15 May 2024

Meet the Region Illawarra team: Journalist Zoe Cartwright

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Region Illawarra journalist Zoe Cartwright training a next-generation cadet – her niece, Charli. Photo: Zoe Cartwright.

This week we’re introducing our Region Illawarra team – the people behind the stories. Today, meet journalist Zoe Cartwright.

As a kid Zoe Cartwright loved surfing, wrestling, reading, writing and animals – and not much has changed today!

Her first job was pulling weeds in a neighbour’s garden; sadly, she lacked the dedication necessary for the job and gave it up to babysit instead.

After school she took the scenic route and worked in hospitality, local government, and the not-for-profit sector, before a brief detour to pick up a public health degree at the University of Wollongong.

Since graduating, she’s been lucky enough to tick off some bucket list goals by doing yoga by the Ganges in India, surfing in Sri Lanka, visiting Nessie in Scotland and hanging out at hippie festival Burning Man in the US.

After completing her degree Zoe got her first job as a cadet journalist in her hometown of Batemans Bay and worked her way back up the coast to Wollongong, before taking up a position in radio at RNZ in Wellington, New Zealand.

Along the way she’s covered state and local politics, elections, court, crime, the Black Summer bushfires, floods, the Queen’s death, and as many feel-good stories as she can get her hands on.

She also managed to find a Scottish fiance – who brought her back to one of her favourite places.

READ ALSO Meet the Region Illawarra team: Journalist Kellie O’Brien

“I’ve always loved travelling, and my fiance works in professional sport, so we’ve never spent more than a couple of years in the same place,” she said.

“When we got the opportunity to move back to the Illawarra we both leapt at it – it’s where we met, we have beautiful friends here, and there’s so many high-quality jiu-jitsu gyms and surf breaks on offer.”

From the mountains to the sea, Zoe loves our beautiful environment. She reckons there’s nothing quite like watching the sun set over the escarpment or bobbing in the ocean.

Away from the office, Zoe enjoys wrangling her three dogs, training with the talented team at Garage Jiu Jitsu in Bellambi and catching waves with her soon-to-be husband Ben.

She’d love to write a novel one day but is taking a leaf from her grandfather’s book – he had his first published at the age of 87.

She’s also been known to enjoy the atmosphere at Dicey Rileys!

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Zoe’s favourite Region Illawarra stories over the past 12 months have been about a retro house at Mt Keira up for sale, the retirement of Dapto High principal Andrew FitzSimons and the Ocean Queen Classic event.

“I think they encapsulate what we’re about at Region – quirky, heartfelt and passionate supporters of our community,” she said.

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