It’s almost been a year since Gippslandia — a project of love by The View From Here design studio — released its debut issue. To celebrate, we compiled this ‘about us’ section to introduce some of our writers, contributors and partners – whom without this publication simply could not exist. Our readers and the community are why Gippslandia is what it is today, and we hope to keep growing to serve our purpose as a publication which focuses on all the fantastic and optimistic aspects of our fine region.
John Calabro – Director & Publisher
Gippslandia has been John’s dream ever since returning from living in Melbourne as a full-time designer in 2010. Being inspired by the creative scene in the city, John wished to bring some of the Melbourne lifestyle to Gippsland. He imagined a design studio that would help local businesses do the “really cool things” that he experienced in the city; hence The View From Here was born.
A strong believer in the power of design to increase the liveability of a region, John hopes Gippslandia, a project driven by The View From Here, can help promote the lifestyle of Gippsland, through constant improvement and open-minded discussions on issues that affect the community.
‘After becoming a creative, I found myself excited by Melbourne’s resurgence and wanted to bring some of that to Gippsland. I was really riding the wave of Melbourne being the most liveable city and I loved the edginess. I came back to my hometown and started the design studio, which was one of the best things I’ve ever done.’
Michael Duncan – General Manager
Michael grew up in Gippsland and believes the Latrobe Valley needs a stronger identity. He hopes Gippslandia can be used as a vehicle to establish an improved identity for the region. The first issue was released at the time of Hazelwood closure, which greatly affected the region. This is why he believes in Gipplandia’s positive stance, to show all the wealth we have in the area. As Gippslandia’s GM, Michael strongly believes the power of collaboration is vital to the ongoing success of the paper.
‘Seeing the team pull together to get issue one completed then distributing from Drouin to Phillip Island and all the way to Mallacoota in the space of 24hrs. The following day, I was travelling through Yarragon, I stopped to get a coffee and there were two tables with about four people sitting around reading Gippslandia. It was that moment when it became real, I was proud not just of what we’d achieved but of the fact people were seemingly enjoying it’
Tim Leeson – Editor
Tim wanted to dispel the idea that in order to ‘make it’, people have to move to Melbourne or move away from a regional area. He firmly believes in the idea of creating something cool in a regional community, where a better lifestyle can bring back great talent to Gippsland. Travelling back and forth from France to complete his studies, Tim is passionate about the potential of Gippsland, and the incredibly skilled and energetic locals.
Where does he see Gippslandia going in a few years?
‘A positive voice is what Gippsland needed, but I’d like it to get a little cheekier. I think it can hopefully motivate people to take a risk and dive into things that they wouldn’t usually do. Age or background doesn’t matter. If they’re willing to try something crazy for the region, I think we should cover it and support them.’
Andrew Northover – Photographer
Born and bred in Gippsland, Andrew has been an adventure photographer for 10 years and has used his skills to bring the region’s flair to Gippslandia’s pages. Known for his famous Gippsland Panther article in each issue, Andrew thrives on photographing areas in the region that were rarely published before.
The most rewarding aspect of his job?
‘I get to help people in the area by telling their story and photography makes up such a powerful component of storytelling. Being able to complement the person’s ability with my photography is really rewarding.’
Shane Gavin – Designer
Originally from Ireland, Shane wanted to flex his design muscles and explore new concepts. After a short stay in Sydney, he made the big move to our lovely Gippsland for his graphic design position at The View From Here.
Always passionate about creative arts – including photography and performing – Shane’s steadfast on maintaining positivity and pride in the region through Gippslandia.
Gippslandia’s greatest strengths?
‘We have people from everywhere contributing. It’s great because it helps it grow. It’s not just those involved in the creative aspect of Gippslandia, it’s also the people who support it, talk about it and financially help as well. That’s one of our strengths, our diversity, and it’s a mad mix of people, and people like me who have moved specifically to be here. It’s almost like a movement rather than just a magazine.’
Lacey Yeomans – Administration Assistant
After quitting her full-time job to pursue her dreams of becoming a graphic designer and work on other side-business hustles, Lacey wanted to find ‘a rad workplace’ appealing to herself and people in her age bracket.
Why does she love working on Gippslandia?
‘The region has been screaming for something like Gippslandia and I think it touches on what people have been wanting for a long time. There are some really cool articles about rad people who live here.’
Jess Greaves – Designer
After completing her degree at Monash University in Visual Communication, Jess wanted to move back to the Gippsland region after getting her foot in the door in Melbourne. She loves being part of the team because of the different, optimistic spin the paper encompasses, which she feels is vital to the region.
Why does she love working as part of the Gippslandia team?
‘You get to learn from everyone, because everyone has different experiences and different passions, and different levels of experience through life and work. I’m always learning and being challenged. That’s a strength, even though we are all different, we all get along well.’
Si Billam – Senior Designer
Originally from the United Kingdom, Si came to Gippsland to live close to family and work for The View From Here. He experienced a ‘cultural shock’ after moving from Melbourne to Gippsland, because of the more laidback lifestyle and cheaper living.
What makes him proud to be part of the Gippslandia team?
‘I’ve always had a vision of how I wanted things to look and the world I wanted to live in. That’s always driven me in my career and Gippslandia has a similar philosophy in wanting to build the region through positive change.’
Levi Schmidt – Web Designer & Developer
Growing up in Colorado from the United States, Levi had a ‘smooth transition’ in moving and working in Gippsland, as he feels regional areas in the Western world are ‘similar in many ways.’
He believes Gippslandia greatly contributes to the region because of its potential to fill an opportunity in the market here, and nothing similar has been done before.
Where does he see Gippslandia in a few years time?
‘Gippslandia could stay as being a newspaper and a print medium – a sort of local news source – or continue into other events and marketplaces, and further into digital promotions. There is a limitless array of opportunities!’
Morgane Cazaubon – Photographer
Morgane is very well travelled. Born in France, she lived and worked in Scotland for nearly five years before moving to Heyfield with her partner. She also owns a business where she works on her creative design and photography.
Why does she believe in Gippslandia?
‘It’s a showcase for Gippsland to other regions. It can help improve recruitment to local businesses. Gippslandia can open people’s eyes in Melbourne, and beyond, to the potential of living here. Gippslandia is about promoting the local businesses, believing in people and sharing their stories.’
Lisa Northover – Writer
‘Growing up in Gippsland I instinctively value the importance of a strong community, appreciation for nature and an overall slower paced life. I moved to Melbourne in 2010 and hadn’t really looked back until Gippslandia exposed me to a quirkier side of the region that I was otherwise oblivious to. It’s been a privilege to get involved with Gippslandia, not only to explore my own creativity, but to witness first hand just how the community of designers, artists and small business owners that support one another, rather than work against each other.’
Elle James – Contributor
‘Firstly, I can’t believe it’s nearly been a year since the idea of Gippslandia was proposed to me! I have been honoured to write the fashion pages over the past three issues! Gippslandia is just what us “Gippslandians” have been crying out for! A collaboration of talented and passionate creatives sharing everything amazing that our trendy region has to offer, as well as sharing open-minded and truthful views on current and pressing issues! I look forward to many more issues of educating and sharing stories on all things makeup and fashion.’
Andrea Kinsmith – Contributor
‘We believe in ideas worth sharing. Ideas that are worth sharing empower people and communities. Gippslandia is fertile with stories that delight and inspire. The beautifully presented pages share tales of innovation and resourcefulness that come from people within our own community. Connecting and empowering us with exciting possibilities for our region.’
Andrea Lane – Contributor
‘Arriving in Nowa Nowa as a (Fairfax Media) webmaster 18 years ago, dial-up and disruptive electric fences did not dampen my spirit. I was here to marry the most eligible artist in town. These days I am obsessed by this community’s love of nature. And I love the artists who turn it all into stories and experiences that make people like me care about saving the planet.’
Sarah Price – Contributor
Sarah’s a Master of Journalism student at Monash University. Raised in Gippsland, she has travelled to some cool places to study and work – including Malaysia and Denmark. Now back home, she’s constantly inspired by the people of Gippsland and impressed by the work of the Gippslandia team to promote positivity.
‘When I came back from studying and working in Denmark this year, I was impressed by this new and rad project called Gippslandia. I immediately wanted to jump on board as I believe it was something the region really needed.’
Joh Lyons – Contributor
‘I love the people of Gippsland, and Gippslandia shares some of the diverse and important stories of living in our region. In my roles as Manager of The VRI and Co-Director of Reactivate Latrobe Valley, I see amazing projects and activities that happen in our spaces. I hear wonderful stories of creativity and the strength of our region. It’s an opportunity for our storytellers, photographers and artists to offer our lived experience of his beautiful part of the world.’
A word from our partners.
As the Gippslandia team discussed their motivations behind getting involved in the newspaper, some of our Founding Partners kindly chimed in on why they believe in the potential of Gippsland.
GIPPSLAND COSMETIC LASER CLINIC
Daniel Calabro & Anita Turner
“Along with its exceptional natural environment, we believe Gippsland boasts an enviable sense of community. People still smile and say “hello” in the street and genuinely take pride in supporting their community – whether through sport, business, environmental or social means.”
ROPAN FINANCIAL SERVICES
“When I wake up, the first thing I do is look out toward Mount Baw Baw and I’m reminded on how well positioned Gippsland is, providing ease of access to beautiful mountains, beaches, waterways, excellent accommodation and resort-type facilities with fine restaurants, friendly locals with some of the best fishing, snorkelling and diving sites in Victoria, collectively offering a sense of adventure and the ability to be free. Gippsland is the perfect destination for an active and enjoyable lifestyle. It is unbelievably beautiful.”
“The Gippsland region is one that delivers an array of opportunity and growth potential when it comes to education. Gippslandia is an enthusiastic and dedicated platform that has allowed Federation Training to communicate their ability as the only Gippsland TAFE to provide Gippsland locals with access to a quality education, eliminating the need for locals to leave Gippsland and travel to Melbourne. It’s a win-win for all of Gippsland.”