What was the first job you had in journalism?
I started on radio doing news reporting so it was absolutely everything. You’d go out and do a state politics story, a sports story, a crime story or even a colour story. I knew a little bit about everything but not a huge amount about one thing, so that was a really good training ground. It was challenging though because with radio you always have that one-hour deadline.
How did you get started with Channel 7?
I started doing work experience at 3AW and then I worked at NOVA with Hughesy and Kate on their breakfast show, but I always wanted to get into news.
There was a new radio station starting up called MTR so I put my hand up to be involved. It was there that I met Tim Watson who put in a good word for me at Channel 7. So I put a demo together of me doing pieces to camera all around Melbourne and the news director was impressed enough to hire me.
Have you made any mistakes while covering the courts?
Court has been a really steep learning curve. I accidentally had a Supreme Court jury discharged when I reported on things the jury hadn’t heard. As soon as I found out I wrote a letter of apology to the court. Luckily it was the first or second day of the trial, but that was very frightening.
How did you get started with the Carlton Football Club?
One of the guys that I worked with at 3AW now works at Carlton. Carlton had the lowest female membership base of any football club and I thought it was a really great time to be a woman in sport because everyone is trying to be politically correct and inclusive. When he asked me if I’d be interested I didn’t hesitate.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I think my highlight is yet to come, I think it will be the Rio Paralympics. Travelling with work is something that I’ve always wanted to do so this is my first opportunity to do that. Also there’ll be inspiring stories of humans overcoming adversity and going to the Olympics, so I think that’s my highlight.
How did you build your contacts?
Through my course I was able to do work experience so I used that as a massive stepping stone. Whatever opportunity you have to get into the door just use and never burn any bridges. Radio’s a good starting point because you go to press conferences and you meet the cameraman and the other journos and you hear if there are any jobs going. You always just have to keep your ears and eyes open.
Have you had a mentor?
Not particularly, but I’d like to think when there are young women coming up the ranks I’d try to mentor them. One of the first stories I covered was a five person fatal. They were all 21 so not much younger than me. Talking to their grieving families was tough, so I know how much it means to be asked “are you okay?” at the end of a hard day.
Do you have any tips?
Be persistent without being a stalker. Even if you don’t know what you want to do, go into an interview saying that you want the job on offer. I said to the news director, ‘I want to do tv, I’m happy to take any job you offer me, I’ll work weekends, I’ll do whatever’. Just be clear and passionate. You never know when a contact is going to come in handy, contacts are everything. Talk to people and start building a network.