I was a big dreamer as a kid, my only goal in life was to bump Sandra Sully off her newsreader chair and take over. I wanted nothing more than to read a scrolling teleprompter and deliver the most important news of the day to my adoring fans. I also wanted the glamorous contouring and big hairdo that came with making telly. It just felt so jazzy from the outside. I made it kind of close to securing that dream - I landed a job in the newsroom at Channel 10 as a junior, worked up to a haphazard and totally clueless cadet journo position and did my first, and only, live cross on a windy bridge about Derryn Hinch going to prison. Pretty much in that moment I decided that commercial news was certainly not for me. (Sorry, Derryn). I then shifted over to production working as Chase Producer on a network television program. That turned out to be my actual dream. My job was literally to chase stories and talent and all the things that make a TV show, present it on a platter in the morning meeting and then make that shit happen. It was exhilarating and thrilling and all the dreamy things you fantasise about when you’re a kid growing up in the country. I loved it — it ticked all the boxes, apart from the 5am wake ups, long working hours and chest-tightening stress that comes with producing live television. It was brilliant.
And then I got pregnant.
The minute I announced I was pregnant with my first child, I witnessed doors physically close for me. Meetings I had sat in for years were no longer in my calendar, responsibilities were shifted “off my plate” and the walls felt as though they were closing in on me and my unborn foetus. I was blissfully dumb and felt it was all just because I was becoming all squishy around the brain as my belly grew. I thought the team were trying to protect me from working too hard but the reality was it was a harsh level of discrimination that myself and many other women experienced and continue to experience in roles across every industry to this day. I don’t think I really understood this until recently. This isn’t a TV-specific thing — I have best mates who literally gave birth in exchange for their career. It’s fucking 2022 but this is still happening.
After I brought my son Arthur into the world, something within told me I would never return to television. I wanted to be my own boss but just didn’t know how or what I would be bossing over. In a way that blissful newborn phase gave me wings and let me explore my creativity and who I was deep down.