INFLUENCE-HERS: Communications Consultant // Kate Carragher, By Kian / by Kian West

Presenting a balanced representation of Newcastle has always been really important to us at Mirage. We don’t always hit the mark, but in 2018 we want to make sure that there is an added focus on local women doing incredible stuff. We are hunting down some of the biggest ‘influence-hers’ in our city – women crushing goals in whatever field they’re in. To kick the year off, I asked a few Boss Babes about what they’re doing.  

Kate Carragher


Kate Carragher

Communications Consultant, Wildlife Creative and Adventurer (; artist at our family art studio with my Mum, Sue, and sister, Abbie (

Why do you do it? 

What I do is a combination of everything I love. Writing, photography, illustration, communications, consulting, art, science, wildlife, environment, travel, adventure, campaigning and connecting. Each of these areas gives me something different and they all enhance the other. The fact I get to do it with my favourite people is an added bonus! 

While profiling some of our world-leading researchers here in Newcastle, I realised that everyone has something unique to offer the world, so why do we try to box people into a role? I decided to create my own career field and this was the result. 

It's gifted me some incredible experiences – documenting grizzly bears in the remote Chilcotin in British Columbia, Canada, and working as a ‘whale whisperer’ on the South Pacific island of Niue, taking people swimming with humpback whales, were probably the two big ones. I also love returning home, too, and the challenge and stimulation that working in communications brings. I never know what my day will bring!

What drives you?

Plain and simple passion. I think art and adventure are ways to connect in with our soul, the earth and each other. Knowing that what I do makes a difference and has a purpose also drives me. Working with a magic team and good people is also very important! 

The best advice you’ve ever been given?

‘Follow your inner compass', 'work the problem' and 'nothing is permanent’.

Favourite place/space in Newcastle?
Catherine Hill Bay and Estabar.

What do you wish you learned earlier?

That doing the ‘right’ thing wasn’t necessarily what was right for me and the importance of boundaries.  

Who inspires you?

The people around me – my parents and my sister Abbie, my creative partner Lauren Jones, Newcastle Writers Festival Director Rosemarie Milsom, illustrator Karina Olen, and my amazing friend, Melinda Brown, this year’s OWUSS Rolex Scholar.

On a global and time scale – artist Frida Kahlo, explorer Gertrude Bell, freediver Kimi Werner, Sir David Attenborough, and marine biologist Sylvia Earle. The IDEO team at Stanford are also incredible! Everyone – read what they do! Our researchers in Newcastle also inspire me; we have the world’s best here and I wish we would celebrate them more. 

When you aren’t working, what do you most love to do? 
Everything I do for work is what I love! Additionally, there’s nothing I love more than to pull out the canoe dance move, look up random things on the Internet and apply for them, spend time with the family, read, travel and walk the beaches.