When Kamin Gock (pictured above left) finished high school, he was on track to study at a university right near his home in Sydney.
But just a few weeks before he was due to start university, he had a ‘gut feeling’ this path wasn’t for him and he switched to study journalism at Charles Sturt University after a chance encounter with an information stall the University had temporarily set up in his hometown.
“I already knew of the incredible journalism alumni that are from Charles Sturt University, but it was the on-campus experience the student working at the stall told me about that pushed me over the line to call up and transfer to Charles Sturt University,” he said.
That last-minute decision to study journalism with Charles Sturt has paid off for Kamin, who is now enjoying a flourishing career as a news reporter in Perth since graduating in 2018, and recently won the New Journalist category in the Western Australia Media Awards.
“I was ecstatic when I heard I was a finalist and when I won it was extremely humbling. I mainly thought of my family whom I can't see at the moment because of the COVID-19 border closures and hoped it would make them proud,” Kamin said.
“The award show was an awesome night and it was great to be recognised because the job is bloody hard.”
Even though Kamin’s job is tough, he says it’s really rewarding and the joy comes from the fact it always changing and each day is different.
“The most rewarding part is when you report on a story and you see it helps make a difference or has a positive impact on someone, it can be just one person or hundreds, as long as it helps make a difference,” he said.
“I was working on an awful story where an 84-year-old man was randomly and brutally bashed outside his own home and the perpetrators were on the run and police had very few leads at the time.
“His poor children were by his side in the hospital every day.
“I really connected with the family and was honoured that they trusted me to share their story of hope in the midst of something horrific.
“Because I continued to be myself, be empathetic and not a robot, they chose to speak to me exclusively. They weren't waivered by other networks coming in with chequebooks or big names, they just wanted someone they could trust to tell their dad’s story and share their message.
“That was not only a special moment for me, but a win for honesty and empathy.”
Kamin credits his formative years and experiences at Charles Sturt for shaping him into the person he is today both professionally and personally.
“Charles Sturt University’s on-campus teaching and lifestyle shaped who I am as a person and reporter today,” he said.
“Some of the hands-on experience I had at Charles Sturt University helped me enormously, and while online learning has so many benefits and provides access to people unable to attend university before, for me it was the on campus experience that helped set me above others and provide me with opportunities that have helped me in my career today.
“The location, living in a regional area, and moving out of home taught me so much as a fresh 18-year-old, but even more so provided me with so many opportunities work-wise with internships and cadetships.
“I have many fond memories from my time there, in particular extremely fun nights out and the close friendships you make with people in your dorm.”
In terms of where Kamin hopes to be in the future, he isn’t sure, but he hopes to have a long career in the industry he is so passionate about.
“I don't see an exact future or clear career path, our industry is changing so rapidly and often we sadly see redundancies and cuts in traditional media, so as long as I continue to do meaningful journalism where I feel I am making an impact then I am happy,” he said.
“It's now more than ever that we need objective, hard-working journalists without fear or favour.
“Journalism is just as important to share people's stories – the good news as well as the bad - it should be reflective of society, sharing the news that matters and exposing wrongdoings when occur.”