I’ve always loved chasing stories, but sometimes they just happen to fall on your lap. That was the case a few years back when I found myself sharing a few beers with a stranger in a grubby inner-city Sydney pub.
His name was Arthur Murray, and he was an Aboriginal man, dressed in old jeans and a battered t-shirt, with deep lines etched on his face that told me he had a few stories to tell. So I listened.
He spoke about his 21-year-old son Eddie, who died in police custody in Wee Waa, New South Wales, in 1981. It was ruled an apparent suicide, but Eddie’s family didn’t buy it.
Twenty years on, they were still arguing that it was all a police cover up — and there was new evidence to prove it. My account of the family’s ordeal first ran as a news story in Australia’s only national broadsheet, The Australian, and later as a feature in The Big Issue.
That day reinforced why I wanted to be a journalist: to tell other people’s stories who otherwise wouldn’t get the chance to.
A decade on, I’m a journalist at the Australian Jewish News, and also a regular contributor to CNNGo, CNN’s travel website. My writing has also appeared in The Miami Herald, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, London’s TNT Magazine and Gas Matters Today and The Sunday Telegraph’s Body+Soul magazine in Sydney.
My news sense has been honed through diverse experience, which has taken me from reporting at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, to covering municipal government for two of South Florida’s biggest dailies, to breaking news about the natural gas industry .
I’ve written on a wide spectrum of issues: from Holocaust denial, homelessness and race relations to the more quirky, including one’s man plight to save his 1920s historic home from developers’ bulldozers — by hauling it across town.
I’ve also gravitated towards writing stories with a social justice bent. One feature story I wrote about the trials and successes of a young married couple with Down syndrome won Yooralla Media Awards’ 2009 Best Lifestyle Feature.
In addition, I earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney and a bachelor’s degree in English literature and women’s studies from the University of Virginia. Along the way, I also took a three-year detour, working as an English teacher for the Fulbright Commission in Quito, Ecuador.
To contact me about stories and other work, please call at 0450 322 328 or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.