HUNTERhunter Editor – Newcastle & Central Coast

This International Women’s Day, we’ve been working on something a little different, allowing our readers to get to know the women behind HUNTERhunter.

We thought what better way to do it than to get our team to SPILL. That’s right, we’re taking you behind the scenes with each of the HUNTERhunter team members to find out where they eat, what playlist they’re listening to, where they take our out-of-town friends, and ultimately, what makes them tick.

Keeping with the spirit of International Women’s Day, and as an all-female team, we’ve sprinkled in a few questions to understand what March 8 means for HUNTERhunter.

So, without further ado, get to know the faces behind Newcastle’s favourite online lifestyle publication. Meet Alicia Poole, Editor of HUNTERhunter – Newcastle and Central Coast. 

Having been with the team since October 2017, Alicia is the vibrant personality behind the screen, an expert at bringing stories to life and energy to HUNTERhunter’s content, she’s also given herself the highly regarded title of office clown.

spill international womens day 2024 alicia poole newcastle nsw
HUNTERhunter Editor [Newcastle & Central Coast] – Alicia Poole

Let’s kick things off – what does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s funny isn’t it, as a child I never once heard of International Women’s Day, even throughout my teen years, not a word was read, heard, or screamed about it. I’d have to say, it would only be since being in my 20s and working as a professional that I’ve heard a lot about International Women’s Day – that in itself angers me.

I was talking to someone recently about International Women’s Day and they mentioned that the gender gap is well over 300 years away from being anywhere near even – that number both shocked and infuriated me.  

Why? I was brought up in a solely female family. My mum became a single mum when I was five years old, and I grew up alongside her and my two older sisters. Not once, throughout my younger years did I ever think – oh I need a man for this. It was a natural thing for me to think women could do it all and it never occurred to me that women weren’t equal to men.

As the story goes, you get older, you have experiences with the world and you learn about society and how women are portrayed, treated, celebrated, etc. in our society.

To me, International Women’s Day is about recognising that we still have a long way to go, and to fight for equality for all women, but also to continue to showcase how strong we all are when we come together.

How do you feel about working with an all-female team?

Unsurprisingly, I BLOOMING LOVE IT. I grew up surrounded by women and still manage to be surrounded by women in both my personal and professional life – women are the best!

Where are you from?  

Born and bred in Belmont North, Lake Macquarie. I moved overseas to do the typical London two-year stint in my early twenties, but it was a bit of a no-brainer to come back to Newcastle when the visa was up.

Do you consider yourself more of an early bird or a night owl?

Absolutely more of an early bird – or like a late-blooming early bird? I’d love to say that I’m up before the sun every day but that wouldn’t be entirely true. I love catching the sunrise, but I also HATE getting out of bed.

On the flip side, anything after 9pm for me is a late night – definitely a grandma at heart.

What’s your morning ritual?

I don’t really have an exciting morning ritual every day – but every Monday (when we don’t cancel), my good friend Adrienne and I do a sunrise walk along Bathers Way followed by a coffee at Sunnyboy Kiosk – it’s the perfect way to set the tone for the week ahead.

Where’s your late-night hangout spot?

As I mentioned, I’m not much of a late-night person, BUT when I do enjoy a night out on the bevs, Market St Basement is always at the top of my list.

What’s your coffee order?

In the warmer months, it’s an iced dirty chai on oat.

In the cooler months, it’s a caramel latte on either almond or oat – don’t ask me why I like to mix it up, because your guess is as good as mine!

Speaking of coffee, which local venue knows your order off by heart?

I’ve always been a bit of a Sherwood fan. I frequented New Lambton when I lived nearby and now I’m just around the corner from the Kahibah spot and will swing by most weekends for a coffee on the go.

Tell me about your favourite HH moment…

Gosh, there are so many… I’ve had some pretty incredible experiences over the six-and-a-half years I’ve been with the HUNTERhunter team. But, I’m a sucker for revisiting old memories, and it would have to be when founders, Alissa and Fiona, brought me on as an intern back in 2017. Fun fact, I think I could still be in Alissa’s phone as Alicia [intern].

I was still studying and was so excited about finally getting into a career I was passionate about. I met with Alissa at the original Mr Sister spot in Westfield Kotara for a chat – 20 minutes later and I was locked in to start the following week.

I think I stuck around as an intern for six months, doing one day a week before I came on as a part-time employee.

The past six and a half years have been a wild ride. As Editor for HUNTERhunter, it’s definitely become a big part of my personality and I love playing a role by sharing the stories of our growing and evolving region.

In your spare time, what are your THREE top favourite things to do in Newcastle?

Firstly, it’s not quite Newcastle, instead in Lake Macquarie – but I love loading my car up with my paddleboard and heading down to Pirrita Island (formerly known as Coon Island) with my family. Last weekend I spotted a stingray – so cool!

Secondly, I love sunrise walks along Bathers Way, or just a walk anywhere around Newcastle. I love a bit of hiking, and whilst Newcastle doesn’t exactly have much in the city in terms of giant mountains to climb, we do have a beautiful coastline to wander.

And lucky last, it would have to be having a wall ball session at Bar Beach followed by a bev at Bar Beach Bowlo.

If you wanted to dazzle your out-of-town friends and family, where would you take them?

I had one of my old housemates from London visit in 2022 and he had never been to Australia. I feel like Merewether is Newcastle’s version of Bondi so that was at the top of our hit list. Going for a big walk along the Bathers Way and then a dip in the Merewether Ocean Baths – this is a really good example of the kind of lifestyle we get to experience here in Newcastle.

When it comes to food and drink, the list is endless – but alas, the bank account is not. The Rooftop at QT is a winner followed by dinner at either Flotilla, HUMBUG, or Blanca.

Beer? Wine? Cocktail? Mocktail? What is your tipple of choice and where do you frequently visit?

Over summer I’m either sipping on a rose or a Brookvale Union Ginger Beer. I love an afternoon at one of our bowling clubs – Adamstown or Bar Beach are personal favourites.

During winter I am a red wine gal through and through. Anywhere that has a bit of a cosy major city vibe I love visiting. Favourites would have to be The Underground and Market St Basement.

On the daily, what’s guaranteed to make you smile?

A good sunrise or sunset, the perfect cup of coffee, making friends and family laugh, and last but certainly not least, FaceTiming my nieces and nephew.

What do you NEVER leave the house without?

Two things are 100% always on me. My phone and my Frank Green emotional support water bottle.

Tell me THREE of your favourite local businesses that you live and breathe by and why you couldn’t live without them…

Sherwood Coffee – I know that I’m always going to get a coffee from these guys, and with so many different locations there is usually not one too far away from where I happen to be!

Common Circus – I swear I buy everyone’s birthday presents from Common Circus – the range is just so top-notch and always changing.

Airlocker Kotara – such a great community vibe at Airlocker Kotara and I always walk out in a sweaty mess!

What about local businesses run by women? Are there any that you want to shout out?

My goodness where do I start? In this role, I’ve been lucky to meet people that I would never have crossed paths with in my regular day-to-day. I might be a little biased, but my golly, the women in business of Newcastle are honestly so inspiring.

We talk about women on a bigger commercial level and how inspiring they are, but bringing it back home, and looking at the women that shape our local business scene has been incredibly inspiring, uplifting, and at times, inspirational.

- Ali of Market St Basement, Neighbours on Market St, and Ground Floor Cafe
- Prudence of Bar Mellow and Blue Kahunas
- Lauren of Common Circus
- ANND whilst I know my team will cringe at this, the women of HUNTERhunter, not just our core team, but the incredible creatives we’ve worked with, past and present.

What about the women in your life who make you who you are?

As I mentioned, I grew up in an incredibly independent and strong all-female household and without them, my mum, Jo, and my sisters, Ashleigh, and Emma, I wouldn’t be who I am today. From learning to stand my ground, that there are no limits in life, to be kind and respectful, to love and to care, and to be resilient – that’s all come from them.

In a professional sense, there are SO many people that I have to be thankful for. Obviously, the entire HUNTERhunter gang, but those I have worked with over the years.  

Additionally, I’m also surrounded by a pretty epic group of female friends, with special mentions to Georgia, Adrienne, Kim, Shannon, Amelia, and Erin.

What are you reading / watching / listening to now?

I’ve always got about three to five books on my bedside table. Currently, reading Good Material by Dolly Alderton, recently finished Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith, and occasionally flicking through a page or two of Into the Pandaemonium by Alice Armitage and Luke Burgess.

If you’re needing a short break away from Newcastle, where do you go and why?

I’m rubbish at booking little getaways during the year, but I love checking out new places.

This year I’m hoping to climb Mount Kosciuszko again and visit the Yarrangobilly Caves thermal pool.

What’s your go-to playlist?

My liked songs playlist is a bit of a mix of everything, and I often just have that on repeat. If I’m in an inspirational mood or need some grounding I listen to my Everest Base Camp playlist or if I have friends over I generally put The Picnic List playlist on.

What would you like to see more of in Newcastle?

Cool night-time events – I would LOVE to see a night market through Hunter Street or a food festival take over Civic Park. I used to frequent Street Feast Dinerama in London’s Shoreditch and the vibe was epic – I know Newcastle is no London, but we’re full of foodies! Would love to see something like that happen in our city.