Region Media‘s newest hire, Damien Larkins, has come a long way in the last 20 years as he returns home to Canberra – all the way from Longreach, in fact.
Damien joins Region Media as our Social Media Manager. He will manage our strategic engagement across multiple social media platforms, including The RiotACT, About Regional, The Canberra Page, My Gungahlin, Breaking 24/7, Ask Canberra and more on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Region Media currently has an aggregated social media following of 336,000, one of the largest in the ACT and surrounding Capital Region, while monthly unique readers on our news sites have topped 650,000 this year.
Damien’s been involved in the media since the early 1990s when a friend invited him to co-host a Saturday night radio music program.
He was hooked and after a brief stint in commercial radio in the early 2000s, he began work at ABC Canberra (where he first encountered Region’s group editor Genevieve Jacobs when she was the Saturday morning gardening expert).
This was a period of major transitions in digital news innovation, and Damien embarked on the still-developing world of multimedia reporting at a time of significant change at the national broadcaster.
With almost 20 years of experience under his belt now for 2CC, the ABC and the WIN television networks, producing news and features in radio, television, digital and social media, Damien has also worked in Hobart and on the Gold Coast.
Most recently, he spent 18 months running the ABC’s outback Queensland branch at Longreach before returning to family in Canberra with his partner Laura and son Felix to live in Gungahlin.
His focus is on personal stories from the unique individuals who make up this amazing and diverse country. He’s looking forward to re-engaging with his hometown and the Canberra community.
“I love the connection between stories and real people that’s made possible by social media. You get such a direct conversation that gives us a great sense of how the community feels, and in turn, develops more stories,” he says.
“It’s been amazing discovering how much has changed in Canberra but how much has stayed the same. Being closer to family is wonderful for us, and we’re also looking forward to exploring everything that’s new in the past decade.”
However, he concedes that the adjustment from Longreach’s 48-degree days and even the balmy Gold Coast will probably take a while and require the regular administration of hot coffee.
Damien is a passionate Dr Who fan and a self-confessed social media nerd. You can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org.