Charles Sturt University journalism alumni benefits from hands-on industry experience covering the Federal Budget from Parliament House in Canberra

Amy Leiper, 26th April 2022
  • CBAA hosts Charles Sturt University alumni journalist to cover Federal Budget for National Radio News
  • Long term collaboration demonstrates the value of the University partnering with industry to deliver positive student and community outcomes
  • Students attending the University’s Bathurst campus benefit from hands-on broadcasting experience
  • National Radio News a talent pipeline for jobs in the media industry  

Charles Sturt University journalism alumni and now Chief of Staff of the National Radio News newsdesk at the University’s Bathurst campus in NSW, Laura Devoy, has recently spent a week immersed in the excitement of the Federal Budget in Canberra.

Laura was hosted by the CBAA who have been in partnership with Charles Sturt University since 1997 to deliver National Radio News (NRN) bulletins from the University’s Bathurst campus to over 70 community radio stations around Australia every day of the year – even on Christmas Day.

Laura was enthusiastic when recounting her experiences at Parliament House. “The fact that NRN has a newsroom located in Parliament House right near the Senate, where I could work alongside the Political Correspondent for a week, was great. I never expected to have that opportunity. And soon one of our NRN student cadets in Bathurst, Emily Minney, will get to have a similar experience - covering the Federal Election.” 

Asked for highlights of her time in Parliament House, Laura recalled being in the Press Gallery to hear the address to Federal Parliament by Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, going to Question Time, and also getting to chat to The Hon. Tony Smith, former Speaker of the House of Representatives about his thoughts after the Budget was delivered.

“Also being in full lock-up with the other journalists really brought the privilege home to me - we had to hand our phones in and switch our laptops to flight-mode. I was able to interview a lot of stakeholders, and a Treasury Officer also connected me through to The Treasury Office to clarify one of the questions I had asked.”  

Laura got a taste for broadcasting when she read a news bulletin as a 2nd year sports journalism student at Charles Sturt University’s Bathurst campus back in 2016. She was offered a cadetship with NRN a week later and has been with NRN ever since, also working casually at ABC Radio in Orange part time during her student years.

Moving from Student Cadet, to Journalist, and then Chief of Staff of the NRN newsdesk in December 2020, Laura has taken the shift in responsibility in her stride. This is no small achievement, with the role being more challenging – and important – throughout the various waves of the Covid epidemic.

“I don’t think radio is going to die any time soon – many of the regional and remote places we broadcast to don’t have print media, so NRN provides a really good community service that is needed now more than ever to keep our communities informed and strong.”  

Frank Bonaccorso, National Radio News Manager, says that Charles Sturt’s students are the “heart and soul” of NRN. He is proud of the quality pipeline of journalists the partnership between CBAA and the University has provided to industry over the years.

Laura agrees, saying “I would 100% recommend NRN to any journalism student. The number of students who have come through the NRN newsdesk and are now working in various media organisations regionally and nationally is amazing. Just in the last 9 months, we have seen three of our former Student Cadets go on to top jobs in industry regionally and nationally, and two more honoured with national journalism awards. It makes me very happy that I have helped other CSU students go on to bigger and better things – that is really cool”.

The CBAA has partnered with Charles Sturt University since 1997 in delivering The National Radio News Service to community radio stations across Australia with the aim of promoting access, diversity and independence in Australian news media. For more on National Radio News see this recently published article by the Judith Nielsen Institute or contact Frank Bonaccorso, National Radio News Manager, [email protected] or 63 38 4360.. 

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