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Stefanie Waclawik (Class of 2005) is a successful broadcast journalist who worked in newsrooms across Australia before landing her dream job at 3AW in Melbourne. 

I always knew I wanted to be a broadcast journalist – yet I was terrified of public speaking. A paradox I’ve always been perplexed by. Looking back now, perhaps it was my desire to overcome that fear which drove me to where I am today.

After 13 years at Ivanhoe Girls', I completed a Media and Communications degree at the University of Melbourne. I had two blocks of work experience at Channel Seven and SBS under my belt and weeks before I graduated, I sent off emails to all the major news organisations, putting myself forward for a job - any job - in their newsrooms. I managed to land a position at Channel Ten as a Production Assistant. I had a foot in the door and I thought my journey since leaving school couldn't have panned out more perfectly.

Never did I think it would take me another six years - and three states – to achieve my dream job. In a world of hungry and talented fellow aspiring reporters, I decided I wouldn't wait to be moved up the ladder. So I packed up and moved to Canberra where there was a job available as a news presenter and producer for Southern Cross Ten.

It was a risk and I learned very quickly the value of perseverance – personally and professionally. I hit the ground running, pumping out 80 news updates to be broadcast into four different regional Victorian towns each day. The learning curve was exhausting but nothing satisfied me more.

I soon jumped ship to radio. I read breakfast news for the Fox and Kiss FM stations in Canberra, in the hope of eventually being transferred to their Melbourne stations. I was rising at 3.00am to be on-air by 5.30am and the adrenaline of live radio was addictive. I was writing and delivering news – sometimes as it was still unfolding – and I was part of the breakfast show banter.

While broadcasting from a tethered hot air ballon and doing Tim Tam slams live on-air was fun, I wanted to be on the frontline of news and dig up stories. I ended up volunteering my Saturday mornings – and a three hour commute – to read news for KISS FM in Sydney.

The plan was to build a profile in a big city market - and it worked. I was quickly offered a job at 2GB. I was given the opportunity to chase stories – from murders, to a Lindt Chocolate factory opening and the Australian Olympic team welcome home parade.

It would be 12 more months before I finally made it home to Melbourne. I transferred to sister station 3AW where the most memorable stories I’ve covered include the Bourke Street tragedy, the George Pell case and Prince Harry and Meghan’s tour of Australia.

The lessons I learned at Ivanhoe Girls' engrained in me the courage to take the plunge, challenge myself and ultimately shaped the woman I have become today. The push from my Year Three teacher Anne Beck who said we could always do better, and Junior School principal Debbie Sukarna who told us we could be anything.

What I’ve learned since then; never assume anything, try everything and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because they are some of the most valuable lessons you’ll learn. Go with your gut – and above all else – do what makes you happy.