Community is a walk in the Park

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Streetwatch -

THE eighth pro­file in our monthly Faces of Ned­lands se­ries by City of Ned­lands com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Michelle New­ton is jour­nal­ist Paul Mur­ray. WHEN re­spected jour­nal­ist Paul Mur­ray worked long hours as ed­i­tor of TheWestAus­tralian , he barely knew his neigh­bours around Allen Park in Swan­bourne – he was in and out his front gate, leav­ing early and re­turn­ing late.

Then he and his wife Grace got a dog named Os­car.

“It changed ev­ery­thing; it changed our ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the area dra­mat­i­cally,” he said.

While he loved where he lived, he re­alised he was co­cooned from his community.

“It doesn’t re­ally mat­ter where you live when you’re not en­gag­ing with any­one,” he said.

Mur­ray was ed­i­tor at TheWest Aus­tralian for 10 years from 1990 to 2000.

When he re­signed, he was the long­est- serv­ing metropoli­tan daily ed­i­tor in Aus­tralia.

Mur­ray has al­ways been a jour­nal­ist, fol­low­ing his fa­ther, a jour­nal­ist at TheWestAus­tralian, and his brother, who was with the Dai­lyNews.

“Eter­nal cu­rios­ity” drove Mur­ray into the pro­fes­sion, but life as a jour­nal­ist has come with its own set of chal­lenges.

As ed­i­tor, he drove the opin­ion of the news­pa­per, in the process pro­vok­ing the ire of the pow­er­ful.

He now writes an opin­ion column for TheWestAus­tralian, and was a host at ra­dio sta­tion 6PR for 11 years in all, in­ter­view­ing prime min­is­ters, pre­miers, politi­cians and the pub­lic.

Writ­ing col­umns “is cathar­tic” and he con­tin­ues, de­spite con­sid­er­ing re­tire­ment, be­cause he still loves it.

He’s never short of a topic for his pieces.

With re­tire­ment on the hori­zon, he’s con­sid­er­ing trav­el­ling with Grace, though his friends tell him he’ll never com­pletely re­tire.

He val­ues the op­por­tu­nity to write his column too much.

“Ev­ery jour­nal­ist thinks he’s got a book or two in him, so that’s a pos­si­bil­ity,” Mur­ray said.

Paul Mur­ray at his Swan­bourne home.

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