Listen: Ally Barnes chats with Lisa Millar about the joys and trauma of being a foreign correspondent
Lisa Millar is in millions of lounge rooms across the country as the co-host of ABC TV’s News Breakfast.
After more than a decade working as a foreign correspondent, covering terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and many unthinkable tragedies, Lisa spent months in Melbourne’s lockdown, looking back, and processing everything she’s witnessed.
Her new book Daring to Fly is about dealing with trauma, conquering fear, and learning to report on horror while still holding on to joy.
Lisa began her career at the Gympie Times in 1988 and won a Walkley Award in 2005 for investigative reporting. The one thing she wants people to understand about her profession is that journalists are only human.
“In every industry, there are some bad eggs. But the majority of people I have worked with, in the media, have been decent people who want to make the world better with their reporting,” Lisa said.
In Daring to Fly, she shares the highs and lows of being a foreign correspondent and some of the stories that will never leave her including the Grenfell Tower fire in London, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
“My time in Europe coincided with a series of terrorist attacks that occurred in and around Europe, but also within 1km of my home and my workplace,” she said.
Lisa recounted the time she had a day off and went to the dentist. When asked if she flosses, she broke down crying and had to explain that her emotions were related to the last six months of trauma, of being hyper-alert, being awake when she should be asleep, having to absorb the grief around her on a daily basis, and not to do with flossing.
You can hear more of Lisa talking about the traumatic event that led to her fear of flying in the player above.