Farewell to Zoe Askew

Unfortunately, this Sydney Swans supporter (me) was left heartbroken as the team failed to replicate the Stratford Swans' victorious outcome in the 2022 AFL Grand Final.

IN breaking news, the Gippsland Times will no longer have any photos.

While resources, or the complete lack of, generally mean country journalists also need to have adequate photography skills, departing Gippsland Times journalist, Zoe Askew has well and truly filled the role of both journalist and photographer during her time with us.

With respect to my fellow journos (and even myself) regular readers of the Gippsland Times have surely not needed to look at a photo credit in order to tell the difference between a ‘Zoe pic’ and one snapped by someone else.

Zoe’s photos have been of such high quality, her skills have been sounded out for various outside engagements, and I’m certain readers have appreciated her willingness to share digital copies of community events, sporting feats and other functions.

I’m also certain I will be calling on her extensive selection of file photos over the next few months.

Zoe has produced some of our best front page photos in the last year-and-a-half, which has enabled stories to really ‘lift’ off the page.

Away from the camera, Zoe has been an energetic news gatherer, to the point where she wouldn’t mark a piece submitted until satisfied she had the ‘full story’ – literally.

Much like a Zoe photo, you can often tell a Zoe story simply by how long it is.

I trust readers have enjoyed her monthly ‘What’s On’ section and baby photos, elements that all add to the fabric of a local newspaper.

Those same readers may have inadvertently been networks of Zoe’s to help her source stories. She just seems to know everyone or has worked with someone from around Sale in a previous life.

As someone who has lived in Sale, Mallacoota, Broulee, Canberra, Newcastle and Indonesia, Zoe would have a fair story of her own to tell.

She has been prepared to work long and irregular hours – an oft untold part of the journalism trade.

As editor, the Monday morning deadline necessitates I arrive no later than 5am, and more often than not, the first person I’ve encountered in the last 19 months is Zoe, long before staff are expected to turn up.

Outside of work, her leadership skills have been sought after, and she captained Sale United Football Club Women this season, with the team winning virtually every trophy on offer.

Her journalism skills have also been sought after, with Boisdale Consolidated School asking her to give a presentation to students. Maybe the next Gippsland Times journalist was among that cohort.

Speaking of the next Gippsland Times journalist, Zoe’s departure means a vacancy now exists for a new cadet to come on board.

If you have relevant qualifications and a genuine interest in telling local stories, please get in touch via ldurkin@lvexpress.com.au

A knowledge of local sport would be absolutely advantageous.

In the interim, please be aware we will be one person down, and therefore little to no chance of getting to as many events as usual.

On behalf of editorial, I’d like to wish Zoe an enjoyable time as she ventures overseas to Europe, before returning to take on her next venture in the new year.

I hope she will not be totally lost to Sale, and won’t be hitting us up for a commission on every photo we use from here on.

Liam Durkin

Editor, Gippsland Times