Dona’s Unexpected Journey

Contribution by Geoff Field. 

Every now and then, the truly unexpected happens. An unassuming radio talent appears before you. It’s one of those rare occasions and you just know it. That happened to me on a Saturday last year when 21-year-old Dona Sirimanne appeared at a 2SER FM fundraiser.

She had been studying English literature at UTS with an ambition to be involved in news, but I immediately noticed she had an incredible voice.

Never being one to waste an opportunity I asked Dona if she would like to read a news bulletin. Surprised, she told me she’d never been on air before. Nonetheless, I insisted. Soon, Donna was on the air delivering stories as if she had been in the business for years.

The rest – as they say – is history, and the following week Dona came to volunteer in my 2SER newsroom. She mastered the art of reading, editing, finding stories and working in a team.

Indeed, she became one of my ‘projects’ and by last year, Dona won the prestigious Brian White Scholarship.

In fact, we were on a roll because the previous year Zac De Silva won the Scholarship. He is now working in the Canberra bureau for 2GB/9 Radio.

A few days ago, Dona phoned me to say she had been offered a job in the 2GB newsroom. Not bad for a first job in radio!

“Dona was an outstanding candidate for the Brian White Scholarship and received a great introduction to radio with Geoff Field at 2SER,” said Natalie Peters, 2GB News Director.

“During her time as an intern at 2GB, she demonstrated solid journalism and news presenting skills, and equally as important, an eagerness to develop her skills and throw herself into the world of 24/7 radio news. We look forward to having Dona on the team full time, and I am excited to see where her radio career takes her.”

Sometimes if you are in the right place at the right time, dreams can really come true.

Geoff Field has had a 40-year radio career, working with media luminaries like Ita Buttrose, Derryn Hinch and Andrew Denton. He is best known for his 18 year tenure at 2DAY-FM. He worked with Wendy Harmer, then in 2004 joined the Kyle & Jackie O Show. In 2010 he moved to the Hamish & Andy Show, then joined 2SM then 2SER FM. Geoff has received four ACRA nominations for Best Metropolitan Newsreader.

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