daughters, Saskia and Elli, also have a passion for food.
‘My eldest daughter is an amazing cook, my youngest has a fantastic palette and understanding of food, but she says: “Why should I cook when Maggie says her career doesn’t allow her lots of time off, but she still spends it with family (from left, Maggie, granddaughter Zoe, Elli, grandson Ben, Colin and Saskia). you two cook,”’ laughs Maggie.
Despite working a lot when her daughters were growing up, Maggie’s career has clearly had a positive influence on her daughters, who have followed in their mum’s footsteps with foodie ventures of their own.
Saskia has her own produce business and Elli runs the Farm Eatery at Maggie’s pheasant farm.
Maggie’s strong affection for her children has clearly extended to her grandchildren, who she is very close with.
Ranging from 21 to three, Maggie is passionate about cultivating her grandchildren’s passion, whether it be with cooking or not.
‘Being a grandmother is a beautiful thing,’ she says. ‘I never babysit, my life doesn’t allow it, but I do have a special relationship with each of my grandchildren and they’re all so different. So, one of the best things is being able to foster the passion of each individual grandchild.’
From her family to her career, Maggie has an impressive list of achievements and she isn’t planning on slowing down.
For the past four years she has placed her energy into her foundation, which has a mission to change the quality of food in aged care across Australia.
‘It’s a huge commitment, but something that I believe in and love to do,’ shares Maggie.
And she admits her busy schedule doesn’t leave her a lot of free time.
‘One of the hardest things in life is to take time for yourself, but I’m still working on it,’ she says. ‘Maybe by the time I’m 75 I’ll have it down pat.’
When she does have time, Maggie loves spending it away at the beach with her husband, Colin, and visiting their farm in Adelaide – which was their first home together.
Colin and Maggie met at a party in 1970 and hit it off right away. Just 16 weeks later they were married, and after 48 years together, the couple are still mad about each other.
Maggie reveals that the secret ingredient to their successful marriage is really quite simple: ‘Love and laughter, without a doubt,’ she says.
Colin has been by Maggie’s side through thick and thin, and she admits that she probably wouldn’t be where she is now without his support through it all.
‘He is my greatest supporter and he always has been,’ she gushes. ‘I couldn’t have done it without him, we did it as a team.’
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea - out now!