Here's my story.

Writing has taken me on a wild ride over the past decade and a half.

It all began in 2005, as a cadet journalist interviewing grape growers in muddy Barossa Valley vineyards (naturally, I remain rather partial to shiraz).

From there, I wrote my way across Queensland for a daily metro newspaper. After a small move to the opposite side of the world, I went freelance and took up the pen in Spain, and across Europe.

As I branched into communications (I now head up marketing for Milkwood) and returned home to South Australia, I discovered a particular passion for social enterprises, sustainable lifestyles and people choosing the road less travelled.

That’s the glue that sticks my whole story together, I reckon.

“It’s important to build a household and community network of like-minded people, if you like, a subculture, which help maintain and reinforce the values.”

— David Holmgren, co-originator of permaculture

Over the years, I’ve honed a bunch of top-notch skills.

I’m particularly good at:

  • Creating results-driven strategies that anyone can follow, taking the guesswork out of your communications and social media.

  • Designing slick digital templates, including newsletters, eDM journeys and mailing list opt-ins, especially on Mailchimp and Pardot.

  • Overhauling outdated, half finished or otherwise craptastic websites into something that actually works. (I’m best with WordPress and Squarespace, but know Joomla, too).

  • Using Google Analytics to give full visibility on what’s driving sales and donations – and offering strategies to fix what’s not working.

  • Editing all types of copy until the message truly shines.

You can count on me to:

  • Be professional. I’ve worked in communications and marketing for 15 years, so I fully understand the process. I don’t stop working until everyone’s happy.

  • File clean copy. I turn in crisp stories free of grammar and spelling errors. I probably have my Journalism and Literature degrees to thank for that.

  • Be punctual. I never miss deadlines.

  • Take my own photographs. And if I can’t shoot something suitable, I find quality, high-resolution, properly captioned alternatives. (I can shoot and edit video, too.)

  • Be versatile. I can write to suit almost any style and tone. Except for sports stuff. I don’t really know anything about sport and don’t care to learn, thanks.

Before freelancing, I was a political reporter.

Koren Helbig interviewing former Queensland deputy premier Andrew Fraser

Interviewing former Queensland deputy premier Andrew Fraser aboard the government jet.

In my last salaried gig before going freelance, I wrote politics for Brisbane’s daily newspaper, The Courier-Mail.

I reported from Queensland Parliament and all corners of that vast 1.7 million square kilometre state. I experienced the frenetic pace of an election campaign.

I learned to type like the wind on my iPhone to file breaking news fast but correct for online, to delve deeper and push issues forward for the newspaper and to cultivate contacts until I unearthed exclusive stories. I covered everything from hospital crises and government system meltdowns to unprecedented natural disasters and landmark Aboriginal land title claims.

It was fast-paced fun.

While at The Courier-Mail I was twice named a finalist in the Queensland Clarion awards for journalism excellence and won the Yooralla Media Award for disability coverage two years in a row.

Then I moved to Spain, almost on a whim.

In 2012, after spending a mere five days in Spain, I decided on a move. I knew barely a scrap of Spanish beyond hola, yet my mind was set. I would soon call that boisterous, disorganised, vivacious country home.

When I arrived in the summer of 2013, I didn’t know a soul and still had precious little Spanish under my belt. But I could write.

During four years living in the little Mediterranean seaside city of Alicante, I honed my eye for the weird and wonderful. I wrote about a Catalan man who got a cyborg ocular implant, Catwoman being crowned Madrid mayor, a Valencian guy’s paella-based wiki and Madrid’s so-called “Dr X”, a family physician specialising in illegal drugs.

I became a regular contributor for a range of publications including frankie magazine, Smith Journal, Peppermint Magazine, The Guardian and SALife. I also picked up a bunch of highly awesome non-profit and business clients, and coached aspiring writers on exactly how to get started as a successful freelancer.

And I eventually learnt Spanish, of course.

Now? I’m back home in South Australia.

In early 2017 I finally moved back home, settling in a quiet suburb within South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide.

That same year, I completed my Permaculture Design Certificate with The Food Forest at Gawler – and gently (perhaps unwittingly!) set my life on a new path.

I spent the next three years working to save vulnerable animals with RSPCA South Australia, heading up the charity’s communications and fundraising arm.

But in my spare time, my mind was stretching and growing into a whole new space, as I began to learn the beautiful art of growing food organically, while embracing a more sustainable lifestyle at every turn.

In mid-2020, the planets aligned and I scored my dream job with Milkwood, a permaculture social enterprise teaching skills for living more ethically and sustainably. I head up marketing nationally for these fabulous folk, and also offer my services as marketing consultant for several brilliant South Aussie businesses.

My life now revolves around sustainability, waste-free living and local food – and helping those making positive change for people and our mighty planet.

I gravitate towards people who truly love what they do.

I reckon they have this wicked energy about them, a brand of passion and purpose that’s totally infectious. That’s why I interview and write stories about passionate people doing good, and that’s why they’re behind the businesses I work with.

They make my job easy, really. So catching is their spirited enthusiasm that I reckon it can’t help but flow through my words and into the lives of readers.

And you know the funny thing? That makes me really love what I do, too.