Many young people who grow up in small towns are keen to move to the bright lights of the city, but Emily Livingston has a great love for the township of Canungra and the country atmosphere of the Scenic Rim. She is also the Canungra Times’ new Cadet Journalist.
You did work experience for us last year and ended up with a job. Was it what you expected?
In many ways it was, but in other ways it was -“go talk to this person, go talk to this person!” In my mind I pictured I would be investigating everything and exposing people.
There are many journalists who do that and that is needed, but in our case we do what I call community journalism. Telling the little stories about people.
I like it.
You’ve done a few stories about your family because on your mum’s side you are fourth generation ‘Canungran’. How is it growing up in a place where you are so connected?
It’s nice. I love talking to my family and it is nice to have that connection.
You didn’t go to school in Canungra.
I went to St Mary’s Primary School in Beaudesert and now I go to McAuley College in Beaudesert. I started catching the bus three days a week through primary school and five days a week in high school. It is an hour to school and an hour back. It gives me time to study.
Do you seriously study on the bus?
Yes (laughs). Sometimes I run out of time and I need to.
You caught the bus in Prep?
It was really good for making friends, because you’re stuck on the bus for an hour -you’ve got to talk to someone. Now that I’ve got my phone I can stick my headphones in and listen to music.
Do you like school?
Yes, I really enjoy school, I do.
Living in the country, do you feel you want to head to the city?
I don’t know if I ever get the ‘want to’, but when I do I enjoy it. I went recently for a friend’s birthday party and I was like “look at that car”, “look at that shop it’s so fancy”. My friends looked at me like, “what are you on about, this is normal.”
Do you feel like you have different freedom?
Not so much. We’ve got property and it is great to be able to go out and have fun on that. But if I need to go somewhere I’ve got to get driven by my parents because I don’t have my licence yet and I’m too far away to walk anywhere. My friends live in Beauy so I’ve got to get there.
There’s no public transport is there?
No, I wish.
Is that annoying?
Yes, it is annoying sometimes but I’ve just accepted it.
At times they’ve had buses in Canungra but they’re not used enough to make it worthwhile.
I just can not wait to get a car and be able to drive. I want to go everywhere! I’ve got a list of places I want to go in the notes on my phone.
What have you seen in terms of changes in Canungra?
I remember when I was seven or eight, about 10 years ago, driving through it was pretty chill. Now it is crazy busy.
Photo: Katie O’Brien