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The Presenter

Made of Ballarat

14 Feb 2018

Filed underNews

She’s one of the most recognised faces on Australian television, so it’s no surprise that I was feeling a certain sense of apprehension upon my meeting with Gorgi Coghlan.

But I quickly realise there was no need for such anxiety. Gorgi is warm, welcoming, maternal – and as soon as we meet, I feel as though I’ve been reunited with an old friend.

Having been on-screen for more than 15 years, she’s known nationwide as one of the presenters of much-loved current affairs show The Project.

And while this media muse takes to the screen alongside some of the country’s most-loved presenters with a calm and radiant persona, she’s the first to admit that a gig on TV isn’t the easiest job.

“It’s pretty cutthroat,” she asserts. “But if you treat people the way you want to be treated, if you don’t take yourself too seriously, if you turn up with gratitude and make sure that you do as much as you can to make everyone else with shine – I believe there is some really good energy and Karma to come back to you.

“It’s a really beautiful, beautiful job and I’m very blessed. It’s a great team.”

Gorgi started her career in television as a reporter on Channel 31, learning the ropes, taking in all she could, and mastering the act of journalism before moving on to The Today ShowNational Nine News, then The Circle and eventually taking up a position on The Project.

“I think what I love the most about working in telly is working with such intellectually stimulating and creative people,” she says.

“I also love the live nature of television. It’s so exciting; it’s scary, and once that red light goes on you’re live to the nation. That’s addictive!”

There’s no doubt Gorgi is herself one of those “stimulating and creative people” she refers to. Combine that with the fact that she’s deeply spiritual, and it’s easy to see why she has forged such a successful career for herself.

When she tells me about her role as a mother, her spiritual aura is magnified further – especially when she takes me through her struggles to have more children and her journey of love, loss and reaching a point of contentment.

“I always assumed that I would have more than one child,” Gorgi says. “Then you realise you’re so out of control. There’s such a greater power (and) you just have to surrender.

“Of course you know how lucky you are. Of course you know how grateful you are. But it’s not about the actual emotion. It’s about a primal need for more, and it’s okay to tell yourself that it hurts.

“Women are so good at brushing off their emotions, and so good at putting everybody else first, and I think it’s important for mums and women that don’t get what they want to acknowledge those emotions.

“I’m in that beautiful phase where I’ve accepted that it’s okay, and I’ve always been grateful with what I’ve already got with my beautiful daughter.”

Taking on the role of parenthood alongside her husband Simon Coghlan, Gorgi says mothering is what has brought her the most satisfaction and has allowed her to live a fruitful, joyful and rich life.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be a mum,” she says with her iconic warming smile. “I suppose because my relationship with my mum is so special and close, so I had a pretty good role model.

“Motherhood has been my greatest role ever, and will be my greatest job. It gives me so much joy. I can’t believe how much (Molly-Rose) lights up my life.

“I just think it’s such an honour to be a parent, and she teaches me so much. She would teach me something every day about myself and life and I’m very spiritual like that when I think our children come to us for a reason and they come to help us grow and change. It’s such a selfless job. It’s all about being this portal of love – unconditional love – and I feel very, very blessed to do it.”

What some people might now know about Gorgi is that no matter where her work takes her, as a mother, presenter, journalist or entrepreneur, she will always be a country girl at heart.

“You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl,” she says, quite proudly. “There’s something really precious and magical about the country and regional communities. For me, it’s people taking the time to invest in other people’s lives. The sense of pace is so much slower, and there’s a more purposeful energy to the way people go about their lives.”

Residing in the charming township of Buninyong in Ballarat, at the foot of Mount Buninyong, Gorgi says she’s been grateful for the opportunities afforded to her family.

“It is so much easier to raise a family in a regional area than in an urban environment. I’ve done both, and I can tell you how much easier it is here,” she says.

“I just love living in Ballarat because there’s so much to offer for families. There’s so much to offer for young people coming and wanting a real injection of incredible food, art, and culture. It’s an easy place to live, incredible schools, and you’ve got so much on offer for entertainment, food, and sport. I mean what more could you ask for?”

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