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Journalist

Susannah Walker

On her creative background…

I've been a writer all my working life - I worked in journalism for many years and in communications in the health and community sectors.

On what she loves about storytelling…

The pleasure of words themselves, and being a conduit for other people's stories. 

On what a typical day lookos like…

Weekdays are typically spent in downtown Auckland as I work full-time in communications for a not-for-profit and my office is there. At weekends I usually hang out on Waiheke, where I live. I make forays into the city at weekends when I need a top up of whatever I love that isn't readily available on the island (specific friends, family, food, arts, culture, and my favourite massage therapist).

On how journalism has changed in New Zealand….

I started out as a print journalist in the late 80s, so pre-internet. There was radio, of course, and a couple of TV channels and that was it. I think back then there was a depth of skills required - now it's a breadth that's needed, to feed all of the platforms and formats through which content is delivered. The culture of newsrooms has changed for the better, but journalists are stretched very thin now, feeding all the beasts.

On living in New Zealand…

New Zealand is where I belong. I grew up in a small town in Taranaki, in a conservative farming community. I enjoy the natural beauty of Waiheke, and also that it's close to the city. Best of both worlds.

On a favourite book…

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I haven't read it in more than 20 years but the lyrical writing has stayed with me.

On what community looks like…

A spider's web, but one that holds rather than traps.


On an aspect of New Zealand that is distinctive?

We are modest by nature. I like that. Modesty of character is an under-rated virtue I think.

On working through a creative block?

I find a pressing deadline to be an excellent cure.

On a big life lesson…

Follow your heart.

On someone that has made a significant impact on her life…

My mother. She gave me a great gift - the joy of reading.

On how she practices gratitude…

Consciously. I write a gratitude list in the morning. It helps me start the day with the best possible attitude.

On bettering children’s health and supporting Starship…

It's vitally important. Access to healthcare is a right, not a privilege.