My portfolio

So, you’re interested in working with me, but you want to make sure I can walk the walk, as well as talk the talk, before getting in touch?

 

Look no further: I’ve got oodles of examples of my awesomeness

As an experienced journalist, SEO copywriter, editor and author, I have a LOT of examples of my work. Here’s a few of my favourites:

What it was like inside the Batemans Bay firestorm - Daily Telegraph

On New Year’s Eve 2019, my hometown of Batemans Bay was hit by the horrific Black Summer bushfires. In this article, I tell my story of the day. It forms the basis of my book about the bushfires I’m currently writing. This article was published extensively, including on News.com.au, the Herald Sun and many more. 

Read the story.

Botched skydive jump led to years of hell: one woman's incredible story -News.com.au

Hilary Judith dreamed of skydiving. But terror struck at 4500m in the air when her parachute wouldn’t deploy— and that’s when everything went downhill. Read more about one woman’s daring tale of survival on News.com.au.

Australia's angels saving lives in the bushfires - Kidspot

For most Aussie kids, the summer school holidays are a time of fun, friendship and relaxation.

But not for Grace and Jessie-Mae Whittington, who spent their holidays facing an emergency crisis as ferocious bushfires inched closer and closer to their home on the NSW south coast.

Read more on Kidspot.com.au.

"It's complicated": A love letter to my mobility aid - Body + Soul

It took me years to muster up the courage to even think of using a mobility aids. When you live with an invisible disability, or a dynamic disability, you tend to have this pesky habit of diminishing the impact your condition has on you. Because I can physically walk, I felt like I didn’t deserve the help of a mobility aid.

This article is all about my journey to accepting my disability, and accepting mobility aids like walking sticks and wheelchairs into my life. They have given me so much joy and freedom. I hope sharing my story helps others to know they aren’t alone, and that it’s okay to accept help.

I'm disabled, but here's why I don't think that's a bad thing - The Latch

I’m disabled. But for a long time, I didn’t realise it. People often view disability as a tragedy. And despite the fact that one in five Australians live with disability, we don’t talk about it. I didn’t know chronic pain even existed before experiencing it, and I certainly didn’t realise it could impact young people.

To me, disability is beautiful. And identifying as disabled has been a wonderful thing for me. This article is all about my complicated journey of struggle, love, acceptance and pride.

Teen buys every cupcake in shop after customer fat-shames her - New York Post

Nineteen-year-old Vega Blossom got sweet, sweet revenge after hearing two women fat shame her in the line behind her.

This article highlights body image, and the hilarious way Vega came out on top. As a curvy gal myself, she is my hero.

Image shows Zoe Simmons, a woman with purple pink hair, pale skin and red lips. Below is a link to Women With Disability Australia, and the words "you can still be a leader, even when you're in pain

You can still be a leader, even when you're in pain - Women With Disabilities Australia

I’ve always wanted to be a leader: because I want to make a difference in the world.

When I began experiencing chronic pain at the age of 22, I feared I’d never be able to achieve anything.  But that’s just not true. I wrote this piece to hopefully help others in pain know they aren’t alone, and that they too can kick butt.

Read more.

Tea with my monster - Beyond the Veil Press

I have two poems coming out in Beyond the Veil Press’s 2022 mental health anthology, Tea with my monster.

My poems are about my experiences with chronic pain, mental illness, and anxiety–and how sharing our stories slowly helps us heal.

Image shows Zoe Simmons, a woman with purple pink hair, pale skin and red lips. Below is a link to Women With Disability Australia, and the words "you can still be a leader, even when you're in pain

"Accessibility benefits everybody." Zoe Simmons on the need for flexibility in the workplace - HireUp

Accessibility isn’t something that’s often considered when it comes to the workplace. Regardless of an employee’s needs, there are usually the same rules and expectations – that you travel to a location and work 9–5, five days a week, because that’s the way it’s always been.

But, as the COVID-19 pandemic very clearly highlighted, employers can be flexible. We can do better – and so we should.

An image of Endometriosis Australia ambassador Erin Barnett. She's a woman with short blonde hair and tanned skin, smiling at the camera.

Introducing Erin Barnett: Endometriosis Australia Ambassador - Endometriosis Australia

It’s Endometriosis Australia Ambassador Erin Barnett’s goal to educate the world about endometriosis.

The 25-year-old had her first encounter with the condition at the age of 13, when a 3kg cyst was found on her right ovary. But even after surgery to remove it, her symptoms continued, with periods so painful, she felt like she would almost pass out. And when she tried to seek help and find answers to her abnormal pain, her concerns were pushed to the side. 

An image of Endometriosis Australia ambassador Erin Barnett. She's a woman with short blonde hair and tanned skin, smiling at the camera.

Meet the disability consultant making games more accessible

Gaming is a huge part of accessibility activist Poppy Field’s life, but growing up, she didn’t feel like it was a space meant for her. Now, as an accessibility consultant, disabled Poppy helps make games accessible for the disabled community.

An image of Endometriosis Australia ambassador Erin Barnett. She's a woman with short blonde hair and tanned skin, smiling at the camera.

About page - Prettify

Prettify is an online women’s clothing store, where every piece of clothing has been hand-picked with love from quality fashion designers around the globe.

I wrote Prettify’s about page, and I think it’s pretty darn snazzy, if I do say so myself!

An image of Zoe Simmons, a woman with pale skin and purple hair who smiles at the camera.

"I had to repeatedly beg doctors for an endometriosis diagnosis." - Kidspot

I’m nervous to share this one. It’s about the first few years of investigating my chronic pain, and how finally, I was told I had endometriosis, with a fused ovary. It felt so good to have answers to my pain. Of course, not long after I published this, I had another surgery which once again found no answers. But I still think my journey is important to share.

Website copy for Youthphoria Beauty

Owned by expert lash technician Shirley Be, Youthphoria Beauty sells skin and beauty products; including the renowned Magneto magnetic eyelashes.

As well as product packaging and product descriptions, I also wrote the bulk of Youthphoria’s website, which included SEO-optimised copy.
Copywriter Zoe Simmons wrote the beauty copy for magnetic eyelash brand Youthphoria

You can read more on the Youthphoria website.

 

Messaging for CEOs, Board Chairs and executives

While I can’t show examples of this work, I regularly write messaging for the CEO, Board Chair and executive team for a mental health organisation.

This includes speeches, email communications and newsletters to staff, external statements, video scripts, awards applications, as well as media lines.

Nelligan firefighter Michael Vickers Black Summer bushfires Batemans Bay journalist Zoe Simmons

Firey's hell: 'I saved eight houses in one night and now I'm homeless'. - Kidspot

Volunteer firefighter Michael Vickers was busy fighting the Black Summer bushfires in Nelligan NSW while his own burned. The 20-year-old father had been working non-stop to protect his community. This article helped Michael and his family raise over $2000.

Zoe Simmons wrote a piece on coping with her mental health during coronavirus for Reach Out.

How Zoe is coping with her mental health during coronavirus - Reach Out

I’ve always experienced mental health challenges. And when life throws you a curve ball–like, say, the coronavirus–things can get even harder. Thankfully, my experience of living with bipolar disorder has taught me a thing or two about ways to cope. I shared these tips for Reach Out to support other young people with their mental health.

An image of Christian Ogbah, a man with dark skin who is smiling at the camera. Beside him are the words "working to end mental health stigma".

Tackling stigma and saving lives: Forensicare's Mental Health Advice and Response Service

No single day is the same for senior mental health clinician Christian Bimbola Ogbah.

As part of his role in Forensicare’s Mental Health Advice and Response Service(MHARS) team at Ringwood Magistrates’ Court, Christian helps some of society’s most vulnerable people—that is, people who are engaged with the justice system and live with a mental illness.

Zoe Simmons's story of suicide, hope, and mental health recovery.

A year ago, I almost took my own life. Now, I'm so glad I'm alive. - Herald Sun

As a mental health advocate,  I think sharing our stories is one of the most powerful things we can do to reduce stigma.

It is NOT shameful to live with a mental illness. We are NOT broken. We are NOT a liability. Even after experiencing the darkest depths of our mind, we can recover. There is ALWAYS hope. That’s why I shared my story with News.com.au.

Cancer Council Zoe Simmons Stars of Eurobodalla 2016

Stars of Eurobodalla 2016 - Cancer Council

In 2016, I worked as Cancer Council’s Dance for Cancer Marketing Coordinator for the Eurobodalla, where I sourced “stars” and dancers, prizes, provided administrative support, as well as on-the-ground media support. As part of this project, I wrote many biographies for participants, including Kasia Curral, who danced for her mum who’d passed away from cancer. We raised over $20,000 for cancer support services on the south coast.

Eurobodalla Relay for Life 2014 and 2015 - Cancer Council

In 2014 and 2015, I worked as a media coordinator for the Cancer Council’s Eurobodalla Relay for Life.

This involved writing media releases, liaising with stakeholders and local media, as well as creating and sharing stories in written and multimedia format. I also managed our social media, and provided on-the-ground coverage of the day: including photography.

What it's like being a mum with autism

Motherhood is difficult for anyone, but it’s even trickier for single mum Pagen Jade Watters. PJ’s autism can impact her quite severely on a daily basis, and now, her young daughter is one of her mum’s biggest supporters.

What a panic episode really feels like - Whimn

Mental health advocacy is incredibly important to me: because I know what it’s like to not feel okay, and I know what it’s like to feel alone. I wrote this article during a manic episode to alleviate the stigma that surrounds bipolar, and raise awareness for what we go through. #ItGetsBetter

This depiction of what endometriosis would look like if it were visible is heartbreaking - Kidspot

After decades of living with an excruciating invisible illness, makeup artist Andrea Baines was determined to raise awareness for endometriosis. It’s an extremely painful condition no one can see–which makes it even more important to be understood and recognised.

An image of a person at sunset with birds flying around their arms with the words: "one carer's journey to forgiveness"

One carer's journey to forgiveness

Reconnecting with your loved ones is never easy. But mum Leanne* knew it was exactly what she had to do.

It had been years since she’d spoken to her daughter Sarah*, but in 2013, when health issues threatened her life, Leanne knew it was time to mend their bond.

It took years for Leanne to come to terms with what had happened–the incident that caused Sarah to be sent to the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, and later, Thomas Embling Hospital for secure treatment. But she knew she just had to keep loving her daughter. Even when it was hard.

Australian couple hosts entirely vegan wedding - News.com.au

A vegan wedding? No way. That’s how some of Georgie Purcell’s family and friends responded when she said she wanted an all-vegan wedding. But a non-vegan wedding wasn’t an option for the couple, who are passionate about saving animals. And in the end? Guests LOVED it.

What it's really like to have surgery for endometriosis - Whimn

At 22, I had a diagnostic surgery for suspected endometriosis. This is an insight into the agonising pain women with endometriosis experience on a daily basis. One in ten women experience endometriosis, and while not everyone’s pain and symptoms are the same or as extreme, it’s still a horrible condition that has the power to quite literally ruin lives. And there’s no cure.

How gaming has helped my mental health, especially during Melbourne's lockdowns

Gaming has always been there for me. Whenever life has been too stressful, too overwhelming, or too devastating, games have always been a safe haven. A beautiful, sweet escape, where you can do anything and be anything. A place where you can feel a therapeutic sense of progression, which is something we don’t always get to feel in our everyday lives.

Copywriter with corporate communications experience

Corporate communications

Alongside my experience as a journalist is my work in corporate communications. I’ve spent years working in government communications, writing blog posts, internal and external newsletters, email marketing, video scripts, award applications, annual reports, models of care, welcome booklets, and a number of other important documents. I’ve also been involved in project management, including writing proposals and managing stakeholders for projects up to $15,000, as well as the creation of SEO, digital content and social media strategy.

An image of Glenn Broome with the words: "I want to help the people who are in my old shoes. Glenn Broome. Peer worker."

Finding hope in a hopeless place: battling mental health in prison

Peer worker Glenn Broome helps prisoners find hope in Forensicare’s forensic mental health service at the Ravenhall Correctional Centre–and it can be as simple as a cup of coffee, and a chat with someone who cares. 

After half a lifetime of battling his own mental health demons, Glenn Broome was determined to help others find hope.

An image of Glenn Broome with the words: "I want to help the people who are in my old shoes. Glenn Broome. Peer worker."

"RATs aren't accessible, but neither is our healthcare system," says Zoe Simmons - HireUp

It doesn’t surprise me that the Australian government hasn’t made rapid antigen tests free.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I think they absolutely should be free, like they are in many other countries around the globe. For accessibility and for public health, it just makes sense.

But despite how beneficial free tests would be, I don’t have high hopes, because being forced to pay high prices for medical care is something that is not new to anyone who is disabled or chronically ill.

Isabella was addicted to ice. Two bright pink lines saved her life - Mamamia

It was December 2015 when Isabella first started using ice – the first anniversary of her son’s death. She had no idea how much it would destroy her life–until an unexpected pregnancy saved her life.

 

Zoe Simmons wrote a travel guide for the NSW south coast as part of news.com.au's Don't Delay Your Stay campaign for fire-affected communities following the Black Summer bushfires.

A complete travel guide to the NSW south coast - Escape.com.au

Following the ferocious Black Summer bushfires on the NSW south coast, I wrote this series on the best travel spots to hit in my local town. This was part of news.com.au’s Don’t Delay Your Stay campaign, supporting local businesses and tourism in fire-affected towns, prior to COVID-19.

 

Young people and Coronavirus COVID-19 Zoe Simmons article

Coronavirus Australia: the harsh truth about young people and the virus - Daily Telegraph

Get off our backs. That’s what I’d like to say on behalf of all young Australians. Every day, I see more and more posts and stories about how young people aren’t taking COVID-19 seriously: except, we are. And instead of dividing the generations and pointing fingers, we should be working together.

 

Aimee Toby NRMA heroes of hope by Zoe Simmons

NRMA Heroes of Hope

Following the Black Summer bushfires, I was commissioned by Storynation and NRMA to write four stories for NRMA’s Heroes of Hope campaign, including Batemans Bay nurse Aimee Toby. As bushfires leered closer and closer, Aimee decided to take her kids to the safety of Sydney–saving a stranded hitchhiker along the way, and bringing back a truck load of supplies for the RFS upon her return.

Golden Age Politics by Kathy Divine, featuring author Zoe Simmons

Golden Age Politics

Golden Age Politics was written by vegan author Kathy Divine. It explores ethical leadership, and how together, we can create change for a better world.

As part of this book, I wrote a small excerpt on ethical journalism–and that it isn’t hard to be ethical: you simply need to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. For journalists, a story might last a day. But for the person we write about, it’s forever: more media organisations need to be considerate about this.

Junette's Story - Cancer Council

Junette Harris was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, and had been a dedicated member of the Cancer Council since, along with her loving husband Warren. She was announced as one of three Australian Global Heroes of Hope, before passing away on Boxing Day 2014: only days after my interview with her.

Lauren Wilkin endometrial cancer

'It wasn't PCOCs. It was much, much worse." - News.com.au

All Lauren Wilkin wanted was to be a mum. She thought her polycystic ovaries were stopping her from falling pregnant, but then tests revealed the horrifying truth. This story helped raise over $6,000 for Lauren’s last chance at concieving.

The worst thing you can do to someone with bipolar - Body + Soul

If you’re an avid internet dweller, chances are you’ve probably seen a few bipolar jokes around. You know the ones. The ones that use bipolar as a descriptive word. The ones that use it to glorify dramatic actions as “cute” bipolar quirks. They might seem harmless, bit for those of us who live with bipolar disorder, it’s a stab in the gut. It invalidates us, and trivialises a very real illness.

D

What it feels like to lose a parent - Kidspot

Losing my Dad is one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced; and knowing it’s coming doesn’t make it any easier. I wrote this story after his passing.

'How I healed my rift with my father' - Body + Soul

I hadn’t spoken to my Dad in almost a year when he called me and told me he had cancer. And suddenly, nothing else mattered. I am so grateful I was able to reconnect with him and tell him I loved him before he passed.

Mum-of-four's dying bucket list wish

Jacqueline Sherman had one wish: to take her for kids on their first, and last, ever family vacation. The Canadian mum has Multiple System Atrophy, which affects one in 10,000 people worldwide. It’s rare, and almost unheard of for someone in their 30s. But slowly, Jacqueline’s body will shut down. I helped them raise almost $4,000 for her last wish.

A woman wears active ear and is sitting on the ground. She has a prosthetic leg.

How to live a fulfilling life, even when you're in pain - Independence Australia

Life can be challenging enough, without the added complications of living with chronic pain. Here, I share some tips on how to stay connected to life, even when it hurts.

"His only symptom was a sore knee - but I knew in my gut it was something worse." - Kidspot

When Lachlan was ten, he began to feel an on-again-off-again pain in his left knee. Doctors said it was a simple twist from sport, and reccomended exercises to help. And it did: until one day, Lachlan collapsed in pain, and his mum Hayley rushed him to hospital. This story helped the family raise $2,126 towards Lachlan’s care.

"We are raising our babies vegan despite your judgement."

“He would much prefer to cuddle a chicken than eat one.”

Meet the parents who are raising their kids vegan, and get the scoop on what life’s really like raising plant-based kids.

An image of Zoe Simmons smiling at the camera.

"Games were my dearest friends": Zoe Simmons on smashing the stigma of gaming - POPSUGAR Australia

When you think of a typical “gamer”, I’m probably not who you’d think of. I’m 26. Female. And I run my own successful copywriting business. And yet, I game almost every single day. 

Gaming has a rather bad reputation. There’s this stereotype that the bulk of gamers are teenage males who spend too much time on their screens or young adults who are unemployed and have too much time on their hands — and that simply isn’t true.

7 moments from the original Sex and the City that have not aged well in 2021 - The Latch

I grew up watching Sex and the City. I remember being enthralled by this story of four vivacious, strong and (mostly) independent women. I loved that they smashed stereotypes, challenged perceptions, and weren’t afraid to tackle taboo topics like sex, dating and *gasp* female masturbation.

With the show’s next instalment of And Just Like That coming out, I figured it was a fabulous time for a re-watch. Unfortunately, watching the show in 2021 is a very different, cringey experience.

Woman outraged by Kmart's "disgusting" customer service response

Plus-size Sydney woman Georgia Rochelle emailed Kmart with a complaint. The disgusting response from the retail giant left her reeling.

How I found best friends gaming online in lockdown - POPSUGAR Australia

The lockdowns of 2020 were brutal. But for some, like Maddie-May Tumanic, it was the start of something beautiful: friendship.

9 badass female game characters we love playing as

It’s no secret that, traditionally speaking, men have dominated the gaming world. In games of the past, women — even lead characters — have typically served as eye candy, scantily clad with big boobs and unrealistic proportions, often with poor character development.

Thankfully, things are changing, with more women in the industry and game developers having the shock realisation that women play games as well.

Zoe Simmons has written freelance journalism for the Daily Mail.

Social media at Daily Mail Australia

I worked in Daily Mail’s Australian social media team, where I was responsible at any given time for up to eight different social media accounts across Facebook and Twitter. This would include choosing stories to post on social media accounts, writing social media sells, promoting breaking news, as well as reporting on social media analytics to the editorial team. During my time at Daily Mail Australia, I helped our Facebook page grow from 300,000 to over 800,000 in just eight months.

Zoe Simmons has written freelance journalism for the Daily Mail.

The funniest glotches in video games - POPSUGAR Australia

Glitches in games can be an absolute pain in the butt—but they can also be what makes a game great. Whether they’re wacky, handy, or just plain hilarious, glitches can take games to a whole new level. Sometimes, glitches can even be the best part of a game, locking them lovingly into our memory banks for a lifetime.

Zoe Simmons has written freelance journalism for the Daily Mail.

5 wellness trends that actually work - Inform Online

Like many people living with a disability or chronic illness, I have a love-hate relationship with wellness trends.

There are so many of them—and often, they don’t work. With product after product vying for our hard-earned cash, it can be hard to know what works. And it can be so stressful and overwhelming sifting trash from treasure.

Everybody is different, so I can’t promise what works for me will work for you. But it’s worth a shot, right?

Want to work with me? Check out my services, or get in touch with me today for a free 15-minute chat.

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