9News Reporter Erin Buchan is a familiar face to many North Queenslanders and although she loves her job now, she didn’t always plan to be on the big screen.
We were lucky enough to chat with Erin about her career, her interest in sports, and her hometown; Townsville. You can read below what she had to say about reporting, coaching, following your dreams and working hard.
When did you decide on pursuing a career in Journalism and what’s it like being able to report in your hometown?
It wasn’t until after I finished high school that I decided I wanted to pursue a career in journalism, which is funny because I’ve always been told I ask a lot of questions! So, I thought why don’t I do it for a living? I originally hated the idea of being on TV. But, after some time testing out various roles, I ended up getting the hang of it.
I love reporting in my hometown! It’s definitely an advantage being able to report for 9News Local North Queensland in my hometown. I’m really proud to have returned for my dream job. Knowing the area, knowing a bit of history and being able to really connect with locals is something I do not take for granted, it is my favourite part of the job.
What was your favourite thing about growing up in Townsville and do you have a favourite local place to visit?
Growing up in Townsville, you really can’t escape the incredible sense of community! Basically, everywhere you go, you recognise someone or stop to have a chat. I am sure I hated it in my teenage years! But looking back that is my favourite part of Townsville, it’s definitely the community that makes North Queensland such a special place.
Magnetic Island is definitely my favourite place to visit. It’s changed over the years since I was a kid, but I love going over there, revisiting the beaches and just relaxing. It’s a great little escape on our doorstep.
What do you love most about moving home?
The thing I loved most about moving home was being surrounded by my family. My parents and grandparents all still live here and after some time away, it’s good to be close to them again so regularly.
Would it be fair to say you are a sports fanatic?
To be honest, I’m more of a sports tragic! I’ll give any sport a crack once but that doesn’t mean I’m any good at any of them. I do prefer watching. You can basically put me in front of any live sport and I’m hooked!
What sports did you participate in as a child? What sports do you continue to participate in?
I grew up playing basketball since I was about 6 years old and I continue to play in the local competition to this day. I’ve never even changed clubs, playing for Whirlwinds Basketball, the same club which my mother and grandfather both played for! I’ve also played AFL, rugby sevens and touch rugby league. I don’t mind the odd social competition as a great way to get to know people.
In your Coaching position, what do you think is the most important thing to teach your young team?
I’d say resilience is something I try to instil in my team. Sometimes things might not go their way whether that be on or off the court, whether it be big or small. The best thing to do is get back up and do it again and again until things do go your way. It’s nice to be able to encourage young players and hopefully be the kind of mentor I loved as a kid playing sport.
What are the other things kids learn through team sports? How important do you think team sports are for kids?
Teamwork is one of the most important learnings for kids in organised sport. It’s really important to encourage working together as a team. It’s the best way to teach life skills like communication, acceptance and the benefits of having a positive attitude.
Do you feel pressure to be a good role model for kids through sport? What do you think makes a good role model?
Not so much pressure, but I do feel a sense of responsibility as I know how impressionable kids are and how important learning from positive mentors can be. I had a lot of great role models growing up through sport and I would love to be able to give back even a portion of the support that I received.
How important is it to try new hobbies/ sports and stick to them?
I think it’s great to try new things no matter what age you are. Getting out of my comfort zone wasn’t something I have always done, but as I’ve become older, I love trying new sports and trying something I’ve never done before. The fact of the matter is if you don’t like it once you’ve tried it, then at least you know!
Advice when things get hard or kids experience failure?
As a kid, I was always told that everything happens for a reason. Never give up on something you truly believe is within reach. I’d say this is something that’s stayed with me and definitely advice I would pass on.
Is reporting from the sidelines at games and matches a dream job?
Reporting on local sport is a dream job. In particular, having the opportunity to connect with players and share their successes and stories – something that is so important to regional Queenslanders and Australians. I’m lucky to have a lot of opportunity here in Townsville with the new stadium. I look forward to gaining more experience as my career with Nine Regional News progresses.
What are some of your favourite and most memorable moments as a reporter thus far?
My favourite moment to date would have to be my first live cross with Wally Lewis. It’s something I wouldn’t have thought would happen in such a short time reporting. I’m always so grateful for the opportunities I get with 9News Local.
Another of my most memorable moments was reporting on the Yeppoon bushfires last year. I was there with residents as they watched their houses burn – such a horrific spectacle and a very sobering experience. Seeing the sense of community after the disaster was really uplifting. It made me really appreciate the importance of regional journalism and connecting with locals.
You’ve followed your dreams to become a sports reporter. Do you have any advice for kids who may be interested in a career in journalism?
As a journalist, on a day-to-day basis you meet some incredible people. My advice for kids who want a career in journalism would be to start talking! Talk to everyone, be a conversationalist, understand people – the more personable you are, the better you’ll be.
Do you have any advice for kids when it comes to choosing a career?
My advice for kids who are thinking about choosing a career would be don’t panic if you don’t know what you want to do by the time you finish school. Keep your options open and just try to do the best you can. After all, you don’t have to stick with the one industry or job for your whole life, so you may as well put in time to figure out what you really like. Internships are the best thing you can do!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Working for 9News Local North Queensland and reporting on both general news and sport really is a dream come true – I encourage anyone reading this to follow your dreams and work hard, because anything is possible.