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Community & Business

13 December, 2020

Abby Tate on her time at the paper

Gilgandra High School year 10 student Abby Tate spent two weeks at Gilgandra Newspapers for work experience. Here is Abby's experience of her time at the paper in her own words.

By Supplied

Gilgandra High School and work experience student, Abby Tate.

Where do I want to go? What do I want to be? Who do I want to be? These were all questions that ran through my head when I was given the opportunity to go anyplace I wanted to for my first work experience.

After questions and many discussions with career advisor Ms Foran, I knew that Gilgandra Newspapers was the place I wanted to be.

As nervous as I was, I emailed editor Lucie Peart and expressed my interest to complete two weeks of work experience with her and her team.

As soon as I clicked ‘send’, I can’t recall how many times I pressed refresh over the next hour! When she replied and said that they would love to have me as part of the team, that was the first time I knew I was going to have a great time.

Even when I dropped the form into the office months before beginning, the instant click that I had with Mick Wilson and Mrs Peart let me know that the team I was about to be a part of was one that I will probably never experience again.

Sure enough, along came the first day and I can’t even explain how nervous, yet excited, I was.

When my dad dropped me off at the door on the first day at 8:30am, printer Phil Mackie let me in with a huge smile, and I sat down with Mrs Peart and talked about what I’d gotten myself into for the next two weeks.

From then on, Mrs Peart has been a massive mentor for me and like a big sister in a way, and I cannot thank her enough for the support and encouragement she has given me over the 10 days I was working with her.

The trust, patience, and guidance that I received from her is something that I was so blessed to be given. She is literally the boss that I am yearning for when it is time to finally step out into the big world. Of course, journalist Telden Nelson came in five minutes late and I had no clue what to expect! If only I knew how much nose-blowing and burps I would hear over two weeks! (Mr Nelson recently had nasal surgery). On the first day and in the first car trip, Mr Nelson was very lucky to even get a word out of me.

After slowly getting less shy and more confident, I learnt more about journalism and about myself, than I ever would have, if I didn’t choose to come to Gilgandra Newspapers.

While learning the journalist’s role, Mr Nelson encouraged me to go out and have a go, even when I was being stubborn or shy. The camera skills, photo editing, page layouts and the structure of stories are things that I would not have learnt if it weren’t for him.

The amount of jokes that were made during our cup-of-tea time break or just as we crossed paths in the office, the experience that I had would not be the same if it weren’t for Mr Wilson.

The common interest of the Parramatta Eels, trying hard to keep a straight face while double-checking the classies and reading out weird names, or asking Mrs Peart if she had a measuring tape to measure his head for a new hat, were the funniest times I had in that office, (by the way his head is like 60cm!).

Even though I caught Mr Wilson looking at hats and new pushbikes when he was meant to be working, I am very grateful for the kindness and friendship that he has given me.

And then there was graphic designer Danielle Bonnington, also like a big sister. She basically took me under her wing and showed me what goes on around the office. How to do the school news, how we send off the papers, and how to make the interesting bone broth drink she has for morning tea! Her patience and endless reassurance made me feel more at home and comfortable with any type of the smallest pressure I felt when having to get stories ready for the paper.

Even though I didn’t have much to do with the printers Mr Mackie and Ronnie Weaver, they also gave me kindness and support. I hope everyone knows that there is so much more to printing the paper than what you think! I was shocked to find out just how time-consuming and detailed the process of printing is, whether it be for The Gilgandra Weekly, The Nyngan Weekly, for the race books or calendars, the printers deserve serious credit for the persistence and motivation they have for their job. Even when they are stuck in a tin shed with 40-degree heat and no air-con!

Overall, my two weeks at Gilgandra Newspapers has been one of the best experiences I think I’ll have in my lifetime.

It wouldn’t have been easy to take in a 16-year-old girl with no knowledge or experience of the publishing and journalism industry whatsoever, but I am beyond grateful for the patience, guidance, kindness, support and encouragement that I have received from Mrs Peart and her team.

I’m sure that I will be sitting in a chair at school when this paper comes out, reminiscing of how much fun I had.

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