Former radio announcer, Carla "Biggzy" Bignasca, is a helper at Pegasus, Riding for the Disabled, in Holt. Photo: Graham Tidy
She has only been in Canberra for a little over two years but MIX 106.3 breakfast presenter Carla "Biggzy" Bignasca has been embraced by the city - and the feeling is mutual.
"I feel like I'm breaking up with someone," she said, of her impending move to Newcastle.
And love is kind of a theme here.
Bignasca, 33, is giving up her job to let her husband Matty White, who is also in radio, take his next step up the career ladder, this time in Newcastle as the content director for two local FM stations.
White did the same for Bignasca when she got the chance to move from Sydney to Canberra in June, 2011, surrendering his position as assistant program director for Triple M so she could take up her dream job in breakfast radio.
"The pact was always whoever got the next big promotion, we would support and follow each other," she said.
Bignasca said it was just the way they operated as a couple and she was hopeful of continuing in radio as well as maintaining her regular gigs on Channel Seven's The Morning Show and The Daily Edition.
It was about give and take in a relationship in which both partners were in the heady world of commercial radio.
"For those who listen to me and know me, they know I'm no Stepford wife," she said.
"I love my job and I believe in what we are doing here so that just makes it a little bit bittersweet.
"And I really love the city. I've travelled around a bit with the job and I've never lived anywhere with a greater sense of community."
Originally from Sydney, Bignasca was before Canberra hosting the nationwide broadcast of The Hot 30 Countdown and got to speak regularly with celebrities from Pink to Hugh Jackman.
Yet her most satisfying achievement in radio was MIX 106.3's fundraising campaign for Pegasus Riding for the Disabled, spearheaded with on-air partner Rod Cuddihy.
"I've travelled the world, I've met some celebrities, I've gone on tour with people and the most rewarding thing I've done is with my team doing the work to help Pegasus," she said. "We certainly didn't do it single-handedly, the community did that. We were recognised with an Australian Commercial Radio Award and you don't do it for the party hats and the medals but it was nice justification for the work radio should be doing in the community, because otherwise it can become a bit flippant."
A horse lover, Bignasca still volunteers at Pegasus, helping the children to ride.
"I see the fun the children are having and the therapy they get out of it, but secretly I wish I was riding as well," she said.
Ratings are always king in commercial radio but Bignasca reckons being behind the mic is about more than that.
"Of course, they are important because you want to be the best you can be but I don't think the ratings reflect the listenership. I mean, how accurate can a pencil and a piece of paper be? I guess that's the beauty of having people who believe in the product and believe in what you do," she said.
Bignasca's last show will be on Friday, December 13 - a good omen, she hopes.
"I'm leaving on my own terms which is a little strange for radio," she said.
"And I leave a great team and I've had a great, great experience in this city."
A statement from MIX 106.3 management thanked Bignasca for "all her work over the past two years", confirming she was leaving for personal reasons and saying a new show would "be announced in due course".