Talisa back behind the mic
Friday, 17th January, 2014
By Erica Visser
Talisa Eley didn’t move to Broken Hill until she was 18, but that hasn’t stopped her from calling the city “home.”
Raised in rural Victoria by her mother, Tali jumped at the chance to start her journalism career in the outback, at the Barrier Miner.
Luckily, when the newspaper became redundant shortly after, she scored a gig at 2BH radio.
For three-and-a-half years listeners regarded her as a friend, as she co-hosted the daily breakfast program and put together and read news bulletins.
In 2011, an opportunity came up at the organisation’s head office at the Gold Coast.
Tali made the sea change and spent two years building her skills in the job and working on a degree in journalism.
But she has now returned to the city she calls home.
“I was brought up by my mum in country Victoria. My mum has passed away now and the rest of my family is spread all over,” Tali said.
“I count my friends as my family and all the good ones are here.”
While Tali is still young at 24, she said now was the perfect time to return to Broken Hill, as many of her friends were “marrying and having babies”.
“I heard my old job at 2BH had become vacant, and it seemed like perfect timing.”
But there was one special person Tali had to convince to leave the coast behind.
Her Queensland based boyfriend, Brodie Wales, had spent his life surrounded by water at the Gold Coast and later, Brisbane.
“Brodie loves it here, he was actually surprised at how much he loved it I think,” Tali said.
“I think locals here really embrace outsiders ... People have been so generous and he has found it unexpectedly welcoming.”
Brodie has secured a position as a pharmacy sales trainee and was due to start in the coming days.
“He has found the difference in the cost of living quite phenomenal; he couldn’t believe how cheap it all is here.
“I’m paying half the rent I was at the Gold Coast and everything is cheaper; car insurance, fuel; because you don’t use as much. It has actually made a huge difference.”
But a cut in living expenses wasn’t the only pleasant surprise awaiting Tali, when she returned to 2BH’s brekkie show (567AM) alongside co-host and boss Damien Fisher.
“That was the surprising part; I fully expected no one would remember who I was but my first few days I had calls from listeners saying how nice it was that I was back.
“It was so nice I wasn’t another voice on the radio, I had been a part of people’s lives.
“No one has ran me out of town yet!”
Damien agreed that Tali’s return was popular with listeners.
“Having Tali back with us at 2BH and Hill FM has been absolutely fantastic. “Since July, as general manager, I’ve been covering Regional News and also 2BH Breakfast, but now Tali is back it has lightened the workload for everyone,” he said.
“Tali’s professionalism on and off the air comes shining through, and she is not afraid to work hard to cover the local stories.
“Tali knows radio isn’t a nine to five job and is always happy to put in the hard yards.”
Tali said it was a credit to the unique allure of Broken Hill that people often left as young adults and returned to live.
“There’s nowhere quite like Broken Hill, it’s always going to be home for me,” she said.
“It’s got to be good for the town, when people are leaving and returning with new experiences and skills.”
However, she said that there were still a lot who were yet to discover the beauty of the outback.
“There’s definitely the stereotype of the country town with the dirt road and corner milkbar,” she said.
“It’s a big decision to make to come here, especially given the distance and isolation, but I think it’s also a very rewarding one.”