Growing Up in Western Victoria
Living in a small community gives you experiences and skills that you can’t get anywhere else. Sure, you don’t have access to everything. But I was able to work on the farm every summer, taking on unique responsibilities and learning to problem solve. I’ve even got a truck licence, which must be rare in a place like Melbourne!
In a way, a small town can also guarantee you’ll have friends. You’re in a small bubble, so everyone needs to get along. My community was also always accepting of my dancing, photography, and sexuality, which maybe defies expectations.
I just was who I was, a flamboyant red head from Warracknabeal. I came out in Year 12 which was a monumental moment. I wasn’t really expecting it to have a big impact on myself. It was eye opening to see how welcoming everyone was. I never had a bad experience at home where I was made to feel uncomfortable. That’s really one of the best things about my community – I could be comfortable with dancing, creativity, and my identity.
I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything.
Cars and Photojournalism
Growing up, I wanted to be a car salesman. I’ve always loved cars, but realised in High School that I wanted to explain cars and give advice, rather than selling them.
I was always creative, too, with dance, photography, and expression. Being able to combine my creativity with my love for cars became a goal.
The Deakin Experience
To combine all of my passions into one career seemed tricky, especially with most universities expecting you to pigeonhole yourself early on. I considered other degrees at other universities, but Deakin’s program gave me an opportunity to explore different fields – like TV & Film – before I settled with photography and journalism.
With the Burwood campus being in outer Melbourne, Deakin was also a perfect first step away from the farm. I lived on res for a year, which helped me get outside my bubble, meet a lot of different people, and experience a new place without being right in the centre of a city.
CarExpert & Next Steps
Recently, I’ve completed an internship with CarExpert as part of my degree. I’ve been primarily on their newsdesk writing up new car information. I’ve been lucky to test out my ‘dream job’ and to have loved the experience.
Next up, I need to keep developing my skills and employability. I’m also interested to see what happens next in the automotive industry, and to give my unbiased opinion on new initiatives with electric cars, trains, and whatever else comes.
Advice for Others
It’s a bit cliché, but a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt has always stuck with me: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Sometimes, the things that scare us are the best things we can do. Being uncomfortable is the only way we can grow. Put yourself out there.
I also think it’s important to look around at all the different pathways that are available. You’ll be surprised how you can combine your passions into one career, like I hope to keep doing with photography, journalism, and cars.