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Natasha Beyersdorf: Passionate beyond the camera

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She’s been sharing the news on our television screens for more than two decades, telling our stories and making sense of the issues that surround us.

Born in Armidale, Natasha “Tash” Beyersdorf kick-started her journalism career in Tamworth as a local voice on the radio.

Now featuring on several Newcastle boards, the self-confessed country girl is bringing light to topics that she believes need our attention, one of which is International Women’s Day. 

Natasha Beyersdorf graces our screens each day as the region’s newsreader at NBN News. Photo: Peter Stoop

What are you doing for International Women’s Day this year? 

I’m hosting the Equal for Futures Project breakfast, it’s something I’ve done since they started. It’s an International Women’s Day event I’ve been interested in and enjoyed watching grow over the years. 

The Equal Futures Project is taking the messages of [IWD] and really broadening it, making it more about equitable communities generally, and it’s bringing men into the conversation as well. It’s not just about gender, but all of the other elements that go towards a more equitable world. I love their philosophy and I love what they’ve been able to do, and I’ve enjoyed watching it grow. 

I’ve really seen, especially over the past five years, more and more events recognising the day, which I think is great.

It’s important to have these conversations in the community. 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? 

For me it is a chance to celebrate the achievements of women, not just in Australia but across the world. That’s really the focus of it, I think. But, more than that it can be a call to action as well and I like that part.  

What more needs to be done? 

There’s still obviously a gender pay gap, but there’s a whole heap of issues affecting women particularly. International Women’s Day is a chance to highlight issues and really try to work together to come up with some plans and solutions. 

I think it’s important to think about all the different situations that women face around the world.

While the real push points here might be things like the gender pay gap, in other parts of the world it’s the right to go about your life in the way that you would like. 

The important thing with events that go on around IWD, certainly here in the Hunter and the ones that I’m involved with, is that they pick up that element of helping out charities that help women.

It’s a chance for us to highlight the situations of other people that we might not be aware of, and the good work that’s being done, and then support that, not only in terms of recognition but financially too. 

Natasha Beyersdorf: “I’m really interested in the world, in our society and what goes on.”

Would you say you are a good IWD fit, given you are a woman balancing work and motherhood? 

I guess so. I mean, I don’t think I’m anything unique or special in that regard. I think we’ve all got those things going on, that juggle. 

I think it’s nice for us to be able to speak about it and relate to each other. We all know it can be a great life, but it can be difficult at times too. 

What made you choose journalism as a career? 

I knew from primary school that I wanted to do something that involved writing. I always loved writing. 

I wanted to be a ballerina but I was lacking the talent for that.

Then in high school I remember my best friend’s family got a video camera and we’d go to school events and she’d be with the camera, and I’d be reporting on things like the athletics carnival, and Red Nose Day, and the last day of Year 12. It was just a passion that I had. 

What has kept you in your career? 

I’m really interested in the world, in our society and what goes on. I love reporting. 

I like the rawness of it, you never know what someone’s going to answer when you ask them a question, or where it’s going to go. 

It’s a privilege to be able to just sit down and ask people questions, to find out things that, depending on the story, are what the community wants to know or needs to know.

It can make you a bit of a nosey person, but it gives you confidence to speak to anyone in any situation, and I think I’ve enjoyed that. That carries well with me. 

Do you feel any extra pressure as an identifiable public figure?  

I do get recognised, I mean I’ve been on the TV here for 21 years now, which is kind of crazy, but I very rarely find it a negative, especially in our region here in Newcastle and the Hunter. 

If they recognise me it tends to be very positive, we have a chat, but I don’t feel invaded or stifled by it. 

People are respectful. I hope that’s because they see me as a familiar face, someone that comes into their lounge room each night, or maybe even on their computer these days, or wherever they watch their news. 

I do find sometimes when I’m just walking around in my “tracky dacks” and no makeup, and hair in a ponytail, people will still recognise me but not quite know why, and people think ‘did I used to play netball with you?’ 

Natasha Beyersdorf and Gavin Morris at the news desk, NBN Newcastle.

Is there extra pressure as a woman on the news at your age? 

I do feel there are more women now of my age, and older, still on TV. Saying that, age is a privilege, and I’m pretty happy with where I’m at in life. 

I think it’s really important for someone like me, if I have any small amount of influence, to sort of say, hey you know, I’m 53 and I’m comfortable in my own skin. 

What topics are you passionate about? 

I’m interested in women’s issues and also something I pay a lot of attention to is disability and especially NDIS.

My son has autism so that’s something that I watch with keen interest and participate in as well. I see the difference that it’s made in his life.  

It can be a struggle to navigate that system and there are constantly updates coming out, but again, it comes back to that thing that we were talking about with IWD, which is about equity. 

Whether it’s gender or whether it’s having a disability, it’s about trying to find a way of making the world more inclusive. That’s been a real passion of mine for a long time. It’s something I take a keen interest in.

So many people are unable to advocate for themselves or advocate for their child, or someone who’s in their care.

That concerns me because I know even with some of the things that I’ve had to deal with, how difficult it can be, but there’s no doubt its life changing. 

I’m on the Hunter Children’s Research Foundation board too, which does fundraising for children’s medical research. 

All of those things interest me and inspire me. 

NBN News Newcastle & Hunter team

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