Otiena Ellwand is a freelance journalist based in Auckland, New Zealand.
In August 2016, she quit her job as a staff reporter at the Edmonton Journal in Alberta, Canada, to hike 3,000 kilometres across New Zealand. She traded in police sirens for birdsong, and in four months (or 117 days), she successfully completed the tramp from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
During her time at the Edmonton Journal, Otiena primarily covered breaking news and crime, including the mass murder of eight people in Edmonton in 2014, and the Fort McMurray wildfires in 2016. She also spent time in the Alberta Legislature’s press gallery covering Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP government.
In her spare time, she wrote fitness columns for the Journal’s lifestyle section, including a series documenting her experience training for her first-half marathon and another about learning how to cross-country ski, building a community of readers in the process.
Otiena is a graduate of Ryerson University’s bachelor of journalism program. Her work has appeared in the Mumbai Mid-Day, the Toronto Star online, Chatelaine, Alberta Venture, Spacing Magazine and on CBC radio’s The World This Weekend.
Get in touch:
otiena.ellwand at gmail.com