Broadcaster and Journalist Tracey Holmes explains how to listen across continents, cultures and context


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Broadcaster and Journalist Tracey Holmes explains how to listen across continents, cultures and context. We learn how to understand the role of preparation in bringing you into a state of complete listening to the speaker. For three decades, Tracey Holmes has been a journalist & broadcaster covering international news, current affairs and global sport.

Her job has taken her around the globe, several times; she's lived and worked for extended periods in Hong Kong, Beijing, Abu Dhabi & Dubai for some of the world's most recognised organisations such as the ABC, SBS, CNN, China Central Television & Dubai Eye.

She is an award winning interviewer, a published author and an educator. Currently Tracey works for the ABC presenting a daily international news & current affairs program and a weekly sports politics program, The Ticket.

She is also senior lecturer in journalism at UTS, Sydney; senior mentor for the IOC Young Reporters program; and trainer for the joint ABC-Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade international program 'WINS'. Tracey is a board member of Volleyball Australia and The Greg Chappell Foundation & is an Ambassador for the Australian Museum and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science.

Today’s Topics:

  • Listening to yourself and how a journalist prepares for an interview.
  • How Tracey uses all of her senses to gauge how her interviews are going.
  • The importance of asking others about who you are interviewing and how those perspectives will help you listen more deeply.
  • Digging as deeply as Tracey can and then getting down to the essence of the interview.
  • The life in the day of a broadcast journalist and understand the techniques required to stay focused.
  • How to keep going when things don’t always go as you plan.
  • What Asia can teach us all about listening.
  • Watching what people do when learning a new language.
  • The things that are said and the things that are unsaid.
  • Listening with open eyes and open ears and an open heart.
  • With radio people listen deeply and open up.
  • How Tracey’s family went to South Africa to go on a surfing trip.
  • How International journalists were more about humanity than economics at the Olympics.
  • Making people from different places feel more comfortable.
  • Going into meditation when not thinking about exploring.
  • The importance of language and its syntax and context.
  • Listening to history and art to connect better to the people and the culture.
  • The role of learning from other cultures and the aboriginal nations.
  • How her husbands grandfather was chained to a tree for using his native language.
  • The Aboriginal people are good listeners and use space between words well.
  • The importance of slowing down and listening completely.
  • Being comfortable with silence.
  • The story of Clinton Pryor and his 6000 KM trek across Australia.
  • He walked from Perth to Canberra to meet Malcolm Turnbull.
  • The importance of listening and trying to understand. You don’t always have to have an answer.
  • How there is a lot of discussion in the middle that people will listen to.
  • Using caution when describing people as role models.
  • Listening for meaning and being genuinely curious.
  • Tracey carries a microphone and records people who she thinks are interesting.
  • Tracey’s interview with a homeless man who had a story.
  • He shared why he was there, the problems in Australia, and that he worried about the same things we all worry about.
  • You can look at everybody and take something away that makes you better and the overall picture better.
  • Meditation and understanding what someone is going through.
  • Going on a journey and then bringing it back.
  • How Tracey works through the conversations beforehand.

Links and Resources:


“With your ears you are not just listening. You are also seeing and feeling.” Tracey Holmes

“I can tell when something is gripping because the people around stop doing their work and start listening.” Tracey Holmes

“With all of your senses, you have to do all things.” Tracey Holmes

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