Interview: Louise Pascale

Being an Adelaide local, I first heard Louise Pascale on Radio Adelaide where she is the breakfast presenter and her brains and personality made me want to find out more about her!

Lucky for us, Louise agreed to an interview and as you will find out she is one talented and clever lady:

Tell us a little bit about your career and how you got started?

When I finished high school I found myself at 3d radio and before long drawn to the newsroom. After a year hanging out there I got a job at Channel 9 on a children’s science show where I got my first taste of television. I then studied filmmaking, travelled to Europe and Bali making documentaries. Eventually I came back to Adelaide where I settled down with my partner who is a Director. While journalism was my first love it wasn’t until about eight years ago that I went back to study to get my Graduate Diploma in Journalism. Since then I’ve been a freelance journalist, incorporating my film and tv work through my own company POP.

Louise (happy) LR copy


What can you tell us about your role at Radio Adelaide?

I’m the Breakfast Presenter which means I’m the first one in the station during the week!

More than that Breakfast is one of their most popular and high profile programs. It is news and current affairs mixed with my own blend of music. I’m the only local woman on the FM dial with her own Breakfast program so it really is quite an honour.

What is the campaign to save Radio Adelaide all about?

For the past 43 years Radio Adelaide has been funded by Adelaide University and like all Uni’s they need to cut costs. Sadly that could mean cutting us off. Save Radio Adelaide is a campaign where we and our listeners get to show the University we are worth saving by signing our petition and spreading the word via social media. Have you #SaveRadAd yet?

Tell us a little bit about your personal style – would we most likely find you in jeans or a dress?

Ha! Depends what day of the week it is. Friday to Monday it’s mostly jeans while Tuesday to Thursday it would be a dress.

Friday to Monday I’m casual, work from home, volunteering for the school and trying to be all things Zen. Tuesday to Thursday I will suit up and head off to meetings and work with clients in business attire. My Breakfast shift finishes at 9:30 which means I have another good five hours left in the working day before I start to slow down – literally.

Are there any causes you are passionate about?

As a feminist I have also advocated for stopping violence against women. When a dear friend of mine experienced domestic violence I made a promise to myself I wouldn’t be a passive commentator any more. Now I volunteer on the Board of the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and use my experience as a Media Consultant to help them with marketing, publicity and news stories. I also believe passionately in protecting our children from child abuse and hope to next year work more closely with a foundation who, during an on-air interview, actually made me cry I was so touched by the work they did.

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What is the most interesting story you have ever reported?

Wow, talk about a hard question.

Every story I report is interesting but looking back there are stories that helped define the journalist I am today.

The first one that comes to mind is my documentary I made for Channel 4 in the UK about the first Bali bombing. We had gone back to the Sari Club to film me visiting the makeshift shrine. While there a couple had arrived who had lost their daughter. My producer was pushing me to interview them there on the spot but their grief was so palatable I couldn’t do it. I learnt then that telling other people’s story is a privilege not a right.

Then there was an interview I did with an SAS Officer from the Vietnam War. He had the most horrific war story to tell that even today I can’t repeat it it was so harrowing. Getting through that interview was hard work but it taught me to protect myself and not take on other people’s trauma. That’s a big lesson in this job.

Finally my report on the Coroner’s findings from Zahra Abrahimzadeh’s Coronial Inquest was the first time I had written in depth about domestic violence. It was the start of two years of reporting what was once a taboo subject.

It’s the silly season, tell us your funniest holiday moment…

When I first met my partner he took me away to the Blue Mountains for a romantic weekend. We had only just started seeing each other and I wanted to impress him with my cool, calm and collected ways. On our first day we went for a bush walk and without hiking boots I took a big trip down a rocky pathway and landed on my butt. Well it was my coccyx to be exact, I bruised it so much I could hardly walk and needless to say there wasn’t much else I could do that weekend either.

Where is your favourite spot to eat in little old Adelaide?

My favourite spot isn’t actually in Adelaide. It’s Little Sister at Normanville. Yummy pizza, fresh produce and all local. Three big ticks from me!

What can you tell us about your website?

Lady Stringer is the place I tell all those stories I want to tell. It is my own blog full where I get to talk about things I’m passionate about, without an Editor’s approval.

What advice do you have for those wanting a career in media?

When I started in this business everything was analogue (yes I am that old!). Over the years I have had to adapt and multi-skill. So the first thing I would say is be flexible, learn as much as you can about everything. No one walks in to a media job any more and does just one thing.

The other thing I would say is be tenacious. This is the most exciting industry you may ever work in and every day you will need to step up in one way or another. So make sure you are hungry.

What is next for Louise Pascale?

Slowing down and taking it all in.

I have been so busy the past decade working hard to be where I am today. Looking back I’ve kicked so many personal goals and while I don’t want to be complacent, I want to spend a moment just enjoying all the good stuff. Then once I’ve done that I have a book in development and I’m always sniffing around for another documentary to make, all the while waking Adelaide up with my cheery ‘good morning!’.

What does being a woman mean to you?

Not taking anything for granted.

Only a few weeks ago women in Saudi Arabia finally got the right to vote. They were the last country in the world to grant it – in 2015. Moments like that make me stop and think of how privileged we are, we’ve had the vote here in South Australia for over 100 years. However we only had our first female Prime Minister in 2010 and sadly we have gone backwards in so many ways since then.

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