“I caught a bug: to push myself out of my comfort zone”

A CD leaving and a new one being appointed often strikes fear into every announcer.
It takes a bit to get to know them and vice versa (of course there are the ones you can’t wait to see the back of).
I remember one who would drag Dave Noonan and I into his office for an air-check of Hobart’s Kim and Dave Show and sit with his back to us for what seemed like ages. We’d sit behind him and draw pictures of his head to amuse ourselves.
At one of these meetings, and after an incredible amount of time with his back to us he swung around and said “you’re shit but not as shit as you used to be.
Rod Maldon was the last CD I worked with as an on-air announcer (and I have worked with quite a few) and while he was responsible for giving me my first official warning  (I really am sorry Rodney), didn’t operate so bluntly.
Rod is an ambitious and passionate radio man, he came to us from Dubai and ironically left the Hobart Media Centre at the same time as I moved permanently to Adelaide, once again to head back overseas. I wanted to check in with him and find out what motivates him to be an ex-pat radio man.
“The gypsy life, the next adventure, the jump from the next town, the next city or the next country.
To leap from comfort zone to the unknown is challenging and tests many in their first 6 to 12 months.
My first move was not a large one. I was hired in my hometown of Bunbury at age 17 by the Radio West Network. Part of my gig was to fill in holidays and drive an hour and a half away to Yornup to do breakfast and mornings on 6BY. The town of Yornup was a bunch of gravel roads surrounded by paddocks halfway between Bridgetown and Manjimup in Western Australia.
Radio came from a little house off a gravel road in a sheep paddock in the middle of two tiny country towns. I hated it, completely out of my comfort zone and essentially thrown into the deep end, where technology was minimal and cows were plentiful.
It was a test and I either swam or sank.
I swam. I am sure I rocked in the corner a few times too. However, what those experiences taught me became solid skills in creating my future in the industry. I combined those, with chances to work and explore new places within Australia and Overseas.
I caught a bug: to push myself out of my comfort zone.
Over the years since (I am now ancient) the moves have come some way from Bunbury and Bridgetown and have taken me around the country, halfway across the world. I even came back to Australia and left it again.
The skills you have, the ways you are taught, the company habits you form…they are there to expand on, change and break.
Learning for me meant breaking out of habits and being exposed to new skill sets, new ways to do the same yet be different while dealing with an array of personalities and cultures.
I chased it, hard.
I moved in 2009 to Dubai to utilise what I had learned at home. I came back to Australia a much more focused and skilled off air leader and much more versatile talent on the air.
In December 2014 I left a Group CD role in Hobart to move to New Zealand to the national ZM Network.
Without my start all those years (centuries) ago, change would have been out of the question.
I now have a life that has taken me around the world and I do not take any of it for granted.
Those drives to Yornup all paid off.”

Kim Napier

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