What is your current role?
I am an agricultural reporter with Farm Weekly. My main news round is livestock, but I am particularly passionate about feature writing and long-form journalism. I feel so grateful that people trust me to share their stories and always hope I can give them the justice they deserve.
How did you get into journalism?
Growing up, my Nanna would save editions of the local newspaper – The South Eastern Times – for me to read when I visited. I dreamed of one day becoming a journalist and seeing my byline on those pages. After a stint of high school work experience, my dream came true when I scored a cadetship at 17 years old. I’ll never forget that phone call – best ever!
How does it feel to be the Caroline Jones Women in Media Young Journalist’s Award recipient?
I can’t explain how much it means to me or how grateful, thankful I am to have been chosen and for the opportunities that lie ahead. I believe every rural, regional journo should be recognised for the incredible work they do in giving communities a voice and keeping them informed. The fact I have been recognised for doing something I love honestly leaves me speechless! It means everything.
What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered?
As is the case for many people, last year was up there with the most challenging. Long story short: I lost my job to COVID-19. A week later I got it back and was told I could work remotely at the same time I was offered work on the Nullarbor. So I reported full-time and remotely for Sunraysia Daily from the Nullarbor while also working full-time at the Eucla roadhouse. This often meant 15+ hour days, every day of the week for almost six months until Mum told me something had to give. At the same time, one of my close friends in the UK passed away from COVID. I know there were people far worse off and I was lucky to have two jobs, but there was so much fear and anxiety about the unknown and uncertainty about the future. COVID has taught me to appreciate every person and everything that makes life so great.
Who has influenced or mentored you?
It is really difficult to name just one person. I feel like I have been lucky enough to have so many different people help and guide me through my career. From the newsroom, to getting out in the community and even living overseas and on the Nullarbor – everyone I have met along the way has influenced me and had some kind of impact.
What is something no one knows about you?
When I was a teenager I almost lost sight in my left eye. I was playing basketball and someone on the opposing team poked me in the eye. It was a very long road to recovery.
What are you most looking forward to with your CJ Award?
I’m looking forward to meeting and being mentored by some of the most talented and admirable women in the industry. I still can’t believe I’m being given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this.
What are you reading at the moment?
Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Ginger Gorman’s book Troll Hunting is next on my list!
What does the immediate future hold?
Annual leave over the Christmas break. I can’t get back to SA to be with family but I have my sister and some amazing friends here in WA. Hopefully I can organise a road trip to check out some of the stations up north.
Describe a perfect day in your role?
A perfect day for me is definitely one where I am on the road. I love visiting farmers and rural communities, having a chat over a coffee and then checking out the farm. I love being on the road and talking to people face-to-face as opposed to over the phone.