A WELL-KNOWN Australian journalist has been made a prestigious Member AM in the general division of the Order of Australia, but he is grateful for early parts of his career spent in the North West.
Simon Bouda, a familiar face on Nine News and A Current Affair, spent some time in the 80s in Tamworth earning his stripes as a journalist.
He worked at the Leader from 1982-1983, and since then has built up a large reputation through his stints at various other newspapers and even as the London correspondent for Nine between 2000-2003.
Fast forward to 2021, and he is "very surprised, very proud, and very humbled" after receiving the award.
"It really is quite an honour and I'm a little bit lost for words," he said.
"My wife [Karin] is my high school sweetheart ... she's really grown with me and experienced all the highs and lows that all journalists experience in their career.
"[My family] will all be thrilled as well as my dear old mum. It's very humbling and I'm just grateful who thought so kindly of me to nominate me."
He said his time working in the newspaper industry was "tremendously exciting", but the prospect of working in television excited him.
"Newspapers are wonderful for writing and utilising your skills as a journalist in writing, but you can't beat electronic media to get it out there," Mr Bouda said.
"When I had the opportunity to go into TV I thought it was great and I haven't left, they can't get rid of me."
As for his next step, he said he's in the "hands of the gods".
"I'm getting to that stage in my life, I'm 60 this year ... the twilight years as they say, I've written six books, my own book, what's next I don't know. Maybe enjoy my family and maybe who knows even grandkids," he told the Leader.
"We as journalists have got to be ready to change. What will be next I don't know, I just hope I can change with it."
Mr Bouda has a lot of charity work under his belt, too. He's a huge supporter of the Homicide Victims' Support Group (Australia) Inc, and has been since 2003.
He has been awarded two Kennedy awards in 2013 and 2020, one for outstanding television news report, and the other for outstanding crime reporting.
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