Charmaine Perry, 25
Journalist and Social Media Editor, Journeys To Come
Growing up on a cattle farm in the north coast of New South Wales, Charmaine Perry developed a love for both travel, and talking. It was her love of conversation that had people suggest she should become a journalist.
“I had a lot of people say to me ‘wow, you talk a lot, you should get paid for it,’” Charmaine, 25, said, “So, of course, that stuck in my mind!”
When Charmaine graduated from high school she decided to take the leap, pack her bags and move to Brisbane in order to study journalism at university, however she wasn’t impressed with the course and began to doubt her move.
“The course left me uninspired and feeling flat, so I began to wonder whether this was the career for me – after all, it’s said we have an average of seven different career paths in our lifetime – so I moved to Sydney and tried a few others out, but was always left wanting more.”
It was a friend who recommended Macleay College, where Charmaine was intrigued by the academics who were journalists working in the industry while teaching on the side.
“Just looking at the list of teachers I was already familiar with many of them, having listened to them on Nova, watched them on 7News at night or read stories with their by lines in magazines,” Charmaine said,
“As early as day one, I rediscovered my passion for storytelling. Where you choose to study truly makes all the difference.”
During her studies at Macleay, Charmaine landed an elite internship chosen by the head of journalism at both Channel 9’s The Today Show & NBN News and Channel 10’s Eyewitness News.
“I was out in the field interviewing politicians, victims and heroes,” Charmaine said,
“I was also producing content for social media and daily news – you may be very surprised at how much responsibility you can have placed on you during your internship – which you will either love or hate… I loved it!”
Charmaine said that regardless of the industry you are trying to build a career in, interning is an integral aspect, and she recommends you choose a university which includes internships in the syllabus.
“On the job experience goes a long way when you’re out in ‘the real world’. It sets you up for the pressures of day-to-day operations, it’s wonderful for contacts and also helps you decide what area of your particular career path interests you the most.”Charmaine now works alongside Australia’s Most Travelled Woman, and fellow Macleay graduate, Catriona Rowntree, as a Journalist and Social Media Editor at Journeys to Come.
“’Catriona Rowntree is my boss’ – it’s still a phrase I pinch myself over when said out loud,” Charmaine muses.
“I know myself, and many others, have grown up watching Catriona on Getaway and have always thought she has the ultimate dream job.”
Charmaine puts landing the job down to having confidence in herself, being consistent, and having a great work ethic – which she attributes to her mum and dad for instilling in her.
“So how’d I become involved? Well, you know those contacts I mentioned before? I was serious in saying it’s very important to have them and it’s very important to be proactive in following up opportunities when they arise.”
Charmaine said she has learnt a lot while working for Catriona, classing her as both a journalist she admires, as well as a mentor.
“She’s smart, she’s caring, she has your best interests at heart and is so great at inspiring thought and helping you become a better journalist.”
“She also has the wisdom of a grandmother (although she isn’t one as yet!) I’ve learnt not only crucial skills to succeed in journalism, but also lots of personal growth skills as well, which is equally as important in business.”
But above all, Charmaine said she genuinely enjoys sharing people’s stories and exploring the globe.
“It’s so nice to meet people, sit down with them over a cuppa and have them trust you to tell their story,”
“And of course, in travel journalism, the personal growth and joy I experience in this field is so addictive!”
But realistically most of Charmaine’s time is spent on the laptop talking travel rather than cruising the Mekong, so it’s important to love that part of it too, she said.
“Lucky for me, I absolutely love talking travel,”
“I adore seeing the look on people’s faces when they talk about their favourite destination or travel memory,”
“It’s one of my favourite things in the world, seeing other people’s eyes light up over a cherished memory, it’s a beautiful thing to be a part of and that’s why it’s my dream job,” Charmaine said.When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My parents own a farm, abattoir and butchery and I have always looked up to my parents – they’re amazing role models in so many ways. So I really wanted to be like them… a butcher, abattoir worker and farmer! I also think I wanted to be in the army, a famous soccer player and karate champ around that time too. I was a real tomboy and go-getter.
If you had one day to try any job in the world, what would it be?