Isabella Shackcloth (2020) Law Student and Radio Producer
Posted on September 11, 2023
Isabella Shackcloth has been back in Hobart recently, working as a freelance radio producer for ABC Hobart on the statewide mornings program. Based in Sydney most of the time, Isabella is studying full-time at UNSW, whilst working part-time for ABC Sydney. Isabella finished Year 12 in the middle of the pandemic, but didn’t let COVID-19 stall the start of her career. Instead, she took the opportunity to reflect, gather her resources, kickstart her university studies and prep for the move to NSW – an exercise in hard work, motivation and mindfulness, all skills founded in her time at Friends’.
Charles Rawlings-Way | Assistant – Alumni Content
A constructive gap year
I worked the summer after Year 12 at the Department of State Growth, working on the government’s travel voucher stimulus scheme during the pandemic. I then got a full-time job with the Department of Treasury and Finance: I worked there right through 2021 – my gap year – whilst working as a gallery attendant and festival casual at Mona on the weekends. It was a hectic year, but I worked hard and managed to save well. I had my heart set on studying Law at the University of NSW, which is ranked 13th on the list of top law schools in the world (…and partly because Rebel Wilson is an alum).
In August 2021 I sat the LAT (Law Admission Test), a unique entry exam to UNSW Law School. I got my offer, and commenced study in early 2022. I took part of my first year university studies online from Hobart, which is when I began working for the ABC Hobart as a casual local radio producer.
I loved my gap year. It solidified my idea of what I wanted to study, and allowed me to mentally reset as well as save money.
I now live in Sydney, working for ABC Sydney in local radio and social media production (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc), alongside my studies at UNSW – a double bachelors degree in Law and Arts (Media), coming towards the end of my second year.
My time in Sydney has given me the opportunity to work with some extremely talented leading Australian journalists and presenters…but I do miss my two family poodles, who are in Tassie!
Developing other skills
Singing has been my passion, but it’s not something I’ve chosen to pursue in my studies. I sing with Bel Canto Opera, and have done so since I was about eight years old. I encourage current students to consider the TCE Music Performance course through UTAS in Year 11 or 12.
I worked at Mona from Grade 10 onwards, throughout my final studies and beyond. I loved having an income and saving whilst I was at school, and found it really helped with developing excellent time management skills. I also worked for Miss Haidee Millinery at the Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart, which diversified my skill set, giving me retail and online marketing experience.
I have so many fond memories of Friends’ – but most of all, my friends. Never underestimate the strength of the friendships you will make at Friends’: mine are still my closest friends, and I see them all the time. Rowing is also a standout, with weekends at Lake Barrington and many beautiful early sunrises.
I’ll admit, at the time, Gatherings were not what I most felt like doing. But in retrospect, I would love that scheduled time in my life now – time to just slow down, think and process. It’s a pretty special thing to have that time in the Meeting House to develop the skill of stillness.
‘I’ll admit, at the time, Gatherings were not what I most felt like doing. But in retrospect, I would love that scheduled time in my life now – time to just slow down, think and process. It’s a pretty special thing to have that time in the Meeting House to develop the skill of stillness.’
For those starting out…
When there is a lot of academic pressure on you, it can feel very overwhelming – but try not to let it consume you. Of course, if you have certain goals, you will need to work hard to achieve them – but balance is key. Make time for fun and friends, sport, whatever makes you happy…and then factor-in time for your studies!
In line with the Friends’ idea of holding a ‘global perspective’, I would say to travel as much as you can! Travel helps you gain an understanding of other people, decide your priorities, and realise what makes you happy.
Also, you are never too young, or too inexperienced, to give something a go. Be it a cool job, a degree, an audition, or whatever. Never underestimate yourself.
‘…you are never too young, or too inexperienced, to give something a go. Be it a cool job, a degree, an audition, or whatever. Never underestimate yourself.’