English with Mr Robertson to OK! Magazine Australia


Bangkok Patana is a place that will always be so special to me. I made some of my best friends at the school and even though we are spread all over the world now, we still stay in touch. I have to admit I really loved my IB years the most and getting involved in all the activities on offer, like putting together the graduation book and the charity fundraisers we threw. How can I ever forget every time The Eye of the Tiger played at school events? Whenever I hear it I think of Bangkok Patana. Go Tigers! And, of course, the noodle lady. Oh how I miss those lunches!

Shari Nementzik
Nationality: South African
Current Location: Sydney, Australia
Years at Bangkok Patana: Year 8 to Year 13 (August 2001 – July 2006)
University: Broadcast Journalism, University of Leeds, 2009; Masters Media Practice, University of Sydney, 2010.
Currently: Editor, OK! Magazine Australia.

Favourite Memories of Bangkok Patana School:

Wow, where do I even begin! Bangkok Patana is a place that will always be so special to me. I made some of my best friends at the school and even though we are spread all over the world now, we still stay in touch. I have to admit I really loved my IB years the most and getting involved in all the activities on offer, like putting together the graduation book and the charity fundraisers we threw. How can I ever forget every time The Eye of the Tiger played at school events? Whenever I hear it I think of Bangkok Patana. Go Tigers! And, of course, the noodle lady. Oh how I miss those lunches!

Where did you go after leaving Bangkok Patana School?

When I left Bangkok Patana I went to study Broadcast Journalism at the University of Leeds. I had never been to England before, but the course was perfect for me and Emily Preston, one of my closest friends at Bangkok Patana, also got into Leeds, so it was meant to be!

I spent three years at Leeds and I loved it. After graduating, I went home to South Africa where I worked in radio for a year before deciding I’d like to do a Master’s degree. I had some cousins here in Sydney, so it seemed like a good place to be for a year (or so I thought just a year…). I did my masters in Media Practice and while I was there I got an internship with Woman’s Day, Australia’s number one weekly magazine. And as the saying goes, the rest is history!

Are there any experiences/lessons at Bangkok Patana that have helped you through university and your career so far?

Bangkok Patana not only taught me how to tackle my university work, but it taught me life lessons which are invaluable. It taught me how important it is to give back to your community and to celebrate our differences and backgrounds and never judge anyone.

I am so lucky that at Patana I never experienced any form of bullying because there was zero tolerance. Speaking to friends abroad, they weren’t always so lucky.  It was during theatre arts classes in my IB years where I became more confident with public speaking and decided I wanted to be a journalist and, be prepared for a massive cliché, “be a voice for the voiceless”.

What was the career path to your current job?

From my internship at Woman’s Day magazine I was hired as a casual writer, writing entertainment, celebrity news, travel and real-life stories. From there I got a full-time role as a junior writer before being promoted to TV Editor and then later, Entertainment Editor. It was an amazing five years, but I was ready for a new challenge and applied for the features director role at Cosmopolitan, a dream job for me.  [This was followed by obtaining the role of Editor at OK! Magazine Australia.] I love interviewing people. I’ve always enjoyed meeting people and I get to speak to some of the most inspiring women in the world. I also really like writing features which can make a difference in someone’s life. During my years at Woman’s Day, I met a lot of famous people – Flo Rida, Ricky Martin, Sandra Bullock, Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum (drool), Zac Efron, Angelina Jolie – I was so lucky and it was such good fun. My first celebrity interview was with Jake Gyllenhaal and I was a nervous wreck, I struggled to get my words out! Luckily, I’ve had no real horror stories, but I did accidently walk out of an interview with Ricky Martin’s sunglasses in my hand! I returned them, of course…

What do you feel are your biggest achievements?

I won B&T 30 Under 30 Journalist of the year in 2017 and that was a really exciting moment. I guess what I am most proud of are the campaigns I’ve done for Cosmo, for example, a recent campaign against emotional abuse. Cosmo as a brand has such a huge reach and it has the power to really make a difference.

What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?

I wish I backed myself a little more at the start of my career. I second-guessed myself a fair bit and was nervous to make decisions in case they were wrong. I know now that sometimes you are simply going to make the wrong decisions but you learn from them and it’s so important to listen to your gut and back yourself; if you feel really strongly about something, let your voice be heard. Finally, happiness is…being surrounded by family and friends (ideally in a tropical paradise with cocktails!)

Congratulations on your wedding! Can you share with us a little bit about this exciting change of season in your life?

Thank you! When we got engaged it was a no brainer to get married in Thailand, a place very close to my heart as I spent most of my teenage years there and a country my partner Jay has always loved. I still have my family living in Phuket, so it was a natural fit to tie the knot there. To have all of our loved ones there to celebrate us meant the world and it was a beautiful day.