Monday, June 11, 2012

Noel Gillard, from Redland Bay, says he has never had a bad day at work. That’s something, given a career spanning 45 years with a range of roles in emergency management and ambulance service organisations.

“There hasn’t been one day that I didn’t want to put the uniform on. I think mainly that’s because it’s a lifesaving profession,” Noel said.

This week, Noel’s significant contribution to communities in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland, through his leadership and administrative roles, has been recognised with an Order of the Medal of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday 2012 Honours.

Without regional journalism, Noel’s inspirational story would not be told, and his prestigious OAM award would not be given the exposure it deserves. As a regional journalist, I cover stories from little Johnnie’s Year 2 soccer award, to Noel’s OAM achievement. I write about the stories that matter on a local level and share stories of local characters. I am writing and recording local history. Without regional journalists these stories would never be told.

In saying this, as a regional journalist, I must be objective; that is to write an unbiased story to my audience. I write the facts and place those facts in context.

It is rewarding to look back at the end of the week to revisit the stories I have told. From Noel’s story, to my police rounds, school rounds – I try to find and tell the stories that matter the most to the Redlands.

The job does come with challenges. The constant looming deadline, time restraints and the ability to report on any given topic – I’m also a receptionist, photographer, and have partially lost my anonymity and get recognised around town. Regional journalism isn’t glamorous like in the movies, it isn’t financially rewarding, and is quite stressful. But I’m holding a check and balance on power, providing a community service and hopefully, telling a good story.