“My first week was a bit overwhelming and chaotic, and settling into a new city has had its challenges. However, the social media team was extremely welcoming so that made it a bit easier,” said Hirst.
Each week, Hirst would shadow an experienced media professional to learn the ropes of each team, getting involved in producing content, stories and more.
As the world turns
During her time at Nine came huge world-changing news – the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“I remember in my first week someone saying to me ‘everything will be ok as long as the Queen doesn’t pass’. So, when the news came in, I couldn’t believe it! The newsroom swung into action, and it is something that I doubt I will ever see again. It was a moment in history that I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of,” said Hirst.
She was tasked with finding people with stories of meeting the Queen, able to successfully lock in one that went to air.
Closer to home, another powerful moment for Hirst was covering the story of a family affected by flooding in NSW for A Current Affair.
The family had been impacted by 3 floods in the past 12 months and were living in and out of motel and hotel rooms for 7 months while they waited for their insurance money to arrive.
During the process her team informed the insurance company of the family’s situation and in turn, get their help. Within 24 hours of talking with the company, the family had received their insurance money.
“Being a part of the story was definitely bittersweet. It was a moment where I realised that our responsibility as journalists to hold powerful companies and individuals to account does have the potential to create change, and impact everyday lives.”
Walking the talk
Following her time at Channel 9, Hirst began at the Walkley Foundation about a month before the annual Walkley Awards.
“It has been an incredible experience to help organise the event from behind the scenes and also help in the planning and preparation for the state media awards,” said Hirst.
She’s been involved in scripting, creating audio visual content, contacting finalists and sponsors, fact checking and proof reading.
“I end my 14 weeks at The Walkley Awards which is a rather special way to finish. On the night I will be able to network with professionals in the industry who I respect and aspire to, as well as being involved of the actual running of the event to ensure everything happens smoothly.”