Acclaimed news presenter, Jane Doyle, was in Mallala last week as guest speaker as part of the District Council of Mallala’s popular library events.
Speaking to an audience of about 85 people, Jane explained how she “fell” into journalism, starting out in print, followed by a stint in radio and then eventually finding her place as the prime news anchor in television at Channel 7.
Jane has been at the helm of news coverage in South Australia for more than two decades, with 16 of these years spent broadcasting side-by-side with the great Graeme Goodings.
She is currently reading the 6pm news bulletin with John Riddell.
“I think my career has been more like my accidental career,” Jane joked.
“A media career was not what I set out to have.
“I became the teacher my mother couldn’t (and) I’ve never regretted doing the teaching training.
“Indeed it did give me a great grounding on a number of levels and I still use aspects of it to this day.”
Jane’s presentation was filled with lots of humour, personal anecdotes and industry insights interspersed with the odd joke and Aussie slang we’d expect of a “country girl”.
Growing up in rural Queensland as the eldest of three siblings, Jane studied primary school and special education teaching but had always wanted to write.
She began her media career as a cadet journalist in the small town of Charters Towers, where she met her husband of more than 30 years, Ian Doyle – a well-known and much-loved radio, and later TV presenter.
They have an 18-year-old son, Henry. Later the couple moved to Port Pirie and it was here Jane continued her media career with the Port Pirie Recorder.
“My career has been one of persistence, being at the right place at the right time and hopefully with the right attitude, the right approach, and a bit of luck thrown in,” she said.
Moving to Adelaide for Ian’s work, Jane found work as a reporter for TV Week magazine.
Her first radio announcing position “fell into her lap” after she kept hounding the ABC asking if there were any vacant positions.
“My first announcing job wasn’t reading the news,” she laughed.
“It was sitting in this great big room listening to reels and reels of tapes on how to announce things.”
Moving from ABC radio to ABC television in the mid-1980s Jane said she knocked back three offers from Channel 7 to defect and read the news, before finally making the change to commercial television in August 1989.
Some of the highlights of her TV career included covering Anzac Days, Christmas pageants and live election campaigns as well as the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and meeting Princess Diana when she visited Port Pirie.
“Live TV is so exciting, so much fun,” Jane enthused. “It’s like a live high wire act. The privilege it is to be invited into people’s homes on a nightly basis is never to be taken for granted.”
District Council of Mallala mayor, Duncan Kennington, presented Jane with a basket of goodies from local businesses in appreciation of her attendance.
Jane remarked on how much she was looking forward to sampling some of the delicious afternoon tea and the offering from Two Wells Bakery didn’t disappoint.