NATALIE Barr’s fierce determination to succeed in the cut-throat word of media began when she “ran away” from her home in Bunbury at 17 to start university in Perth.
The Sunrise newsreader, 49, went on to work in Kalgoorlie at 20 and LA at 22, before moving to Sydney where she works on Perth’s most watched breakfast television program.
“I basically ran away,” she said. “I was always busting a gut to succeed and moved away. Moving to the next big thing I guess.”
Barr this week enjoyed time with her mum while back in Perth to fill in for local newsreader Matt Tinney.
Julie Barr, a volunteer at the Bunbury Visitor Centre, proudly speaks of her talented daughter when people recognise her surname.
“People over here tend to know I’m from Bunbury and they recognise the name and then they ask Mum and Mum’s always up for a chat, as we all are,” Barr said.
“I come from a family of chatters.”
Barr juggles her high-profile career with raising her two sons aged 14 and 16.
“Their whole life has been this show so they’re used to mum going away,” she said.
Barr has been called away for major news stories in the past 12 months. She flew to Manchester to cover the recent terror attack on four hour’s notice.
“I raced home, packed a bag, raced to the airport and text the boys saying, ‘Mum’s not coming home for dinner. Can you let yourselves in? I’m heading to Manchester’,” she said.
Sunrise will be rolling out extended bulletins and more live, local crosses.
Barr said local content was important because of the time difference between Perth and the Eastern States.
“Especially nowadays the news cycle moves fast and the facts change quickly,” she said. “So if we don’t have local content if we’re relying on national content, the news is behind.”