Talking courage with a News Presenter

(2 minute read.)



Vanessa O’Hanlon is a  NSW Regional News Presenter with Channel 9.  She started her career in radio before moving into a variety of television presenting roles. She is a former weather presenter for the ABC and is now the anchor of Channel 9’s 6pm news bulletin for Regional
New South Wales.



How would you describe workplace courage?

With movements such as #MeToo I believe the term workplace courage is changing.  It is more about coming together and being able to discuss, not only issues that may arise on a daily basis, but also about having the open space to feel comfortable about discussing pay parity, career movement and the way we are treated in the workplace.  This also expands to social media platforms where trolling is such a big issue.

What does courage look like in your workplace?

Working in the media, for me courage looks like support from both colleagues and ex-colleagues.  It’s having the ability to help and stand by and up for each other.  It’s about having a safe space to speak out about the issues we face on a daily basis.  It’s also about how my workplace is adapting to a new era of management.

Please describe 1 or 2 examples of times in which you have been courageous.  What did you do?  Who/what enabled you to be courageous?  What was the outcome?  

While I can be quite conservative in my approach, my decision-making process is based around taking a risk and trusting the universe to open up the right opportunities for me.

I have left secure positions to take on the unknown and, despite not necessarily having the skills or experience, have worked hard to prove that I am the right person.

I also like to take myself out of the everyday and do something that I fear; this is usually based around travel. For example, travelling solo to places such as Bosnia or trekking.  Each travel experience has pushed me to further seek out different locations and activities.  By listening to other traveller’s tales, I have pushed myself to expand beyond countries and activities that I would normally shy away from.

I have learnt that I can be on my own; that I have the courage to engage in new experiences and conversations; that I am more than capable of being in charge of my own destination.

So far it’s worked out well, so maybe the universe is right and I am where I am meant to be.




“I still have to find the courage to put myself
out there, especially in situations
such as public speaking.”



From your point of view, to what extent are Australia’s leaders leading with courage?

Talking from a female and media point of view; I believe the strong and courageous females in this particular industry are copping a lot, but they are sticking together and supporting each other.  I hope, like pioneers before us, they can make a difference for the future.

You can follow Vanessa on:

  • Instagram: @vanessaohanlon
  • Twitter @VanessaOHanlon

We have heard the perspectives of a number of female leaders over the past few weeks.  Perhaps we have the pioneers that we need right here; perhaps these courageous women are making a difference for the future.


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