Soul searching career change

January 13, 2018

Back-to-school: Reporter Declan Martin with Year 5/6 students at Wilmot Rd Primary School.

Hardie's Heroes: Adem Barolli, Declan Martin, Taylah Burrows, Hayden Thomson, Lauren Bordin, Tyler Maher and Oliver Caffrey.

Yesterday was my last day with the Shepparton News after two years in the office and it’s a time I will look back on fondly.

I came to Shepparton from the Hunter Valley, NSW, after learning my journalism ropes at the bi-weekly newspaper, the Singleton Argus, in my hometown.

I had to adapt quickly to the hustle and bustle of a daily newsroom here.

Reflecting on the move now, I realise how big a decision it was as I left behind childhood friends and family for the unfamiliar territory of Aussie Rules mad country Victoria.

It’s not a decision I regret at all.

I’ve made some life-long friends here, reached a high in my journalism career and tackled lots of important news issues, more than I ever did in my four years at The Argus.

I’ve met a lot of colourful characters in Shepparton and I have enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life and telling their stories to the community. I’ve also enjoyed boring people with opinion pieces like this one.

Shepparton truly is a bustling and interesting country town.

The past six months or so have seen me do a bit of soul searching and I have decided journalism is not for me.

In that soul searching I have decided to make a bold or silly decision to enter the crowded field of education by studying to become a primary teacher.

Maybe it was all the time I spent in classrooms reporting school happenings here in my role but I just felt such a positive vibe in education. Schools are also forward thinking and progressive and that’s an environment I want to be in.

I know it is not an easy job, but an easy job is not what I desire. I want a job I can approach creatively and actually make difference to people’s lives.

When I look back on my own schooling I feel like I needed a bit more of push to reach my potential and I want to be able to be the person that helps someone better themselves.

I was privileged to spend a day sitting in with a classroom at Wilmot Rd Primary School last year and the way the students were engaged with their learning helped convince me this is the way forward for me.

I’m still very nervous and scared about what the future holds of course but you have to keep moving.

For the next year at least I will still be living in Shepparton and in the future I think I would absolutely jump at the opportunity to teach at one of the great primary schools here.

Being a bit of ‘country bumpkin’ I’m not rushing back to the city after spending a couple years out in the country and I think Shepparton and the wider Goulburn Valley will definitely hold a place in my heart.

Declan Martin is a News journalist.

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