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Bond graduates launch careers inspired by Women in Media

By Elka Devney and Ella Strange, Bond University journalism students

Where are they now? We take a look at the careers of a few of Bond University’s journalism graduates as they make their way in the world

The Women in Media conference is proving to be a successful springboard into the industry for those journalism students who cover the event each year.

Bond University’s Journalism program has run its Pop-Up Newsroom initiative at every Women in Media national conference, giving students real-world experience and opportunities to network with some of Australia’s leading female journalists.

Often this has resulted in job offers, including from some of the country’s biggest media organisations.

We checked in with eight previous student journalists to see where they are today, and asked their advice for students wanting careers in the media.

‘Take time to figure out who you are’

Tatiana Carter completed a Bachelor of Journalism in 2019 and Master of Communication in 2020 and is now a social media and video producer for the Ten Network.

“I wish someone had told me that it is okay not to know what you want to do straight after graduation,” she said.

“It is okay to take time to figure out who you are before determining what you want to become in this industry.

“I worked a number of jobs doing corporate communications, freelance social media producing, news writing, and even working in a café.”

Tatiana said she wouldn’t be where she is today if it were not for the guidance of revered Bond journalism teacher, the late Mike Grenby.

“Writing for News Media will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first journalism class at Bond,” she said.

Writing with personality

Digital journalist Dinushka Gunkasekra is living the dream covering fashion, lifestyle, beauty and food for Style Magazine after graduating from Bond in 2019.

She completed a Bachelor of Journalism majoring in creative writing and said she loved Bond’s Feature Writing class.

“After semesters of writing hard news, I was ecstatic to write with a personality,” she said.

“As a student journalist, you must write, write and write, and consume what you want to create.”

Pivoting is paramount

Emily Bradfield is a community projects officer for a Gold Coast councillor, having graduated from her journalism degree in 2018.

After a year of grassroots community reporting with the Dalby Herald, Emily covered the drought and some of the bush’s most extraordinary characters with the Rural Weekly before it closed in 2020.

“The media is a rapidly evolving landscape, and the ability to pivot your skills in any direction is paramount to success,” she said.

“Using my skills in journalism and knowledge of rural issues, I worked as a media advisor for the former Minister of Agriculture.

“I credit my vast experience at Bond, such as student reporting at this conference, to my resilience and ability to reset my career goals.”

Ram sales, citrus are opportunities for growth

Land Reporter Alexandra Bernard covers agriculture in Wagga Wagga after completing a Bachelor of Journalism majoring in International Relations in 2019.

From citrus and wine grape growers to cropping and ram sales, Alexandra enjoys talking to people who are passionate about what they do.

“During my time at Bond, I interviewed (Walkley Award-winning journalist) Hedley Thomas as part of a project,” she said.

“He described his young cadet self as utterly hopeless, giving me more confidence going forward.

“Bond has so many great opportunities; you just have to jump in and give it a go.”

‘Say yes to every opportunity’

West Australian newspaper AFL reporter Eliza Reilly graduated from Bond in 2018.

“Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way,” she said.

“Decide early on your niche and cater your degree to gain experience in that area.

“Last year, I had the opportunity to cover the AFL grand final in Perth at Optus stadium.”

Formerly a Gold Coast Bulletin sports reporter, Eliza won a Clarion Queensland journalism award for her coverage of the Nutri-Grain Iron X debacle.

She credits Bond’s Freelance Features class for her interest in writing long-form articles about subject matters that the mainstream media doesn’t widely explore.

From FBI agents to Paralympians

Brisbane Times breaking news reporter Cloe Read graduated from Bond in 2018 after studying a Bachelor of Journalism majoring in International Relations.

“I have interviewed some amazing people, including child soldiers, the families behind cold cases and murders, Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and even an FBI agent who took on the Taliban,” she said.

“My favourite class at Bond was Caro Graham’s Creative Writing, despite this being different to what I write now.

“You have to take any opportunity that comes your way, even if it is not something that interests you.

“Who knows? You might need those skills somewhere down the track in your career.”

‘Stand out by being yourself’

Network 10 reporter Kate Banville studied a Bachelor of Journalism at Bond but received a job offer in the industry before graduation.

“It’s hard to pick a favourite class because I loved them all,” she said.

“The facilities at Bond are above industry standard, making an environment full of opportunity there for the taking.

“This, combined with the genuinely interesting lectures in your education, means it is a safe place to learn and fully prepare you for the realities of the industry.”

Working for organisations from ABC Gold Coast, to WIN News, the Townsville Bulletin and ABC North Queensland, Kate took every opportunity that came her way.

“Jump in the deep end,” she said.

“You might stumble, fall, and even fail sometimes, but you won’t get anywhere standing still.

“There are no linear lines for a job in journalism, so stand out by being yourself.”

‘Think outside the box’

George Lynsar is working in IT after graduating with a Bachelor of Journalism from Bond in 2020, majoring in Law, Government and Crime.

“My favourite class at Bond was Media and Crime as it perfectly connected the two things I wanted to study the most,” he said.

While George decided to take a break from academia, he credits his degree for the investigative skills he has acquired.

“There is a wide array of tools and avenues available to budding journos,” he said.

“That is why thinking outside the box is so important.”

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