GROWING up in regional Victoria, The Border Watch’s newest journalist, Charlotte Varcoe never dreamt she would be working in the newsroom.
Originally wanting to study psychology and teaching, Charlotte moved to journalism at the suggestion of her careers teacher in Year 12.
Deciding to give it a go, Charlotte then moved to Melbourne to study journalism and professional and creative writing at Deakin University.
Moving to Mount Gambier in 2017 with her partner, Charlotte completed a four-week internship at The Border Watch as the final stage of her degree.
Her first story, covering a fundraising barbeque at St Vincent De Pauls, gave Charlotte the journalism bug and on her third day, she managed to capture her first front page photo.
Within a week after completing the internship, she then obtained a part-time journalism job at The Naracoorte Herald where she worked for 15 months.
Exposed to a variety of stories, Charlotte recalls covering Naracoorte District Hockey Association grant for a synthetic pitch and even managed to sit in the State Budget Lock-up.
“I will never forget when I was driving home after we broke the story of the hockey ground,” she said.
“I was listening to the local radio and all of a sudden my story was referenced.
“It was a moment I won’t forget, as small as it is, it gave me confidence that I am doing my job properly.”
The experience of the lock-up caused Charlotte to look into political journalism, something she wishes to pursue further in the future.
During the lock-up, Charlotte battled her nerves as she questioned Treasurer Rob Lucas on the government’s new sports grant program, something she never planned on doing.
“It was an experience to say the least and I don’t think many of the journalists took me seriously, but I did something I never thought I would do and I think that is pretty cool,” she said.
Charlotte always looks for new and exciting opportunities, which led her to move back to The Border Watch where she has taken on the role of City Council reporter.
While getting her bearings with full time work and the new council, Charlotte is grateful for the help and guidance received so far.
Outside of the newspaper, Charlotte also volunteers her time by running a creative writing group named The Creative Inkwells.
After being a part of The Deakin Writers at university, Charlotte wished to pass on the skills she had learnt to young aspiring authors.
Now in their second year, The Creative Inkwells is the highlight of Charlotte’s week as she helps the students further develop their writing skills.
“The kids are great and I love working with them.
“They have all come so far in the past 12 months and I am honestly so proud of them all, we have become kind of like a little family in our own way.”
For now, Charlotte is focused on reporting on local community issues and City Council.