Few would argue that some in this world are destined to do a certain job, as if they were put on this earth for one specific purpose.
For a select few that purpose is played out when winning a gold medal at the Olympic games in front of 80,000 cheering fans, an important moment no doubt.
For others it’s busting a gut in a shed, shearing sheep all day so the kids have dinner on the table that night, commendable no doubt and important, equally.
Christina Ongley is one of those people with a purpose. She had a script and walked her path and now happily sits behind the editor’s desk of the Bundaberg News-Mail.
It’s a long way from, as a child, making rudimentary newspapers for her dad to read, which Ongley readily admits makes her a bit of a “journalist nerd.” But it’s what she was born to do.
She was editor of her high school newspaper in grade 11 and co-student editor of the Queensland Independent while at university.
Then after working with the News-Mail for four years, she boarded a plane and travelled around Europe ,before accepting a job as editor of a newspaper in Essex, England.
The 33-year-old says it was her experience working five years in England which landed her the editor’s job with the Bundaberg News-Mail, a job she loves and would struggle to leave.
“When I graduated from uni I had great stars in my eyes. I wanted to work for metropolitan papers and I guess scale the big heights of journalism,” Ongley says.
“But I think after having worked in local papers for such a long time, I really value the role that they perform, and I really object to the idea that if you work for a local paper…you do a lesser kind of journalism.”
She says having a good mix of hard news, human interest stories and public information is the key to keeping local readers happy.
And when looking for story ideas, never discount the local shopkeepers or next door neighbours – “If they’re talking about it, chances are most people are too,” Ongley says.