This is the story Melanie Sim made out of the interview, together with a link to the podcast . . .
Canberra Close Up: Nic Stuart, Journalist
By Melanie Sim with Alex Sloan
Nicholas Stuart was a man on a mission in his earlier years and had a fantastic career ahead of him. But that all changed in one shattering moment.
Twenty years ago Nicholas Stuart was one of the ABC's up and coming current affairs reporters.
Nicholas had originally studied law at the University of Sydney, and soon found he wasn't cut out to be a lawyer.
"I wasted four years doing Arts Law, I was just not right to become a lawyer, I didn't want to do medicine, I didn't want to be a dentist, but law also wasn't right for me at the time."
So he sent his resume out to a diverse range of places, Kim Beasely, the Office of National Assessments, and the ABC.
When Dr Ian Wolfe from the ABC rang to tell Nicholas that he had the job, he told Dr Wolfe thanks but the Office of National assessments had offered him a job that paid three times as much.
"But Dr Ian Wolfe told me 'Nick you don't realise this is a job with the ABC, people don't reject jobs from the ABC'."
So Nicholas took the job, and soon was the ABC's youngest foreign correspondent working in Thailand and on a fast track career.
All this changed one day when he had a car accident.
"I had a terrific life, every door I opened brought on new expanses," he said.
"I was the very last Indo-China correspondent, and I'd spent that morning in Hanoi, I'd been to interview a person from the police ministry, and I then flew back from Hanoi to Bangkok,"
"I was on my way to meet Mark Dodd, a journo form the Aus, but I never turned up at the restaurant, because somehow or other a car had smashed into the back of my car, I was flung forward in the seatbelt, my hip was broken in 36 places, and I gave myself a very quick frontal lobotomy."
He was rescued by a tuk tuk driver, and taken to hospital but it took a long time to realise how lucky he was in surviving.
"It's just as well that I've been able to realise that, without realising how lucky you are, you just get so angry. And that anger was the thing that fired me up for the next two decades."
It took a long time for Nicholas to recover, and he credits his life partner Catherine McGrath in helping him recover.
"Catherine spent so long fixing me up, patching me together, being with me, she organised people to come and visit me, she did little things like play my reports to me, to this lolling figure that is barely able to put two words together, and she would play my reports to me to help jog me back into comprehension of who I was and where I was."
A year after the accident he went back to Bangkok with the ABC, but it was there he realised the depth of progress that he had to make "in order to recover to become Nick Stuart, Bangkok again."
But Nicholas refuses to say to himself that he can't have the career and goals that he wanted.
He has gone onto to be an author, publishing three books, and also writes for the Canberra Times, a job which he loves.
He admits it is difficult when he sees former ABC colleagues having gone on to have different types of careers to him.
"It is difficult, but gradually you just learn to accept it, and as well as that secretly I still admire myself very much, you have to have a bit of self love there."
The podcast can be found at: