Victoria Freelance Writing

Labour of Love – Australian Period Home Style

Step back in time to Australia in the 1890s, and the bold era of boom style classicism design…

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Extravagance, exuberance and even recklessness were the order of the day, as the nation toasted a post-depression period full of promise. When you add love to the equation, anything is possible, as evidenced by this exquisite country mansion completed in 1896 as a wedding gift to a lucky bride. An entrance hall with removable doors should you wish to dance…

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Delicate hand-painted stained glass specially delivered from Melbourne, sash windows so high that you could step straight outside, plus many more fine details for this farmer’s wife-to-be.

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The besotted groom wanted to leave a lasting impression, and the property remains as breathtaking as ever thanks to a couple of modern-day cupids who believed in the fairy tale. My story on this incredible country Victorian property appears in Volume 10 of Australian Period Home Style magazine.

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The real story behind the Oddball movie

How low can a fox go? In Warrnambool, the depths are quite extraordinary. The coastal town’s Middle Island little penguin population plummeted from several hundred seabirds to single digits during the 2004-05 breeding season, and foxes were to blame; they had been swimming across from the mainland for a feed. Furious locals declared that the annual massacre had to stop, but how to outwit a cunning fox? Ask a chicken farmer.

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Local poultry expert Alan ‘Swampy’ Marsh had been having enormous success using Maremmas to protect his free range chooks, and suggested sending a dog across the channel to guard the penguins. The idea ruffled a few feathers, for it was a world-first, but Swampy’s dog, Oddball, passed a four-week trial with flying colours – the island has been fox-free ever since. I shared the tale in the Dec-Jan issue of Outback magazine, while the story of the penguin protectors has also made it onto the big screen, with the movie Oddball directly inspired by the Middle Island Maremma Project.

Picture courtesy Roadshow Films

Picture courtesy Roadshow Films

Greater Hamilton – Instructional Video

The Southern Grampians Shire has developed an incredible online resource to help current and future investors discover the land use possibilities of Greater Hamilton. I worked with RT Images to create this instructional video which demonstrates how to use interactive digital maps to investigate growth potential according to soil type, climate, commodity or location.

James Nagorcka profile in Outback Magazine

Outback Magazine is celebrating its 100th issue!

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Long-time contributor John Dunn sums up the essence of this hugely popular publication in UP CLOSE:

“It’s been the aim of its writers to answer the call by noted historian C.E.W. Bean, who long ago lamented: ‘The truth is that there exists inside coastal Australia a second Australia of which most people know very little’. If Bean were alive today and able to read the 100 issues of Outback, we hope he’d think we were filling that gap.” – John Dunn

I am so privileged to also write for this magazine. It has given me an opportunity to meet and be inspired by some truly amazing people, like James Nagorcka (also profiled in this edition). After building his own tractor on his property just outside of Hamilton, Victoria, this unassuming Aussie farmer won contracts with US giant John Deere. “We’re as far removed from over there as you can imagine, but it certainly got them a machine much quicker than if they were developing it and building it themselves,” he said. Well worth a read!

James and June Nagorcka

James and June Nagorcka

Trotters Joint Venture – Victorian Rail Upgrade

I didn’t know there was such thing as a bus nut until I met Des Trotter and the team behind the Trotters Joint Venture. They successfully co-ordinated arguably the most complex transport operation in Victorian history – replacing trains with buses during the $3.7 billion rail upgrade.

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When you consider that up to 20,000 passengers travel in and out of Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station daily, you start to get some ideas of the planning and logistics needed in order to produce a rail alternative. This video I put together with Robert Tremelling profiles one of the most capable crews you will ever meet.

https://youtu.be/fJYxhjMbSrE

Real Weddings: Nadia Coppolino + Jimmy Bartel

Nadia and Jimmy Bartel are deeply entrenched in wedded bliss now, but the memories of their wedding day endure, with my story on their big day appearing in the Autumn/ Winter edition of Real Weddings magazine. Kristen Cook took the photographs and you can view a gorgeous collection on her blog. Flawless styling by The Style Co is shared in detail here.

Photography by Kristen Cook

Photography by Kristen Cook

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Photography by Kristen Cook

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…

A day in the life of…Southern Grampians Shire

A fifth day of filming and interviews in the Greater Hamilton district called for an early start.

Hamilton-AirportThere is nothing better than rising before the sun. (So why don’t I do it every day!)

Hamilton-Airport-2Then it was on to the Glenelg River Rosemary farm to marvel at pickers braving a very chilly morn.

Glenelg-River-RosemaryAnd deep into the bush to interview geologists from Navarre Minerals.

navarreI’m becoming quite accustomed to OH&S inductions. Now for some scripts…

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Counting Sheep – Hamilton, Victoria

I’ve just returned from two days on the road, interviewing for a video project in Victoria’s south-west. Feeling grateful for the opportunity to mix with so many innovative, motivated people loving what they do.

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Breathtaking landscape, quaint country towns (if only I had the time to stop at the antique stores and op shops!), and the sweetest creatures.

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Hamilton is often called the wool capital of the world…it’s easy to see why.

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