Simpkins Brendan

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual

Place of birth Gawler

Brendan Simpkins - Former Editor, The Bunyip Newspaper

Brendan was our most recent editor of the 160-year-old Bunyip Newspaper. Born in Gawler Hospital, Brendan grew up in Andrews farm and went to school at St Columba College SA his mum was originally from Scotland in the 60's whilst his dad is from Pt Augusta so there are strong ties to the far north area. School was only a two-minute walk away, so a lot of his youth was spent around the same area.

"I always excelled in English, I always knew deep down I was going to do something related to that." He was quite an early reader and he was always reading books. Even in his early years of primary school, he was trying to write books. He was also super into sports and had dreams of playing football for Newcastle United or Australia with Mum also being super supportive. He came to the realisation that his dreams of playing in the E.P.L. probably weren't going to happen, (although he did play for both Munno Para City Soccer Club and Gawler Eagles FC) but what with his love for sports, he started to think about how he could still be heavily involved. He considered starting a career in physio before realising that journalism is really what he wanted to do.

"I wanted to work for Rolling Stone...." His father used to be a contributor to the local paper in Pt Augusta and Brendan always felt that he got the journalism bug from him. Starting in creative writing he soon moved on to Journalism at Uni with lofty dreams of being a music critic. He started out doing online blogs and match reports for Football South Australia before moving on as a volunteer to cover women's soccer for The Messenger. It was there he got a real sense of what it meant to work with deadlines. He then worked for 3 years in Clare at the Northern Argus Newspaper. He even considered moving up there at one stage as the three hour round commute from Andrews Farm was getting a bit much! Adjusting to the lifestyle and community in Clare was a struggle as the two communities are so different, he was out on his own as an outsider, and thrown completely into the deep end.

"I was always told the first 6 months are the hardest...." Sometime later a job was offered to him as the sports reporter at The Bunyip Newspaper (he'd previously applied before) but he was quite apprehensive about accepting it. His ambitions had changed and he knew his heart wasn't really in sports reporting any more, and after much umming and ahhing he decided to turn it down. Then ANOTHER job came up at The Bunyip, he applied, explained his reasons for not accepting the first job and was surprised to be accepted for the role. "To see my name and my face in there (The Bunyip) was like, WOW this is real....." His first article for The Bunyip was with writer and, "Director of Bands and Ensembles" Bruce Raymond, and it was about him and famous Australian trumpeter James Morrison playing at Trinity College.

"I don't think people realise how much love I have for that paper....." Brendan became the 24th Editor of The Bunyip after never really wanting to be an editor back in his early days. But the opportunity came up and he became one of the youngest editors for the paper. Being the editor still allowed him to be hands-on with his reporting, but he scaled it back a bit to give his young team of reporters all the help they wanted. It's a privilege and an honour. With 160 years of history at The Bunyip Brendan considered himself a caretaker, a person to honour the history of the paper and all of those other editors who came before him. He's left The Bunyip as editor now, but his new role as a communications specialist at the Hospital Research Foundation Group will keep him on his toes.

"I've definitely adopted a hipster vibe 🙂 " Brendan has a pretty modest collection of vinyl records starting off with just albums he liked and moving on to some classics, rares, and collectibles. He would LOVE to get hold of a rarer copy of the album Bleach by Nirvana. Listening to podcasts is also a favourite pastime. He'd like create a podcast one day, but is still looking for that niche on what to do one on.

First shared on Gawler in Photographs ‘Humans of Gawler’ series 11 October 2023.

Photographs by Daniel James Down. Please click here to visit the Gawler in Photographs Facebook page.

Gawler History Team Inc thanks Daniel James Down (Gawler in Photographs) and the subjects of ‘Humans of Gawler’ for allowing us to preserve their profiles and photographs for future generations of Gawlerites to enjoy.

Please click here to view photos of Brendan Simpkins.


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