Graduate profile

Karina Holden

Image of Karina Holden

Karina Holden

Minutes before sunrise, Karina Holden was pushing through 2 million people all heading for the Ganges. Why? It was the holiest day in India when reclusive priests were making a once-in-16-year pilgrimage to the holy river. And Karina was determined to film them.

For the last three years, Karina was the commissioning editor of science and nature documentaries at the ABC, and has made over 30 award-winning films for National Geographic, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. She has now started a new role as Head of Production and Development for Northern Pictures, a leading documentary production company. Despite her enviable career, Karina’s journey there has been a round about tale featuring old-fashioned hard work, enthusiasm and a bit of luck.

Starting with a BSc at the University of Sydney, Karina’s passion was ignited in third year after specialising in zoology and history & philosophy of science (HPS), which she says helped shape her as a journalist.

But Karina’s lucky break came during her post-graduate degree when a producer from the ABC Natural History Unit (NHU) contacted Karina about doing a story on the snakes she was studying – and that set her on a new path. Karina decided to volunteer at the unit for a summer, and after six weeks, she was asked to stay on as a paid employee.