AL­WAYS A LO­CAL

North East Living Magazine - - Contents - AMY BROAD­FOOT

Wan­garatta ex­pat and mar­ket­ing strate­gist Amy Broad­foot.

Can you tell us about life as a kid in the North East?

I grew up all around the North East, mainly in Glenrowan but with time in Wan­garatta and Al­bury/wodonga. My early child­hood was spent play­ing in the Warby Range, go­ing to lots of tour­ing and com­mu­nity arts events and be­ing an ac­tive mem­ber of the Wan­garatta Play­ers in my early teens and later with Hot­house Theatre.

Can you tell us briefly what you do now and where you are?

I’ve spent the last 12 years mov­ing around the globe, learn­ing about the world and my­self, and find­ing a ca­reer. I lived in Ed­in­burgh for two years where I worked partly for the Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val, then an­other two in Prague where I taught English and worked in the busi­ness side of the film in­dus­try which in­volved trav­el­ling to film fes­ti­vals, cre­at­ing mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als, and un­der­stand­ing the sales ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween pro­duc­ers and the dis­trib­u­tors. This was fol­lowed by five years in Perth run­ning a short film la­bel, de­sign­ing events, study­ing and do­ing in­tern­ships. Not wish­ing to con­tinue to stress on how to pay the rent, I went on to ap­ply my mar­ket­ing skills to ad­ver­tis­ing agen­cies as a dig­i­tal con­tent strate­gist. Af­ter a few more years of work­ing in large agen­cies in Syd­ney, I am now a free­lance mar­ket­ing strate­gist based in Mel­bourne and ad­vise large com­pa­nies like Canon, Jun­kee Me­dia and Citibank on their dig­i­tal pres­ence. I’m also look­ing at study­ing so­cial im­pact and busi­ness man­age­ment to evolve my mar­ket­ing work fur­ther.

What did you love about grow­ing up in the North East?

I have to ad­mit I strug­gled in the North East as a kid. I of­ten felt like I didn’t fit in, but I think that’s nor­mal for a lot of kids any­where in the world. Now be­ing a bit older I feel re­ally for­tu­nate to have grown up there - there is a sense of com­mu­nity and cul­ture, and also a con­nec­tion to the land which I as­sume city kids may not ex­pe­ri­ence. I loved walk­ing through the bush on what seemed like end­less sum­mer days, swim­ming in dams with kan­ga­roos nearby, and get­ting in­volved in com­mu­nity arts events.

Let us know some of your ca­reer high points.

Talk­ing at the Syd­ney Opera House on cul­ture and com­mu­ni­ties for Vivid Syd­ney, and at­tend­ing Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val in the US as an in­dus­try in­sider were two of my favourites. Both of those ex­pe­ri­ences made me re­alise that with a bit of pas­sion and per­haps a lot of naivety, we can re­ally shape our lives to be what we want them to be.

What’s the first thing you do when you re­turn to the North East?

I usu­ally head to my dad’s place in Wodonga, go out into the back­yard and smell the air, lis­ten to the repet­i­tive croak of the ci­cadas and look up at the gumtrees. It’s the sen­sory sym­bols of the North East that I missed most when I was over­seas. Then I start to think about food and what I should eat while I’m up there - most im­por­tantly which win­ery has the best chardon­nay. The North East has such a great his­tory of good food and wine.

Af­ter liv­ing away from the re­gion, what is it about the North East that has al­ways stayed with you?

I think there is a grounded-ness that has stayed with me, not so much a mem­ory of my child­hood but the ef­fect of grow­ing up in a coun­try area with so many peo­ple that re­ally cared about their com­mu­nity. There is a tan­gi­ble feel­ing of peo­ple want­ing their town to be all it can be, and sup­port for those con­tribut­ing to it. I think that is some­thing spe­cial.

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