Brisbane’s Lady of Journalism is Kylie Lang.
Kylie Lang is an award-winning Brisbane journalist and editor whose weekly opinion columns receive national and international exposure. As Associate Editor of The Courier-Mail, Kylie writes across the newspaper, and enjoys interviewing people making a positive impact on the world.
Kylie also appears on TV and radio, commenting on social issues on programs such as A Current Affair, The Project, Sunrise and Studio 10. A TEDx speaker and a former editor of Brisbane News and Qweekend, Kylie’s passions include travel, food and wine, art, home styling, antiques and fashion.
Who or what inspired you to become a journalist?
I’d always loved writing at school but was pushed into studying law at UQ because my teachers said it would be “a waste” to become a journalist. Looking back, that makes me laugh because I believe strongly in the merits of an intelligent press. But there I was, a few months into my law degree, when I came home and announced to my parents that I hated it and was quitting uni altogether. Mum gave me an ultimatum – find something to study or move out! It was the best thing she could have done, as I switched to Arts and did Journalism, English and Japanese.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
There have been many challenges, both professional and personal, so I’ll give you one of each. Professionally, I struggled early on with confidence and putting myself in the frame when it came to opportunities for promotion. I’d watch others move up the ladder and imagine they were so much better than I was, but before long I realised it was more about how they sold themselves. So I observed older peers who’d “made it”, asked for advice (including from men), and read loads of books (long before Sheryl Sandberg told us to “lean in”). Personally, I split from my partner when I was five months’ pregnant, so it’s been a rollercoaster raising my son on my own, without the emotional or financial support I’d always imagined. But you know what, my friends and parents have been rocks for me, proving that love comes to us in different ways. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’ve been blessed with a great village!
What is the one piece of advice you would give to women who are reading this?
Believe in the fabulousness that is you – your unique talents, gifts, quirks and foibles. Don’t try to be somebody else – certainly learn from others but apply what you learn to being the best version of yourself. And don’t beat yourself up when you fall in a heap from time to time. You’ll always get back up.
Tell us something that not many people know about you.
I nearly became a concert pianist. From the age of 3 I learned piano – making my debut with Christmas carols at my kindergarten pageant – and while still in early primary school I was playing Beethoven concertos by heart. But the pressure to perform and do it perfectly, and to practice for several hours every day, became too much and I stopped at 14.
What trends do you see Brisbane adopting in the next 5 years?
Our population is growing rapidly, so I would hope to see new and improved infrastructure, including public transport and bike tracks, and more variety in dining out and entertainment options. It’s true that Brisbane’s food scene has really improved since I moved back in the late 1990s as the Food and Wine Editor of The Courier-Mail, but we still have a long way to go in terms of quality and service before we can claim to rival Melbourne. There are a few wonderful Brisbane places, but not enough.
Where is your favourite place (be it food, somewhere to relax or thing to do) in Brisbane?
I’m an Italophile so give me margherita pizza and Chianti at Tartufo (the Emporium) or Caprese salad and pinot grigio at Bucci (James Street) or Squid ink spaghettini with cuttlefish and an Umbrian Chardonnay at Otto (Queen Street) – add a bit of banter with the Italian waiters – and I’m a happy girl.
What to you is Brisbane’s best kept secret?
I really like the Museum of Brisbane upstairs in City Hall. It doesn’t get as much publicity as some of the bigger art galleries, but in addition to its permanent exhibitions about the first Australians and Brisbane history, it always has a fascinating temporary show – and while you’re there a free tour of the clock tower is a must.
The one restaurant visitors to Brisbane must try?
Bar Alto is terrific. Being at the back of the Powerhouse art complex adjacent to New Farm Park and overlooking the Brisbane River, it has an unbeatable location. More than that, though, the food is just wonderful. Really fresh, Italian with a twist, and a top wine list to boot.
Share one piece of your wisdom please.
When in doubt or feeling torn, ask yourself “what would kindness do?”
I hope you have enjoyed reading the third in my series of Successful Ladies of Brisbane, leave me a comment below and let me know what you think. Subscribe here to my blog to keep up to date with all things Lady Brisbane.
Follow Kylie on Instagram where she posts the link to her latest column
Instagram – @kylielang