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 making 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 out into marketing and fundraising, I discovered a particular passion for unconventional businesses, alternative people and sustainable lifestyles.
That’s the glue that sticks my whole story together, I reckon.
“Our basic function (is) to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”
— Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom
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. 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.
Soon after, I scored an excellent full-time gig RSPCA South Australia.
The role allowed me to stretch in a space I knew so well – storytelling across every imaginable platform – while also dabbling in a whole new headspace: fundraising.
Turns out, the two are a perfect match. As all good fundraisers will tell you, emotion drives action. And what defines a standout story? Yep, you guessed it – the ability to evoke emotion in an audience.
So here I am: striving to merge these two powerful forces in hopes of creating a better future for animals across South Australia.
And, finally, I have the space to grow – both myself, and food.
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.