It’s time.

Kudos to South African bureaucracy! The country is stunning and the people immensely welcoming, but for my two cents, “President Zuma, now that we tax payers have finished building your palatial pad, how about you improve the running of your government departments?!”

 

As I jumped through the bureaucratic hoops, like a budding show dog, for my new SA work permit I found myself back on the family farm in Buln Buln. It quickly became my longest stint at home since leaving as an 18-year-old for the Gold Coast to surf and attend the odd uni lecture.

While again living in the district, I noticed businesses with signage and brand identities that stood apart from the norm. My attention was piqued, and after some rummaging through the World Wide Web, I discovered the studio responsible for many of the designs – The View From Here.

I pinged them an email to gauge their interest in a little freelance copywriting, which became an interview, which became a night of discussion, pizza and beers, which became a dastardly plan to create this newspaper.

Their enthusiasm and faith in the incredible potential of Gippsland was more infectious than laughter at a quality comedy gig. They’d been contemplating starting a publication, I was keen to be involved in publishing again – the timing was impeccable.

For me, that’s what this first edition of Gippslandia has become – a lesson in timing.

In researching the coverage of the closure of Hazelwood Power Station and Mine, many of the commentators remarked that they could foresee the closing eventually occurring, but that it was the proposed swiftness of Engie’s action to conclude operations in March, 2017, that caught them off guard.

This announcement then had some bearing on the urgency of Gippslandia’s release, as we felt an increased need to distribute tales of positivity through the community.

As the paper began to form, PollyannaR exclaimed that right now is the best moment to be an artist in Gippsland. Craig Mason and Andy McCarthy remarked that we’re currently in the midst of a key juncture in the development of technology and the opportunity it provides regional areas – a period that, if harnessed correctly, could become a boon for our economy.

Jo Clark of found and foxed, and Erika McInerney and Sallie Jones behind the Warragul Farmers’ Market have likely nailed the timing of their respective launches, thanks to growing public, producer and purveyor awareness, understanding and appreciation of the local food and maker economy.

So many conversations in the course of producing our debut volume featured comments on the pivotal nature of this current period for Gippsland. That right now, may be a key time for many of our local communities. While some will read the tea leaves as a sign to escape, we believe many of you are excited at the opportunities that lie ahead, and it is for you that we create Gippslandia.

As with the examples outlined above; it’s becoming more apparent to me that having the insight, intuition or luck when nailing the timing of your major personal or business decisions can often be more influential in your success than your initial idea.

This was reinforced while recently listening to a podcast featuring US billionaire venture investor Chris Sacca. Sacca made his fortune on early purchases in Twitter and Uber. When asked about his seemingly wise decisions, Sacca roared back with a full belly laugh, and once it cleared, he reeled off over ten additional investments that he mistimed or even utterly dismissed, as he couldn’t foresee the business opportunity at that point or a need for it in the future. Each of those companies had then grown to become international business successes. Sure, he’d knocked the ball out of the park, twice, but Sacca had mishit many more times.

Whether it’s insight, intuition, luck or an assorted combination of the three, we’ll soon see if we’ve landed on the right timing here. Our best wishes are with you f or your next venture! As we embark on this journey together, may our growing team of talented contributors encourage, inspire, inform, entertain and humour you, as they present the many varied stories of your fellow Gippslandians. With your assistance, we hope to explore the diversity of Gippsland and unearth more tales from the remarkable people that call this region, ‘home’. Please, don’t hesitate to get in touch or contribute.

Finally, our goal is that we’ll continue to craft newspapers that you’ll enjoy reading – every time.

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