From bush cradle to lifestyle blogger

Jocelyn Watts is freelance photographer and writer based on the Fraser Coast in Queensland. She posts on topics such as food, wine, art, history and travel. When not freelancing or crafting new posts, she’s either honing her creative writing skills or chilling out with family and friends. 

Born at Barcaldine in Outback Queensland, the former journalist, photographer and business owner now uses her keyboard and cameras to help business owners or craft blogs for your enjoyment. 

Jocelyn’s background in communications, media, photography and business has given her a broad base from which to approach a wide variety of topics.

Between 1996 and 2020, Jocelyn worked as an editor, sub-editor, senior reporter, features writer, designer and photographer with various newspapers and magazines in Maryborough and Hervey Bay, both on staff and contract. 

She also served in media and communications roles, on staff and contract, with Fraser Coast Regional Council, Uniting Care Health / St Stephen’s Hospital, and University of Southern Queensland (Fraser Coast). 

While in the latter roles, Jocelyn’s media releases and photos resulted in hundreds of traditional and online media outlets publishing articles on the Fraser Coast, across Australia and overseas.

Taking on photography business

While ‘taking a break’ from media between January 2011 and June 2014, Jocelyn owned and operated a professional photography business specialising in commercial, wedding and portrait photos. 

Contracting organisations included Fraser Coast Regional Council, University of Southern Queensland, University of Queensland, University of Sunshine Coast, Queensland Government, Queensland Best of Brass Championships, Maryborough Music Conference, various real estate agents and many private companies. 

Her commercial images were also published in a wide variety of publications online, in print and on billboards. She also drew on her media and graphic art skills to value-add to her business, producing an online magazine, posters and calendars for promotions.  

Focusing on media

On March 16, 2020, Jocelyn returned to her former role as editor of the Maryborough Herald. However, just four months later the position became redundant when News Corp closed its regional print publications throughout Australia. 

Since 1996, Jocelyn’s stories and photos had been published in the Fraser Coast Chronicle, Maryborough Herald and Hervey Bay’s Observer and Independent newspapers as well as the national magazine Aussie Post.

Stand-alone photos were published in Queensland’s Sunday Mail and Australia’s Driveline, Take 5, Super Food Ideas, Insight and Refinisher magazines.

In 2006, Jocelyn won the Queensland regional and bi-weekly newspapers category of the Older People Speak Out (OPSO) Awards that recognised media figures for their positive portrayal of older people.

International recognition

Her photos won international accolades in the Professional Abstract and Professional Fine Art categories of the 8th and 9th Annual Black & White Spider Awards. Jocelyn was also honoured in the 1999 Queensland Country Press Association Awards with Sports Photo of the Year.

Community spirit

In 2000, Jocelyn’s submission won her the community competition to name Maryborough’s new riverside Brolga Theatre and Convention Centre.

Her early years in the Girl Guide and Scouting movements inspired the name Brolga. While camping near her hometown of Barcaldine, she watched brolgas dancing at Lara Wetlands and years later re-told the Aboriginal Dreamtime legend of Brolga to Cub Scouts.

In 2005, another of Jocelyn’s submissions secured Maryborough the first Guinness World Record for the most people on a pub crawl.

Her business memberships have included Hervey Bay’s Business Network International (BNI) and the Hervey Bay and Maryborough chambers of commerce.

Jocelyn has dedicated many years to volunteer organisations including the Rotary Club of Maryborough Sunrise, Maryborough Aussie Master Swimming and Friends of the Brolga Theatre. 

Where it all began

She also served as Cub Scout and Girl Guide leader at Rockhampton, Chinchilla and the Sunshine Coast. 

As a teenager, Jocelyn won the Charity Princess title in the Barcaldine’s Artesian Festival Queen Competition raising $1200 in a town of 1200 people.

She also earned the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which included qualifying as a first-year fireman and trekking through thick Gidyea scrub and over desolate plains in Outback Queensland using a map and compass. 

Jocelyn was selected as one of only 10 Queensland Ranger Guides to attend a national camp on Tasmania’s Maria Island; Rotary Club of Barcaldine also chose her to attend a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) seminar in Yeppoon. 

Stage and screen prowess

Jocelyn’s love of theatre had its beginnings in the Girl Guide and Scouting movements when she regularly appeared on stage in Barcaldine’s Trek Cart Revue, a mini version of the Brisbane Gang Show

In 2016, Jocelyn resurrected her drama skills to help produce a television commercial while working as a media and communications officer with UnitingCare Health (St Stephen’s Hospital) on the Fraser Coast