Brooke Hurndell

Brooke Hurndell

Communications Manager, New Zealand Rugby League
Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations

Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa

She loves being able to tell inspirational stories, says Brooke Hurndell who now works as a communications manager for New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL).

"I enjoy working with people from all walks of life, from young junior footy players to our most elite Kiwis and Kiwi Ferns. Some of the stories we get to tell to our rugby league community and beyond are truly inspiring. With sport always comes an element of unpredictability and that makes our job that much more exciting.

"I look after the NZRL website, create and send out weekly digital newsletters, write and manage the production of the annual report, create opportunities for stories with the media and create content for our digital communication channels. I now also drive the NZRL public relations strategy, and manage the media and communications for our organisation."

A life-long passion for the media
As the daughter of a journalist, Brooke grew up in the newsroom; a world that always intrigued her.

"After growing up in the newsroom, the communications world and all the changes I had seen occur over the years really fascinated me. I decided to study communications at university because I had enjoyed English speeches and exploring different communication techniques in school. My passion for sport was also something I held close to me, so I set out in pursuit of a communications career within the sporting world."

Choosing where to study was easy, says Brooke.

"AUT was my natural choice as I had heard that it was the most highly regarded university to study communications. In order to optimise my chances of coming out of university with a great job I could nurture into a career, I chose AUT's Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations, with a Journalism minor."

Designed for change
AUT prepares students well for the changing world, the communications alumna says.

"With technology, trends and the workforce changing rapidly, it's important that the content taught at university is relevant to the world the students will work in. AUT is open to changing its teaching in line with new practices within the communications space, and its state-of-the-art facilities help students gain practical experience using the tools that are being used in the real world."

The opportunities to get involved in all aspects of university life were endless, says Brooke who received a Significant Student Scholarship to support her studies.

"Coming to AUT from little old Hawke's Bay, at first I was afraid that starting my new journey in a different city would be overwhelming. But everyone was extremely welcoming and I quickly became involved in all the activities on offer. Being selected as a Student Ambassador was rewarding, and the people I met along the way were the ultimate highlight.

"In my third year at AUT I also enrolled in the free Māori language classes, which I'm continuing with this year."

Employer comment

"We were looking for someone who could offer a different perspective and a fresh voice, and Brooke brought that. I knew of her as she had been an intern at New Zealand Rugby League, and I was able to ask the person she'd worked for if they felt she was suitable. Her time as an intern here was a definite vote in her favour. Brooke interviewed well, is a cheerful, outgoing and confident young woman, and stood out from the rest. Her passion for learning continues to drive her, so she belongs to industry groups and attends presentations, bringing back useful insights. What we didn't know when we hired Brooke is that her father is a long-time sports reporter. This is a huge asset, as she knows what is expected and has an outside mentor."

Philippa Ivory, Former General Manager Marketing and Communications, New Zealand Rugby League