Alumni Ambassadors

Whitney Fitzsimmons

Television Presenter, ABC International

Bachelor of Arts - Theatre, 1995

'Insulted beyond belief' is how Whitney Fitzsimmons describes her reaction to being told she'd make a good news presenter. The offending comment came from a teacher at University when Fitzsimmons started her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Performance.

The prediction proved to be spot on. The 1994 graduate has since presented every news program on the ABC (bar only Lateline and 7.30), and currently hosts the network's Business Today. 'Although being a news presenter was not a lifelong ambition, that's not to say I don't love it now,' Fitzsimmons says. She reflects on her career in front of the camera.

How did you get into TV presenting?
I originally wanted to be a professional actor. During the first week of a voice class at (Western Sydney University) Nepean we had to do an exercise where we introduced ourselves in front of the class. The teacher taped it and said 'you'd be a really good news presenter because you're so pleasant'. I saw it as the antithesis of being an actor, when in actual fact, a lot of performance skills are involved. I did work as an actor, I was lucky to get paid work on a regular basis, but I started to lose interest.
I wanted to tell stories. I went in the direction of journalism and did a Master of Journalism. I've always been interested in news and current affairs and also like to be in a fast-moving environment, which you get on live TV.

Read more of Whitney's story online in the Spring 2014 edition of theAlumni GradLife magazine (page 6 and 7)  (opens in a new window).

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David Elliott MP

David Elliott

Member of Parliament for Baulkham Hills

Bachelor of Arts, 1993

David Elliott was driven to enter politics by his belief that "people in society have potential, and if they are only given the opportunity, they would be able to succeed". To be able to say you have achieved your lifelong ambitions by the age of 42 is a great accomplishment. And that's just what David Elliott MP has done, having achieved his boyhood dreams of becoming an Army officer and a Member of Parliament.

David credits the University as playing no small part in helping him get there. As the first person in his family to attend university, David completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in his long-held passion of history."Growing up in Bankstown, university wasn't necessarily an option for a lot of people in that demographic. For me to be able to sit for the regional entrance test because I lived in Western Sydney was a wonderful opportunity," David say.The four years was fantastic preparation for my professional life, which has taken me from Duntroon, to peacekeeping as an Australian Army officer, to chief executive of a multimillion dollar organisation to being a Member of Parliament."

Read more of David's story online in the Autumn 2013 edition of the Alumni GradLife magazine (page 8) (opens in a new window).

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Megan Bromley

Head of Employee Experience, RedBalloon Days

Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management & Industrial Relations), 2004

Megan Bromley majored in human resources and has even taken out a prestigious Australian Human Resources Institute award, but you won't see her using the term on her job description.

Bromley prefers her title of 'head of employee experience' at RedBalloon, where she looks after recruitment, training, development and 'all the fun stuff'. It's not simply a matter of semantics. Bromley is passionate about putting people first within companies –bringing out their true strengths and personalities, rather than making them conform to a generic corporate persona.

MEGAN BROMLEY'S TOP INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Who are you on the weekend?
'I want to get a sense of the whole person, not just their nine-to-five self.'

Who are you on  a bad day?
'How they behave on a bad day – whether they go quiet, speak up, or head out for a walk – says a lot about a person.'

What would your previous colleagues say about you?
'References get made by managers, but it's pretty powerful to find out what they think others would say about them. You find out how self-aware they are.'

Read more of Megan's Top Interview Questions online in the Spring 2014 edition of the Alumni GradLife magazine (page 11) (opens in a new window).

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