Australian Catholics magazine has commemorated the Bicentenary of Catholic education in Australia with a youth edition, offering selected students an exciting and unique introduction to a career in the media. The publication was created by a team of guest editors, including Holy Spirit College, Bellambi Year 11 student, Zara Hatton.
The media internship program held online during May offered students a valuable opportunity to engage with industry leaders, deepen their understanding of the media, and help produce the current edition which also featured John Therry Catholic College, Rosemeadow Year 12 student, Shontay McClymont on the cover.
The guest editors were asked to plan articles around the theme, 'Faith in the Future', exploring where they found faith and hope. “The internship gave us insight into what professional journalism actually entails,” Zara said. “Through connecting with so many people high in the industry, we were given a taste of something many of us are considering for a career. It was such a valuable experience.”
Zara was also profoundly impacted by the connection with students from across Australia. “I loved seeing the way everybody interpreted the theme so differently. While it’s about faith upstanding in a changing climate, and religion in a progressing world, it’s also about having hope for the future, and faith that it will all turn out, and this internship really allowed me to expand on that.”
Overall Zara said she “deeply recommended the internship program, and will cherish the connections made".
"I do not know when or how the transcendent became so intimate; what I do know however, is that, somehow, God now sits in a liminal space – not ‘here’ and not ‘us’, and yet very ‘here’ and very much ‘us’" — Zara Hatton
Zara’s contribution, 'The Big Man in the Sky: Comprehending the incomprehensible. What do you see when you think about God?' is beautifully written and insightful. Click here to read Zara's article in full.
During the program, students were given the opportunity to interview media professionals including Gold Walkley award-winning journalist Adele Ferguson from The Sydney Morning Herald and Four Corners, John Ferguson from The Australian, and James Massola from The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
The internship also connected students with young journalists who shared insights about navigating the early stages of a career in the media. Visual media professionals also demonstrated to students how to tell compelling stories using a range of technologies.
Australian Catholics editor Michael McVeigh said he wanted this year’s youth edition to highlight the creativity and passion that young people bring to the Catholic community.
“Our program provides a valuable opportunity for students to learn how a magazine is put together - from inception, the creative thinking, and planning that begins the process - all the way through to printing and distribution,” said Mr McVeigh. “It helps them to understand all the elements that bring together a publication, as well as offering students specific focus as they produce their own articles."
Once the Spring 2021 edition hit the streets, Zara was invited to an online launch together with her mum, Lorraine, and English teacher, Miguelle Wilson.
“The launch was a great opportunity to hear the students speak about their experience of the internship and motivation for writing,” Mrs Wilson said.
“It was wonderful to hear student voices express a diversity of ideas and a unity of gratitude. For me, knowing Zara completed this internship while undertaking the lead role in Holy Spirit’s production Mary Poppins and maintaining Year 11 study, is testament to her dedication, passion, and resilience. It’s a privilege to journey with Zara in the exploration of her faith and writing and I am truly grateful for Australian Catholics in affirming student voices in our world today.”