PARENTS Stephen and Julie Cooper may seem like they worry too much about the work their son Hayden does.
But when your child is the Middle East correspondent for the ABC and currently reporting from the border of Israel and the Gaza strip, the Wardell couple could be forgiven for being worrywarts.
"When he was little he'd wear a box over his head as a TV," Mrs Cooper laughed.
"We're very proud when we see him on television but when he wears that flak jacket we worry."
Hayden was born at the Base Hospital and grew up in Lismore.
"He went to Summerland Christian School in Goonellabah and then Alstonville High School," Mr Cooper said.
"Then he finished his schooling in South Australia when we moved there, and he got work experience with ABC Renmark."
From there Hayden managed to get full-time work.
He followed this with working on the 7.30 Report, political reporting in Canberra and then started looking for overseas postings.
"He could have gone to Japan or the US but he chose the Middle East, didn't he?" Mrs Cooper said.
He most recently covered the Peter Greste trial in Egypt.