Aust Zoo handlers keep close eye on housemate
News source: The Sunshine Coast Daily, Page 8, Tuesday 25 April 2006
SUNSHINE Coast animal lover Claire Madden has gone from one zoo to starring in another. The outgoing conservationist had traded the confines of the world-famous Australia Zoo for the Big Brother house on the Gold Coast.
Claire, 22, is one of two Queenslanders starring in the reality television juggernaut.
Those who worked with Claire, who started at the zoo in September and resigned nine days ago, said she had the personality and intelligence to win.
Tanya Kurzbock, 30, said she wasn't expecting her friend, who is single, to involve herself in any of the shenanigans for which the show had become notorious.
“I think she can win it,” she said. “If she doesn't stay there right till the end I will be very surprised.
“I know she can hold her own and I think she'll remain professional and do herself justice.
“I don't think she'll do anything silly like make a bad name for herself. She's too smart for that.
“But she has a really zany side to her and she'll be a lot of fun to watch.”
Tanya said Claire's inclusion as one of the 15 housemates had the zoo – no stranger to celebrity or hype - “Buzzing”.
“When she told me she was going for the initial audition I said ‘you'll be going into the house for sure'," she said.
“I just knew it. She just stands out. She intelligent, she's beautiful, she's passionate.”
According to her biography on the website schoolfriends.com.au, Claire finished school on the Gold Coast before completing a bachelor of Science in Animal Studies with first class honors at the University if Queensland Gatton.
She indicated she had plans to study a degree in veterinary science in Melbourne so she could help save orang-utans.
On the official Big Brother website, Claire said she had entered the house both to raise awareness for conservation and for personal reasons.
“I want my family to really know who I am,” she said.
“We are quite a distant family. We only really talk to one another when there is a reason, whether it be good/bad news. I constantly get the feeling that they really don't know me.
“The second reason is I want to find my true self. I know and understand who I am, and who I want to be, but I know at times I say and do things that don't reflect the person I wish to be.”
Claire described herself as a “show pony” who was “determined, passionate and loving” and excited about “having the cameras focused on me”. “People should love me,” she said.
The housemates are vying for a first prize of $1 million, although that sum stood at just over $900,000 last night after several of them were fined for breaking house rules.