It was back in 2006 that I made the decision to work as a freelance writer. I still remember the first few hours of my new world, sitting in my flat in Rose Bay writing away in the silence, only slightly interrupted by the sounds of nature. It was then that I knew I had made the right decision.
Now, many years later, having expanded my repertoire to encompass journalism, corporate publications and the fascinating world of media consultancy, I can look back and appreciate the growth I’ve made in my professional and personal development.
As the world of journalism changes, so do the players in the industry, and I have had to adapt like everyone else. I am grateful to News Limited, and particularly The Australian newspaper, for the vast number of opportunities they have given me. I have been fortunate enough to write for The Australian newspaper across a wide range of sections including business, commercial property, general features, weekend professional, and sport.
The work has always been varied and interesting. You never know who you are going to meet or what they are going to say and a story can change in many ways from its original concept. That is the beauty of journalism.
In fact, I have written about a great variety of subjects, purely because when I come across an interesting story, I don’t mind where it originates from or who the audience is, I just want to investigate the story and cover it to the best of my ability. I have written about politics, finance, education, health, lifestyle and travel, as well as the topics mentioned previously and almost every sub-section of each. I love it.
Expansion into the corporate world came with ease. My experience in senior roles such as publisher, editor-in-chief, editor and business manager, along with having completed an Executive MBA, made the transition easy. Whether I am writing a speech, a White Paper, board report, business plan, advertisement or website, I dedicate the same professionalism to the task as I would if I were writing an article for The Australian newspaper.
I also love research. I always have. I find joy in spending hours delving into a topic, not only through the Internet, but also by going out and learning what is happening in the field. This dedication has helped me in the corporate world and in media consultancy, as it allows me to advise clients on the best strategy to achieve their goals. I never plan to retire.
I plan to write, always
People always ask me how I got into journalism and I always tell the same story. In my last year of high school in Perth, I was fortunate enough to be selected in a developmental Aussie Rules squad for one of the local Western Australian Football League (WAFL) clubs.
In the week prior to having to select which courses we wanted to study at university, one of the coaches in this squad called me aside and asked me what I was going to do with my life. I had always assumed I would be a professional sportsman, and told him so. For the next 30 minutes he lectured me on the possibilities outside of sport and insisted that I needed to think about those options seriously, as sport might never work out. It was very sound advice.
The next day I received a high mark for an English Literature assignment and simply thought: “I can write well, I will study journalism.”
Fast-forward to 2014 and I have been very fortunate to have had a successful career. As mentioned above, I have written regularly for The Australian. I’ve also been fortunate enough to contribute to The Times, The Guardian and The Financial Times whilst I was living in England.
I have contributed to mainstream consumer titles in the UK and Australia and leading websites on a range of topics. I have also edited many titles and published small books. In 2013, I self-published my first novel, Sandcastles.
My creative abilities have allowed me to originate publications and see them through to finished product. Notable clients for this service have included the Sydney Swans and the AFL.
My contribution to the corporate world is vast, contributing strongly to projects with multi billion-dollar international companies such as Holcim, LJ Hooker, AOL, Macquarie Bank, Deloitte, Vodafone and Volkswagen. Closer to home, I have worked with the AFL, Cricket Australia, CPA Australia and the NSW Fire Brigades, amongst others.
My work with companies has ranged from producing standalone and regular publications – where I look after the entire budget and see the project through from idea creation to finished publication – to White Paper briefings and finished proposals; website writing, advertising and email newsletter copy, board reports, business plans and strategic documents.
My media consultancy work involves creating 12-month media plans, helping companies be proactive instead of reactive, media training, detailed research reports and planned campaigns.