This video contains images and voices of a deceased person. It has been published as a tribute to Rebecca Wilson and her legacy.
When Rebecca Wilson finished her cadetship in journalism at the Courier Mail she asked for a position on the sports desk. She was told there were no spaces on the desk for a female but it didn’t take long for someone to spot her talent for sports reporting.
Rebecca went on to become one of the most iconic female sports journalists of our time but sadly passed away earlier this month when she lost her battle with breast cancer.
Deborah interviewed Rebecca in May 2016 to ask her about how she managed to break into the all-male dominion of sports journalism and stand her ground over so many years. We have published this interview as a tribute to Rebecca and her legacy.
Rebecca attributed her success to a sports-mad family and a grandfather who encouraged her to follow her passions, but it was Des McWilliam, a news director at Channel 10 in Brisbane who gave Rebecca her first chance to become a sports reporter.
“I will never ever forget the favour he did me. I was the first woman into a dressing room, a cricket dressing room, a rugby league dressing room. He was the only bloke who use to say, well Rebecca can go.
“From that, I got enough encouragement to go and break stories, it was fantastic.”
Rebecca admitted that while she appeared to have “more front than Myers” she still got nervous rashes up her neck when she was in an all male, hostile domain.
“A lot of people would say ‘she’s as tough as boot straps’ and I’m convinced the reason I sound so Queensland is I really put that on as a defense.
“I also decided that if you stand in the middle of the road you get run over. So I say to myself, don’t stand in the middle of the road, express your opinion, be who you are and be really grateful and proud of it.”
About Rebecca Wilson:
Rebecca Wilson served a cadetship at the Courier Mail before moving on to cover the Brisbane Commonwealth Games, the Seoul Olympics, and Rugby League, for Channel 10.
In 1992 Rebecca joined ABC Television hosting and reporting on Saturday Afternoon Sports before taking up the position of Super League Media Manager in 1995. She went on to join News Limited as General Manager of their Sydney Olympics Division and worked as project manager for the Rugby World Cup.
A first panelist on The Fat, Rebecca made her mark with her acerbic wit and her willingness to expose ‘gibberers,’ as well as her passion and knowledge of all things sporting.
In 2004 Rebecca joined Channel Seven to present, alongside host Tony Squires, a new sports panel program known as “110% Tony Squires.” Also, she became a regular contributor to Sunrise and was part of Triple M’s Dead Set Legends program.
In 2005 Rebecca joined the Foxtel team to work on various projects.
Journalism was always Rebecca’s first love, and in this capacity, she was often called upon to be a commentator on social issues for many of Australia’s current affairs programs.
Rebecca died tragically on the 7th of October after losing her fight against breast cancer.