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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

'His only symptom was a sore knee - but I knew inn my gut it was something worse.

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.

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.

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