Jack Ward is now based in Melbourne after moving from regional Victoria to take up a position at Nine News Melbourne as Assistant Chief of Staff. The award-winning student journalist is studying a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) at RMIT and has an extensive resume of experience in the industry for his age.
Jack founded Ararat College's student-run news station (AC News) at the beginning of 2017, turning it into one of Ararat's major news sources. By the age of 16, he was a paid reporter.
When AC News launched in March of 2017, the students were publishing video segments via Instagram to less than 100 followers. By the end of 2019 - when Jack stepped away from his passion project - his team was producing high-quality video segments, written articles and photojournalism. AC News was reaching thousands each month.
Jack's passion for telling a story has been with him for as long as he can remember, as has his love for news. As a young child, he watched breakfast television, the nightly news, listened to the wireless and read newspapers, admiring the work of journalists and presenters.
When launching AC News, he began his journalistic journey - soaking in the work of professionals and gaining valuable 'real-life' experience. He interviewed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Ministers, Councillors, and hundreds of local residents. All while studying at secondary school. Learning from each interview and growing his range of skills and knowledge beyond the classroom.
At the beginning of 2019, AC News expanded into a multimedia website alongside video segments. A decision designed to expand content distribution and allow for more students to be involved in what had become a valued, respected and trusted news source for the Ararat community.
As well as growing AC News, Jack wrote for a number of other organisations including RUOK, Project Rockit & Youth Journalism International. He was a member of Victoria's first Youth Congress in 2018.
At the end of 2018, Jack completed a week of work experience with Tennis Australia’s media team during the December Showdown and Junior Australian Championship. He conducted interviews, wrote articles and contributed to the competition’s publicity. In September of 2019, he spent time with the teams at Nine News Melbourne and ABC Ballarat.
Jack was named Student Journalist of the Year by Youth Journalism International in May 2020 while hosting and producing news podcast, Ararat's Latest - delivering news to his community live on Facebook, then shared via podcasting apps following the broadcast.
Perhaps the most pivotal moment of Jack's career so far was when Ararat's newspaper, The Ararat Advertiser, suspended publication in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then 16-year-old Jack was Ararat's only source of news until a new publication (The Ararat Advocate) stepped in. A new paper that hired Jack as its first reporter.
Jack graduated Ararat College as Year 12 Dux and moved to Melbourne in early 2022. He is currently Assistant Chief of Staff at Nine News Melbourne and studying a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) at RMIT.
Contact Jack HERE.
Communication Journalism Campaign Management Video Production
Social Media Writing Podcasting Creativity TV Presenting
February 2022 - Present
Nine News Melbourne
Jack is Assistant Chief of Staff at Nine News Melbourne. He assists in assigning network resources to cover the demands of daily news, monitoring breaking news and trends, and builds strong relationships with emergency services, PR firms and story sources to uncover the next breaking story.
April 2020 - January 2022
The Ararat Advocate
Jack worked for Ararat's local newspaper, The Ararat Advocate. He is one of two reporters covering news under the supervision of editor and publisher, Craig Wilson who owns West Vic News Pty Ltd.
January 2020 - December 2021
Jack hosted a fortnightly live news podcast covering the events and issues unfolding within the Ararat community. The show received international attention - being Ararat's only news source for a period of time at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He produced, hosted and edited the live production across 25 episodes.
Nine News Work Experience
Jack spent a week with the 9News Melbourne team, learning how to navigate a fast-paced news environment. He travelled with news crews to cover politics, protests, conferences and community stories whilst also gaining experience in the newsroom and studios.
August 2019 - Present
ABC Ballarat Segment
Jack joins ABC Ballarat's Steve Martin weekly on a Tuesday to discuss and present the latest Ararat news to his listeners. ABC Ballarat also welcomed him for a work experience stint in September 2019 - a great comparison to metropolitan journalism.
Jack's first work experience placement was with Tennis Australia in December 2018. He worked with their PR and media team during the Junior Australia Championships and December Showdown. They allowed him to work independently, covering and publishing Junior Championship content on their site.
Ararat College Year 12 VCE Dux
With faculty awards for English and Humanities.
Ararat College Student of the Year
For consistently upholding the school values of Respect, Responsibility & Excellence.
Victorian Young Achiever Awards
Online Achievement Award Semi-Finalist
Student Journalist of the Year
Youth Journalism International
Victorian Young Achiever Awards
Online Achievement Award Finalist
Ararat College Year Level Dux
Year 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 Dux
Victorian Youth Congress