SA Freelance Writing

Meet the Tower Guy

I love writing stories on people living the dream…

As a mobile travel agent, Ben Deering’s office can be anywhere with Wi-Fi and a laptop, so why not make it on top of a mountain?

Photo credit: Ockert le Roux

Mount Gambier’s Centenary Tower had been closed for two years when Ben volunteered to become its caretaker. He has brought the 114-year-old landmark back to life, with visitors from across the globe soaking up the epic view of the surrounding crater lakes and beyond.

Photo credit: Ben Deering

During quiet patches, Ben dons his other travel hat, booking itineraries abroad for corporate clients in Adelaide and the eastern seaboard. He also takes some pretty epic photos from his castle in the clouds…

Photo credit: Ben Deering

My article on Ben can be found on the Brand SA website.

Chameleons of the Sea

A priceless underwater eco-revolution is underway at Point Lowly, South Australia, with population numbers of Giant Australian Cuttlefish on the rise.

Growing numbers of divers and snorkelers are heading west to witness nature’s wonder. Local diver, Tony Bramley, calls Sepia apama ‘chameleons of the sea’ due to their fascinating ability to change colour and texture according to their surrounds. He says to add it to your bucket list:

“Anyone can do it; you just walk into the water up to your neck, put a mask on your face and lean forward. There it is – one of the most amazing marine spectacles on the planet right at your feet.”

My article appears in RM Williams Outback Magazine’s Feb-Mar 2019 issue.

20 Years of Outback Magazine

It’s been 20 years of telling stories of the bush for Outback Magazine. How lucky am I to have been on board for the past six! #dreamjob. It was such a privilege to be invited to share what it means to be a contributor:

“Absolutely nothing beats an email from the Outback editorial team asking me if I’m up for a road trip. Any time! I’ve been to so many places I may not otherwise have ventured, sharing stories, tears, celebrations, secrets, campfires and meals with the most genuine people. Good people. And oh the laughs! (Especially when photographer Robert Lang is within cooee.)

Interviews turn into unbreakable bonds, with promises of return visits. On Wilpoorinna Station, in outback South Australia, Lyn Litchfield’s baked chops are well worth the 13-hour drive from my farm on the Limestone Coast. And I’m still in awe of the Anzac Day dawn service on the Birdsville Track’s Cowarie Station. I’ll be back, Oldfields!

I’ve slept in dongas, shearers’ quarters and swags under the stars, and will be forever grateful to the shift manager of the Prairie Hotel at Parachilna who took one look at me after a dusty assignment and offered me substantial room upgrade – add it to your bucket list! The one constant that I’ve encountered in my extraordinary role as an Outback contributor is the universal high regard for the magazine. It’s trusted, honest and frank – far from pretentious – but it’s also filled with optimism and friendship. Such wonderful qualities in anyone’s book.”

Australia in Style

Very, VERY excited to receive a copy of this incredible book produced by RM Williams Publishing in conjunction with The Tailor – Australia’s premier luxury travel specialist. 

I wrote two of the articles, and one of them involved a trip to Port Lincoln…immersing myself in the experiences on offer when you book a tour through Goin Off Safaris. Here’s some highlights:

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.