Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School


Emily Dawson (1999)

Emily Dawson (nee Mitterhuemer) is a journalist with the ABC, a producer, voiceover artist and small business owner.

With her husband, Stuart, she is one of the directors of Stem Media, a digital content creator which produces corporate video, documentaries and television commercials. Emily graduated from Glenaeon with the class of 1999.

What have you been doing since you left Glenaeon?

I left Glenaeon after completing Year 12 and enrolled in a Bachelor of Business with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Italian.

I thought I wanted to be a management consultant until I realised just exactly what that meant. I wanted to do something meaningful, not just make money, but I just didn't quite know what that was.

I spent an unforgettable year living and studying in Italy, and another year when I came back, recovering and finishing all my hardest finance subjects. Tip for young players: finish your hardest subjects before you head overseas!

I actually really struggled to find something that excited me and one day, after I had finished my degree, I decided I wanted to be a journalist. I was lucky enough to have a Glenaeon parent help get me an internship at Channel 7, and from there I hassled and hassled every other newsroom for further work experience until eight months later, I a got an internship at Sky News. Luckily for me, they were just about to launch the Business Channel and I was offered a job due to my business studies. My first shift was 2am until midday, which soon became a 4am start — sleep in! If you had a Vodafone phone in New Zealand you probably heard my voice giving you the news first thing in the morning. My first proper producing job for the news coincided with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the start of the carnage of the GFC in 2008. It was a baptism of fire for me and an absolute rush watching history being made!

I spent nearly 3 years at Sky and met my husband there. He had been a studio director there for more than a decade and we eventually decided to jump off the adrenaline train and head off to South America for three months. Before we left, I interviewed the CEO of a large travel company for one of the shows I was producing and boldly asked whether they needed anything filmed or any stories created for their marketing team. Turns out they did and they paid for much of our trip and so Stem Media was born!

My husband I have been running Stem Media ever since, creating documentaries, corporate videos, TV commercials and providing media training. I have also been freelancing at the ABC on the side to keep my TV skills up to scratch and have been a reporter for Lateline Business, Business Today and more recently ABC News 24.

Our work has taken us to many varied places, including Palm Island to shoot a documentary about indigenous languages, the wilds of Tasmania to shoot a documentary on Tasmanian Devils, around Australia chasing and filming 60 motorbike riders, onto sheep stations in central Queensland and countless boardrooms, sound stages and research facilities. I feel very privileged to be able to tell stories and to be given such fantastic access to people from all walks of life.

How did Glenaeon influence your career choice?

I think something that I really struggled with after my education at Glenaeon was the thought that I had to settle for something mundane. I tried to convince myself I could do an ordinary day job behind a desk but I feel like Glenaeon made me expect something a bit more exciting and very much self-driven. I am a small business owner and I know that I could never go back to working for someone else. It's sometimes terrifying but far less terrifying to me than doing the same thing every day.

Favourite Glenaeon memories

I loved very minute of my time at Glenaeon. It's hard to single out favourite memories as there are so many. School plays were a favourite and games of Bullrush on the oval. I do have a very vivid memory of being at the school one weekend when there was an impending threat from a bushfire. My family and I, and one of my best friends and her family, were on ember-attack watch. My friend and I raided the stash of lamingtons in the staff room and sat in the teachers’ chairs. Good times!

What are your plans for 2015 & beyond

I think 2015 will be a big year. Our business is starting to hit its stride now, we have just bought ourselves a farm (a little slice of paradise!) and we are also looking at starting another business. Should be a busy one! I guess I had better start thinking about kids soon too ; )

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