She is a doting grandmother, keen sports fan and a dental therapist who would prefer her privacy to the media limelight.
Her new role in public life since husband Paul Lennon was sworn in as Premier last Sunday still doesn’t sit comfortably. “I don’t really know what it’s going to involve,” she said.
“I don’t really know what’s expected of me. I’m not going to be a circus performer, though.”
At her second-ever interview, she is slightly guarded at first, and jokes about how she’s “not very good at posing for photos”.
But although she is a private person, Mrs Lennon has a down-to- earth, friendly manner.
“I’m a social person because that’s what I do for a living,” she said. “I spend all day waffling on to children.” And around two-year-old grandson Josh, she is at her most relaxed as she laughs at him throwing acorns in the park, and holds his hand as they cross the road.
A born and bred Tasmanian, the 46-year-old has spent most of her life in the northern suburbs of Hobart.
She has an older sister and brother but never felt she fitted the stereotype of the spoilt youngest child.
“My brother had asthma so he was the one that was looked after like the hothouse plant,” she said.
Her public school education took her through Glenorchy Primary School and Rosetta High School, then to Hobart College where she decided to pursue a career as a dental therapist.
“It was something I wanted to do for a long time,” she said. “I like the community work. I find it quite rewarding helping somebody.”
Her posting at Bridgewater for the past five years has seen her build a close rapport with her patients. “You consider them almost friends because you see them regularly,” she said.
But it was in her first position within the Health Department where she would meet the man she fell in love with at first sight.
Their first meeting was on Paul’s birthday, when mutual friends introduced them at Friday night drinks. Three days later, when Margaret rang to tell him he had left his cardigan in her car, Paul asked her out again.
“There wasn’t a day went by until I was posted to St Helens that we didn’t see each other,” she said.
Their common interest in sports, his quirky and sometimes silly sense of humour and a shared ideal of a strong family life attracted the couple to each other.
Almost 26 years since they got married, they have two adult daughters, Nicky, 22, who is a staffer with Education Minister Paula Wriedt’s office, and Danielle, 24, a nurse who is in the UK.
The new addition to the family is grandson Josh who is the apple of his poppy’s eye.
“It’s something that people don’t see because of his public image but Paul’s main focus is family,” Mrs Lennon said. “Up until now we’ve all enjoyed our privacy because it’s something that Paul is very good at protecting.”
His fondness of small children belies the hard-man image that the Premier has been notorious for.
“He’s always been a bit of a kid magnet,” she said. “If there’s a child in the room he tends to go for the child and have a bit of a game.”
The Premier is a self-confessed workaholic and with more than 20 years as a public figure and the job has at times taken its toll on his family life.
“At first when the children were small, it was difficult with the union work because there was a fair bit of travel and a lot of long trips away,” Mrs Lennon said. “I guess it’s been character-building because we’ve learnt to do our own thing.”
The family has also learnt to deal with the personal attacks that come with life in the political arena.
“I don’t worry too much about it if it’s not impacting on Paul personally,” she said. “Sometimes the children used to get a bit hurt, but there’s not much you can do about it.”
But when they’re at home together, Mrs Lennon says that politics stays in the office as she has no particular interest in it.
“I’m a bit of a failure in that department,” she said. “On some of the really big issues I have my say. But we don’t tend to talk about work much.”
She also doubts that Nicky or Danielle will follow in their father’s footsteps and enter politics.
“I think you have to be a good debater and a good actor,” she said.
Mrs Lennon reveals that her husband once trod the boards in the annual plays that the Health Department would put on.
“He wasn’t a bad actor, but he wasn’t much good at dancing, ” she said. On a serious note, she said that Tasmania was in good hands with her husband at the helm although the circumstances of the handover were distressing for everyone.
Former Premier and good family friend Jim Bacon was forced to resign to fight inoperable lung cancer. “There were mixed feelings at the swearing-in because Jim and Honey (his wife) were there,” Mrs Lennon said. “I was sad for them but also happy for Paul.”
The news of his close mate’s diagnosis has also resulted in the Premier’s resolve to give up smoking.
“I’m very proud of him,” Mrs Lennon said. “I gave up many moons ago so I know everything he’s going through.”
And she said that the hard work he put into everything he did would make him a formidable leader.
“I have every confidence in him because I know what he’s like,” she said. “He researches every subject and he’s very particular about everything he does.”
According to Mrs Lennon. that goes right down to helping around the house with chores.
“He’s very domesticated now,” she said. “He’s very fussy.”
And particularly so when it comes to his famous predilection for collecting dozens of silk ties.
“I’m not allowed to buy the ties,” she said. “I don’t choose very good ties, apparently.”
As the interview draws to a close Mrs Lennon laughs at a skinny little whippet being walked through the park. “I like little, fat, scruffy dogs,” she said. “A bit like me, really.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.