By Lewis Donaldson

In February I took the leap to start my next chapter at university. After a four-hour long trek from Gunnedah to the cooler climate of Bathurst, it wasn’t long before I would begin my three year degree in communication.

Already half the year down, I’ve had the opportunity to start a podcast, make a website and present a segment called the ‘Talking Newspaper’ at the 2MCE community radio station located on the Bathurst campus of Charles Sturt University.

Now as a cadet journalist at the Gunnedah Times during the university break, I’m able to look back on the past few months and ask myself why journalism?

It started with Year 10 work experience in 2021 as a student of St Mary’s College. I was fortunate enough to spend a week at the local newspaper the Gunnedah Times, writing, travelling and talking to Gunnedah locals. To then see what I wrote printed in the paper, I saw the physical impact I could have in sharing stories.

At St Mary’s, I was fortunate enough to represent the school through public speaking. I participated and advanced through various stages of both the Lions and Rotary public speaking competitions and I’m very grateful to have been supported by both clubs and St Mary’s.

There have only been benefits from getting involved with public speaking. To anyone reading this – especially those currently at school – I can’t recommend it enough. From building confidence, to learning to sustain a conversation and then literally thinking on your feet during an impromptu speech – talking on a topic with little to no preparation – the advantages are many.

Communication is obviously a big part of this, which explains why I also have such a great interest in communicating and connecting with people through foreign languages. Learning a language, you’re able to meet more people, experience culture on a deeper level and gain an insight on the many different ways humans live.

I continue to learn French having studied the language in Year 12 for the HSC – and thanks to phones and language-learning apps, I’ve been able to dabble in everything from Indonesian to German and Esperanto to Ukrainian. But back to the why. Why is journalism important? Journalists have the power to make a big impact. They can ask the questions the public wants answers to, provide a voice to the voiceless and strengthen the community’s bonds through storytelling.

I love talking to people and hearing what they have to say. Each and every person has a different background. Whether it is where they’ve come from, where they’ve been or where they’re going. Whether it is what they think, what they’ve done or who they’ve met, everyone has a story unique to them.


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