SA Freelance Writing

Inside South Australia

I was  involved in a Brand SA project throughout 2016, sharing good news stories from the Limestone Coast for the Inside South Australia website.

Photo by Ockert Le Roux http://www.oxenburg.com

I was so lucky to have the opportunity to write about people I seriously admire, including photographer Ockert Le Roux, whose striking images are not only luring tourists to the region but inspiring locals to explore their own backyard. Brian and Benedetta Wagner from Wagner’s Rose Nursery at Kalangadoo, vegan cook Leah Franklin from ‘just frank’, and the uber successful Generations in Jazz music festival (which is on again from May 5-7, 2017) also feature on the website. 

The 90 x 40-metre tent housing last year’s 6000-strong crowd was the largest big top South Australia has ever seen.

Robotic Dairies – PIEFA Project

Over the last couple of years, I have been working on the production of a series of videos for the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA) and Primezone in conjunction with creative agency Hello Friday. We have filmed at a cotton farm, a cotton mill, a piggery, a fish farm, a hydroponic herb grower, an organic apple farm, a woollen mill, a lobster factory, native bush foods growers, restaurants…the list is long!

It’s incredible (and exciting) to see how far technology has come; there was none of that getting up at the crack of dawn bizzo at the robotic dairy we visited in WA – unless, of course, you get a smart phone alert to say that one of the cows hasn’t come in to be milked.

dairy

Do-it-yourself milking

Technician Robbie Nichols and dairy farmer Malcom Hick explain how it works…

Generations in Jazz – Mount Gambier

Mount Gambier in SA’s Limestone Coast is Australia’s jazz hot spot largely thanks to Generations in Jazz, and it’s my job to help spread the word. This spectacular annual event on the outskirts of the city made famous for its Blue Lake not only attracts the jazz legends of today, but the bright stars of tomorrow, bringing together up to 4400 of Australia’s most talented musicians, along with a growing list of global artists.

High school students from more than 100 schools around the nation compete in the Stage Band Awards, while highly coveted Jazz and Vocal Scholarships help to secure the musical destiny of individuals with enormous promise. And then there are the daily concerts – the sound inside the James Morrison big top pavilion, seating up to 6100 people in the middle of a paddock, is simply incredible!

The big top-style James Morrison Pavilion is the largest tent to have been erected in Australia for a seated audience, with more than 6100 chairs!

The James Morrison Pavilion is the largest tent ever to have been erected in Australia for a seated audience.

Australian music icon Kate Ceberano was a special guest at the 2016 event, and I interviewed her about her visit to Australia’s “jazz capital”. What a glowing endorsement!

 

Wagner’s Rose Nursery Video

Wagner’s Rose Nursery is one of my favourite places on SA’s Limestone Coast – pure heaven is a paddock of pretty roses surrounded by majestic gums!

It is impossible to leave this property uninspired – or empty-handed.

I recently finished producing this video which provides an overview of the business:

 

Paddock to Plate – Potatoes SA

Potatoes SA says it’s time to see potatoes in their true light – as ultra-nutritious, versatile vegetables grown in clean, healthy environments.

IMG_1104

I worked on the production of a new potatoes ‘Paddock to Plate’ video hosted by wellness and nutrition guru Joanna Fincham from The Nourish Nook.

IMG_1088My kitchen played a cameo role during the cooking segment!

IMG_0409

Here’s the newly launched video:

Legend of the Lakes Hillclimb – Mt Gambier

My first motor sport publicity job was quite literally an uphill battle – Mount Gambier’s Legend of the Lakes Hillclimb. The unique event saw cars racing within a volcano crater, conquering the 1.4-kilometre circuit with 16 sharp bends in under 51 seconds – incredible!

Photo: Turn8Photography

Photo: Turn8Photography

Mount Gambier’s Peter Gazzard continued his domination of the mountain path after edging out long-time Victorian rival Kevin Mackrell by just five tenths of a second to claim his seventh title in 10 years.

Wrattonbully triumphs at Limestone Coast Wine Show

If you love red wine, South Australia’s Wrattonbully wine region collected six trophies at the 15th annual Limestone Coast Wine Show, with a further two trophies going to varietal wines featuring Wrattonbully fruit.

Photo by Marcus Jones

Photo by Marcus Jones

As part of my role managing publicity for the event, I worked with Rob Tremelling to produce a series of video clips during the trophy presentation feast. We interviewed judges and winners, and loaded the clips onto YouTube the following day.

The complete collection of videos appears on the Limestone Coast Wine Show Facebook Page.

Flinders Merino – Outback Magazine

There are few similarities between outback South Australia and Hong Kong, but a group of wool growers have found a common thread by sharing the journey from the sheep’s back…

Source: Flinders Merino

Source: Flinders Merino

To the clothes rack.

Source: AWI Ltd

Source: AWI Ltd

During a field trip to Hong Kong, the Flinders Merino group was astounded to discover that the final year fashion design students at the Polytechnic University’s Institute of Textiles and Clothing didn’t use wool in any of their garments, so they offered to sponsor one of their annual fashion shows in the hope of encouraging such an influential market to take on their product. The ‘Flinders Merino Australian Tour Scholarship Award’ gives winning design students an opportunity to travel from Hong Kong to the Flinders Ranges to experience the life of a wool grower in a journey beyond the bale.

Source: Flinders Merino

Source: Flinders Merino

“When we were over there, we recognised that one way we could make wool very desirable to use in fashion design was to tell the story of where it’s from, and by bringing them here, we can give them the whole story – the family, the sheep, big skies, big pastures – it’s a good story to tell.”  – Julia Clarke, Pamatta Station.

It’s a Crocodile Dundee-type tale triggered by drought; transport a group of city slickers to the bush, and watch them fall in love with the landscape by spinning the ultimate yarn.

Source: Flinders Merino

Source: Flinders Merino

My story on this unique ‘student exchange’ appears in the June/July 2015 issue of Outback magazine.

Source: Flinders Merino

Source: Flinders Merino

“And what always amazes me is that they are so overawed by it all; they all love a lamb, but it’s also the first time many of them have been in a rural area and we will often find them sitting close together – they’re so used to being in a city environment, and it takes a long time for them to understand that sense of space that Australia offers.”  – Julia Clarke

The Growers Behind Penfolds Grange

The iconic positioning of Penfolds Grange in the global wine industry is undisputed, but how many people realise that the grapes that go into a bottle of Grange are sourced from all around South Australia? “If it’s the crème de la crème, we will take it,” says chief winemaker Peter Gago, describing the subsequent blending process as “that synergistic sum of the parts”.

Peter-Gago

Image supplied by Penfolds

I spoke with some of the growers behind Grange for SA Life magazine. Don Oliver, from Oliver’s Taranga at McLaren Vale, describes gaining selection as like winning the grand final – “And if you get a decent quantity, it’s like winning the lottery,” he said. Barossa Valley grower, Paul Georgiadis, is another regular contributor, and likens the achievement to climbing Mount Everest. “The first time I got in, I thought they were having a lend of me – I actually felt weak at the knees when I found out it was true,” he said.

Their story appears in the June 2015 edition.

SA Gardens – ‘Ellora’, Wrattonbully

Wrattonbully, in South Australia’s Limestone Coast, is serious wine country – local grapes were selected for the latest vintage of Penfolds Grange! Gardens also flourish in these fertile soils, however they’re fairly sparse in number, making the stately property ‘Ellora’ something of a head-turner.ElloraTucked beyond an exquisite stone wall on a long, empty road, Ellora commands a strong presence among its paddock surrounds. Ellora-2My story on ‘Ellora’ is in the May 2015 edition of SA Life magazine. BTW the owners also make fabulous wine!