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Storyology is Australia’s premier festival of media and storytelling. Register and see the full site at walkleys.com/storyology15/. Bookmark the mobile site at storyology15.sched.org/mobile. And follow the conversation on Twitter at #Storyology.

Program updates for Friday: 
- Sydney Morning Herald’s innovation editor, Stephen Hutcheon, is replacing Conal Hanna on the Tiny screen, big disruption: Mobile-first strategies, and Amy O’Leary will not be appearing.
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avatar for Kaitlyn Sawrey

Kaitlyn Sawrey

ABC Radio First Run
Producer
Twitter @KaitSaw, Instagram @KaitSaw

Kaitlyn is the Editor of Hack Digital (triple j) – a pilot project to make current affairs relevant to young Australians online. Previously she was Hack’s Executive Producer, and can still occasionally be heard on the radio as Hack’s fill-in presenter. Earlier this year, Kaitlyn was the producer behind the launch of First Run – ABC Radio’s digital first podcast project, which included the highly successful Science VS podcast with Wendy Zukerman. As a member of the curatorial team for TEDxSydney, Kaitlyn produces main stage speakers for one of the biggest independently organised TED events in the world. Kaitlyn has reported from all over Australia – on youth suicide in the remote WA desert, to the deadly floods in Queensland, the political fight over ‘wild rivers’ in Cape York, housing issues in Darwin and opposition to uranium mining in Central Australia. In the week leading up to the 2013 Federal election, Kaitlyn produced Hack on the ‘Swinging Voters Tour’ through four states – featuring interviews with former Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott. Media Watch awarded Hack the ‘Bucket of Cold Water prize’ for the now-infamous interview with Malcolm Turnbull and Anthony Albanese, which saw the Liberal party backflip on their filter policy two days before the election. In 2013 she toured with Hey Geronimo, Sampology, Kate Miller-Heidke and Spoonbill, reporting on the rise of the alternative music festival scene in India. Kaitlyn was a field producer on the fly-on-the-wall ABC1 documentary Inside Schoolies, following the binge-drinking mayhem of newly graduated high school students. Kaitlyn’s weirdest career moment is the time she ‘interviewed’ former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for an awards ceremony video. As well astriple j, her work has appeared on ABC Local Radio, Radio Australia, Radio National, Newsradio, triple j magazine and ABC24.

Kaitlyn Sawrey in six words: Radio nerd taking on the internet.

Tell us a bit about you. How did you get to where you are today? What led you to become a storyteller?
I was a weirdo regional teenager when I discovered triple j at 13 on my clock radio. It was the light bulb moment where I realised I had found my people. I enrolled in a double degree in PR and journalism, thinking I would never be on air but perhaps I could do music promotions or something behind the scenes for the jays. When I was 20 I was at a party complaining about how I was never going to get a job to a friend who had just started at the ABC. He gave me Steve Cannane’s mobile number (former host of Hack). I called him and pitched three stories, recorded one that weekend and they played it on the radio the following week. I couldn’t believe my luck – I was still working at McDonald’s and my hero played my story on national radio!

 A career moment I’m proud of is …
Seeing how successful the Science Vs podcast has become. When Wendy and I talked about her idea in a cafe next to the ABC, neither of us could have imagined how quickly it would take off.

Something or someone I’m inspired by is …
Roman Mars, host of the 99% Invisible podcast. Their team make the most beautiful stories for the ear.

The time or place I’m most creative is …
After midnight on deadline, or the other extreme - pottering about the house with nothing to do.

A kind of innovation that excites me is …
Finding and reaching bigger, broader audiences online, but also finding those weird little niches and sub cultures of the internet. I love that people can now find their tribe more easily than any other generation.

Other storytellers I admire are …
Alex Bloomberg. I love that he isn’t afraid to make himself vulnerable to the whole world, through his podcast StartUp. Hearing him pitch Chris Sacca and fail made me cringe so hard for him.

I would advise my 15-year-old self …
Your dream will come true, but only if you want it so hard you take risks and work really hard. Be kind to yourself.

At Storyology I can’t wait to share …
How to make kickass podcasts.

The Storyology session I’m looking forward to is …
Sarah Ferguson and George Megalogenis in conversation. Those two just need to knock it off; it makes the rest of us look bad.