Samantha Heathwood has been a part of regional Australia’s media landscape for more than a decade and this month celebrates one year in her current role as a Nine News Regional Presenter. When she landed the role as the face of Nine News Regional Queensland in July last year, she said she felt very honoured in taking on the the role having grown up in regional Queensland.

“The role of local news in small communities is vital – it helps form the fabric of those cities, making the issues of the day relevant to the people they impact.” Samantha said. Samantha landed her first job as a news reporter for WIN Television in 2005 after studying a degree in journalism at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Starting out in Rockhamptom she later returned to her Toowoomba roots to present news for the network.

After joining the Nine News team in 2012, Samantha decided to take 2 years off to raise her two sons. Samantha said she found that juggling work and home life was a hard task, especially due to the nature of news which sometimes demand that she drop everything at the last minute in order to report on a story. “It’s always difficult making decisions on the work/family balance, but I have learnt to put my children first and foremost. Earlier in my career, I barely saw my eldest son because I was determined to ensure having a family didn’t make me a less valuable employee. But when I had my second son I put my career on hold for 18 months.”

Staying true to herself and her family while battling the gendered industry and challenging expectations as a full-time working mother, Samantha has carved herself a successful career.

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