Tell us about your journey into the role of STM deputy editor at The West Australian?
I’m not sure if it’s serendipitous or a coincidence, but I’ve recently found myself back at the starting point of my journalism journey. My first proper journo role, other than putting together a weekly newspaper for my family full of breaking neighbourhood news and exclusive interviews with my sisters, was interning for STM. I remember spending the very little money I had on an outfit I thought what the perfect mix of professional and cool (bright red shorts and some very high platform wedges). In hindsight, it was neither.
From here I moved to the South West and worked at the Busselton-Dunsborough Mail. With Troy Buswell as the member for Vasse, sharks attacking blow-up kayaks and a community very opposed to change (if I had a dollar for every time a proposal for McDonalds was knocked back…) there was always something to report on.
A year later I was back at The Sunday Times after the deputy editor at the time, Anthony De Ceglie, offered me a casual journalist role, working Friday to Sunday. I went from reporting on Red Cross bake sales to being sent to a murder crime scene on my second shift, which was equal parts scary and exhilarating. Next was deputy editor of the Home Magazine, a shot stint in PR, working with the Mint team at The West Australian, deputy lifestyle editor for four years before moving into the STM role. It feels a little surreal to go full circle.
What does a typical day in your role look like?
I’ll stroll down to my local coffee shop to grab a cappuccino while scrolling through my emails and somewhat map out the day ahead, which naturally rarely goes to plan. Working for a weekly magazine is a different kind to the pace to the 24/7 news cycle, but there is always a million things to be done. A day could be spent writing and editing in the office, heading out to direct a photo shoot, researching, interviewing, brainstorming, having meetings, doing admin, heading out for food reviews – there is no such thing as a typical in this role.
What restaurant, café, or bar do you believe is a hidden gem that everyone needs to know about in Perth?
Such a tricky question as with social media – nothing stays hidden for long anymore! Belin in Mosman Park is a blink and you’ll miss it café serving delicious Italian food, the owners make you feel so welcome. I’m a big fan of The Prophet in Vic Park and their delicious offering of Lebanese food. If you’re up for a drive, the Cracovia Club in Bennett Springs dishes up traditional and very filling Polish food. My big Polish family catch up there each year and leave happy and full of potato, beetroot and carbs.
What is one of the biggest and most exciting stories you’ve covered while reviewing for The West?
I think about this quite often and two stand out. My first STM feature in 2016 on orthorexia – an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating – it was a topic that hadn’t been explored much at the time and I thought it was worth investigating from a local angle. A very brave woman shared her story, and I’m grateful to my colleague and STM editor at the time, Belle Taylor, for pushing me to write. My second was interviewing the person who I thought I’d marry one day – Taylor Hanson. And yes, he was everything every teen dreamt he would be – kind, generous with his time and as handsome as ever. For the most part though, I love having access to interesting people and telling their stories.
In your opinion, how has the food scene in Perth evolved in recent years?
We’ve become extremely spoilt for choice in every facet of the food scene, whether that be coffee shops, cafes, bars or restaurants. Instead of having a short list of spots I’d recommend or want to check out on a weekend, it’s become very long, and I’m rarely disappointed with my experience at new as well as older spots.
I think particularly people’s penchant for intimate neighbourhood wine bars had led to some excellent casual options across the burbs in Perth.
Lastly, with the massive renovations of venues like The Claremont Hotel as well as the introduction of mega venues such as The Old Synagogue and The Beaufort from the clever guys behind Nokturnl (can’t wait to see their South Perth and Yagan Square projects come to life) people are loving the option to choose their own adventure, all at the one location. Have lunch at one of the venue’s restaurants, cocktails on the rooftop as the sun sets and a boogie on the dancefloor before heading down to one of the “hidden” bars for a nightcap.