Katrina Blowers from Channel Seven comes into our living rooms each night reporting on the important news stories or you can find her every weekend hosting the Channel Seven Weekend News. But did you know that Katrina Blowers is also a co – host on popular news podcast The Briefing? Recently she agreed to host the program for three weeks whilst Tom Tilley embraces his role as new Dad.
Katrina is also an accomplished MC , speaker, mentor and former radio announcer. She’s even written a book called Tuning Out. Is there nothing she can’t do? Born in Townsville, this proud Queenslander, is a Mum of two, who embraces each new opportunity with a positive energy and unerring curiosity.
It was a pleasure for SheSociety to meet the lovely Katrina at local coffee haunt , The Java Lounge in Paddington. Katrina opted for a soy milk flat white whilst I sipped an almond milk latte. We talked of women in the media, writing, broadcasting in a 2021 world and Katrina shared memories of some of her favourite stories. Here’s what she had to say.
Mum, journalist, author, radio announcer, Katrina, you have done it all. Now you are hosting The Briefing podcast for three weeks whilst Tom Tilley is on paternity leave. What made you say YES to this unique opportunity ?
I hosted the number one radio show in Sydney for many years and really missed that part of my life. I heard Tom Tilley being interviewed on a podcast and thought I would love to work with him again. The very next day I received an email asking me to co – host the show. Initially it was just one day a week , but when Tom went on paternity leave, they asked if I could fill in for three weeks. As you know I get to work with amazing people like Jan Fran, Annika Smethurst and Jamila Rizvi , so I couldn’t say no. It’s just a great team to be a part of.
Can you tell us all about The Briefing and what listeners can expect when they tune in?
The Briefing is Australia’s fastest growing daily news podcast and it has a loyal audience who will listen to the whole show. We have the news of the day and then a guest and it’s right within my comfort zone. It’s still news and I don’t have to be the funny one. It’s how many people get their news every day. We publish the show from Monday to Saturday and it is a mix of the latest news headlines plus a deep dive into a topic affecting our listeners. All shows are all under twenty minutes long.
And you are still on our TV screens for the 6:00pm bulletin. I know you have to be up early to record and host the podcast. How will you manage and juggle these roles?
Yes, I was in the make up chair at 5:00am today and when daylight saving kicks in I’ll be having to wake up at 2:45am , which is not much fun. But it’s so great to be part of this amazing team. I feel privileged to be a part of it. I still love being a television newsreader and it’s always a real ‘pinch me’ moment whenever we go to air. I love sharing people’s stories and making a difference in people’s lives.
How old were you when you realised that you wanted to share stories as a career?
I was around seven when I decided I wanted to be a television newsreader. Growing up in the 80’s, newsreaders were the only real role models we had of women who were doing something serious and being respected in those roles. I looked up to and admired our female newsreaders and decided then that’s what I wanted to be. I still can’t believe I’ve made it.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your career so far?
I was born in Townsville and moved to Canberra when I was young. I studied journalism in Bathurst at the Charles Sturt University, where there was a really good journalism course, before heading to Sydney. There I was told I looked too young to be a newsreader so I went into radio instead. We were the number one show when I decided to travel the world. Everyone thought I was crazy. But it has worked well and now with Seven I’m able to tell some of the stories that really matter.
Any highlights you can share with us?
Yes , my favourite story was about a three year old boy who was in an accident. His injuries weren’t visible but he had been decapitated on the inside.There just happened to be a surgeon here in Brisbane at the Children’s Hospital who was skilled enough to do this surgery. That story went global and I was being interviewed by journalists in Canada, the USA and India. Everyone was so interested in the story and today that little boy is leading a happy, healthy life. The only thing he can’t do is jump on a trampoline. It feels good to be able to share those stories .
Why do you think podcasts are becoming so popular?
People can choose when and where they listen to podcasts and they can tailor their listening to their interests. Our listeners are very loyal and will listen every day. It’s an easy way to absorb information whilst doing something else.
You have also written a book called Tuning Out : My Quarter Life Crisis. Can you tell us about that?
Gee, that was ten years ago now. It was just after I’d been travelling and I was forced to learn who I was without my job defining me. It has lots of travel stories and is about finding myself. I’d love to write another book. I have had a go at writing romance, like you, but it can feel a bit embarrassing writing that. I would like to have another try at writing fiction one day.
I listened to your interview with Emma Isaacs from Business Chicks on ‘ The New Hustle ‘. She shared her views on how to lead a fulfilling life without the old style burn out from side hustles. People have proven they can work successfully from home without the crazy commute and busyness. You have plenty of side hustles. How does this apply to your life?
Most of my podcast can be done from home, so that’s a positive. I tend to follow my instincts and only do what is right for me. I still get a thrill from being a television newsreader and love sharing stories that matter. We are working on one at the moment on the exemptions and how quickly they are turning around. There is a young girl from Canberra who has a rare cancer and the only treatment for her is available in Brisbane.The family waited for eight days, ringing everywhere, Government departments and the Minister, but received no answer. If the tumour grows too big they can’t treat it so every minute counts.We ran the story and the next day her exemption was granted. She’s on her way home now and that feels good. I do like to do a variety of things but only if it feels right to me.
With that said, it’s now time for Katrina to race to the airport so that she will be there when cancer patient, Maryanne, arrives home from Canberra to be reunited with her parents. Thanks to Katrina’s story, thirty – four year old Maryanne , has been given a medical exemption which enables her to quarantine at a tiny house on her parent’s property. She can then receive the life saving treatment which can only be given at the RBWH. It’s a truly special moment which buoys Katrina’s commitment to her work. I’m looking forward to following this story after watching the family’s emotional reunion on the nightly news.
The youthful and engaging , Katrina Blowers, is writing her own story and listening to her intuition as she writes her next chapter. She is an inspiring role model for women of all ages, reminding us all to follow our dreams wherever they make take you and to embrace the many and varied opportunities that come your way. #SheInspires
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).