Natalie puts her skills to use at the Commonwealth Games

Volunteering as a “Flash Quote Reporter” at the netball, Natalie Manu couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to put her journalistic skills to use for the Commonwealth Games.

Natalie, who works as the Digital Media Director for the Department of Human Services, completed her first shift yesterday.

“Last night I got to interview Uganda captain, Peace Proscovia and Aussie Liz Watson. It was so exciting to talk to Peace in particular, as it’s the first time Uganda have had a netball team at the Commonwealth Games,” she said.

“I felt really honoured to talk to her about what it means to be there for the first time representing her country.

“Essentially my role is a roving reporter, so I get to sit with the press and watch the netball. Then, four minutes before the end of the game, we go down to interview the players as they come off the court.

“The quotes I get then go into a Commonwealth Games information system, which journalists can easily access for their stories.”

Natalie was over the moon when she found out she’d been placed as a volunteer for her favourite sport.

“I personally think I’ve got one of the best jobs,” she said. “I’ve played netball since I was 7 years old and my daughter now plays. I’m certainly not going to be playing for Australia any time soon but I get out there and give it a good go!”

Having worked in communications roles for the department for many years, Natalie feels very fortunate to be placed in a position that fits with her skillset.

“I wanted it to be an experience I could bring back to my job,” she said. “I feel quite privileged I have the skillset to not only benefit the Games but also my own work.

“A lot of the other volunteers I’ll be working with haven’t had any interview experience before. I’m hoping I’ll be able to help others to have a beneficial experience too.

“We’re all working together as a team to get the best quotes possible.

“From a personal perspective, I also wanted to show my kids it’s important to volunteer your time to help others and give back to the community.”

Living in Brisbane, Natalie is also excited about her hometown being on the world stage for the next 10 days.

“Events like these bring people together and showcase what our beautiful state has to offer,” she said.

“A lot of people see the Gold Coast as somewhere to just go to the beach, but there’s so much more to Queensland. It’s important to show we can run big events like this and run them well.”

Not only celebrating the Commonwealth Games, Natalie will also reach 20 years with the department this week.

“The highlight of my career has definitely been the people I’ve worked with,” Natalie said. “Watching my staff grow and develop is the most rewarding part of my job.

“Everyone is really supportive. It means a lot to me that my staff are helping to keep things running while I get to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity.”