Sydney, Australia – Shortly before 4:00pm on Friday 2 November 2007, Charmaine Dragun (pronounced /dræguːn/) took her own life by jumping from The Gap in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. A Channel Seven news report the following day stated that Charmaine was undergoing treatment for depression and had recently changed medication. Police have described the death as not suspicious, confirming that several witnesses spotted a woman sitting on the cliff before finding her body. Charmaine was due to present the 5pm news for Perth and Ten Late News on the day she died. Staff in Perth and Sydney were only informed of her death 15 minutes before the show was due to air. The shock caused by the unforeseen suicide has now been coupled by questions from those who knew her. Associate Professor Michael Baigent identified the case as a common example of the extreme consequences of depression. Baigent explained that depression is “an illness that clouds the way you see yourself and people around you, the way you see your future.”
A fellow newsreader, Deborah Knight, expressed her own confusion over what transpired, with her describing the death to be “completely unexpected.” Professor Baigent explained that those suffering from extreme depression and are having thoughts of suicide “don’t let on (that they need help); it makes them feel weaker.” Dragun was found dead last Friday at The Gap, a spot in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney known for suicide attempts.
Born (21 March 1978) -and-bred in Western Australia, Charmaine loved a good story. Tales of everyday people doing remarkable things fascinated her. Upon graduation from the WA Academy Of Performing Arts with a degree in broadcasting, Charmaine began her career as a radio journalist at Perty radio stations 6PR and 96FM. There she earned her a nomination for Young Journalist Of The Year at the National Youth Media Awards. She also took out the Australian and state titles for Best Radio Reports.
After making the move to television, Charmaine rose through the ranks of Ten News, covering everything from entertainment news to stories of major, national significance. She soon found her niche in court reporting and went on to cover some of the biggest cases WA has seen in recent years. After a couple of stints filling in as Ten News summer presenter, Charmaine was appointed permanent news anchor. She also hosted Ten’s Late News and 11.30 Bulletins. The beautiful, intelligent, and talented Charmaine Dragun presented Channel Ten Perth’s nightly news bulletin alongside Tim Webster.
Dragun was also a supporter of many charity events and was an MC at the Melville Pink Ribbon Ball held at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, a fundraiser to support breast cancer research and services funded by The Cancer Council Western Australia.
In July 2007 Charmaine took a trip to Croatia to learn about her heritage. She wrote a first person article for The Sunday Times which appeared in the STM on July 22. Commenting on her death, Network Ten’s CEO Grant Blackley said: “Charmaine was a highly intelligent, vibrant and caring person, universally liked and admired by her colleagues. Our deepest sympathies go to her partner, Simon, and her family.”