Sharyn Ghidella: ‘Failing is not having a go in the first place.’

I just never gave up

Sharyn Ghidella has been a journalist now for some 30 years, plying her trade mainly in television news and current affairs. Since her humble beginnings as an on the road reporter at NQTV in Cairns, North Queensland, Sharyn told me she has worn many hats.. reporter, producer, presenter , emcee and Mum. At present, she co-host the nightly 7 News Bulletin in Queensland, which is produced by a highly dedicated team in Brisbane. Prior to that, she has been the news anchor on network programs like Weekend Sunrise, Today, The Early News, and the Qantas Inflight News ( for which sadly, she did not manage to collect any frequent flyer points.. ha!) Sharyn is also partner to Paul and mum to 2 young boys, who are her world. As for sharyn’s passions, well, when she does get some spare time, she tries her best to give something back.

Sharyn is currently an ambassador for the Allison Baden-Clay Foundation, which aims to prevent family and domestic violence and the Kokoda Track Foundation which keeps the Kokoda spirit alive by improving the lives of the people of Papua New Guinea. In addition to that, she is Patron of CARS — the Community Access Respite Services organisation, which provides much needed support and services for people with disability and aged care. Sharyn also confessed to a strong love for reading, film and the arts, particularly theatre. One of the highlights of her career was spending time on the board of Queensland Theatre and getting to enjoy so many outstanding local productions. The arts are alive and well in Queensland!

Having had followed and admired Sharyn for a while now, I am glad to have her take time out of her busy schedule to give us an authentic insight to her story.

1. Humble Beginnings

Q: How did you get started and what or who inspired and empowered you to?

Growing up, I never dreamed of being a journalist. I always loved English and writing, but like so many teenagers graduating from high school, I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to be. I actually enrolled into university to complete a Public Relations degree, but as part of that course I had to undertake a journalism subject and, it was from that moment on, I realised this was what I wanted to do as a career. Along the way there have been many people who have inspired me — trailblazers like Jana Wendt, Tracy Grimshaw and Ian Ross, but it’s the important job we do — getting vital information out to our viewers — that has always kept me going in this industry.

“ It’s those times when crisis engulfs us, a natural disaster hits or a major event occurs and it’s our job to inform the public of how it affects them and the potential impact..that’s what makes it all worthwhile in the end.”

Q: What unique and creative strategies if any did you use when you were first getting started?

Like many university students, I spent a lot of my spare time completing internships, hoping this work experience may lead to a full-time job. In my final year at QUT I began an internship at NQTV Cairns, having already completed work experience in newspaper and radio. As luck would have it, one of the full time reporters secured another job about 2 weeks after I completed my degree and the NQTV News Director rang me to offer me a full-time position. It was a lucky break and one that I remain forever grateful for to this day. Without it, who knows where I may have ended up. When asked, I still advise young journalists who’ve just graduated from university to complete as much work experience as possible. Getting a foot in the door, could lead to much bigger things in the future.

2. Mindset

Q: What mindset distinguished you from others who were doing the same thing? How did you develop it?

There is very little about my mindset that sets me apart, but perhaps when I am challenged in some way, it’s sheer persistence that gets me through. I am not good at leaving business unfinished. I am someone who can’t rest until a project is done and when I am set a task, I do try to give it my all. I have been known to spend days upon days researching ahead of major broadcasts or interviews. I like to be well informed and will completely immerse myself in whatever the task is at hand. It is perhaps that mindset that got me over the line in the early days. I just never gave up. But as to how I developed it, I can’t really say. It really is just a personality trait. Sometimes, I honestly think it’s a curse. Other days, it can pay off.

3. What is your definition of success?

That’s very simple… success to me means happiness. Material possessions, your income, climbing the corporate ladder, supposedly “having it all” all mean very little if you aren’t happy with your life. Too often we can get caught up in chasing material goals, that we are too exhausted or too stressed to actually enjoy what we have achieved. Some of the most “successful” people I know are not rich or powerful in the traditional sense, but gee, they enjoy life. They are the people I perceive to be the success stories. They are the ones I admire the most.

4. Failure

Q: What do you think is the main reason why some people face failure when going after their vision?

To be truthful, I’ve never liked to think of people failing. We are all born with a talent or talents. Some people stumble across the one thing they are good at, they pursue it and they are rewarded accordingly. Others choose a path that may not necessarily be where their greatest strengths lie, hence they may never achieve what they hope or envisage. But, to me, that doesn’t necessarily mean they failed. They just didn’t achieve what they set out to achieve, but at least they tried and there is much merit in doing that. Failing, is not having a go in the first place.

5. What is the best piece of advice you have received or came across and would like to share with everyone?

When I was younger and the proud owner of my first autograph book (ok, now I’m really showing my age!) my mother wrote on the first page: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” And to this day, I rate it among the best pieces of advice I have ever received. Life is full of setbacks and hurdles, no matter who you are or what you chose to do. Having the tenacity to pick yourself up and plough on, no matter what confronts you, will certainly get you through, not only in terms of your career, but your day to day life as well.

To view Sharyn’s amazing work, connect with her on LinkedIn https://au.linkedin.com/in/sharyn-ghidella-85889143

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