Journalism study: close, but not too close to home

With a childhood synonymous of reading, writing, history and art, it seems a career in journalism was always on the radar for Brooke Chandler.

At 19 years old, Brooke is currently in her second year of a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst.

Brooke says the decision to study with Charles Sturt in Bathurst was a no-brainer.

“I was born and bred in the regional hub of Dubbo. Even though I have been lucky enough to do a lot of travelling, I truly value the rural way of life,” Brooke said.

As the eldest of three daughters, the move out of home was a momentous event for Brooke and her close-knit family.

“My family is everything to me! So, the 200km distance between Dubbo and Bathurst was a favourable start. A career in journalism will definitely take me anywhere and everywhere someday soon!”

But the adjustment to living by herself in a foreign city, was not always smooth sailing for Brooke.

“I can’t deny the first few weeks were the toughest. My fellow second years would vouch for me when I say that, thanks to COVID, the most difficult part would be moving out and orienting ourselves to the on-campus way of life all over again.”

“Most importantly however, I am extremely happy in my studies. I am driven not only by the ongoing support of Charles Sturt in Bathurst, but also the increasing need for impartial journalism is society.”

Brooke has been a fortunate recipient of both The Destination Australia and Frangopoulos Family Scholarships. She encourages all Charles Sturt students to invest time in applying for as many scholarships as possible, even ones where their eligibility is questionable.

“To say I am grateful for the scholarships I have received would be a complete understatement. Not only has the financial support allowed me to focus more on my studies, but it has also boosted my self-confidence.”

Establishing her career as a journalist well before graduation is a current focus of Brooke’s. As of this year, Brooke has secured a job as a member of the Student Communications Team at Charles Sturt, and a contributor of the Charlie blog.

“It is a whole new world, seeing the things I study – photography and video editing, writing structures and voice presentations for example – take shape and be published.”

An outstanding element for Brooke and her new job is its flexibility: she can write and moderate social media from any location, and she can undertake the writing of stories she has always wished to write.

“I have so many exciting ideas! I was a full-time dancer prior to my completion of high school. I have recently been diagnosed with Stage 2 Endometriosis. I am navigating a long term, long distance relationship. Most of these elements of my life would be no different to my fellow students. I guess we are all newsworthy in our own way!”

Share your story

If you’re a Charles Sturt student with an interesting story, we’d love to share it! Send us an email at charlie@csu.edu.au.