/Lilly McKenzie

Lilly McKenzie

The rabbit on her grey furry sweater is staring from just above the table, while Lilly McKenzie puts her dreams into words. The soft look of the sweater is not to be confused with the person wearing it.

“I want to be a foreign correspondent covering war and humanitarian

crises,” she says resolutely when asked why she got into journalism.


Even though she has just left a stable life in Brisbane where her mother and most of her extended family lives, a lifestyle change is not completely foreign to Lilly McKenzie. Most of her childhood she lived in different countries in Southeast Asia, but it was when she got back to Australia from many years abroad she fostered the dream of becoming a journalist.

“I saw that people were really racist, but they didn’t realise or understand the issues with refugees and Muslims. There were a lot of people that was just like ‘we don’t want them,’ but they didn’t know anything about them,” she says.

Through journalism she wants to provide the Australians with a broader perspective on the wars and crises which are affecting most of the western world. She wants to tell the stories of the refugees that are overheard in the public debate.

“Because I am an Australian it’s very easy for me to talk to other Australians about that issue, where it’s not so easy fora Muslim person or for a refugee from somewhere like Syria” she says.

Her gesticulations underline her words. It’s easy to see that this topic matters to her, but she is determined to report on it as a journalist.

“I definitely want to be an objective journalist. I think when you work for an NGO you mostly only reach the people that are in the NGO,” she says.

Written by Liv Rasmussen