Looking back on the early success in her career, it seems Duncraig alumni Ashleigh Melanko was always destined to be a journalist.

But the decision to study journalism wasn’t clear cut until a vital experience at St Stephen’s School gave her the confidence to branch out into the field.

“I think the work experience helped me the most as in Year 10 I did work experience at a mining magazine. Before that I had an inkling of what I wanted to do after school but working there cemented what I wanted to do,” Ashleigh said.

“Since graduating Year 12 [in 2015] I went straight to university in 2016 where I studied a Bachelor of Media and Communications majoring in Journalism.”

Even before completing her degree Ashleigh was driven to find a job and secure herself a position in Perth’s media scene.

“I graduated university halfway through 2019 and now I’m currently working as a Markets Reporter at The Market Herald,” Ashleigh said.

“After searching for many months for a journalist/writing job I was lucky enough that the creators of this site were looking to expand and took a chance on me. I have been there since April 2019 and I am absolutely loving it.”

Ashleigh’s growing interest in netball also helped her branch out into the world of sports journalism, landing herself a role with the Gold Industry Group WA Netball League.

“When I’m not working and writing I play netball which I have been doing for the past 6 years. I think it’s important to play sport while studying and I found it worked great when I became too stressed. It allowed me to not stress for a few hours and instead focus on my health and fitness,” she said.

Ashleigh fondly reflected on her progress over the last few months, developing from a university student into a fully-fledged writer.

“My most memorable achievement was probably getting to where I am today. It’s quite difficult to get your foot in the door in the journalism industry (especially in Perth) and I am thankful that I am where I am today,” she said.

Ashleigh also praised the nurturing environment of St Stephen’s School which enabled her to comfortably transition into young adulthood.

“All the friends I made also helped me come out of my shell and become more confident… that’s an important part of becoming a great journalist.”