Daizy’s illustrious and varied career has been as diverse and passionate, as the extraordinary experiences of her personal life.
Growing up, Daizy was relaxed and carefree. She saw life as an adventure, a journey, with no plans beyond taking each day as it came along.
Her career aspirations chopped and changed as a child, from peadiatrics to acting.
Following a firm ‘no’ to the latter from her parents, Daizy set her sights on journalism – if she couldn’t be on stage with the stars, she would sit opposite them, and live life vicariously through them.
She’d always enjoyed a deep love of reading, writing and poetry – such things came naturally to her and within months of completing her HSC, Daizy had won a sought-after copy-person role with News Limited.
More than 1000 students sat the entry tests, all vying for one of just ten highly coveted positions on offer.
Daizy spent the following five months hounding the man who could change her life, before he finally relented to her persistence and gave her the nod.
The job was to work as a copy-person, running copy from editorial floor to production room, ducking as telephone books were thrown across the floor to get the attention of distracted staff and carefully traversing the overt sexism that was endemic throughout the industry at the time.
Her dedication to this basic role lead to a formal cadetship and by the age of 22 Daizy became a graded journalist.
Daizy with football legend Pelé
Daizy cut her teeth on esteemed national newspapers including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mirror, training on various news desks before finding herself drawn to sports reporting.
Before long, Daizy began making her mark on the industry – the first of many outstanding achievements – when she was appointed The Australian’s soccer reporter making her the paper’s first female sports writer, and the nation’s first female soccer and sports writer.
Though initially unfamiliar with soccer, Daizy embraced this role with her trademark commitment, flair and gusto, and over the next two years helped lift the sport’s profile nationally.
She closed the chapter on her sports writing career covering two historic tournaments, the Bicentennial Cup against Brazil and Argentina during which she met Pele, the greatest soccer player of them all, and, the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games where she brushed shoulders with the likes of Carl Lewis, Flo Jo, Matt Biondi and Greg Louganis.
But upon her return home after several months away, she requested an immediate transfer to the Foreign Desk.
For Daizy had discovered a new passion, one with an even stronger pull – the Middle East.
Daizy and journalist Tracey Spicer
As a war correspondent, Daizy was able to return to Lebanon, visiting the Green Line, and travelling through numerous military checkpoints. She covered numerous high profile events, such as the Arab Summit in Baghdad, meeting many notorious leaders along the way, including Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein.
Daizy spent a short time sub-editing at The Times newspaper group, before switching mediums, securing a job with the highly-respected Channel 4 Morning News, where she worked for a year before moving to the Middle East Broadcasting Centre Satellite television station, then still in its infancy.
She spent eight months in the role, before returning to Australia to take up a coveted role as the Deputy Foreign News Editor on The Australian Newspaper.
Soon though, another itch would need scratching.
Daizy wished to share Lebanon’s fascinating story with the world, only this time, through film.
Her first documentary, Lebanon…Imprisoned Splendour was released in 1996, winning multiple international awards.
The film’s success lead to Daizy’s eventual resignation from the newspaper, enabling her to travel though the USA and the Middle East to promote the film, qualifying it for an Academy Award nomination.
Following the buzz and excitement of the launch, Daizy returned to Australia, found love, married and became pregnant with her first child.
Enjoying a slower pace, she worked as a freelance writer, while stepping in to help her parents arrange the closure of their direct mail business, GDR Distributions.
Instead, the opposite took place.
The business grew beyond expectations, leading Daizy to take on the role of CEO. In her first three years, Daizy increased turnover by more than 500%.
Fast forward another five, and turnover had increased to $2 million. In 2017, turnover reached $9 million, and the company was preparing to launch its branding arm – GDR – Local Area Marketing and Storytelling Experts.
Daizy is currently working on her second documentary, Lebanon – Imprisoned Splendour II and hopes to continue to create films – both documentaries and features. She also plans to write a memoir outlining her amazing life story so far.