Sydney journalist, Heath, works for the Australian arm of global media giant News Corp. Graduating from the University of Newcastle in 2015 with a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Journalism, Heath finds himself using his degree in all aspects of life.

Writing was always something that came naturally to Heath at school, so when it was time to choose a university degree, he was drawn to the Bachelor of Communication, as it made sense to pursue journalism.

“Initially, I hoped I could marry my love of sport with writing and be a sport reporter. But ever since I broke into the industry, I've found a home in more ‘hard news’ roles. My specialty is in court reporting, and I've been lucky enough to cover some of the biggest trials and cases in the country over the past few years,” Heath said.

Newcastle born and raised, Heath was bound to attend the University of Newcastle, and since most of his friends were choosing to stay local for their degrees, staying in Newcastle was even more enticing.

“The Communication degree boasted a string of passionate tutors with real industry experience who seemed genuinely invested in us all finding our calling,” Heath said.

“The facilities were also first class. Having access to things like professional standard television and radio suites allowed us all craft new skills and ideas.

“I have since found that the university has a great reputation in the news industry. I’ve seen many of my classmates go on to have successful careers and have even had two bosses who graduated from Newcastle a few years ahead of me.”

Within the field of communication, gaining practical work experience is invaluable and “honestly, nothing really compares to learning on the job in journalism.”

“Through a class in my third year I was able to secure a seven-week internship at the local newspaper, the Newcastle Star, which was my first taste of a real newsroom. This was crucial for my career. I gained insight into how news works, and what it takes to succeed – especially the harsh reality of meeting deadlines!” Heath said.

Overall, Heath had an outstanding student experience at Newcastle and found there was “a sense that this degree could be whatever you made it. There was a lot of room for creativity and if you were motivated to do the extra work and improve yourself, that was encouraged too.

“I would definitely recommend anyone who’s thinking about studying communication at Newcastle to take the plunge. You'll get a top-class education and experience the great lifestyle the city has to offer,” Heath said.

Study a Bachelor of Communication at the University of Newcastle

Heath Parkes

Heath Parkes

Read how Heath's studies of Communication prepared him for the newsroom.

There was a sense that this degree could be whatever you made it. There was a lot of room for creativity and if you were motivated to do the extra work to improve yourself, that was encouraged too.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.