NATHALIE Craig is a name that would bring back fond memories for many readers of the NOTA.
They will remember Nathalie – a young, vibrant woman fresh out of University beginning her journalism career writing the NOTA almost single handed from 2011-2014.
Stepping into the NOTA journalist role after graduating Communications majoring in Journalism at the Newcastle University as well as Food Writing through the University of Adelaide was quite daunting for Nathalie.
She had to put into practice all that she had learnt about journalism and run a newspaper.
Nathalie found the locals welcoming and felt quite supported.
People would send in community news, which was very helpful as it was overwhelming knowing she needed to write the entire paper.
“It’s a special community, really friendly people and one of the most beautiful places on earth,” said Nathalie.
Apart from the people, Nathalie loved the natural environment and felt privileged to work in such a beautiful place.
Well-respected Tea Gardens resident Gordon Grainger remembers Nathalie as a very nice person.
“Nathalie worked in very well with the local community groups, we enjoyed her company, she was keen, accurate and followed things up,” he said.
After three years at the NOTA, Nathalie was offered a Rotary Exchange Program to work at the Leicester Mercury in England for three months.
She was excited for her upcoming journey, but it meant the end of her career at the NOTA and she was sad to be leaving.
When attending a farewell function for Nathalie, Gordon Grainger made a speech stating “Nat arrived at the paper a girl and left a young lady.”
Nathalie’s response to Gordon – “well, well, well, if it isn’t Mr Scoop himself. How do you write a paper without this bloke?”
These comments express the relationships that were forged between Nathalie and the locals in the time she worked at the NOTA.
Whilst working at the Leicester Mercury, Nathalie had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe on Press trips.
These trips and a Top Deck Tour through Europe ignited her passion in travel and she decided to continue travelling for the next year.
On her return home, she met her future husband Ben Levick shortly before moving to Sydney for work and Ben, a physiotherapist, followed Nathalie from Newcastle.
They decided to leave their jobs in Sydney in 2017 and travelled together walking the Camino de Santiago Walk– a popular historical pilgrimage route almost 800km in length from The Way of St James on the French border to Santiago in Spain.
This took them a month to walk, carrying their backpacks and forging friendships along the way.
“I really didn’t do any training before the walk and I don’t know how I did it,” said Nathalie.
On their return, Nathalie and Ben settled in Newcastle, adopted ‘Sweety’, a rescue greyhound and bought their first home together before marrying in 2019.
Since then, they have added to their family and now have a beautiful son Isaac now seven months old.
Career wise Nathalie has followed her passion combining writing, food and travel and has worked for several publications, however since the birth of Isaac, Nathalie has found herself at a crossroads with becoming a Mum and her career.
“Isaac is such a good baby and so easy most of the time.
“It’s a fine line between work and spending time with him, so I’m in an uncertain period of my work life at present.”
Nathalie is now focusing on freelance journalism.
“I love feature writing and I want to focus more on peoples’ stories.”
When asked what were the highlights of working at the NOTA Nathalie said, “The whole experience.
“It was one of the best times of my life, I loved it.
“I still can’t believe such an awesome job existed.”
Nathalie would like to thank the Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest community for giving her three of the best years of her life and career.
“I saw so many interesting things and learnt so much. I met so many interesting people, I miss them all.”
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