Dear Clarence Valley Independent reader,
My name is Leanda Hunter, and I have been an avid reader of your paper and journeyed with you through the highs and lows. I was born in Grafton at Runnymede Hospital and spent my formative years attending Gillwinga Primary School and then South Grafton High School. I spent many happy hours within the confines of The Pelican Playhouse, where I honed my acting skills and was also a member of The Grafton Choral Society under the baton of Doctor Jim Rae.
I completed my Higher School Certificate and headed to the bright lights of Sydney, where I did a course in radio announcing at 2CH with course director Roger Pettit. Not long after I was off to Broken Hill as my first country posting to work in radio for 2BH Broken Hill. I literally ‘fell-in-love’, with Broken Hill and lost my heart to a local man. We bought a home and raised two Staffy X Labrador dogs named Isabella and Olivier respectively who were the ‘loves-of-my-life’. Animals have always played a major role in my life.
I left radio to pursue a career as a florist buying and operating my own business known as ‘Leanda’s Broken Hill, Florist’, they were heady years. I became a super fitness teacher and taught classes after work and on weekends.
Sadly, my stay in Broken Hill came to an end and after twelve years there, I returned to Sydney and decided to study journalism at Macleay College, then in Liverpool Street, Sydney. I graduated and headed to Wagga Wagga where I worked for the regional paper, The Daily Advertiser. I was a feature writer with a pull-out-feature each week called ‘Slice of Life’. I had found my calling.
I need to write to be fully alive and in the moment. For me, writing comes as naturally as breathing and I love storytelling. It is an art and one I constantly learn from. Language is fascinating and being able to tell a story even more fascinating.
I have an upbeat personality, and I am always positive, and to-be-honest, life is good. I am honest and a good friend. I believe I am a good judge of character but also try to see good in everyone, particularly when I hear their story, and everyone has a story. It just needs to be told.
My father Robert Hunter, (Bobby) had, had a series of strokes and I returned to Grafton to help my mother, Daphne care for him.
I gained employment with CHESS in Grafton and spent 13 happy years working in the area of disability employment and loved every moment. Sadly, I was made redundant in March 2019. The friends I made at CHESS both clients and employees will be with me a lifetime.
Now here I am with you and once again living and breathing the written word. I love my work as first and foremost I am a journalist When I write I go into the zone and my work is never forced or contrived, it just flows and comes naturally. I feel joy when I write and enormous satisfaction and happiness. It comes from a source deep within, in fact, I love to read and write, I adore theatre and film, music, art and I am learning the violin. Not just any old violin, but a purple violin.
So dear friend, as you can see, I have led an interesting life, but there is so much more to be experienced.
Please take my hand and journey these pages of The Clarence Valley Independent and have an extraordinary read. I will be based in Grafton and will report primarily on Grafton issues.
If you need to contact me, give the office a call on 6646 9466.