Sunshine Coast Daily community engagement editor Shirley Sinclair.
Sunshine Coast Daily community engagement editor Shirley Sinclair.

What I would tell my 23-year-old self

I’M WATCHING a series on Netflix called What If, starring Renée Zellweger.

It reminded me how our lives “turn on a sixpence”, as my mum used to say.

I’m talking about how one coincidental meeting, split-second decision, serendipitous occurrence, or sliding door moment can change the course of our lives – sometimes in a bad way but often for the better.

It was definitely a sliding door moment when I overheard a conversation with some Gold Coast Bulletin newsroom mates at one of our frequent social gatherings and Tim Bailey (who would go on to become a radio and TV personality) told me a general reporter’s job was on offer at the Sunshine Coast Daily.

Shirley Sinclair, as a young Sunshine Coast Daily reporter. Picture: Trevor Veale
Shirley Sinclair, as a young Sunshine Coast Daily reporter. Picture: Trevor Veale

A keen surfer, he would have taken it himself except that he was looking to cut back on work hours to search for more waves at that time.

Even though I’d only been at “The Bully” for 14 months, it was an opportunity to finally work where my fiance and I already had a block of land near the beach in the Kawana Waters Estate. So I took a deep breath and sent off a resume.

Fast forward nearly 35 years and I was asked in one of the podcasts we have been doing - as the Sunshine Coast Daily commemorates the end of the print era – what I would have told my 23-year-old self in hindsight after she accepted that job offer from our first editor David Lonsdale.

I want to tell her she’ll never regret it. That while she’ll have bad days, the good will add up to a long career beyond expectations — a career filled with many highlights, dear friends who started out simply as colleagues or contacts, plus opportunities to travel Australia and the globe. And she’ll enjoy the good life in the best place imaginable to bring up a family.

Now I face another crossroads, I want to tell myself and other colleagues preparing to head off in new directions, we’ve got this.

Just take that deep breath.


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