Nakari Thorpe

Nakari Thorpe

Postgraduate Research Student

Bachelor of Media (Communication & Journalism)

Graduation Year: 2014

Current Position: Political Correspondent, National Indigenous TV

Thorpe knew from a young age that she wanted to do something for her people and she found her outlet through telling Indigenous stories.

After a yearlong cadetship with SBS in world news and current affairs she has been appointed as the NITV political correspondent based in the press gallery in Canberra.

My degree is one of my biggest achievements. I am the first person in my family to have a university degree. Doing this cadetship and taking that big leap into journalism as well

What is one thing you love about your job?

Working with NITV News we try to show a lot of the positive stories, and it really resonates with audiences. At the same time, we are educating people as well. People are opening their eyes to a whole new world of Indigenous Australia and that’s what I’m passionate about, and that’s why I wanted to do journalism, and that’s what fuels me and keeps me going. The deadline driven work can be stressful at times, but knowing that you are telling those important stories, particularly to a new audience, makes it all worthwhile.

Did you imagine this would be your career? What would a 17-year-old Nakari think of what you are doing now?

Definitely not! When I finished school I didn’t think that university was a possibility for me. I grew up in South-West Sydney and university just wasn’t in my sphere. Journalism and working in broadcast television news was not something I thought I would end up doing at all.

What was your Media (Comms & Journalism) degree at UNSW like?

It was a broad and all-encompassing degree. It really helped with a whole range of skills for journalism, and media in general. We learnt so many different things, from the publicity world to media history, and of course journalism and drilling down to particular skills you use in a newsroom. I think that whole degree is great in terms of preparing you for the workforce and for the media industry.

What is your best memory of your Media (Comms & Journalism) degree?

Doing stories on campus, but also going out into the community and doing stories about where we lived was really fun. I prepared a story about The Block in Redfern, and what people might not notice which is the artwork on the walls there. There is some really amazing artwork in Redfern. I was inspired by my lecturer who showed us her story about graffiti artwork in Glebe and I decided to do something similar, and it turned out really well. It was the best way to learn.

How do you feel that your UNSW Bachelor of Media (Comms & Journalism) degree shaped your career?

I wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without my degree. It has shaped who I am and has made me grow a lot more, not only as a media student but as a person, and now as a media professional. It has been pivotal to the journalist that I am now and I wouldn’t be here without it.

What advice would you give to someone trying to decide if they should sign up for a Bachelor of Media (Comms & Journalism) degree?

Just give it your all! You can have a lot of self-doubt, which I did and still do sometimes which is normal, but I think if you’re scared about something you just have to jump in and go for it. In the world of journalism, you just have to go for it because that is the only way you are going to learn. What you get out of it is so worthwhile, and those fears go once you’ve made that breakthrough.

Do you have any advice for current Arts & Social Sciences students?

Just keep pushing through. Any degree is tough. Usually people who want to do journalism are fuelled by a certain passion, to tell a story or to tell the truth. Your passion drives you and you have to remember why you are doing it. That’s what will keep you going. In the long run, all those assignments are worth it in the end and you will feel so proud when you come to the end of that journey.