ALWAYS A LOCAL
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.