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Juggling Life As A Breakfast Radio Presenter and Mother of Two


Juggling Life As A Breakfast Radio Presenter and Mother of Two

Felicity Cohen: Hello, I’m Felicity Cohen. I’m so excited to introduce you to my Wellness Warriors podcast. For over 20 years, I’ve been a passionate advocate for helping thousands of Australians find solutions to treating obesity and health-related complications, through surgical intervention and holistic managed care.

My podcast is dedicated to all the people past, present, and future who have helped shape my journey and continue to inspire me to work consistently to achieve a healthier Australia in both adults and future generations. I hope you enjoy it.

Welcome to the Wellness Warriors podcast today, it’s my great pleasure to introduce you to the beautiful Olivia Scott.

She’s so well-known here on the Gold Coast and has been here as a radio announcer and working in media roles for such a long time. It’s going to be fun to have a chat and find out all of the things that you’re up to. Thank you so much for joining me on the Wellness Warriors podcast.

Olivia Scott: Thank you, Felicity. Thank you.

Felicity Cohen: Tell me all about what was it that first took you into radio? How did you get there?

Olivia Scott: From a very young age I always loved listening to the radio and my dad happened to be friends with a big radio station 2Day FM Sydney. He was friends with the general manager. So I used to go there for work experience when I was younger and used to hang around the newsroom and the announcers and all that sort of thing.

So I kind of found a love for it then, did a bit of community radio after school and on the weekends. And it kind of went from there. And then when I was 18, when I moved to the Gold Coast from Sydney, I did a radio school course and got sent to child level for a week’s work experience that got me a job in Longreach. So I went to all the way out west places.

Felicity Cohen: Amazing. So you worked in Longreach for awhile. What did that experience teach you most about working in radio?

Olivia Scott: That I missed home a lot. It’s a long way out there. I lasted six months. So I was the office manager, morning announcer, and we basically had to produce all our ads. So we did everything and there were only four of us.

Felicity Cohen: What an amazing learning experience.

Olivia Scott: So it was great, but it was a long way from home. So then I came back to the Gold Coast after six months, and then I got a job in Lithgow in New South Wales. That was okay. The general manager said to me, do you know where Lithgow is?

And my brother happened to born at bat, not further out. So I said, yes, I know exactly where I’m coming to because they had a lot of trouble getting people there. I loved it, but it’s pretty much very cold and a bit of doom and gloom out there. So yeah.

Felicity Cohen: Is that how you have to earn your stripes in radio? You’ve got to go and do all the regionals stints to land the big city job. Is that how it works?

Olivia Scott: Well, back then you did. Yeah back then you basically worked your way up from whatever role these days. A lot of the young kids go to university and do degrees and all that sort of thing. And that’s how they do it.

But back in the day, if that was your best way of doing it, there weren’t too many courses that you did. You basically just worked your way from the bottom to the top. And the sort of the further you went out west, or the more people knew that you took it seriously, I think. The the way you could work yourself up. So yeah.

Felicity Cohen: How long do you spend in Lithgow?

Olivia Scott: 18 months.

Felicity Cohen: Oh, wow. And then from there straight to the Gold Coast?

Olivia Scott: I came back to the Gold Coast. I did get offered a job in Newcastle, but I was silly and I didn’t want to leave home again for a little while. But that was to be a journalist, a journalist like apprenticeship sort of thing there.

And I was only 21, so I was crazy. I didn’t take it, but yeah, I just wanted to be home for a while. So I did our jobs at Sea FM and Gold FM. I did a bit of promotions, did some filling in casual work, that was for a couple of years and worked in promotions as well. And then I went overseas, for about a year.

And then when I came back to Sea and Gold FM and by then the company had grown and started buying other stations. And then I ended up going to Rockhampton, to do breakfast and promotions there. So, yeah.

Felicity Cohen: So you were the breakfast announcer in Rockhampton?

Olivia Scott: Breakfast and promotions. And by then I was 25 and after 18 months, our program director, he left. And they offered me to be the program director and they put me through radio calls for that. So I was program director in breakfast. And I got another guy on to do breakfast with me cause I was doing breakfast with the program director and then I got married and had a baby.

So I went to Rockhampton at 25 came back three and a half years later, married with the baby. So we came back to the Gold Coast.

Felicity Cohen: So you met your husband in Rockhampton?

Olivia Scott: You’re praying actually.

Felicity Cohen: Oh wow.

Olivia Scott: My boss introduced us. We met up there and got married up there and lived up there for a while until we had our baby. And I wanted to come back to mum and dad.

Felicity Cohen: Wow. Do you find that you need to change your approach in terms of where you’ve lived and worked in the different regional radio stations? Was the communication strategy very different from how you actually deliver and what you do here on the Gold Coast? You know, you delivering to a certain audience.

So how you actually communicating, was there massive change for you?

Olivia Scott: Not really. I think the best thing to do is be relatable and talk to people and find out, get out there in the community and find out what they want, actually, really listen to what they want, and find out what makes the town tick.

It was really a lot of fun to go to those small towns. It was an adventure because you get in there, and for some reason, back then especially, they love their local radio station. So they instantly want to know you. And you’ve got to get out there. You want to know them and that’s, I think how it works because you, you look after each other.

If they’ve, if someone has a problem somewhere, you know, or they need a fundraiser, boom. They go straight to you and then you help people. And so it’s a great relationship. And I mean, the Gold Coast is a big country town. And I think it’s very similar that way, but I think you’d really have to listen to what they want, what the listeners want and try and relate to them.

Felicity Cohen: Yes. I think it’s really interesting in the world of media where we see, you know, newspapers, obviously print media slowly declining, and we access so much via online that radio has dusted away, remained such a powerful medium.

Olivia Scott: Definitely.

Felicity Cohen: And even more so now, you know, we listen to the radio in the car on the way home, when on the way to work, you know, I love it for so many different things that we’re accessing.

And even if I’m listening to something on Spotify, for example, I’ll still listen to something that’s got the news associated with it or something like that. Yeah. Definitely a medium that stood the test of time and it’s still such a valid and valuable source of information, entertainment and connection that I think people still really relates so much to.

Olivia Scott: Yeah. And it’s instant. That’s what I think we love about radio. I mean, a couple of months ago there was major flooding. It was a Saturday morning. I was on air and the roads is crazy storm hit. I think it was actually the beginning of the year. Crazy storm hit. And I’m on air at 6:00 AM that Saturday morning.

It’s just like I’m on the phones, ring me now, ring me now. And it’s instant people like, Hey, this is flooded. And I’m out in the rain. This is flooded. And, and that’s where it’s really fun. And you know, it is instant. Sadly if a celebrity dies or something. Boom, we’re straight onto it.

So that’s how we can keep people informed. I think that’s why radio is still such a great medium that it’s instant. If something happens, we can let you know straight away.

Felicity Cohen: But using that power to help people. And you were talking about fundraisers and staying connected to community and finding out what people’s needs are or what their problems are.

What do you think has been the most powerful of fundraisers that you’ve been involved within your whole career in radio?

Olivia Scott: Actually, the one we just did recently was the, well, the Gayley walk, kind of remote. It was called the purple foot for domestic violence. So he walked from Helen’s file to cooling and I walked with him for a little while. I think I did about six Ks with him. And that was amazing. So that was to buy watches for women who were going through domestic violence and that after were about a thousand dollars each. So every, you know, so many watches, I think they ended up with 70, $80,000 say raised in that time.

So that was amazing. Cause domestic violence is, you know, it’s so full on and yeah, so that’s, that’s what really comes to mind. That one that was brilliant. Um, but see, that’s another thing. It is so easy for us to organize things like that with it, you know, we can really help people. So we’d like to help everyone, but obviously you can’t, but it’s domestic violence was amazing.

So that’s, yeah, that’s what really comes to mind right now.

Felicity Cohen: And that sounds like the most incredible cause. And sadly, you know, we’ve seen this incredible increase in incidents of domestic violence. I think it used to be, you know, one in four women. I don’t know what it is on the gold coast right now. I think there has been a rise.

And I know over the last 12 months or so, you know, during lockdown periods I’ve seen statistics that show that it’s been even more prevalent. So choosing that as a cause I think is really, really valuable and so needed here on the gold coast or needed everywhere. It’s definitely not just raising awareness, but also helping people.

So what are the watches actually for? Is it a specific watch?

Olivia Scott: So it’s an alarm . Yeah. It notifies if there’s a problem and yeah. So it knows where they are and then they can, yeah. It’s so very well worth it.

Felicity Cohen: Oh, what a wonderful thing to be involved with. Any others that you can think of?

Olivia Scott: There’s so many. I know when I went to Rockhampton, we used to do this event, not a fundraiser, but it was called fire in the sky. That was just amazing. And some people that I live with when I first got there. So that was better than Skyfire, it’s fun that we organized. So that things like that community events that are just, and I remember that down at your pain, there was a mishap coast we used to do every year, like a beauty contest that, you know, used to love doing those back in the day.

And you had bands and fireworks and you know, the whole town and everybody would be there. And it was just a massive celebration and just, just a heap of fun that everyone used to love going to, you know, those sorts of events. Yeah,

Felicity Cohen: it’s fascinating how you identify with that specific radio station as part of your own personal cultural fiber, you know, that people have such an association with it. And your opportunity to connect and to do these things.

I don’t think we think about it enough in terms of the power and the impact.

Olivia Scott: Yeah. I mean, especially when you look at like people like Emily, Jade, and Christo and galleon and the drive to Mike, Myra and bay. You know, they’re, they’re like rock stars in this town and they do, they give so much. And what you see is what you get with what you hear, that that’s what you meet when you make them.

So, you know, they’re the right people for the jobs, I think. Cause they definitely care. So it’s good working with good people.

Felicity Cohen: Amazing. And that’s probably what makes your life in radio so much more valuable is that you’re working with a team of people, your crew, your tribe. The people obviously worked with over many, many years.

Olivia Scott: So I have worked with them or different stations and things around the coast and the other places. So, yeah, we’re pretty, I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but we are pretty much happy family at Hot Tomato, which is really nice. They’re a great bunch. And our management team’s really good as well. And also the newsroom.

See, we are very close to the newsroom, obviously because when news breaks and all of that sort of thing. We are a good bunch of people.

Felicity Cohen: What’s been your hardest stage of radio for you. Was it early mornings? How did you, how have you coped with any stage of your life where you’ve had to deal with the early mornings, especially being a mum of two beautiful girls? How have you coped with that?

Olivia Scott: Probably the hardest was when I was pregnant with the early mornings. When I was living up north and the 45 minute drive, you know, sort of 3:30, 4 o’clock in the morning when I was getting more tired. But that was probably it, but it was still pretty easy, but I found that when I had my baby, it was a lot easier to look after her because the early starts, I was used to it.

I could feed her and go back to bed. So but there was a few times in my career where I wasn’t where I wanted to be at. That was frustrating. And I did, I mean, I did have a break from radio for about four years and I really missed it and thought I will never go back into it. And then there’s some people in your life that believed in you and, and say, you know, I want to give you a go. And said, no, no, I’m done that ship sailed.

Felicity Cohen: So what happened during those four years? What was it?

Olivia Scott: I went and worked for Lorna Jane for some time. So that was nice. I’d never worked in retails so that was a bit of fun. Something a bit different. Yeah.

Felicity Cohen: Was that because you needed a break?

Olivia Scott: Yeah, I did need a break. I did need a break because I sort of wasn’t getting anywhere. It was great, it was fantastic to have my two children, my two daughters and be casual on air. But then as they were getting older, I was sort of needing a bit more. And I thought there’s not much opportunity at the moment. So I sort of went somewhere else, down a different path.

So, and then came back to it at Hot Tomato. So I was at Gold FM and went over to Hot Tomato.

Felicity Cohen: How have you found juggling a life of being a radio career person and managing, raising two children, a home, a family, a husband how’s that juggle looked for you?

Olivia Scott: It’s been okay because I don’t really work long hours. In saying that, I worked six days a week, but you know, I don’t do an eight hour day usually. So the kids are pretty good and my husband’s very helpful most of the time, so, yeah. And they’re all in there now they’re 18 and 20. So, you know, I just have to keep them in line with helping with the chores around the house and that sort of thing.

But when they were younger, because I was more on a casual basis, I didn’t work as much then. But I would fill in a lot. So I’d fill in for someone was on long service leave or someone was on holidays for two weeks and then I’d probably have a week or two off. So it was actually a beautiful way to do it because I felt like I was always at home, yet, I had my little bit of work happening as well and my independence there. So it was, it was good.

Felicity Cohen: So your daughters are 18 and 20 now. Yeah. How’s the last year been for them or either of them studying, what are they up to?

Olivia Scott: Well, my youngest is doing year 12, so yeah, she’s finding a little bit hard. But I don’t think, I think it would have been worse last year for them in Sydney.

And my oldest she’s just started at an accounting firm and she’s doing uni she’s quite busy. So, but now she’s managing, she’s managing.

Felicity Cohen: So you haven’t seen any negative impact on their lives or how they’ve behaved or anything different that they experience?

Olivia Scott: Yes and no. And I think just minor things. My oldest daughter went overseas a couple of years ago just before COVID and she was going to hold off and at the last minute, and I was like, let’s go, let’s do it.

So I’m glad she did her also probably be hearing that, you know, the last stage, once I should’ve gone, I should have gone. I’ll never get there. So yeah. So I’m glad she did that because now she’s sort of head down and going well with her work. So you’re not too negative, like I said.

Felicity Cohen: I think the online learning experience for many students last year would have been really, really difficult. For us, obviously on the gold coast, we were really fortunate that that didn’t last for long, but I think they were probably the hardest hit of anyone, not just school age students and university. Really, really challenging.

Olivia Scott: Yeah. See, I was lucky with work because I’m an essential worker, so I kept working. I didn’t get any of that locked down or anything I had to go to work, which was, I know as much as it was awful was kind of nice. Cause the roads were a lot clearer and you know. Yeah, it was a bit of a chilled experience, but I mean, it was, it’s awful of course. But, you know, I wasn’t too, I wasn’t affected too much by it. And I was so lucky to keep my job, which a lot of people didn’t and a lot of people I work with didn’t either. So that was pretty awful to watch a lot of them go.

Felicity Cohen: Has that reversed now?

Olivia Scott: No.

Felicity Cohen: That’s so devastating. That’s really, really sad. And tell me more about where they’ve actually ended up what first or what’s their journey looked like?

Olivia Scott: I’m not sure with a couple of them. I know that one of the ladies in our accounts department she got another job and works from home. And one of the announcements, he does a podcast. So yeah, they’re getting there. Yeah, they’re getting there.

Felicity Cohen: So tell me a little bit about your health and wellbeing and your own personal philosophy on wellness.

And what do you do to look after yourself? And I know that you went through a stage in life where you decided that, you were a smoker and you chose to stop. It takes a lot of courage and it’s a really tough thing to do to quit smoking. Had you actually tried to stop smoking more than once.

Olivia Scott: Oh, every week like I went on Champix twice I had patches, everything. And you know, I’ve probably smoked from quite a young age from about 17. So, you know, I’d been smoking for a long time and thanks to you and, and Drew hypnotising me, that worked.

Felicity Cohen: How amazing is that. And that just came out of nowhere. And you had one experience of being hypnotised and that was it for you. You stopped smoking completely.

Olivia Scott: So I haven’t even had a puff, not even. I wouldn’t want to, I’m too scared to. I mean, not that I really want to, but sometimes I am around smokers in a social situation and I’m like, oh no, but it’s yeah.

Felicity Cohen: What did that actually mean to you? Were you worried about how is this going to impact my health? If I continue to remain a smoker, what was the trigger?

Olivia Scott: One of the things was actually like if we were out at a family dinner and with the kids and my kids were younger then, and I’d have to walk out a restaurant and stand there in public. And it’s just disgusting. That was one of the main things I know it sounds funny, but it was just, and then I did start hiding it from my kids.

I tell them, you know, cause I’d give up all the time. I might know I’m not smoking, then I’d be hiding around the back corner. It was ridiculous.

Felicity Cohen: It’s kind of like someone who’s a yo-yo diet, for example, and consistently trying new diets. They’re constantly on that roller coaster. Yes. It’s a little bit similar when you’ve got someone who’s, because it’s an addiction that you’re dealing with. And so when you’re dealing with addiction of any nature, the actual giving up story and how you go through that is really quite challenging, isn’t it?

Olivia Scott: Cause I would always, then I’d go, went down this path where I’ll only smoke when I drink. So Monday night, fine. Then by Tuesday, jeez, I could kill for a cigarette.

All right. I’ll have to have a wine. And so then I was doing five, which is not good, so it was really quite easy doing it the way you guys, you know, the way I did it with you.

Felicity Cohen: It was amazing. Incredible. So I think it’s really interesting because for me, when I see patients go on a weight loss journey. And then all of a sudden they’re empowered to take control of their health, their wellbeing, their future. If I find out that they’re smokers, that’s obviously something that I’m always going to want to make sure that people are thinking about that they’ve got an awareness about and that we’re finding solutions to stop that.

Because if you’re working on the whole wellbeing of a person, you don’t want there to be one aspect that’s actually not managed at all. Yeah. That’s got to be the whole big thing because we know all of the dangers.

Olivia Scott: Exactly. And it’s funny because I didn’t actually put on weight and I didn’t drink more than I did, so I didn’t eat more. I actually got fitter and healthier and lost weight. It was a win-win all around.

Felicity Cohen: That’s amazing. So that’s really interesting because most people, when they stopped smoking, the first thing that they’re worried about is that they’re going to gain weight, or they’re going to have this replacement type therapy for quick one addiction and swap it for something else. Then it can also be quite toxic as well in itself.

Olivia Scott: Yeah. See, I felt so much better that I just had to go harder at everything I did for the positive.

Felicity Cohen: Such a positive move to take and, you know, taking control of your health, I just think it’s fantastic. So congratulations. I think it’s amazing. And I think it’s a great lesson for other people that you can do it

Olivia Scott: Definitely, definitely. I mean, if I can do it, anyone can.

Felicity Cohen: You just have to be aware that you can take on board that challenge and you can find the right thing that will work for you.

Olivia Scott: You can just keep trying, try everything, try it. Cause I did. I tried everything and till I met you.

Felicity Cohen: I’m excited to, I mean, I just love it. I think it’s just the best thing ever that you could have done for yourself. So tell me about your approach to wellness and what does it mean to you and what do you do on a daily basis?

Olivia Scott: I try and I do a five 30 class at the gym, usually three or four days a week.

So that’s kind of what I’ve been doing lately because well, lately on and off for the last over 12 months. Cause I like to get over and done with in the morning. I don’t like thinking about it all day, thinking I have to go to the gym tonight. So that’s what I aim to do. Yeah.

I am quite healthy at eating. I have my little times where I’m not and I do love wine and champagne, so, and I love cheese platter. So I have to balance.

Felicity Cohen: They kind of go really well together, why not.

Olivia Scott: Yeah, I do try and balance. Well, I’m normally good about maybe three to four days a week and the rest I’d kind of blow out sometimes, which I shouldn’t as much. But I’m going to try myself to get back to normal because yeah, since COVID, and I shouldn’t really blame COVID because, like I said, my life didn’t change too much, but I’m blaming COVID for the week. So I have to get back on track.

Felicity Cohen: So many people have had those few extra COVID kilos and I hear everybody talk about it. Patients who’ve been on a journey for a long time, they’ve maybe had a bit of weight regain, and now they’re recalibrating and focusing on that back on track kind of solution.

So, you know, you’re not alone in that. Moderation’s pretty important. Isn’t it in life that there’s balance in everything. Yes. I mean, you’re doing an amazing job, so what’s next for you? What are you most looking forward to over the next five years? What’s your plan?

Olivia Scott: Well, it used to be getting overseas again or going somewhere. But we have traveled quite a lot through Queensland the last 12 to 18 months.

Felicity Cohen: Holidays in Queensland are pretty amazing. What’s your favorite spot that you’ve been to in the last 18 months?

Olivia Scott: Do you know what, I’m loving Mooloolaba at the moment, because it’s not far, it’s got everything there. There’s a lot to do. And last time we went there actually swim in the surf, which I don’t do very often. But we went to Hamilton island, that was great. And we’ve got a house at Yeppoon because that’s where I met my husband. So we’ve still got a house up there so we can go up there whenever we like. Harvey Bay’s another one we’ve been to. My daughter’s actually having her 21st up there.

So, yeah, so we’ve just been heading north. It’s been great because we used to love going to Bali every year, we were going to venture further, but as much as I miss Bali I’m not, you know, this time 12 months ago, it was like, take me back. But because you know, being reminded of how many great places are in Queensland.

Felicity Cohen: I think it’s fantastic holidays in our own backyard and rediscovering or thinking differently about where we can travel, not just in Queensland, but in Australia.

I think it’s quite exciting. I’m looking forward to trying to get in somewhere.

Olivia Scott: Well, actually I’ve got holidays in September. My niece and her husband and family have just moved down. They actually officially move in permanently in September when I take those holidays and my niece and I were like, let’s just do Gold Coast.

Do Gold Coast and we’re just going to wine and dine and go up, drive up the mountains and just explore because I hardly ever have time to do that.

Felicity Cohen: Working 6 days a week. Sounds like a lot, like even though you’re not working long hours, you’re still in that work frame of mind, 6 days a week is a lot.

What’s your favourite thing to do on that one day a week that you don’t work?

Olivia Scott: Well just really spend time with the family. So I like to get up and go and do a gym class because that makes me feel good. Then the girls and I will usually potter around. We might just go to the shops, Pacific Fair ,Harbor town, potter around.

And then I actually, yeah, I like to have a drink maybe about 4 o’clock and then have an early dinner with the family. That’s my favorite Saturday. Catch up with a family and an early Saturday dinner or a light lunch.

Felicity Cohen: Family time. It’s so important. Keeps us grounded.

Olivia Scott: It does. My mum and dad live up at main beach. So my brother lives around the corner with his wife and kids. So yeah, it’s great. It’s easy to catch up with everyone and yeah, as well as just my little family, the four of us. So we do try and catch up every couple of weeks.

Felicity Cohen: Beautiful. Now, congratulations on all of the work and effort that you put into your career every day. You know, we all, everyone loves listening to you. So many people out there. You wouldn’t actually probably even register yourself because you’re tucked away in that little studio. You know, that there’s so many people on the Gold Coast who have grown up listening to you probably. Isn’t that spectacular?

Olivia Scott: Oh, stop it. Thank you.

Felicity Cohen: So thank you so much for joining me. I’ve got one final question that I like to ask all of my podcast guests. And what does wellness mean to you?

Olivia Scott: Well, health is everything. Isn’t it? You know, money can’t buy health. So, I love feeling great. I love feeling healthy. So it is, it’s everything. And I want more of my family and loved ones to be healthy too. So it’s everything.

Felicity Cohen: Absolutely, investing in your health every day. And you’re clearly doing all the right things. So congratulations. And thank you so much for joining me.

Olivia Scott: Thanks Felicity.

Felicity Cohen: Thank you for joining the Wellness Warriors podcast. It’s been a pleasure to have you online with us. If you enjoy the series, please leave your review, subscribe and follow. And we look forward to sharing many more stories with you in the future.

Nutritionist & Dietitian

Meet our team


Chealse Hawk

Nutrion Leader Coach

Isabelle Cole

Nutrion Coach

Joshua Chambers

Nutrion Coach

Laura Barrett

Nutrion Leader Coach