17 May 2023

Region Riverina's Daniel Burdon excited for a new beginning in the district

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
Start the conversation
Daniel Burdon

New Region Riverina journalist Daniel Burdon at Region’s headquarters in Canberra. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Daniel Burdon never had ambitions to pursue journalism, but he stumbled onto the career path after school.

When an opportunity for a cadetship opened up at the Centralian Advocate in Alice Springs, Region Riverina’s newest senior journalist applied and landed the position, embarking on an illustrious career in journalism.

“I always loved writing, reading and telling stories,” Dan said.

His career highlights include big breaking stories exposing significant matters.

He was nominated for a Young Walkley in 2013 for his series of stories about the clash between mining and farming in Central Queensland.

“[Series of stories] resulted in a big story that essentially exposed the deal between the then Queensland treasurer and the mining company … that circumvented proposed new planning laws that were meant to protect the agricultural land from mining,” he said.

“More recently, when I was at The Canberra Times, I did an investigative podcast called Losing Paul, about a young Canberra man who died from a prescription drug overdose, his family’s journey, the coronial inquest and the fallout.

“It led to reforms in the ACT court system, specifically the appointment of the territory’s first dedicated, full-time coroner.”

Previously, coronial inquiries were handled on a rotating basis between magistrates on top of their usual work.

READ ALSO Sergeant Steve Bloomfield retires after three decades of dedicated police service

The podcast also contributed to the ACT’s creation of its real-time prescription monitoring system.

Losing Paul was a finalist in the 2018 Australian Podcast Awards (documentary).

Dan took a position with Region to tell more human stories and dig into issues in a district he isn’t familiar with.

“I’m essentially a boy from the bush, and I’m keen to get back out there,” he said.

“I like to move around places I haven’t lived in … new areas, cultures.

“I’m keen to meet new people and discover all the great things the Riverina has to offer … very excited about the natural beauty.”

The former national affairs reporter shared an anecdote of one of his favourite experiences as a journalist in Queensland, where he went to Barcaldine, famously known as the birthplace of Labor.

“They have a massive festival type of event every year on Labor Day, and I was invited to be in goat racing,” he said. “The one and only time I’ve ever done goat racing.

“You get into a buggy attached to the goat and race down the oval … I was doing well, coming in second.

“About halfway, suddenly, my goat took a 90-degree turn left and ran across the field and I fell out of the buggy … it’s difficult to control for someone who has never done it before.

“It doesn’t all have to be serious; you can have some fun in this game.”

Region can confirm no photos or videos could be obtained from the day.

READ ALSO August & Artisan hope their pop-up is permanent

Born in Adelaide, the Young Walkley nominee spent the first five years of his life in an Indigenous community in Central Australia.

His first language was Pitjantjatjara, a dialect of the Western Desert language spoken by the Anangu of Central Australia.

He did his primary schooling in Adelaide and grew up in Alice Springs.

“Alice is really my home town,” Dan said.

He worked as a reporter at The Morning Bulletin and rural weekly CQ in Rockhampton, covering the devastating 2010-11 floods across Central Queensland, rural economics and the social tensions in rural communities.

He spent five years as a national affairs reporter at APN Newsdesk with APN and working at Canberra’s Parliament House press gallery. During his time at the press gallery, Dan covered five prime ministers (Gillard, Rudd, Abbott and Turnbull leadership spill period).

In 2016, Dan moved on to work at The Canberra Times as a public service reporter, ACT Chief Assembly reporter and health reporter.

He became a freelance reporter and briefly a state news producer at WIN News.

When he isn’t reporting on groundbreaking stories, the senior journalist enjoys music, watching films, reading, writing, playing backgammon, hiking and exploring new places.

“I used to produce hip-hop and rap, and I’ve had a long history in dance and theatre in my younger days,” he said.

As a big coffee consumer, Dan has two options: a long black with sugar or a double-shot flat white with sugar.

Dan is joined in the Wagga office by editor Chris Roe, business team Adam Drummond and Ketura Weston, and journalists Shri Gayathirie Rajen, Jarryd Rowley and Oliver Jacques (based in Griffith). They’re in Baylis St, upstairs in the old Twin Cinemas building – call in and say hello, or share a Riverina yarn with the team.

If you have a story or news tip for Dan, email [email protected].

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.