Some of our board members were lucky enough to join the Samford Rotarians as they hosted ABC Foreign Correspondent Lisa Millar and Landline reporter/presenter Pip Courtney at the Samford Bowls Club to raise money for the school chaplaincy.

Lisa talked about the past two years that she has been working out of the London ABC office.  In that short period of time, Lisa has covered approximately four out of seven terrorist attacks. Lisa was able to convey the fear, excitement and danger of running into “danger when everyone else was running from it” during the London attacks and the many others, since her appointment in 2015.

Lisa discussed the responsibility and fear she feels for her fellow colleagues when they cover the recent terrorist attacks worldwide. “These people all have families and it is critical that we get them home to their families”. Lisa highlighted the “close call” with ABC reporter Adam Harvey in the Philippines, who narrowly escaped death when he was struck  in the neck by a bullet, earlier this year, whilst reporting in what they considered a “safe zone”.

Lisa also mentioned the “jacket incident” whereby a twitter user named as Stephen Blackman, tweeted that the reporter should make it a priority to visit a David Jones store to get a “few more clothes”, after Lisa wore the same black jacket while reporting on the Paris tragedy. After a huh? response from Lisa, Mr Blackman explained “the same after report..I’m sure you follow”.  Lisa responded with “Funnily enough I didn’t have time to shop. Mental note to self – pack better when covering breaking news tragedies”.  Lisa lamented over the fact that despite there was a tragedy being covered she had requests for interviews about her jacket from publications like Huffington Post and had to remind people about the real issue at the time.

Pip Courtney is an Australian journalist and television presenter for ABC’s Landline.  Pip interviewed Lisa but also answered questions from the audience with a small amount of prompting. In response to one question Pip mentioned that the regional Queensland farmers she talks to are feeling a real disconnect, “rural Australians are under serviced and their political representatives are not delivering anything”.

Pip said that one of her best memories was when she wen to Japan on a trade tour with some of the regional farmers and got to see Australian beef being sold for $495 for 85grams of beef…seeing the excitement from the farmers..their sense of worth…that is what stands out the most for me”.

One of the recurring themes throughout the evening was “people”.  Lisa mentioned that during Brexit she was talking to a landowner about British sentiment towards Brexit when she interviewed the farmers she thought to herself ” he’s reading his own people wrong”….”you have to talk to people to get the insights…that is where the original story comes from”.

Samford Rotarians raised over $2,200 on the night to support the Samford chaplaincy.