Magazine Articles

Living off the Land – Outback Magazine

While farming has never been so innovative, the same can be said for the current crop of sons and daughters coming off the land. Income diversity is the goal, and in the latest edition of Outback magazine, I shared the story of four inspiring people who have used their properties as a launchpad for exciting off-farm careers.

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Victoria’s Geordie Simson is surely living the dream; in addition to running sheep and cattle at his Casterton property, he flies helicopters. The company he works for has contracts to spray pine forests, spread superphosphate, and cull feral animals in the Simpson Desert, the Coorong and the Nullarbor Plain.

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Other weeks, he could be conducting mining surveys or tagging sea lions in the Nuyts Archipelago.

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“It’s the best paddock on the farm, the old flying,” he grins. “I still love the land, but I didn’t just want to be a farmer and have to rely on that income – I wanted to be able to achieve something else and have a fantastic time doing it.”

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Country Style Home: Robe, SA

Summer holidays meant catching up on a stack of magazines. The November 2014 Country Style featured my story on ever-so-stylish Robe couple Kristina Alexander and partner Christos Stoios.

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Photo by Mark Roper

Home is a row of cottages filled with gorgeous finds – reminders of a blissful life beside the ocean.

Recent freelance adventures

Freelance work has literally been taking me all over the countryside lately. Yesterday, I flew to Melbourne to conduct a video interview on Collins Street at Harley House. Imagine working so temptingly close to Hermes…

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Melbourne. Could it get any funkier?

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Last week I was in Lucindale, SA’s agricultural heartland – so pretty in spring.

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And last month, it was Bourke, NSW. The post office looks straight out of the movie Australia.

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Can’t wait to bring these stories to life…

What lies beneath – Kilsby’s Hole, SA

I recently discovered the secret to the success of a South Australian sheep property, and it was locked in a vast underground chamber…

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Kilsby’s Hole lies beneath the pastures of Bringewood in SA’s Limestone Coast, and in addition to being a priceless water source for owner Graham Kilsby’s successful prime-lamb operation, it’s rated among the world’s best cave diving sites due to its exceptional water clarity.

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Image supplied by SA Tourism Commission. (No – I’m not the diver!)

This is why I love being a freelance writer – such a privilege to be able to share stories about such interesting people and places. My article on Kilsby’s Hole appeared in the Aug / Sep 2014 issue of Outback magazine, and I’ve added a link to my Portfolio.

Cottage stay in Penola – Country Style

I’ve been waiting for my story on this delightful Penola accommodation to appear in Country Style, and here it is, in the new July 2014 edition!

cs2It’s called Shurdingtons, and it’s located on the corner of the famous Petticoat Lane. This historic street has been the source of many stories for me over the years. A picture-perfect gem.

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Country Race Fashions – SA Life

Country style reigns supreme, with the Limestone Coast boasting a number of finalists in SA’s premier ‘Fashions on the Field’ competition. I recently interviewed three of the gorgeous ladies for the April 2014 edition of SA Life magazine,  discovering how a fire prevention officer, a swimming instructor and an electrician charmed the judges with their homegrown creativity. It’s not easy living in the country away from major department stores and boutiques, but these savvy girls know all about improvisation, with quick outfit changes in public toilets en route to the race track, and innovative hats sporting everything from wire trivets to chopsticks! What a transformation – love a ‘Before & After’ shot…

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My week – A Freelance Journalist

People often ask me what sort of work I do. Here’s what happened one week in April:

1. Distributed a media release promoting a regional event.

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2. Wrote about the weddings of three AFL footballers and nine other gorgeous couples for a high profile magazine.

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Image by Kristen Cook

3. Told the story of a farmer with an amazing attraction on his property (besides sheep) for another national mag.

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4. Proofed the final layouts of two previously written articles which are about to go to print for another national mag.

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5. Wrote a 1000-word article for a Local Government publication on behalf of a local council.

6. Scripted a new documentary for the rock lobster industry using previously recorded interviews.

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7. Lined up a series of homes and businesses to be photographed by an interstate magazine photographer and stylist visiting the region…

8. And was on standby to cover a court case for a newspaper. (Case fell through, but that’s ok.)

Always loving the variety.

 

 

Kalangadoo Organic in Country Style

Country Style’s April 2014 edition has arrived, complete with my article on apple growers Chris and Michelle McColl, who are based at Kalangadoo on SA’s Limestone Coast.

IMG_4319It’s perfect timing, with the apple season in full swing. We’re on our fifth box at our place – huge fans!

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The McColls’ gorgeous maremmas Bruno and Yoshi also made the Dog Tale section of the latest edition.

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Drought tolerant gardens

While everyone loves an English-style country garden, I thought a drought tolerant design featuring plants from all over southern Australia would particularly resonate with readers of Outback magazine. I have just interviewed the owners of an incredible one in SA’s upper Limestone Coast. Click here to view the article in my portfolio.

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Pitching the right story

Golden rule of pitching freelance stories: know the magazine’s vibe. I just knew Country Style readers would love the story of Burmese refugee Lal, who was taken under the wing of organic apple growers Chris and Michelle McColl. (You can read the previous blog post here.)

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Photograph by Sharyn Cairns

The story appeared in the November edition, and the feedback in the following month’s Letters to the Editor pages was heartwarming.

The tale of Chris and Michelle McColl giving refugees Lal Lian and his family new hope for the future touched me more than any story in Country Style. It served as a reminder that if we all considered others and shared our lives, such positive outcomes are possible. Thank you, Country Style, for sharing this story and giving us hope and the drive to help make other people’s futures brighter. – E.D., Kurrajong,NSW
 
…was so humbled to read the story of Lal Lian, and Chris and Michelle McColl in the November issue. Stories like these deeply hearten one’s spirit about Australians who do lend a hand to a stranger, and practise a generosity of spirit and a ‘fair go’. The McColls not only provided Lal and his family with the land to grow beautiful organic vegetables, but they also share meals with them regularly, which is even more impressive and requires commitment and energy. Of all the delightful stories in each issue, this one stands out as it reinforces that life is about ‘doing good for others’ and making a difference. The McColls make me proud to be an Australian. – L.T., Claremont, WA
 
The letters are in the gorgeous December edition – perfect summer holiday reading!

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