WE HAVE A DATE WITH SARAH WILSON

There’s exactly 4 weeks to go for Media Talks, the forum where you have chance to listen to our guest panelists and ask them questions about their careers and the biz. 5 out of the 6 of us will be there in person. Sarah Wilson will join the panel from Europe via Skype, and we (as in me asking YOUR questions) have a date with her next Monday afternoon to record ahead of this event.

With this is mind, what to ask the woman who has worn and still wears so many hats? The woman is a woman like no other I know. Sarah grew up listening to Radio National and after her public school education studied Law at ANU. She began her work as a cadet journalist at the Herald Sun and in her early-mid 20s had her own opinion column in the paper alongside Andrew Bolt. That’s pretty damn impressive already. Sarah was poached to be editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine by the magazine’s then editor because of the love of Sarah’s work. Cosmo was also a magazine that Sarah had never read, and she did things differently. She was the first person there to have interviewed John Howard and Kevin Rudd for the magazine.

Health reasons drove her to take time out from the intense life that came with working on 54 Park Street and her career has evolved to a ridiculously successful blog a home for where her nutrition and health training is put at its best use amongst many of her insightful life revelations. In that time of growing a successful blog, Sarah also presented on television, wrote a regular column for Sunday Life and has released two ebooks that have sold over 30,000 copies and counting, and sista girl is still in her 30s. *And breathe…*

So what drives this woman to have fulfilled so much in her life? As I’ve read and know it’s the fact that she’s compelled to communicate. In the time that I’ve known her when in her company she’s extremely focused on every word you say, has a freakish memory and always gives extremely insightful information about ANY topic. You name it, food and nutrition, news, current events, life and love. I should really rename her the oracle in my phone. Oracle Wilson.

What to ask of Sarah? It could be around how she’s been able to move across different mediums as it’s suited her and in the wake where more traditional forms of media like newspapers and magazines have greatly shifted. You might want to know more about the success behind her blog and selling thousands of ebooks. Whatever the case Sarah will have the answers and comments to add to discussion with the rest of our panelists especially Auskar Surbakti, Megan Miller and Darren Rowse.

You can register here for your questions to be answered by Sarah on our Skype date on Monday and for your chance to take part in Media Talks with all of our other amazing panelists.

Overall what questions would you like to ask Sarah or our other panelists? Have you registered for your chance to come along to the event? If you’re in another state are you looking forward to watching the videos online? Fill me in below.

MEDIA TALKS REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN!

Welcome to the first annual Media Talks. A media careers panel with Australia’s broadcasters, journalists, producers and social media experts.

From idea (back in January) to reality! I’ve been so fortunate to have loads of support from friends and acquaintances and people who have jumped on board just because they love the idea. So I’m thrilled to share this with you.

WHO’S ON THE PANEL?

First up we have Journalist at the ABC, formerly SBS World News and dear friend from RMIT, Auskar Surbakti; Television Executive Producer, my former boss at Video Hits and friend Rachel Moor; the ace Journalist, TV Host, Blogger and friend Sarah Wilson; Problogger, all round social media expert, Darren Rowse; the delightful Megan Miller, Features Writer for the Herald Sun and yours truly. I’ll also be moderating the panel on the night.

All of our panelists have taken the night out of their regular busy schedules to sit down with you, have a chat and answer your questions about their individual careers and about their industries. Some will talk about their University studies and they’ll also offer up advice on how you can get into their line of work.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO BE THERE?

The event is free. You need to register at the Media Talks page and while you’re there you can also peruse through the panelists bios* to get to know them better.

*A tip. I highly suggest you read up about each panelist. And read my other tips here.

PENCIL IN YOUR DIARIES

The event will be held on August 30th 

Rokeby Studios

90-94 Rokeby Street

Collingwood

6pm for a 6.30 Start. 9pm Finish.

Gracias Muchahas and Muchachos to the big hearts and minds of  
The panel Auskar, Darren, Sarah, Megan and Rachel – who’s flying herself down from Sydney to speak with you
Jess and Phill Nosworthy
Anita, Andrew and Matt of Seesaw Design
Typo, Capi, Emma & Tom’s and Brunetti
Michael at distriqt
Pete and Grant at 360 Agency
Rachael Bongiorno and James Gilchrist
Sandi Sieger of Onya

SOME USEFUL TIPS BEFORE YOU REGISTER FOR MEDIA TALKS

Thought I’d contribute some advice if you’re keen to register for Media Talks in Melbourne on August 30th.

It’ll not only help you but myself, our panelists and everyone that’s attending the event so it can be the best it can be.

How Media Talks Will Work

Media Talks opens at 6pm for 6.30 start and a 9pm finish. The location is Rokeby Studios on Rokeby Street in Collingwood.

Seating is limited. 210 seats max. The event will be filmed.

The night will run as two one hour sessions. 3 panelists will speak in each hour.

I’ll be interviewing each panelist for 10 minutes then opening up the floor for the audience to ask questions for another 10 minutes.

Between the two hour long sessions there will be time to refresh and enjoy some catering.

I know what you’re thinking, “you had me at catering!”

How to make the most of your registration

To give you a context, details for Media Talks has been sent out to over 300 high schools within an hour’s travel from the event location targeting their VCE students. In addition it will be sent to student lists via email to major Universities in Melbourne who study Arts, Media and Communications and Journalism. Event posters will also be put up in relevant areas of University campuses and cafes. This event is also being promoted on blogs, event websites, sent to many community groups and mentioned on local radio stations. All this on top of our panelists highlighting the event on their blogs and to their social media followings.

Although this event is in Melbourne and will be filmed for everyone to watch at a later date there is already interest from people traveling interstate for this.

With this in mind and knowing the potential of how many people will register, here are some pointers to make the most out of your application.

Research Research Research…

  • Go that one step further. If you’re interested in a panelist’s line of work then research them. This will allow you to enter better questions in the “What questions do you have for our panelists?” section of the registration form and will show that you have given this  more thought.

Example:

Megan Miller

If you’re interested in Megan Miller, Features Writer at the Herald Sun, then read her feature articles online and pick up a copy of The Weekend lift out (the part of the paper that she writes for) this weekend. Go that one step further, go to your local library or the State Library where they usually keep back issues of the paper.

If you took up the first point of reading her bio you’ll notice she worked in a different role before being a Features Writer. Demands a different style of writing right? You’ll also notice in her bio that she wrote for two different papers before her current job. Research the papers. Research the content and style. She’ll obviously not only give you a healthy dose of what it’s like to have a job like hers but she’ll also be valuable in giving you knowledge about the newspaper industry.

 

Another example:

Rachel Moor

If you’re interested in Television Executive Producer, Rachel Moor you’ll notice when you research her that she doesn’t have a Facebook page, or engage in other forms of social media like Sarah Wilson, Darren Rowse, Auskar Surbakti or me. That doesn’t make it harder for you to research her. She was the Executive Producer of Video Hits for 10 years. Video Hits is your resource, so too is everything that was affiliated with it.

Think about how much the show changed while you were growing up. A clip based show to a hosted show, then you started seeing more Australian artists on the show. Then the show hosted its own live events, brought out CD and DVD compilations, aligned itself with touring artists then some of the biggest music festivals in the country.

Your questions may be about evolving a TV show to keep it relevant to its changing audience. Your questions may be about having a vision and planning the trajectory of a show as it grows over 5 years, 10 years.  How did Video Hits gain more viewers and followers in other ways, such as with the advent of digital media? Think about it. 10 years. A lot has changed in that time, the Internet started to boom and became more accessible and affordable for us to access, it became faster, we could stream – hello YouTube. How did Rachel embrace online for a music show?

Your questions could be about producing live television events, about managing budgets, overseas shoots in Europe, Asia, North America, dealing with record labels, PR, TV executives, managing staff, working for a commercial television Network, about getting a show aligned with another powerful brand to make better content for a show.

Again, back to the bios, if you notice in her early days she went to Fashion School, then worked on set design. Quite the outlier huh? Rachel is also flying herself down from her home in Sydney to attend this event – that could lead to more questions for you Melbourne based applicants that would offer up a good discussion and perhaps sound advice for your future if wanting to work on more TV productions. But I won’t give it all away.

500 words on you

The part of the application where we ask you to tell us about yourself means – tell us as much as you can. If you think about the context of this again, about how many people will be applying – we want you to tell us about your life, what you’re passionate about don’t hold back. Be honest and just be you.

Did you find this helpful? Some pretty self explanatory I know. Any other pointers you need? Yes? Please comment below. If not, check out the registration page.

 

Welcome! An exciting Media Panel Event is coming…

Hello!

Welcome to my first “proper blog post” and welcome to my site. I’ve been working away on a few projects post The Voice, one of which I will announce in full next week.

The event is a media panel to take place in Melbourne aimed at students who would love a career in broadcast, print or online media – ranging from hard news to the world I work in, entertainment (insert jazz hands here).

Working on this event has been nothing but a joy so far, I’m overwhelmed by the generosity and support of people that are willing to take part in this and help promote this event. You’ll be impressed by the panelists – they’re all the best at what they do and are all offering up their time to share their knowledge in the careers they’ve carved out for themselves.

This is the first time I’m having a crack at running an event at this level with lots of people on board to help out. I also plan to film this event and get the core messages out from the night – so don’t fret people who live beyond the boarders of Victoria! I hope to work on a similar event in other parts of Oz, baby steps first.

In the meantime I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Are you a media student yourself? Thinking of a career change? Want to spread your wings and dabble into other areas of media? Let me know.

Faustina

Fame Or Peace

Following the end of Video Hits in August last year I decided to take some serious time off to travel the world and make a lot of reassessments in my life and career. Although I traveled considerably with work and with friends I hadn’t really ventured off on my own for a long period of time. I spoilt myself. I hung out in rain forests in Madagascar, went on Safari in Ngala, South Africa, visited Soweto, Cape Town, Rome, Florence, saw my family and friends in London and then at one point of my travels I decided to rent an apartment in New York City for three months.

Since my first visit o/s from Australia as a teen, something has always drawn me to this place. It’s the people. A multicultural melting pot. The energy the the people bring to the city – they are limitless with their ideas. It’s infectious. I needed to be there. And with that I researched and watched a lot of television. What I was after was a role model. I was also after inspiration. After all there’s a whole lot more TV to choose from in America and they really do set the tone of the majority of what we watch on commercial networks in Australia. Why not be where the action is?

So in my NYC pad I surfed, and so be it – I watched a whole lot of the Oprah Winfrey Network. Some of the major things I had gotten from this were a) I had found my role model – Lisa Ling – whom deserves masses of praise forever more for reasons that I’ll explain in later blog posts I’m sure and b) of all the programming one particular episode of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday really resonated with me.

It was Oprah’s chat with an author named Mark Nepo. The man was a writer and poet who had survived cancer. In the time that he was going through his treatment he had written stories of his discoveries on life and would he would share it with his friends over email. His friends would pass his emails on, so much so that it became its own movement. It resulted in his New York Times best selling book – The Book of Awakening. This book has a piece of inspiration for every day of the year.

 

One of the parts of the book that really resonated was titled “Fame or Peace” here’s the excerpt:

Fame Or Peace

Much of our anxiety and inner turmoil comes from living in a global culture whose values drive us from the essence of what matters. At the heart of this is the conflict between the outer definition of success and the inner value of peace.

Unfortunately, we are encouraged, even trained, to get attention when the renewing secret of life is to give attention. From performing well on tests to positioning ourselves for promotions, we are schooled to believe that to succeed we must get attention and be recognised as special, when the threshold to all that is extraordinary in life opens only when we devote ourselves to giving attention, not getting it. Things come alive to us only if we dare to see and recognise everything as special.

The longer we try to get attention instead of giving it, the deeper our unhappiness. It leads us to move through the world dreaming of greatness, needing to be verified at every turn, when feelings of oneness grave us only when we verify the life around us. It makes us desperate to be loved, when we sorely need the medicine of being loving. 

One reason so many of us are lonely in our dream of success is that instead of looking for what is clear and true, we learn to covet what is great and powerful. One reason we live so far from peace is that instead of loving our way into the nameless joy of spirit, we think fame will soothe us. And while we are busy dreaming of being a celebrity, we stifle our need to see and give love, all of which opens us to the true health of celebration.

It leaves us with these choices: fame or peace, be a celebrity or celebrate being, work all our days to be seen or devote ourselves to seeing, building our identity on the attention we can get or find our place in the beauty of things by the attention that we can give.”

Pretty bold words. I think this rings true in all of our lives in varying degrees. Some time or another we seek attention for the work we do in hope that it will make us content that we’re doing the right thing or being seen is a validation of our actions. The complexity around this is that I do think it’s good to be encouraged to work at our utmost potential and we yes do live in a society that rewards people being the best at what they do – it has been in our very nature for a long time. I guess it’s a balancing act to know that we all throughout our lives have done the best that we could at that time. It becomes unhealthy for those who just want recognition or to be seen.

And this is amplified many times over because of the business that I’ve chosen to work in. Media. Ei! And some of you reading this might think referring to this passage of the book is a bit rich coming from me. A woman who works on tele who has made a career so far talking to celebrities. And in my travels and research I really questioned the work I had been doing and what path to take moving forward. Firstly this trip was grounding in many ways. I mentioned earlier that the intention for this trip was to reassess everything. I began studying media (along side Human Geography) and then began work in television with the overall aim of wanting to work in documentary and factual entertainment, and after 10 years of study and experience in both production and presenting these goals are slowly coming into fruition.

I’m thankful that I worked on a show that mostly focused on the artist’s music and career and not the “celebrity” and “gossip”, it’s allowed me to travel to major cities in the world, I’ve met some fantastic people in television that share the same vision both in the factual space and entertainment space, I’ve seen the great side to the TV business and its ruthless side, I’ve been able to support charities and foundations beyond the capacity I had before working in the media, I’ve loved talking to schools about education – my passion for it and the trials I went through in VCE  and University to other VCE, HSC and University students. And most importantly I love working in teams – I love love the process of production, I love interviewing interesting people and hopefully shedding light on a persons life for viewers which they may not have seen before, I love research and I love learning and the best learning has been from learning from my mistakes.

Which brings me to the purpose of this blog. I was hesitant on even starting my own site or blog cause I used to think that blogs (especially for people in media jobs like mine) to be a platform to be self promoting, moralising, self righteous, or on the other hand cheeky while taking stabs at other people. It’s been great people like Sarah Wilson and Marija Ivkovic that have shown me otherwise. I hope my entries are here for discovery, discussion and hopefully help inspire you in some ways while I follow my passions and interview people of interest for who they are on the inside. It’s here to celebrate all that’s great in life. I’m learning all the time. And this will be a fine balance of sharing what’s going on in my life and career to the things that interest me the most.

This gives me peace, in knowing that the intention is in the right place for me to share with you. If you’re looking for a trove of inspiration and poetry please do pick up Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening. It’s helped me a great deal on reaffirming perspective on life and knowing what’s most important.

Be With Nature

The other week my dear friend Marija and I headed from Melbourne to Sydney purposely to see Janelle Monae at the Vivid Festival. *Please note a lot of my blog posts will likely reference Marija as we do travel a heck of a lot together and we go to tonnes of gigs.

The plan was to head to the newly refurbished MCA – along the way we crossed Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Marija insisted we take the scenic route through the Botanic Gardens.

Having lived in Sydney for about 7 years, I realised I could count on both hands the amount of times I’ve been through the Botanic Gardens. And on all occasions certainly not mindful of the space around me as I would have just been there for work – to film something, MC an event, to interview someone – IN and OUT.

But this trip was certainly something special. The moment Marija and I walked from the Macquarie Street entry into the Gardens there was a huge shift – sonically – from traffic to pure serenity in just one step. And energy, we were instantly in paradise. I suddenly felt completely at ease and at the same time thinking WHY THE HECK DIDN’T I COME HERE MORE OFTEN WHEN I LIVED HERE?!

It was paradise in an instant. Being still, then walking through the gardens and speaking softly, Marija and I also spent some time trying to walk with our eyes closed and we instantly became more aware of the sounds of all the different birds around us. Trees around us that have grown through the decades while the facade of Sydney’s city goes through constant change.

And then we saw this thing.

 

That my friends is a badass Royal Botanic Greenhouse. Again, lived in Sydney for 7 years and I didn’t notice this thing til now. Amazing!

I reflected on the years that had flown by in Sydney while I sat in the gardens by the bay and then by this excellent greenhouse and thought – so much time spent rushing, to tick off things on To Do Lists, from one appointment to the next, and these pockets of paradise in our own cities sit patiently waiting for us to enjoy them.

The memory I have looking at this image is that instant sense of calm and a huge reminder to take time out. Even from the busiest schedule to just be with nature. A lot of my youth was spent in the garden, certainly not as elaborate as this but it still had just as much influence on my sense of calm and nostalgically my connection to family (another post for another time).

When we’re away on holidays we quite often visit famous parks but don’t really enjoy our own. We have it so good here. So I’m making it a regular thing. Getting back to what’s familiar and what I enjoy the most. A simple thing, but something truly rewarding. Be with Nature.