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The Inner Chief


Jun 15, 2023

β€œI think I have faith in journalism. I think that there are some outstanding individuals and goodness gracious. I don't go down to my Brisbane office very regularly, but when I walk in there, the talent around that room is staggering. It really is.”

In this Best of Series episode, we feature Senior Sports Writer, the late great Wayne Smith, on professional mastery, journalistic integrity and the future of Australian Rugby.

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This episode is particularly close to my heart, given Wayne’s recent passing at the age of 69.

Wayne was an esteemed Australian sports journalist with a career spanning over 40 years. He was known for his unwavering integrity and profound knowledge of sport, particularly rugby union.

He started his journalistic career as a cadet at The Courier-Mail in Brisbane back in 1972, and three years later he ventured to Sydney to write for The Australian, where he provided comprehensive coverage of rugby union, cricket, and the Olympics and swimming. Wayne’s pieces also appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Daily Telegraph.

Wayne’s legacy goes far beyond just his journalism as he played a pivotal role in advocating for Brisbane's successful bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In 2021, Wayne semi-retired to the Sunshine Coast and I was privileged enough to interview him not long afterwards.

In this episode we talk about:

βœ…  Choosing the path of professional mastery over senior leadership positions

βœ…  Making decisions on whether to publish a story or not, or taking an angle that is at odds with your employer

βœ…  How a stroke a few years ago impacted his life and focusing on what’s important in life

βœ…  We go into some rugby chat, including what the future of Australian rugby holds and his thoughts on some of the potential star players at the next Rugby World Cup, which is being played in France in September and October this year.

Read Wayne Smith articles

Sydney Morning Herald

Books and resources

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