For radio personality Tracey Sergiacomi, there is nothing she holds back. She is an open book, ready to talk about whatever life is throwing her way – new relationships, breakups, quitting smoking and even a surprise grandbaby.
But dominating the Bundaberg Region airwaves for the past decade was not something Trace ever considered as a job – not until she got a tap on the shoulder.
“I was working as a receptionist at Hitz93.9 at the time. The boss just came in one day and said ‘How would you feel like doing breakfast on Hitz’,” Trace said.
“They thought I could do it and that I had something, so I thought why not, I’ll give it a go.
“But I still vividly remember the first day I went on air. I ran out after the show, vomited from the nerves, I was so sick I was shaking, I was sweating, and now I go in there and it is second nature.”
Trace has undoubtedly become a Bundaberg institution, keeping the Hitz Breakfast program fresh and engaging as her co-hosts come and go onto other opportunities. And while newspaper readership and TV viewership continue to decline, radio audiences keep tuning in.
“I think people love radio because it is so immediate – we can have something on air within a minute,” Trace said.
“People like our show because we concentrate on the local stories and it is entertaining. We don’t concentrate on the big, heavy stories. We try and make people laugh and forget about the sad stuff for a moment, to give them a bit of relief from it on their way to work.”
After more than a decade on air and celebrating her 48th birthday earlier in the year, there are no signs of Trace slowing down.
“I’ve been on the air for 11 years, getting up at 4am every day. I think there has to come a time where I can’t do it anymore, but at the moment I still love it,” she said.
“One story that stays with me is a woman who said she suffered depression and hardly ever got out of the house. She said ‘I listen to you every morning and you make me laugh’. So if I am on-air and make just one person happy, then that is my job done.”
And while it wasn’t a career path she pursued, she is made for the airways, as shown by her passion for her job and her willingness to be open about her life.
“When I quit smoking, I only put it on radio and social media to make myself accountable. But then I had so many people message me that were going through the same thing, so I am glad I did it and helped some other people along the way,” she said.
And her surprise grandbaby?
“I was on a talk break when I got a phone call from the hospital to say my daughter was there having a baby – and we had no idea she was even pregnant – and I’ve shared all of that with Bundaberg,” she said.