ENTERTAINMENT

EXCLUSIVE: Erin Molan shares how motherhood has changed her

"I look at my daughter, and God knows what will exist when she’s at the age when she’s online."
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Her professionalism and TV smile may not have given much away to those watching her on screen, but for the better part of Erin Molan’s career she’s been the subject of relentless and vicious attacks online.

WATCH BELOW: Erin Molan shares video spending time with her family

So last year, the 38-year-old – whose face is more synonymous with NRL than some of the players – made it her mission to tackle the problem, calling for harsher penalties for online trolls.

“I think it’s a huge issue, not just for me but for a lot of different people,” she tells WHO.

“And I think the reason that I was able to speak out so strongly about it [in 2020] is that it’s finally gotten to a stage where it doesn’t impact me the way it used to, because I’ve been exposed to it for so many years and I guess also the understanding that it actually does happen to everyone in the public eye. And once I finally realised that, it hurt me a lot less and that then gave me the ability to talk about it and be strong.”

Molan has admitted she was overjoyed when it was recently announced the Online Safety Bill will soon go before parliament. The landmark bill will make it illegal to post “seriously harmful content”, which could result in fines of up to $110,000.

Here, the media personality chats about juggling motherhood with her ever-increasing workload, her new Sydney breakfast radio gig and why she had to stand up to the bullies …

erin molan
The TV host is headed for radio – and she’s got a lot to say! (Credit: Instagram)

How did the role on 2DayFM come about?

I’ve had five or six really great years at 2GB, but I probably always thought deep down that I’m more suited to FM than AM radio. I’d spoken to 2DayFM a couple of years ago but the timing wasn’t right then. But now, it was perfect. I had a lot of talks with my partner, with my parents and we just thought this is a brilliant opportunity. So I thought, why not?!

You’ve worked in a pretty male-dominated industry. Does that add a layer of difficulty on top of your job?

Oh, God no, it’s actually entirely the opposite. It’s all I’ve known really, in roles in rugby league. Mind you, at the moment it’s fantastic at [Channel] Nine because there’s women like Allana Ferguson and Ruan Sims, former players, who are part of the commentary team, who are just brilliant. But for the majority of my career in sport I’ve been really the only female there, so I’ve had a lot of practise. I get along with guys well, I’m not offended by much at all and I think that always helps.

2day fm
Molan will join Dave Hughes and Ed Kavalee on Sydney’s 2DayFM breakfast show from Jan. 18. (Credit: Supplied)

Why was it important for you to speak out about online trolling?

I just feel like the focus in this country is on entirely the wrong thing. It’s all about how do we help victims cope, but it should be about how do we stop perpetrators from doing it? How do we punish people so that it stops? And that’s the only way it will ever stop – if we punish people from doing it.

I look at my daughter, and God knows what will exist when she’s at the age when she’s online, it’s terrifying. Essentially, all I’m asking is for the legislation that protects people in the real world to also exist in the online space.

Has motherhood made this issue more important to you?

Oh, absolutely. I think motherhood changes you in so many ways … Her welfare, her happiness, her health is the most important thing in the world to me. She’s about to go up to the next group in preschool and I’m terrified like, “What if someone’s mean to her?” That terrifies me. And I know that she will have to deal with that for the rest of her life and it’s normal. But anything that I can do to use the platform I have now, which will make life just a little bit easier, not just for her but for all the other young people in this world, then I will do it every day of the week.

erin
“I think motherhood changes you in so many ways.” (Credit: Instagram)

And how is motherhood?

Look, it’s full of challenges as any parent will tell you, but she is the single most greatest thing I’ve ever done and will ever do. And everything I do, even next year and the challenges that we as a family will face given what will be a pretty hectic work schedule and doing some pretty gruelling hours, it’s all for her and her future. The beauty of this [radio gig] is I still feel like I’m a full-time mum, I’ll just be getting a lot less sleep. But hell, I don’t get much sleep anyway!

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