by Louise Shannon
HER undeniable best-loved pastime is making people laugh but, at the end of this week, Bree Tomasel will unleash a range of emotions among her loyal followers, and will probably even have a cry herself.
Ms Tomasel, who grew up in Pozieres and is set to broadcast her last radio show from the Central Coast on the Hit Network tomorrow, is preparing to embark on an exciting and still slightly mysterious venture overseas.
"It's sad to be leaving because I've made such a home here. I probably will cry,” she said this week.
Ms Tomasel - who also has millions of fans on social media - said she couldn't give "exact” details about her next career move, but confirmed it was a "national gig in New Zealand, based in Auckland” with a commercial top 40 station.
"Let's just say I won't be doing early mornings!”
Ms Tomasel is currently co-host with Daniel Gawned of Hit Network's daily 5am-9am breakfast show, Bree and Gawndy, and the duo also has a popular Saturday breakfast show which is broadcast to 38 stations across Australia, meaning her friends and family in the Granite Belt have been able to tune in.
"The thing I love most is making people laugh. It's so rewarding. I've always loved to make people laugh - I was the class clown - and now I get paid for it.
"If someone can get a laugh out of my embarrassing stories and my mess of a life, then good.”
After Friday's final show, Ms Tomasel said she would spend the holidays and Christmas with her family in Stanthorpe.
She said it was going to be "really hard” to leave "because Gawndy and I built the show from scratch five years ago”.
"And I'm so proud of the show we've created. It's a scary thing to walk away from, but I don't want to look back and wonder, what if I did this or that. I need to chase my dreams. It's an exciting opportunity.
"But, I'm not going to lie, it's going to be sad.”
Ms Tomasel has recently been a leading voice in the marriage equality 'yes' campaign and has also been a dedicated advocate for local causes including suicide prevention, cancer fundraising, and raising awareness for domestic violence.
She said people had been making "heaps of lovely comments” on social media about her departure.
"It's so lovely that people think of you as a friend.”
A digital enthusiast, Ms Tomasel said she has more than 180,000 followers on Facebook. She has also posted entertaining videos, often with her mum Dianne Tomasel, one of which has had nearly six million views.
Some of her other videos have had three and four million hits.
"Me and my mum are just being idiots and people just enjoy watching it. In them I'll say really crude things to my mum - just horrible things you wouldn't say to your mum - and I put them together in a montage and people go mad for it.”
Ms Tomasel said she was looking forward to furthering her work in the digital arena in NZ, where she would have a platform and a team of people to work with.
"I'm looking forward to getting into something I love in a different country, and I'll get to travel that entire country. I'm looking forward to the challenge of doing that.
"I'm hoping to resonate with the local people. I think they're just as easy going as us and I'm looking forward to mingling with different people.”
She was grateful to the Central Coast's Sea FM station and Southern Cross Austereo and appreciated the opportunities they had given her.