Writing has taken me on a wild ride over the past decade.
It all began in 2005, as a cadet journalist interviewing grape growers in muddy Barossa Valley vineyards (naturally, I remain rather partial to shiraz). Three years later I scooted up to Brisbane and, while reporting for The Courier-Mail, covered everything from hospital crises and government system meltdowns to unprecedented natural disasters and landmark Aboriginal land title claims.
Itchy feet compelled me to swap Queensland politics for freelancing in 2013, when I made a small move to the opposite side of the world and adopted Spain as my home for the next four years.
In that time, 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.
Now I’m back in South Australia, still writing (albeit only occasionally now) and still thoroughly fascinated by people who live in ways that are considered strange or unusual by broader society.
** Please note: as I’m now working full-time as a digital storyteller for RSPCA South Australia, I’m not currently taking on any new clients. **
Reporting on the 2011 Queensland floods.
Before freelancing, I was a political reporter.
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. 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.
And I eventually learnt Spanish, of course.
In early 2017 I finally moved back home, settling in a quiet suburb within South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide. Soon after, I scored an excellent full-time gig as a digital storyteller for RSPCA South Australia. I now spend my days helping animals and my evenings working on our sprawling organic veggie patch and garden. What could be better?
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.