Review – Curtin Leader’s Program

Curtin Leader’s program is a Curtin-approved Tier 3 extracurricular course. The aim of the course is to help individuals studying at Curtin University develop their leadership skills and attributes. The program is a new program and runs over the course of a semester.

The program has been insightful for me as it allowed me to investigate how leadership is a different experience and path for everyone. For some people, leadership applies to their professional careers and for others, it could occur in their personal life or volunteer work. This program is more helpful to those who have a level of vulnerability while completing it and thus will allow for the individual to potentially gain a better understanding of themselves and their leadership styles.

The expectations for students are to attend three full-day intensives, eight workshops and six learning circles. Two hours of self-directed learning are completed each week, a portfolio is submitted, and a presentation is completed at the end of the program.

The program is free to Curtin University students. Topics covered in this program include

  • Leadership
  • Design Thinking
  • The Social Change Model,
  • Project Management
  • Community Engagement and Advocacy
  • Public Speaking and Pitching
  • Personal Branding and Digital Identity

Feature – Millman stands against racism and fascism

(Article written in August 2021)

Equality, respect for humanity, fairness, and access to justice; all values Simon Millman holds in high esteem. In his first speech to the WA Parliament, Millman said: “One of the great things about Mount Lawley is it’s a very diverse community, it’s a very ethnically and culturally diverse community.

“I stand against racism and fascism, as evidenced by World War II. I stand against racism and apartheid, as evidenced by the former regime in South Africa. I think, for people that have survived and escaped those regimes, they stand as a stark reminder of the evils of that ideology or those ideologies that are driven by race and by hatred. I think that my values are built around optimism and hope and kindness, and if people aren’t in it for themselves, we can really work together to make a difference to make the world a better place.”

Simon Millman patting a guide dog. Photo: supplied.

Born in Geelong in 1977, Millman spent his childhood talking about politics around the dinner table with his family. He developed an understanding of the Australian political system. At 19, Millman moved to Perth to study for a Bachelor of Arts at UWA. Upon finishing the degree, Millman applied for a position with Native Title. He wasn’t successful in attaining the job and applied for a law degree.

“I found out that I’d been admitted to law. David called me from Native Title, and he said the candidate that we had has dropped out. So, the job is yours if you want to. I said I’ve just applied to do more law, and he said, ‘brilliant, I’m withdrawing the offer. Study law; you’ll be much better; you’ll have much more to offer once you finished your degree.’’

As Millman didn’t come from a family of lawyers or have a legal background, he didn’t appreciate how the law fits in with society. 

“During the course of studying my law degree, I developed a real appreciation for the role of legal practising in the community,” he says. “I thought that the political system was a good method for rebalancing power imbalances in society, giving people without a voice or power access to decision-making processes that can alleviate the imbalance. What I realised during my law degree is that the legal process and the legal system have the same power. It has the same ability to balance rights and interests between people.”

Simon Millman and Alanah MacTiernan playing bowls at Inglewood Bowling Club. Photo: supplied.

Upon completing his studies, Millman applied to work for his dream company, Slater and Gordon. At the interview, he was very relaxed, believing he had no chance of attaining the position. That approach won him the job. “I joined Slater and Gordon because it was a firm that represented the sort of everyday Australians that I wanted to represent,” he says.

In speaking about his study and career, Simon says he has never done anything for more than approximately 12 years.

“I spent 12 years studying at school; I spent about eight years at UWA. I got to the end of that at Slaters and sort of casting around. I thought, each day, I’m making a difference in one person’s life, with each case that I run and with each result that we achieve. But imagine if there was a way of rewriting the laws to make them fairer. Rather than just one person at a time, a whole community can benefit from a fairer, political, legal and economic system. I love the idea of a parliament where people’s voices are represented and for Mount Lawley,” he says

Millman wanted to represent the community in which he, his wife Tara, his children, Willis and Otis, and his rescue dog Jett live. Millman and his wife got married in the local church; his sons were born in the local hospital and they attend the local public primary school.

The Labor Party had never won the Mount Lawley seat. “I thought it would only be fair for the people, and I don’t mean to sound immodest when I say this, but it’s fair for the people that they have a legitimate choice between a credible Liberal candidate and Labor candidate. I thought that I could be that person for the Labor Party and so I went around and spoke to people within the Labor Party in sort of 2015 and 2016,” he says. 

“There wasn’t anybody else who was keen to be the member for Mount Lawley. I said to all the senior people in the party, ‘look, I’m not asking for your support. I don’t want your factional backing or anything like that. I’m letting you know that I’m putting my name forward. If your group or you come up with a better candidate, let me know, but if you don’t, I want you to keep me in mind’.”

Patrick Gorman, Sue Ellery, Roger Cook and Simon Millman. Photo: Supplied.

In 2017, Millman won the seat of Mount Lawley.  ‘I’m incredibly grateful to the people who voted for me the first time around. I’m incredibly grateful to all of the supporters, you know, volunteers who joined in on the campaign,” he says.

As a politician, serving the community is at the forefront of Millman’s mind. His belief in the democratic and parliamentary process allows Millman to ensure that legislation is up to date and serves the community. 

Former Labor staffer Harrisan Burrows says: “Simon makes a great local Labor MP. He lives and breathes the bread and butter of Labor party values. He is focused locally on issues affecting people in Mount Lawley. Even though his seat is in an affluent area, he has found a way to focus on core Labor issues that are not bound by social-economic status. Mental health, childcare, early learning, health and access to local sport and services affect everyone, not just those on the low spectrum, meaning he will be able to remain relevant to his electorate as the demographic changes.”

Opinion – Racism in AFL

Systematic racism in Australian sports should not be occurring today.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has commissioned an independent panel into the allegations of racism against former Hawthorn players outlined in a report by ABC.

Allegations of bullying towards indigenous families at Hawthorn during Alastair Clarkson’s reign within the club have become known as it has been discussed widely by the Australian media.

The ABC reports Indigenous players were isolated from their families, one player said he was urged to ask his partner to terminate her pregnancy and for footballers to break up with their partners.

While the investigation into Alastair Clarkson is taking place have been delayed.  He was due to start coaching North Melbourne; due to start on November 1.

Senior coach of the Brisbane Lions, Chris Fagan has also been named in the ABC report on the treatment of Hawthorn players.

Brisbane Lions have released a statement showing their support of Fagan, describing him as a role model and mentor figure within the community and providing a culturally safe environment.

The accusations of bullying and racism within such a high-profile team and sport by coaching staff send a message to indigenous communities and potentially other minority groups that their value is lessened based on the colour of their skin.

While it is encouraging that the AFL is starting an independent investigation into the racism claims, it does beg the question of why an investigation is necessary.

Why is racism occurring in top-level AFL in 2022 and why does the culture within the sport still allow it to continue?

Why has it not been addressed in any meaningful way previously?

Why did it take a report from ABC, for the AFL to acknowledge there were issues with racism at Hawthorn?

We have seen countless indigenous players in the past speak up about racism within AFL and it is dismissed time and time again.

The dismissal leaves a bad taste in your mouth about whether the AFL Is being serious about its actions regarding racism, or whether it is a public relations stunt set out to provide the public with false hope of change.

Which news outlets are doing news coverage on TikTok best?

The rise of TikTok has provided another platform for news organisations to provide news to their audiences. However, each news platform shows news slightly differently.

ABC uses direct footage from their stories on TikTok with a quick description written at the bottom of the video


Lidia Thorpe, an Indigenous Greens senator, called the Queen a coloniser while being sworn in to parliament #Australia #News #ABCNews

♬ original sound – ABC Australia

Sky News Australia take a different approach where they have the online story in the background and the reporter in front doing a quick 1-minute video grab.


The bystander who accidentally filmed the horrific rollercoaster crash says he ‘hasn’t slept since’ #fyp #rollercoaster #rollercoastercrash #news #melbourne

♬ original sound – Sky News Australia

Each newsroom, takes a slightly different angle on how they want to deliver news on TikTok. I am not sure what way I like it best. I am not even sure I am ready for the news to be on TikTok yet as I use the platform as a way to wind down or kill time.

While I was looking at videos to do this blog post I did come across a few journalists who have put up videos showing the transformation of their presenting skills over time. I found this encouraging to see, as I was able to get glimpses of how journalists improve once they have finished their university degrees. I also found it quite empowering to see journalists willing to share some detail about how their career is going on social media platforms.


Reply to @mrzmoth NEWS VOICE TRANSFORMATION 🎙 So cringe at the start 😂 My voice was never good enough at uni to be picked as a presenter for those mock bulletins we did. I used to get so upset thinking my bogan ass voice would never sound good. I paid for a lesson once at uni & I honestly didn’t think it helped me at all. For me it was practice, experience & tips from watching other journos! #newstok #newsvoice #tvnews #australia #perth #mackay #darwin

♬ original sound – Zarisha Bradley

Does becoming a journalist suit an introvert?

As a human wanting to become a journalist, I often wonder whether being introverted will be a hindrance. In my mind, I have the stereotype that journalists are extroverted creatures, who love being in the world and talking to people. And then I look at myself and while I do like speaking with people and the idea I can report on a variety of issues around me, it is also daunting and draining to think about, let alone do it.

For me, the choice to pursue journalism did not come from a love of reading or writing. It was not a career I had considered until I took an intro unit at university and it changed the possibility of how my career could potentially go. The thought that I could become an investigative journalist, sparked an interest in wanting to pursue the degree.

And yet, despite reaching for the stars to become an investigative journalist, I always have in the back of my mind, how do I as an introvert fit in?

As much as I am excited about the process of becoming a journalist, I worry that by taking the plunge to become a journalist, my nature to want to spend time in smaller crowds or even by myself might hinder the process. Will I be over-exerting energy on a regular basis and how will this affect my career?

Then I started having a read online to see what other introverted journalists had written. Turns out there isn’t a heap of information – a couple of blogs and some posts on Reddit. One website provided three reasons why introverts make good journalists:

  1. Good listeners make for good journalists
  2. Authentic empathy encourages interviewees to be open
  3. Creative souls flourish when they work alone

I found these reasons to be rather soothing and encouraging as an introvert.

When major events occur, what falls to the wayside?

In 2022, we have seen a few big events flood Australian news. Russia has invaded Ukraine, massive flooding on the east coast of Australia, the death of Queen Elizabeth II and federal election. However there have been events occurring world-wide which we may have missed as a result.

In January 2022, the Ethiopian government ended a state of emergency it declared last year due to resolving a decades long war with it neighbouring country Eritrea. North Korea began another round of missile tests over the Sea of Japan. In Sudan, protesters took to the streets to oppose the military government which took over in October 2021.

In March, North Korea stage the first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile and New Zealand drops their COVID-19 mandates in several sectors including the police and teachers.

In April it is reported that the Amazon rainforest has reached its highest deforestation record with 363 square miles removed by the end of March. A Singapore court executes a drug smuggler; however, the case was highly controversial as medical experts indicated he had an intellectual disability.

In June, a 30-year-old Nigerian man was set alight by a mob of 200 people in Nigeria. A similar event happened in May to a female student in Nigeria. Harvey Weinstein is also facing indecent assault charges in the UK. Hong Kong has dropped on the human rights ranking putting it on par with Saudi Arabia

In July, British human rights lawyer Helena Kennedy endorsed an investigation into claims that Turkey should be charged as an accomplice to the Yazidi genocide. The claim is that the Turkish Government turned a blind eye to the sale, transfer and enslavement of women and children from Yazidi. In Sri Lanka, a State of Emergency is declared due to the president fleeing to the Maldives.

These stories from across the world are important but are not always told in the same capacity as the queen dying or an election. They provide the viewer with issues occurring within other countries, whether it is between people or our environment. Whichever it may be, there is still an impact on the world we live in and it is terrifying to watch unfold.

Developing the Entrepreneurial Mindset

As part of my studies in the Entrepreneurial Journalism unit at Curtin University, I have been reading Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship, edited by Michelle Ferrier and Elizabeth Mays. The first chapter looks at Developing the Entrepreneurial Mindset.

My takeaways from the chapter include:

  • The 21st century has shown that technology is rapidly evolving and has resulted in changes to the media industry.
  • While there has been a decline in newspapers, the way journalism will be conducted will change in comparison to the previous century
  • The ability for individuals to access technology, and the Internet to produce and consume the written and spoken word, audio, photos, and videos have changed the way journalists and media organisations distribute content.
  • Journalists should be looking out for new ways to innovate in journalism, the media industry, advertising, and marketing.
  • Storytelling is still valuable despite the changes within the media horizon.
  • The quest for media companies to keep up with changes in the industry is a challenge as well as keeping up with the changes in consumer behaviour.

Parts of the chapter I want to further explore include:

  • Niche digital platforms – Techcrunch, Venturebeat, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb and News & Guts.

Work Experience in Journalism

As a university student, I have been doing work experience at a couple of different radio stations – Curtin FM and Noongar Radio. Once I figured out I wanted to pursue a career in journalism, I decided that I needed to gain as much experience as I possibly could while I was completing my degree. Curtin FM was a radio station I pursued to gain experience in as I saw it as a good platform to learn from those who were already in the industry. Noongar Radio was an opportunity that popped up and was not expected.

Through volunteering at both Curtin FM and Noongar Radio I have learned some valuable skills in reading the news on radio and continue to strive to be a better news announcer. The news editor at Curtin FM provides amazing support in teaching me new skills and developing me as a volunteer. I have been able to apply the knowledge I have learned through my degree in a practical way and gain experience and confidence in what I learn.

It has also allowed me to gain some confidence in announcing the news and find ways that I am able to improve on.