rEd X Was Here


I never set out to be a journalist. In fact, I never set out to be anything. You went to school and after that, you got a job. “Brainy’’ kids went to university. “Not brainy’’ kids like me got a job, made some money, bought a car and went to the pub and the beach with their mates.

So I got a job in a bank which was extraordinarily dull but secure and reasonably well paid, bought a car and went to the beach and the pub.

Fate, however, one day directed my mother’s gaze to a small advertisement calling for applications for the position of cadet journalist in Brisbane’s then afternoon newspaper, the Telegraph.

I applied, got the job and began what was to be a truly rewarding career. I was one of the lucky ones – I’d fallen into a job I loved and for which I possessed a natural talent.  I’ve written thousands of columns since then, traveled to exotic corners of the earth, driven exotic cars, met exotic people and enjoyed some memorable hospitality.

Brisbane, however, is my home and will always be, regardless of my address.

None of this would have happened if my mother had not sat me down in our family home at the kitchen table all those years ago and stood over me as I wrote: Dear Sir, I’d like to apply for the position of cadet journalist …….

So thanks, Mum. All children owe their parents but I owe you more than most.

'13 Northern Europe 445

Mike O’Connor is a Journalist with 40 years experience writing columns for QWeekend, Back Chat and The Courier Mail.  He lives in Brisbane with his wife Donna and her two children, Jordan and Jessica. His grown up daughter Raine is a regular visitor with her dog Rocky and makes the best spaghetti carbonara in the country.