Meet some of our Achievers from the Bachelor of Communication at the University of Newcastle

Bachelor of Communication


Meet Achievers from the Bachelor of Communication

Allyson Horn

Journalist, ABC News North Queensland

Allyson HornAllyson is the journalist in charge of ABC News for North Queensland - the ABC's biggest regional newsroom in Australia. Based in Townsville as a TV and radio journalist, she works across a number of programs including news, News 24, current affairs such as 730 and specialty shows including Four Corners and Landline. 

She coordinates a team of four journalists, guiding what news will be covered and the way in which it will be covered. Since graduating with first-class Honours in Communication in 2009, Allyson has received and been nominated for several media awards, including NT Young Journalist of the Year, NT Newsbreaker of the year and NSW Rural journalist of the year. 

Allyson attributes her success to the lecturers who guided and inspired her to achieve her goals. "The lecturers had a wealth of knowledge they were willing to share inside and outside of class hours," she said. "Their contacts within the industry were first rate and helped to open doors for internships and work experience."

Andrew Webster

Andrew WebsterChief Sports Writer, The Sydney Morning Herald

After graduating from the University of Newcastle in 1996, Andrew completed a cadetship at the Maitland Mercury, worked for a brief time at the Coffs Harbour Advocate and then The Border Mail in Albury-Wodonga before breaking into Sydney at Inside Sport magazine in 2000. 

In the last 13 years, he has worked for Fairfax then News Ltd then Fairfax. Andrew is now the Chief Sports Writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, and also talks a lot of sport on Channel 9, Triple M and Sky Sports Radio. He has written two books: Supercoach, the Jack Gibson story; and Gaz, the Mark Gasnier story.

Chad Watson

Editor, Newcastle Herald

Chad WatsonChad Watson was among the first University of Newcastle Communication students to gain employment with Fairfax Media. Starting a cadetship with the Newcastle Herald in 1989, he spent his formative years covering surfing, football and music. Chad later had stints as a police reporter, magazine writer, daily columnist, newspapers-in-education coordinator and training editor before moving into senior sub-editing roles. He also worked as a part-time lecturer  at the University of Newcastle, Hunter TAFE and WEA. 

In 2007, he was appointed chief of staff of The Sun-Herald, followed by roles including news editor and acting editor. Chad also enjoyed a stint as night editor of The Sydney Morning Herald before becoming deputy editor and now editor of the Newcastle Herald. He has collected numerous journalism awards, including Northern NSW ''Prodis'' for sub-editing, layout and headlines as well as an inaugural National Youth Media Award for feature writing. 

Under his editorship, the Newcastle Herald has won Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association Awards for best newspaper, website and mobile app of the year.

Jane Goldsmith

Journalist, NBN Newcastle

Jane GoldsmithJane Goldsmith completed a Bachelor of Arts (Communication) at University of Newcastle in 2001.

She says the course gave her a wonderful grounding in journalism and public relations, with her focus on radio and broadcast journalism subjects. The lecturers and tutors, who had industry experience, encouraged Jane's enthusiasm and long-held dream to work in media and they helped to direct her future.

She also found the course very flexible, with time to gain work experience and casual work in radio and television outside of studies.

Jane says she would highly recommend the University of Newcastle and has found the practical experience the degree provided vital in finding full time employment. She enjoys returning to the university to speak to journalism students.

Josh Jerga

Political Journalist, Nine News Perth

Josh JergaFor the past two years Josh has been covering state politics for Nine News in Perth. Josh says the University of Newcastle was a great environment to start his career as a journalist. 

"The course pushed me to gain practical experience and have stories published, which I found got my name out there and enabled me to develop valuable contacts," said Josh. "I was fortunate enough to be among a group of students the University arranged to work for the Olympic News Service during the 2008 Beijing Games, which led me to a widely sought after cadetship with Australian Associated Press."

Phil Ashley-Brown

Content manager, 1233 ABC Newcastle

Phil Ashley-BrownPhil Ashley-Brown is the Local Content Manager of 1233 ABC Newcastle. As well as managing the ABC's Newcastle based metro station he has worked extensively as a reporter including stints at 702 ABC Sydney and 1233 ABC Newcastle. He has reported for the ABC from Casey Station Antarctica, where his work reached an audience of over 4 million people; he has produced a 14 part TV and radio series on the Hunter River; and three audio CDs, which were released through the ABC. 

Phil's love of radio began at the University of Newcastle where he studied a Bachelor of Communication majoring in radio. In 1991 his final year project was a radio series about Newcastle rev-heads, which was picked up by Radio National and inspired him to pursue radio feature making as a career. Phil is a member of the External Advisory Board of the communication degree.

Richard Baines 

Journalist, ABC Hobart

"I started working for the national broadcaster during my final year of study in 2013. I was based on the Central Coast and covered everything from big court cases and environmental disasters to agriculture. I also pursued original journalism, filing stories for the ABC's flagship radio current affairs program AM.

"Not long after graduating I moved down to Hobart to take up a position in the newsroom. It's been a truly incredible experience, covering a range of stories and events, including the Cricket World Cup, State Parliament, the swearing in of Tasmania's first female Governor, wild weather, large union rallies and the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

"None of this would have been possible without with skills I was taught in the School of DCIT. The School provided a well-balanced approach to teaching, with both practical subjects designed for on-the-job training as well as theoretical subjects that gave a better understanding of how journalists work."

Lee Tobin

Digital Media Officer, London UK

"I moved to London a few months after finishing my [Bachelor of Communication] degree in 2012 on a whim and I managed to score a media relations job a little while into my stay here. I've been working for large county council for the past year in their press office. 

The University of Newcastle lecturers are completely on-the-ball when it comes to getting young journos out of their comfort zones...The skills I learnt in video/radio/web/etc, particularly in telling stories through video form and using Final Cut Pro, have put me so far ahead. It will make you so much more employable if you have the skills to put video/photography beside your words. It's really all about being able to tell valuable stories in as many forms as possible. I would really encourage current journalism students to really immerse themselves in as much technology as possible, this also goes for social media be that Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Buzzfeed or your own blog/website. You want a positive, proactive digital trace." - Lee Tobin

Career opportunities Handbook