Like so many before me, I’ve done the hard yards in a range of locations and roles. My first entry into the media and communications industry was through unpaid work experience at the Sydney Morning Herald, Channel Ten and Radio 2UE. My first paid media job was answering telephones at Radio 2KY overnight.
I studied Communications at Charles Sturt University-Mitchell, one of the country’s leading institutions for journalists and those in the media industry. Illustrious alumni include Andrew Denton and Amanda Keller, and some of the great journalists of Sydney media I would later call colleagues.
While in Bathurst, I worked at Radio 2BS and B-Rock. This gave me experience in a number of roles ranging from presenting, reporting and management. While there I even picked up a couple of national commercial radio industry awards.
My first major role in Sydney was working at the city’s leading commercial station for news and current affairs, 2UE. There I filled a number of roles including as senior reporter and the Police rounds.
It was during my time at 2UE I was tasked with covering one of the biggest stories of my career, the Bali Bombings, as one of the first Australian journalists on the ground there. I also covered countless court stories and the terrible Waterfall train disaster.
From 2UE I progressed to 2GB, which had now become the city’s highest rating station. During this time I edited news on the busy breakfast shift – the Alan Jones Breakfast Show. A busy shift with half hourly news, before heading out on the road to cover the big stories of the day. In 2004 I covered the Athens Olympic Games.
I was then offered an incredible opportunity – and an incredible change, as the sole on the road reporter for the Nova network in Sydney. The role was covering the big news stories of the day and provided an opportunity to be more versatile and better understand the importance of targeting news and communications dependent on your audience.
In 2008, I then moved into media in a Government agency, the NSW Rural Fire Service. This is an organisation I spent a lot of time with as a journalist, and one I always admired and wished I could work there.
Working long and challenging days, particularly during serious bush fire seasons, I progressed to the role of Director, Corporate Communications. This is a Senior Executive Service level position, with responsibilities for media, online communications, community engagement, organisational communications, corporate and international relations, and executive support.
Key achievements include being the Public Liaison Coordinator during major bush fire emergencies including the October 2013 bush fires, and improving public safety through the Service’s key communications and engagement activities.