Only a few people are ever so lucky to fall in love with one job and be able to live their childhood dreams each and every day.
Peter Weekes, news editor of the Northern Star is one of those few.
When he had recounted his 20-odd-year career, one can’t help but to imagine him as that awkward child wearing the same short-cropped hair, button up shirt and thin-framed glasses dreaming about writing.
“I’ve always wanted to be journalist since I was about nine- years-old,” Mr Weekes said.
As soon as he finished his education at Bathurst, he launched himself into the lifestyle of a journalist.
He took any job that came his way, travelling to Bangkok in one instance where the only job on offer was one at a business news desk, which to his surprise kindled a new respect for the industry sub-division.
He had arrived in the foreign country two weeks before the Asian economic crisis and having seen the effects first hand, he found a new admiration for the business world.
Mr Weekes said: “Asia just changed overnight and then I sort of understood the importance of business.”
His crow feet crinkled behind his glasses as he had a laugh at himself explaining how he had previously thought business was just about men in suits.
Since then, he has always tried to be involved in business journalism, finding that he could relate to it more than any other topic.
It was during his eight-year stint at The Age that he first really
acknowledged how media had begun to change.
He had accepted a redundancy when his beloved paper started to see a fall in productivity, choosing to leave with fond memories of the paper rather than its slow demise.
His lean stature was hunched over, his hands together in his lap when he said: “It was the beginning of the end for metro news papers and because I loved The Age so much I didn’t want to sort of be there at the end, so to speak, so I took a redundancy.”
Mr Weekes eyes almost twinkled when he began to tell me about his job at the Northern Star, and although he didn’t know the facts about its history, he has enjoyed witnessing the progression from national news to the Stars focus on community based articles.
He said that he really quite enjoyed the local news as it was more interactive with the community.
“The way media has changed now, the career I had you will never have because mine was very news paper based.”
He fidgeted a little as he struggled to express his disappointment that professionally trained photo journalist have been made more and more redundant exclaiming that it as an essential skill that takes time and practice reporters just don’t have.
“It concerns me that we are losing a lot of skills.”
He understands that the future careers in journalism will be completely different from his own experience.
Mr Weekes smile crinkled his eyes as he explained journalism was all he knew. “I don’t have any other skills.”
But in saying that, when you’re that good at your job and it’s something you love, you don’t need anything else.