The late Sayde Hayson personified hard work, a valuable skill she passed on to her entrepreneurial son, John Hayson. To some she was known as ‘Sally’, a competitive entrepreneur who defied the odds doing more than most working mothers. Sally was a well-known Northbridge Plaza owner, a property she purchased and co-owned with her son from 1987 to 2004. The mother and son team turned a underperforming Plaza into a successful shopping centre. Growing up, Sally had a difficult life, hard work was something she learned and mastered at a very young age.
With no formal education, Sally was married at a young age. By the time she reached 27, Sally had 3 children and was running a fruit shop where she worked 18 hour shifts, seven days each week. Sally was determined to succeed in both business and motherhood.
Her day started at 2am, driving to the fruit markets in order to make it back to help her kids get ready for school. Between running the fruit markets and being a mother; Sally was also a busy real estate trader. She sold land and built houses with capital from her business.
In the midst of all of that she was also running a small shopping centre started by her father-in-law. She sold the fruit shop, and added an additional 22 shops and eight offices. Sally sold the shopping centre in 1986, and the following year purchased Northbridge Plaza. When she bought the plaza it wasn’t a thriving business, the first redevelopment was in 1989 with the redesigning of internal mall areas to correct traffic flow, some additional shops and a refurbishment. The last extension took place in 2001, with Sally dedicating more and more time to making the venture a success.
In 52 years Sally went on holiday twice.
In the years that followed, the Plaza became one of the best performing shopping centres in Sydney. Apart from being a successful business woman, Sally was also a humanitarian donating to community groups and local schools. She was a founding sponsor of the Umbilical Cord Blood Bank, and each year she sponsored the Northbridge Rotary fireworks and donated to Royal North Shore Hospital annually. The Rotary Club Northbridge awarded her with its highest honour, the Paul Harris fellowship.
Sally sadly passed away in 2010 on the 16th of August at the age of 69 after a long struggle with cancer, but her legacy lives on.