Boutique Media and Communications

Posts under Our blog

A ‘slow’ ‘conversation with Sam Ferrier…

posted on: June 8, 2018
in: Our blog

Spreading the Good Stuff Episode 5 – Going Slow…

Many of our guests who attend our twice-annual Spreading the Good Stuff events at Junction talk about the important take-home messages from each unique gathering, and last night’s conversation about ‘living slow’ with Sam Ferrier was no different.

This fifth event in our series was once again a sell out affair and we are overwhelmingly grateful for the support this positive platform for important conversations has received since its inception in June 2016.

Sam shared her passion for the environment and her commitment to living a slow and intentional life and discussed how this can look different for everyone.

“It’s not about being wrong or right… it’s not about shaming people,” she explained when discussing her passion for sustainability in the face of our over-consuming society.

Sam is the Campaspe Shire Environment Projects and Education Officer and is passionate about empowering our community to consume less and become smart recyclers.

She is also an advocate for living a slow and intentional life and was quick to clarify last night that it’s a journey and not a destination, and that no one is perfect in their approach.

“It’s about awareness, and balance… and the understanding that you can live a full life, while still living slow,” she said.

The conversation was a powerful one, with the 70-strong crowd agreeing with Sam’s explanation that “slow living is the opposite to keeping up with the Jones”.

She did warn however, that when it comes to living a slow or intentional life ‘one size does not fit all’… and that we need to be careful not to get caught up in the ‘race’ to become the slowest!

Despite the mountain of evidence indicating our community and the world is being overrun with our obsession with throw-away consumables and our love affair with single-use plastics, Sam is optimistic about our ability to turn the tide and credits state-wide bans on plastic bags across the county as a major step in the right direction.

Sam believes we are moving from the initial education process of understanding the impact that our ‘waste’ is having on the planet to an ‘action’ phase where individuals, organisations and governments are taking positive steps to a more sustainable future.

She credits this positive change to a strong community-based movement (think Plastic Bag Free Echuca Moama and Boomerang Bags) and powerful messages such as those presented in the ABC’s War on Waste series.

“Local community groups are doing a lot of work and I feel conversations (around sustainability and waste) are definitely becoming more mainstream,” Sam said.

Our slow conversation last night was the perfect platform to discuss the potential for Echuca Moama to be officially classified a ‘slow city’ via the Cittaslow organisation and we are involved with a group of locals keen to see this process begin in the very near future.

A Cittaslow accreditation for Echuca Moama simply means shining a light on all the incredible individuals, groups and organisations already living a slow and intentional life here in our riverside community, and celebrating the benefits.

Specifically, Cittaslow ‘slow’ cities are towns that encourage diversity, support local culture and traditions, value a sustainable environment, healthy living and locally grown produce, and we believe Echuca Moama is well positioned to tick many of these boxes.

If you’re keen to throw your support, in any way shape or form, behind a slow movement for Echuca Moama, subscribe to the The Splendid Word database to be kept in the loop and jump on the Cittaslow website to learn more about this Italian based concept.

We thank Sam for sharing her story with us last night and for giving her authentic self to an important conversation.

We are also extremely grateful to the 70 wonderful people for coming along and to those many individuals who continue to show support each time this unique event comes around every six months.

Running these events with Junction is truly a gift and we are blessed to have this unique platform to foster powerful and important conversations within our community.

Stay tuned for our next event coming in late November and ensure you’re subscribed to be the first to know all the details of Spreading the Good Stuff Episode 6.

For those keen to learn more about Sam’s approach to living a slow and intentional life here are some links to the podcasts, books and other tools she mentioned last night:

We also have some fantastic links below, thanks to Sam, to help demystify the recycling process and help with important decisions around waste:

Recycling Poster (1)

Fact Sheet – Kerbside Waste and Recycling – Your A-Z Guide (2)

waste hierarchy (1)

Thank you again Sam, and everyone who came along, for helping us to spread the good stuff,

Christy and Leonie

xo

A Time For Growth

posted on: May 16, 2018
in: Our blog

When the two of us set out on our freelance endeavor six years ago, and created The Splendid Word, not in our wildest dreams did we dare to imagine that this venture might evolve into something bigger than ourselves.

 

From the get-go, it was our intention to create a sustainable business that would fit in around our obligations and responsibilities to our young families – and feed our passion for words.  Not the other way around.

 

Giving up the security of our day jobs, and devoting our hearts wholly and solely to freelancing was a risk, but one that we had to take for the sake of our own growth (and sanity), and our families’ wellbeing.

 

Becoming full-time freelancers, whilst not without its own set of challenges, has enabled us to continue living our passion for storytelling, but in a way that allows us to prioritise time to also value the gift of our families.

 

In the years since making the switch from hard news journalism and politics to what we do today, there is one glaring difference. And it’s the reason we so deeply love what we do now.

 

These days we get to tell the good news stories.

 

For as long as we could remember, we’d been writing about the stuff that grabs headlines. And more often than not, that was bad news, sad news, or negative news.

 

And that stuff just wasn’t resonating with who we were on the inside, the kind of contribution we wanted to make to the world, or the kind of role models we wanted to be for our kids.

 

We wanted to use our words for good.

 

And so these days, that’s what we do. We get to write about the light-workers – the miracle-minded folk out there working to change the world for the better. We’ve built a business based entirely on that ethos and it’s a good fit for us. It feels right.

 

Through The Splendid Word, we’re working to promote positive communication and the power of kind language across our regional communities. We’re doing our bit to stand up against the endless stream of bad news and negativity spewing out of mainstream and social media, to change the conversation, and to spread more of the good stuff in our own backyard.

 

And how do we do that? We do it through leading by example. And by empowering people to take greater care of the impact their words, actions and intentions have inside their own heads, and on the lives of all those they encounter.

 

It’s a big crusade – and one that has seen our workload grow quickly in recent times – primarily because our message is resonating deeply with people looking for a better way to share their story and to connect with clients on a more authentic level.

 

And up until recently, it’s a crusade we’ve managed entirely on our own. 

 

But we knew that if we wanted to continue spreading the good stuff even further – and in a way that was sustainable and would allow us to continue to take care of ourselves and our families – we needed to rally more troops.

 

And so over the past 12 months or so, we’ve been quietly expanding, and we’ve welcomed three talented new team members into The Splendid Word fold.

It’s been a positive move in so many ways. These creative, big-hearted individuals bring a whole new range of skills, insights and learnings to our team – and most importantly of all – they ‘get’ what it is that our business stands for. They’re vibrant, positive, genuine, clever humans who want to make a lasting difference in the world, and who we know will help take our message even further.

 

Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we introduce the new faces in our splendid word team.

 

Xx Lee & Christy

#spreadingthegoodstuff

#wordsforgood

Spreading The Good Stuff – Episode 5 ‘Going Slow’ has landed!

posted on: May 7, 2018
in: Our blog

Spreading The Good Stuff - Slow movement

It’s landed! The 5th episode in our Spreading the Good Stuff live conversation series is coming your way, with the divine Samantha Ferrier at Junction Moama on Thursday June 7.

In this episode we’ll be diving deep with Sam to explore her ‘slow’ approach to life, her deep passion for the environment and sustainability, and how we can all play a role in reducing the footprint we humans are leaving on this earth.

Sam is an environmentalist, change-agent and firm advocate for living a slow and wholehearted life. She believes that by choosing ‘slow’ we can not only help our earth, but also improve our relationships and experience of life in the process.

She is the founder of Echuca Moama Plastic Bag Free, has played a lead role in championing the local Boomerang Bags movement and is passionate about fostering grassroots programs that will lead to positive change.

“I have always had a passion for the environment, in some way or another,” says Sam.

“I want to ensure that the planet we are borrowing from our grandchildren is thriving and sustainable. We live in such a throwaway and convenient society, where instant gratification and monetary wealth often take precedence over environmental stewardship and richness in relationships, culture and experiences.

“At the same time, we have seen a flourishing of grassroots movements towards caring for our earth and our people, and this excites me. I want to foster these community initiatives and believe that these ripples are the pathway to change… slow and meaningful change.”

Sponsored by Junction Moama, #spreadingthegoodstuff events examine the lives of extraordinary individuals in our region who are making a positive impact in their patch.

The conversation series builds on our crusade to promote positive communication and the power of kind language across our regional communities.

Each event includes a live conversation hour where we explore some of the big issues, challenges and opportunities of our time – leaving you enriched, enlarged and empowered to spread more of your own good in the world.

Join us at Junction on June 7 for a remarkable evening of illuminating conversation with Samantha Ferrier by securing your tickets today. We know this conversation will leave you feeling inspired and empowered to create positive change in your own lives, and in the world around you.

Tickets are $30, strictly limited and must be purchased prior to the event day. Included in your ticket is a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and nibbles.

Tickets and further details available here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

x Lee

#spreadingthegoodstuff

 

Please note: Junction is an over 18 venue at all times.

Smart casual dress required, no thongs after 5pm.

 

 

A Giant Among Sporting Heroes

posted on: April 20, 2018
in: Our blog

Since starting out in business back in 2011, it’s been our mission at The Splendid Word to use our words for good.

 

To stand up against the endless stream of negativity spewing out across mainstream and social media, and to share stories that paint a picture of joy, kindness and hope.

 

In doing so, we hope to educate and empower others to do the same. Because to us, words are THE most powerful vehicle for connecting, inspiring and creating positive change in the world. We believe wholeheartedly that when we take greater care of the impact our words, actions and intentions have inside our own heads, and on the lives of all those we encounter, big magic happens.

 

And this week we couldn’t think of a more uplifting, inspiring and positive story to share with our tribe, than that of this great man – Brett Sands.

Brett Sands - Australian Barefoot Champion

 

Last weekend Brett was named in the Australian team for the 2018 IWWF World Barefoot Waterski Championships in Canada, to be held in August.

 

It’s been 18 years since this legend of the sport represented his country, and it’s the 12th time he has made the Australian team.

 

He already has the honour of being the youngest ever Australian representative, as a 14 year old in 1984. This extraordinary feat now makes him the oldest man to ever represent the green and gold at the elite level!

 

His success at last week’s Australian Barefoot Nationals in Adelaide – three silver medals in Slalom, Tricks and Open Men’s – cemented his place in the Aussie team, and he will now go on to compete in two divisions in Ontario, Canada.

 

Not only is Sandsy an incredible athlete and role model to people right across this land, he is also a passionate ambassador for his home town Echuca Moama, and a tireless worker for so many community groups and projects.

 

He is a friend and mentor to many, an all round great guy and family man, and his dedication and commitment to achieving his goals in his chosen sport has inspired a community.

 

We wish you every success in Canada Brett – but you’re already a giant among heroes in our eyes.

 

X Lee.

#spreadingthegoodstuff #wordsforgood #freelancers #storytellers

 

Something inside me has died…

posted on: March 27, 2018
in: Our blog

I don’t normally write about cricket on the blog, but this week I had to. How could I not? To be honest I did it for therapy…. I am wounded.

On Sunday something inside me died.

As the full detail of the ball-tampering scenario in Cape Town unfolded, a sinking feeling set in… and I could only bare to watch through my fingers, cringing in horror.

There were messages and phone calls of sympathy. Monday morning I literally choked back tears as I listened to some of our cricketing greats: Jim Maxwell, Adam Gilchrist and Gideon Haigh, despair over what they had witnessed and how, like me, they were grappling to come to terms with, and reconcile, what had actually happened during the third test in Newlands. And why?

I’ve been searching for reasons, justifications and more evidence of: ‘everyone else does it’ so it’s ‘no big deal’ and I’ve come up empty every single Twitter scroll.

I was hoping for some miracle snippet of information that would help me understand how and why we got to this place in the sport I love, at the highest level.

The obvious answer is they did it because of the immense pressure to win, despite having the best bowling attack in the world and the number one batsman in the world (aka Steve Smith).

Yes, these young men did not kill anyone and no one has died here, but I feel ‘something’ has died and I feel the mourning – in all circles, not just among us cricket lovers.

I don’t remember a sporting saga taking hold in this way, ever. Maybe the Essendon scandal, but that was just one club, not a national side.

You cannot read a newspaper, tune into a news bulletin or scroll through social media without being reminded of this sorry tale and I feel utterly embarrassed.

I’m embarrassed because as a cricket tragic I have always supported the Australian Cricket Team, win, lose or draw, and I now feel cheated. This is not the same as losing a match, a series or getting bowled out for 60 runs in one morning of cricket.

This is different… this is just not cricket at all.

This is worse, much worse, as it speaks to the character of who we are and what we expect of our national sporting players… and of ourselves.  

Where we are right now as a cricketing nation is not a national disgrace… it is a crisis of culture.

It must be stated this is a crisis of the cricketing community, not a life or death tale, natural disaster, war or human rights abuse.

However, you cannot underestimate the emotion and widespread fall-out of an event like this. And not just for cricket, but for our wider community.

And this is why I feel so gutted, and so gravely concerned.

I will forgive Steve Smith and his co-conspirators for their actions and I have no doubt their punishment will befit the act, however I cannot brush aside why this has happened and the broader issues it refers to not only in cricket, but also in our community.

Why do we have to win at all costs? And why do we have to degrade others and devalue ourselves in this ‘winning’ process.

This current series between Australia and South Africa has been heated and fiery at best, abusive and shameful at worst.

Early in the piece sledging on both sides stooped to the lowest of lows and it came close to blows, both on and off the field.

Some say sledging is an important aspect of the game and gives Australia an edge and is a blueprint for how we go about our business.

My 13-year-old son agrees with this, and attributes some of his good work behind the stumps as keeper to his talent for sledging.

The problem with this is that when general ‘good natured’ banter is allowed and encouraged, the ‘other’ is allowed to creep in and the line becomes blurred, particularly as boys become men.

This ‘line’ is somewhat subjective and that’s why ‘personal’ sledging cannot be tolerated in cricket (or any sport) anymore.

I ask, perhaps naively, why can’t cricketers just ‘rib’ each other about cricket?

Why do they have to sledge about the personal aspects of cricketer’s lives, their race, culture, and appearance and specifically about their mothers, wives or girlfriends?

Both teams in this series have claimed the high moral ground and players have declared disgust and offence against those who have crossed the so-called ‘line’.

South African supporters joined in this unfriendly ‘banter’ and I have no doubt the same would happen here at home. It appears no woman, mother or girlfriend is sacred when it comes to sledging in this modern era of cricket, and I think it needs to stop – for everyone’s sake.

I listen to a lot of commentary about cricket and I have only ever heard one commentator ask, during this current series, why players need to use women as a tool for sledging.

The reply, from one of our cricketing greats was that “it gets a response”.

For me, a really important point is being missed here, and that this degrading level of banter illuminates exactly where many of our players sit when it comes to moral standards in cricket right now.

Put simply, there aren’t any. And if I am wrong (which I would love to be) there is no clear evidence to the contrary.

I’m passionate about women’s cricket, which has been wholeheartedly embraced by the wider cricket-loving community – at all levels of the game.

Why then, accept the use of women as a tool for sledging and brush it off as ‘part of the game’? I don’t want to bring feminism into this ball-tampering scandal, but for me this whole sorry affair speaks more broadly of a blatant lack of moral code within Australian cricket at the highest level, which has brought us all to a place that no-one is proud of.

Is this the sort of behaviour our parents (mothers), our children (daughters) and our country is proud of? I think not. And you only have to take the temperature of the current media situation to know this to be true.

And the same goes for cheating. Nothing, not even winning, is worth the disgrace and shame of degrading your teammates, your friends, your family and those who support you.

I’ve heard some say this week that altering the ball (cheating) to get extra swing and personal sledging happens on both sides of cricket… that everyone is doing it, and always has.

This does not make it right under any circumstances and if we learn anything from Cape Town it must be to change the current culture of cricket – at all levels.

Players must be banned for their stupid mistakes and a new blueprint for how we conduct ourselves should be introduced – for the sake of cricket.

I will continue to love cricket and travel the country and the world to watch the game, but something is broken here and it needs to be fixed.

The passion and blind faith I had for Australian cricket has died, and I fear our national side has lost its way and it’s going to be a long, hard road back for everyone.

Christy ~ lover of cricket

TSW

Image: australiannetworknews.com

Hooray for business hub in Echuca Moama!

posted on: March 15, 2018
in: Our blog

Shout-out today for the newly established Incubate208 Business Hub Pilot Program at the Bendigo TAFE Echuca campus.

This joint venture between Campaspe Shire Council, Committee for Echuca Moama (C4EM), Bendigo TAFE and Murray River Council aims to determine the demand for a permanent co-working space in our riverside community.

As freelance writers who work from home, we were super excited to hear about this FREE hot-desk office space, established for satellite-workers, start-ups, entrepreneurs, working-from-home professionals (that’s us) and transitioning students.

The Incubate208 program is great news for Echuca Moama, as it acknowledges the maturing of the traditional business model and the readiness of our community to jump on board the growing movement for co-working and collaboration.

This movement is well established overseas and in our major cities and has gradually stretched to regional areas in recent years.

A recent Knight Frank (August 2017) report stated co-working spaces across Australia grew by 62 per cent in the 12 months prior and that Melbourne has the highest volume of co-working spaces in the country.

Figures in the report indicated co-working spaces had increased by almost 300% since 2013, with Melbourne accounting for nearly 50 per cent of sites across Australia, followed by Sydney (38%), Adelaide (5.38%), Brisbane (3.51%), Perth (3.49%) and Canberra (0.35%).

The report also explained with millennials set to flood workspaces over the next five years, the co-working trend is expected to continue, and with the increasing nomadic nature of business and our geographical location to Melbourne, Echuca Moama is perfectly positioned to benefit.

Whether it’s new business, travelling workers or start-ups, Incubate208 aims to cater for all business models and is keen to establish the demand and all associated requirements.

Campaspe Shire Economic Development Officer Astrid O’Farrell explained how co-working helps individuals working from home, who might be new to town, meet like-minded people and establish face-to-face networks.

“We are hoping this pilot program will give us a clear indication of the ongoing demand for a co-working space and allow us to gain additional, ongoing funding,” Astrid said.

The Incubate208 program aims to cater for everyone and offers all the usual trimmings of your regular co-working space, as well as weekly educational and networking forums delivered by industry experts.

The hub, located on Hare Street, offers FREE WiFi, a dedicated office space with access to power (extension cords available) and tea and coffee making facilities.

As a shared space consideration for others in the room is required when taking calls, listening to media and meeting with people.

Hours are currently Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9am-5pm and Fridays 9am-4.30pm and the three-month trial is set to end on May 31.

Those involved in the establishment and day-to-day running of the hub are encouraging the local business community to get behind this pilot program and make use of the facilities to ensure its future.

Regular Incubate208 participant and previously home-based civil engineer Paul Chinnock said the benefits of co-working include removing the isolation of working from home.

“As we live 10 minutes out of town, I could go days without leaving the front gate,” Paul said.

“Having a shared office space allows me to separate my work from home life and also provides some social interaction,” he said.

Paul echoed Astrid’s call to action to the local business community to support the hub and help establish a case for a more permanent model here in Echuca Moama.

I am planning to use the hub on a Friday morning to get out of my home office (and chat to someone other than my dog) and interact with like-minded individuals, and plan to make the most of the weekly educational and networking sessions starting tomorrow with a Small Business Victoria session on Turning Ideas into a Business.

It has been almost seven years since we established our home based business and we are fully aware that despite the many benefits of working from home, there is also much to gain from establishing new networks and expanding on the collaborative nature of our freelance work by getting out and about and connecting with others. And our very own co-working space here in Echuca Moama is the perfect place to foster new networks!

Maybe we’ll see you down there!

Christy ~ The Splendid Word 

#spreadingthegoodstuff #wordsforgood #coworking #collaboration #businesshub #freelancelife #echuca #moama #community

For more information or to register your interest in the Incubate208 Business Hub Pilot Program visit www.c4em.com and follow the links.

Image thanks to: coworker.com

3 New Instagram Tools You’re Gonna Love….

posted on: March 9, 2018
in: Our blog

Instagram

We’re changing things up a bit today with a tech post – #spreadingthegoodstuff for some recent changes to Instagram that we’re loving and which will hopefully make life a lot easier for those of you out there playing in the social media space. And let’s face it, these days that’s pretty much everyone in business – or at least it should be.

 

Firstly let’s talk Auto Publishing.

 

This week Later released an exciting new feature allowing users to auto publish – which means you can now schedule posts directly to Instagram – no notifications required!

 

This is a game changer for businesses managing their own socials, and for people like us who do it for them, because it means we no longer have to interrupt our work rhythm to post to Instagram. We can simply schedule the posts and let Later do the rest!

 

It’s available now on Later’s free plan, and you’ll need an Instagram business profile to access the new feature. And just so you know, while this feature is pretty awesome, at this stage you can only schedule single photo posts.

 

Story Highlights

 

Now this feature was introduced a couple of months ago, but lots of people are still catching up.

 

Instagram now lets you highlight your favorite stories permanently on your profile. With stories highlights you can group old stories together in a new section that sits below your Instagram bio.

 

All you need to do is tap the ‘new’ button in this area of your profile, choose a story from the archive, select a cover for the highlight, and name it. When you’re finished, the highlight will appear as a circle on your profile and will play as its own story when someone visits your profile and taps it. And best of all, instead of disappearing after 24 hours, highlights remain on your profile until you choose to remove them, and you can have as many as you like!

 

Hashtag follow tool

 

Again, this was a tool introduced in recent months, but if you haven’t heard about it, it’s worth doing your research.

 

Instagram now allows users to follow not just people and business accounts, but also specific topics, no matter who posted the photo. The hashtag follow option allows users to get photos into their feed not because of who shared them, but because of that hashtag.

 

You can follow a hashtag by searching for the tag and then accessing the page full of all the tagged posts. At the top of that collection of posts, there’s a follow button you can click on.

 

You won’t see every single post with the tag (thankfully), as the Instagram algorithms will come into play, but posts with the most interactions using that hashtag, will be most likely to show up in your feeds.

 

This new feature has the potential to help business pages with a public account grow, because if you’re using the right hashtags, your photos might just start getting a larger reach beyond just your own followers.

 

Our Top Tip

 

If you’ve been following us for a while now, you’ll know our number one rule when it comes to communicating with your clients is to be positive! Anytime you’re posting content across any of your social platforms remember to be kind and to use your words for good.

Happy posting crew.

 

X Lee

#spreadingthegoodstuff

Why great quality Social Media content is so important…

posted on: March 1, 2018
in: Our blog

We’ve worked with some amazing local businesses and events these past months to help craft words and strategies for social media campaigns.

As journalists who used to spend our days banging out media releases to all and sundry, we now spend a lot of our content writing hours on social media posts and blogs for the online word – where pretty much everyone is hanging out.

We love crafting words of all varieties and particularly enjoy helping those who are too busy working in their business, or running an event, to plan, schedule and craft content for social media.

Through The Splendid Word social pages, side projects such as #loveEM and Girls Night Out and client pages including The Southern 80, Echuca Moama Tourism and Rich River Rod and Custom Group we love connecting with audiences and sharing stories… it’s what we do best.

We do not claim to be experts in the technical side of social media (the rapid and daily pace of change across social media is too fast for a boutique business such as ours) but we can claim to write killer content that connects and gains traction in the ‘busy’ and overcrowded social space.

We have always believed well-written content that engages and connects our audience is a winner online (and offline for that matter) and it’s awesome that Facebook and Google are now recognising ‘community driven’ content as more important than key words and fancy buttons and graphics.

In announcing additional changes to its pesky algorithm earlier this year, Facebook declared it would focus on content that engages with its audience and creates ‘positive sentiment’ and would push content that sparks conversation and ‘meaningful interactions’ to the top of our news feeds.

Here at the Splendid Word it’s our job to cut through the crap and jargon and write meaningful content that we know your audience will engage with and we know the best place to start is with great quality, helpful and interesting stories.

As qualified ‘storytellers’ we are equipped to help your business extract these stories for your social media channels and we can assist you in a variety of ways – one size does not fit all.

Many of our clients have realised they need to have a social media presence, but have been too busy working in their business to stop and take the time to plan, create and deliver great quality content on a regular basis.

We know from firsthand experience how difficult (and a little overwhelming) it can be to play in the social space, so drop us a line today if you’re keen to start of refine your social media offerings.

See you all over on the socials!

Christy

#TSW

#thesplendidword #wordsforgood #storytellers #socialmedia #contentisking #facebook #algorithm #getsocial

 

Image thanks to spiderswatch.com.

Could Echuca Moama be next to go ‘Slow’?

posted on: February 22, 2018
in: Our blog

slow city

If you’re someone who enjoys the simple, yet good things in life, you might be familiar with the term ‘slow cities’.

 

It’s a relatively new concept here in Australia, but it’s big internationally, and applies to more than 80,000 towns in 100 countries around the world.

 

Slow cities are towns that encourage diversity, support local culture and traditions,  value a sustainable environment, healthy living and locally grown produce.

 

They have their origins in the Cittaslow movement (translated as ‘slow city’) which started in Italy in 1986, and is embodied by a logo of a snail carrying a modern-day city on its back.

 

The slow city label, and lifestyle, is not about opposing progress or technology, but about pausing to reflect on what’s special in your community, celebrating the characteristics that make it unique, preserving local traditions, and working together to plan for a sustainable future.

 

Put simply, slow cities are towns where traditions and conventional ways of doing things are valued, and where people choose consciously to embrace a more mindful and connected way of life.

 

In case you haven’t noticed, the slow-movement has been infiltrating our pretty little stretch of the Murray here at Echuca Moama for quite some time now.

 

The Plastic Bag Free Echuca Moama (PBFEM) movement (led by Campaspe Shire Environmental Projects Officer Samantha Ferrier) has gained real traction and enjoyed huge community support for its Boomerang Bags Project.

 

Our home-grown Flavours of Echuca Moama Festival featuring 100% locally grown, made and produced food and wine, embraces all things ‘slow’ and is a beautiful celebration of the ‘makers’ in our community and our unique way of life.

 

We have a growing number of ‘slow-focused’ businesses setting up shop in EM specialising in organic foods and products, and more and more existing businesses are changing the way they operate to place a greater emphasis on sustainability. We’ve also seen the establishment of grassroots food cooperatives in recent times, geared towards buying bulk, locally produced organic and natural products to reduce the food miles.

 

On top of all this, we’ve developed a flourishing reputation as a hot-spot for op shops. So much so, in fact, that Echuca Moama Tourism and Community Living Respite Services have recently developed a new tourism flyer establishing an op shop trail in EM, mapping out each of the stores and what they offer. This sensational initiative celebrates and recognises the positive environmental impacts op shops and reusing pre-loved items has for our community.

 

All this, we think, leads beautifully in to a broader conversation about the slow movement, and how we could be adding further value to our duo of towns by embracing all that it represents.

 

And it’s planted a seed that we think needs watering……

 

Australia has three official slow cities – Katoomba (NSW), Yea (Victoria) and Goolwa (South Australia).

 

Why not make Echuca Moama the fourth?

 

We fit the population requirement – towns must have a permanent population under 50,000.

 

Next we’d need to complete an official accreditation process, including a 50-point checklist relating to environment, infrastructure, quality of urban fabric, local produce and products, hospitality, awareness and education.

 

It would take some work no doubt, but EM already ticks so many boxes. And just imagine the positive spin-offs for tourism…..

 

We’re keen to do some more digging around this idea, and to speak with people who could help make it happen. Let us know if you think it has merit – and if you, or someone you know can help!

 

And in the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about slow living and the slow movement, there’s a stack of information out there on social media, podcasts and websites. We highly recommend you check out the Slow Home Podcast, and Granny Skills as a starting point!

 

Stay tuned for more slow….

 

X Lee.

Catching our breath…

posted on: February 15, 2018
in: Our blog

Inspirational blind water skiers Ben Pettingill and Luke Johnson at this year’ Southern 80

Phew… we’re still catching our breath here after an epic couple of months managing the social media pages for Echuca Moama’s Southern 80 (S80) – the world’s biggest ski race!

It is the second year we’ve taken on this 10-week social media campaign and it’s been an extremely rewarding, albeit pretty intense, experience.

The S80 Facebook page alone has more than 38,000 followers and it’s been awesome to work with such huge numbers on a daily basis and manage the constant engagement that comes with it.

For anyone playing in the social media space (which is just about everyone these days) you would know that active engagement on your social pages is just as important as posting and it’s the liking, responding and inviting you do that nurtures and grows your audience.

Live video and stories (on both FB and Instagram) was a huge growth area for S80 this year and we know it’s where a large portion of the online social audience is now hanging out.

We also know it’s the human-interest stories at an event like S80 that attracts the most likes, comments and shares.

As well as the fast boats and record times, it’s the stories of families, friends and brave individuals conquering their fears and pushing themselves to achieve something amazing that resonates the most.

Running with the adrenaline of an event like S80 is full-on and we had a thrilling roller-coaster ride covering all the action, however meeting the people involved and sharing their stories was the highlight for us.

Stories of long-time ski racing families; grandparents towing their grandkids; and three generations involved in the one team, are commonplace at the S80, and for us as storytellers it’s what makes the event.

Stories of bravery and incredible physical challenge stand out and it’s hard to go past the story of Ben Pettingill.

On the weekend Ben made S80 history by becoming the first legally blind skier to complete the full 80km course and it was truly amazing to witness this inspirational achievement! At last year’s event Ben competed in the 20km disability class and inspired youngster Luke Johnson (who is also legally blind) to take on the same challenge in 2018. We caught up with the boys and their support teams on the weekend and it was such a thrill sharing the joy and elation with them.

Ben and Luke’s stories are just a snapshot of the many we unearthed and made working on the Southern 80 project so rewarding.

Yes, there is some negative press associated with S80 and unfortunately there has been tragedy in recent years, however when you look past the headlines there is a close-knit ski racing community, made up of hundreds of volunteers, families and friends, who just love being involved with this grassroots, community-driven event.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to share the stories of the Southern 80 – an event that injects almost $20 million into the Echuca Moama economy – and we look forward to working with the Moama Water Sports Cub again in the future.

But for now we will turn our attention to Echuca’s stunning Aquatic Reserve and welcome an absolute bevy of musical talent to our riverside community for the annual Riverboats Music Festival.

Make sure you check out the event program, in which we were lucky enough to interview and write about just a few of the stellar acts coming for this year’s event.

We’ll be seeing you there….

Christy and Leonie xo

#southern80 #riverboatsfestival #community #spreadingthegoodstuff

 

Page 2 of 14«12345»10...Last »