by Jessica Borten
Bright and bubbly with a list of funny yarns to share, Bethany Larsen was born to be a breakfast radio host.
The All Saints Anglican School alumni previously enrolled at Bond University in 2012 but left four semesters into her degree after she was offered a job in South Australia at the radio station Magic FM.
“I was in Port Augusta for two years,” says Bethany.
“Then I went to Townsville for a year and a half and I did the afternoon show, like a solo music shift, and then I went to Canberra and I was there for four years doing solo afternoons.
“In the last two years I ended up doing weekend breakfast there too. I was basically working seven days a week and also doing MC work and trying really hard to push my socials.
“I was an ambassador for Thoroughbred Park and Mercedes Benz and I wrote for several publications. I’ve lived a crazy life.”
After a seven-year hiatus, Bethany has returned to the Gold Coast to complete a Bachelor of Journalism at Bond University after her role as a breakfast radio host in Toowoomba was made redundant earlier this year.
“I actually dreamt that this was going to happen two days before. How crazy is that?” says Bethany.
“I was buying a house and then I had a nightmare that we all got made redundant.
“That particular role (in Toowoomba), out of every role I’ve had in radio, I really hit the ground running. When you do breakfast radio it’s so important to have good chemistry with your co-host, and we just worked so well together.
“We thought we were doing really well. I didn’t see it coming.”
Bethany says losing her job took a toll on her mental health.
“At the start, I felt like I had failed,” she says.
“I had done everything right, and I felt like I was back to where I started.”
Bethany says it was like losing a piece of her identity.
“I’ve always been ‘Beth the Radio Girl’,” says Bethany.
“I was like, “who am I without radio? Will people still like me? Will my friends still love me?”
“Obviously, it’s embarrassing too. I definitely had some serious mental health struggles, but then I thought “there’s always a way forward and nothing in life ever goes the way you expect it to.
“It was something that I couldn’t change. It was completely out of my control. I think it’s made me stronger and more versatile.”
Bethany has chosen to see the silver lining and believes everything was meant to happen this way.
“I always wanted to finish my degree and then when I got made redundant it was sort of like it was all meant to happen,” she says.
“When I went to Bond years ago, I loved it. I loved the lecturers and the people and the facilities and the resources.
“When I came back here, I really did forget how amazing it is studying at Bond. It’s so hard to explain that to other people, but I think it’s a very different experience. You get so much support. It doesn’t feel like school. Already coming back, I feel like I’m getting so much out of it.”
Bethany hopes to continue working in radio beyond her degree.
“I definitely want to get back into breakfast radio, however, another thing I’ve always wanted to do is potentially a bit of TV work,” she says.
“I think breakfast radio is my true passion but, with the way media is going now, I don’t think you can have all your eggs in one basket. I do think it’s important to have a few different skills. I’m going to do my best to upskill in the meantime.”
Bethany will graduate in May 2021. She features in edition 27 of Bond University’s alumni magazine The Arch which is out next week.
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