About Me

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For more than a decade, I have held a variety of roles at Fairfax Media including News Director, Digital Editor, Social Media Editor, Editorial Project Manager, Blogger, Reporter and Columnist. 

During this time I covered major events including the Rugby World Cup, Pike River Disaster, the Christchurch earthquakes and the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine. But in between those headline grabbing stories, my days were filled with telling the everyday stories of New Zealanders; the sad, the unbelievable, the controversial, the funny, the jaw-dropping and the beautiful. 

My career opened my eyes to people and experiences which have lead to my decision to retrain. 

Currently based in Palmerston North, I am kept busy raising two small children while studying psychology at Massey University.

While I hope to work in this field once I have concluded my studies, for now I am enjoying the space to blur all of my worlds together through regular column writing about my role as a wearer-of-many hats: Writer, mum, student, communications contractor, wife, researcher, wedding celebrant.

From a psychology perspective, my current research project focuses on military family wellbeing, but my interests are wide and varied in the areas of clinical and family psychology, such as grief, moral injury, stress, positive psychology, relationships, experiences of cancer/chronic illness/dying, palliative care, portrayal of mental health in the media, anxiety, health and wellbeing, and psychological responses of communities following natural disasters.

Outside of all that, I enjoy learning Te Reo, and listening to a variety of podcasts while exercising, getting out in the fresh Manawatu air and spending time with my family.

Awards and achievements

2013: NetGuide best blog finalist

Finalist in NetGuide's blog of the year award.

2012: NetGuide best blog finalist

Finalist in NetGuide's blog of the year award.

2011: Awarded Mike Robson Fellowship

Travelled to New York Times newsroom, and the Guardian and BBC newsrooms in the UK.

2010: Qantas Media Award - Finalist: Junior Feature Writer Arts

2010: Qantas Media Award - Junior Feature Writer - Sports

Judges: “McDonald has a lovely turn of phrase and writes with skill and lightness. She captured beautifully the story of this remarkable athlete.”

2010: Qantas Media Award - finalist - Overall Junior Feature Writer

2009: Qantas Media Award - Finalist - Blog

Blog - Greer 2.0

2007: Waikato Times Excellence in Journalism