Where are you working now and in what role?
I’m working as an ABC news reporter in north west Queensland. I’m a multi-platform reporter, so every day is different! I file radio news stories and packages, read news bulletins live on air, write breaking news stories for online, do live TV crosses for ABC News Breakfast and file TV stories for the ABC’s 7pm TV news. I recently got to travel to a remote Indigenous community to cover a story on police brutality for 7.30. My ‘patch’ covers hundreds of kilometres, from Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, all across the outback. I’ve covered murders, the southern hemisphere’s biggest rodeo,Indigenous native title wins and moments when the drought has broken for cattle farmers.
What do you love about your job?
It’s pretty crazy that I’m basically being paid to travel and talk to people. I love getting out on the road and meeting people I would never have got to talk to if I’d stayed in Jervis Bay. To have people trust you with their stories is so special. More than anything, journalism has taught me to be empathetic, to listen to people and to try to understand why they act or feel a way. Everyone has a story that’s worth telling. Every day brings new challenges, and that’s what I love; I’m never bored!
Did anyone at VHS inspire you to follow your chosen career path?
I was really lucky to have a handful of teachers believe in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. Having the support of teachers like Ms Keogh, Ms Kennedy, Mr Fairs and Mr Brindley who told me to trust my gut and do what I love, was really important.
Did you have many challenges to get to where you are now?
I really struggled with anxiety and depression in school, and I almost didn’t finish Year 12 because of it. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t reached out and got help, and consistently worked on my mental health. It can be a tough thing to talk about but coming to terms with how you can tackle mental health issues with a professional will change your life.
Do you have any advice for our current students?
Get out of your comfort zone! Every time I’ve been out of my comfort zone, my career and my mental health has progressed. If something makes you nervous, it’s your gut telling you to go do it. You’re only young once, just go for it. And have fun, life’s too short.