Community is a walk in the Park
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.