Tell us about your journey into the role of Deputy Chief of Staff at The West Australian?
Originally I started my career at The West Australian’s regional division as a sub-editor. Working with other people’s copy taught me plenty about what to do and what not to do in journalism. As a young reporter, I also took on opportunities to cover staff absences across WA, including time in Albany, Kalgoorlie, and even in Busselton as an editor for a period.
In 2016, I joined The West Australian as a State Political Reporter, covering the round during the closely fought 2016 Federal Election, including a Clive Palmer press conference where I was the only journalist in attendance. As part of that role, I also covered the 2017 State Election and the first 18 months of the McGowan Labor Government.
After a five year break where I worked in Federal politics, I returned to The West Australian in May this year as Deputy Chief of Staff.
What does a typical day in your role look like?
They start juggling work and home life – I have been known to read newspapers on my phone while I feed my one-year-old daughter. On my drive in I’m usually in touch with our Federal and State politics team to discuss what’s making news, and how it effects West Australians.
I’m in touch across the day with all our journalists, both those based in Perth and those across WA.
Most of the day is focused on preparation for morning and afternoon conference. Getting across every story our reporters are working on, and how best to pitch them to the team.
Usually, the afternoon is spent working with our reporters to ensure they get the most out of their stories, and keeping an eye on late breaking news – as the last newspaper to print in Australia, The West has an important role in covering these issue.
What is one of the biggest news stories you’ve covered in the past year or so that has captivated readers?
Having not been actively reporting for almost five years, my first story I was heavily involved in was the shock retirement of former Premier Mark McGowan. The last minute press conference while we limited available staff meant I had the chance to pick up the notepad and rush into West Perth. The 48 hours which followed were some of the most chaotic the relatively stable State political scene had witnessed in years.
Who or what inspires you most?
For me, there’s always been a great inspiration in the trust people place in reporters to tell their stories. We become carriers of their voice, which is both daunting and exciting. Equally, I draw a lot of writing inspiration from family and friends. Often while talking I will stumble on something which is worthy of a follow up question or further investigation. It strikes everywhere, and when you least expect it.
If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?
Tackle everything with an enthusiastic “yes”.