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#Flashback Fridays: Donna Demaio

Hatch reporter Tom Livingstone profiles the industry professionals teaching at Macleay College, for a new series – #FlashbackFridays

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Macleay College is paving the way for future journalists with innovative, practical and, most importantly, fun teaching methods. The staff are exceptional, giving students the best education and sculpting them into elite professional communicators.

What shapes these amazing people and what journey have they been on to get to where they are today?

This week, #FlashbackFridays brings you the story of Donna Demaio, a multi-subject lecturer at Macleay’s Melbourne campus. Donna is a cross-platform journalist with over 25 years experience. Her passion for storytelling and the wealth of knowledge she shares with students, has helped produce many successful journalists and media professionals.

Image: Donna with Hollywood legend, Clint Eastwood. (Source: Supplied)

What job did you first start out with in the industry?

My first radio gig per se was the lunchtime radio hour that was broadcast at Toorak College when I was getting my degree. I also adored my stint at 3PBS FM community radio, which included a brekkie show and those dreaded overnights. 3AW gave me my first paid job in radio. Still there, 25 years later.

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What did you love about those early days?
 
I loved (and still enjoy) the thrill and exhilaration derived when sent out on jobs and stories. You just never know where you will end up, who you will meet or interview or exactly what will happen. And those hourly deadlines also keep you on your toes.

The immediacy of radio and communicating, interacting and learning from people brings me great joy and job satisfaction.

Image: Journalism Lecturer Donna Demaio (Source: Macleay College)

What did you hate about them?

The early days included seemingly endless weekend and overnight shifts. Years of them.

I missed friends’ parties, a wedding, holidays and so on. And what’s a public holiday by the way?

What is a career highlight you have (or are there a few)?

Two career highlights spring to mind: winning the National Radio Award (Brian White Memorial AWARD – now ACRAS) for my live report on the World Economic Forum protests; and a sit down, face to face interview with Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood (above). That also made my dad proud.

What do you enjoy about teaching at Macleay?

Teaching at Macleay College affords me the chance to share my knowledge, experience and understanding of an ever-evolving industry. It motivates me to keep learning and connecting with others. It also means that my teaching diploma came in handy, about 26 years after I graduated!

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Image: An early photo of Donna with Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman (Source: Supplied)

What would you be doing if you weren’t a journalism superstar?

My mother told me around the age of ten, ‘You better get a job where they pay you to talk.’ I suppose if I wasn’t in radio, I’d be “paid to talk” in some other capacity or industry.

Something quirky, most people don’t know about you.

Hmmm, I do tend to overshare on social media but there’s loads of things that people still don’t know about me. As a teenager I collected receipts (from friends and family too)  – thousands of them – and kept them in distinct files/piles. Did I really just tell you that?

A quote or belief that personally motivates you each day.

When people ask me how I am, I sometimes respond with, “Well, I’m still breathing.” I am glad to be alive and thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given, and taken. – Tom Livingstone

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