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(What if) The inspiration for your next bold idea was right here (?)

Clutching at the sentiment - “there’s no such thing as a wrong idea” - I hoped that we hadn’t bitten more than we could chew when creating this issue.

Dec 20, 2023


Words: Tim Leeson
Images: Zane Carter

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Attempting an edition filled with big, bold and brave ideas initially appears to be a terrific… idea. But midway through creating this issue, I was feeling adrift. Good ideas seem ephemeral – a common metaphor being the fleeting, but ferocious, lighting bolt. The catalyst for our ideas was seemingly so varied (there are probably a couple under the fridge). Heck, the conjecture of what constitutes a ‘good idea’ is endlessly debated, especially today. I needed something to grab onto.

At points, I was jumping to this edition’s final page and rereading Gippslandia General Manager Michael Duncan’s comment that “there’s no such thing as a wrong idea”, clutching at the sentiment, hoping that we hadn’t bitten more than we could chew in creating this issue.

As always, trust the process; cast the net for insights wide and listen to our contributors – it’s in the many conversations surrounding the creation of the issue where the good stuff lies.

“Rather than single interventions, it’s the totality of innovations that will produce the results we need”.

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Take the incredible diligence of Rod Stubbings, who demonstrated a classic approach to ideation – observing his friends, the stars, every night and forming hypotheses on their behaviour.

Leecia and Stephen Angus from Snowy Advisory acted as our futurists: drawing insights from their many projects and conversations, then extrapolating them into a brighter Gippsland future.

Farmers2Founders’ Natasha Wright shared insights into how she gets the best from our region’s founders and entrepreneurs (empowerment, humour and push!).

Rocket Seeder’s Emma Coath and Nicki Marks gave us the terrific line that “rather than single interventions, it’s the totality of innovations that will produce the results we need”.

All valuable insights were formed through many conversations, experience and time observing.

Included with Tasha, Emma and Nicki are a pair of contributions from inventors and entrepreneurs Jon and Trey Knight of BuzzBay Energy. The size of their inclusion in our regular department is not representative of the impact the chat with them had. As a son, and with sons myself, seeing the pride both gents had for each other's contributions to BuzzBay was stirring.

It also shone a light on the auxiliary benefits of pursuing ideas with others and the energy that brings to a community. As BuzzBay Energy embarks on a partnership with Federation University Gippsland and RMIT, their idea is set to be tested more rigorously than ever before. My tip: expect to hear more of Jon and Trey in the future.

Emma Hearnes’s conversation with Galah founder Annabelle Hickson struck an obvious chord, as she shared her realisation that there’s a lot more to regional Australia than stories of “floods, fires, droughts, lack of access to health care and education, doom and gloom”!

Speaking of Emma, her piece on the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event, the Village Feast in Inverloch, was a classic example of how rewarding it can be when an article idea comes to fruition. Emma’s excitement in the piece is tangible, especially when she’s soaking in the wisdom of knowledgeable and passionate winemakers, growers and chefs.

A profound personal experience is a potent prompt for a bold idea or even bolder action, as our pieces on women’s health, the effervescent Ya Reeves’ dance with the Unknown and Shelley Banders’s touching piece with Jan Clarke all demonstrate.

Photographer and writer Karli Duckett and artist Tammy Honey both present tracts of land viewed through fresh eyes, which are bound to trigger further ruminations.

While some refer to land, others call it Country and it was a privilege to learn from Gunaikurnai, Monero Ngarigo woman Katherine Mullett for this edition.

Serendipitously, I’d been reading the recent First Knowledges (Thames & Hudson) release, ‘Innovation’, and Katherine added further context as to why, tens of thousands of years ago, First Nations ideas and knowledge spread right across Australia, but physical objects didn’t travel comparable distances, explaining the cultural value placed on ideas.

Finally, I’ll highlight a trio of articles that each contain aspects of ‘regeneration’: bold steps being undertaken at Lardner Park, an outstanding new approach to tourism on Phillip Island and the remarkable Gippsland Forest Dialogue (GFD). I say ‘remarkable’ because the GFD puts a kibosh on the polarisation we’re seeing in politics and media today. They’re getting people with seemingly disparate outlooks to respectfully refine ideas for what’s best for Gippsland’s forests. All three initiatives have insights that can be adopted elsewhere in our area.

Thank you for reading our ideas throughout the past year. I think the clearest insight Gippslandia #29 has provided me is that we need to make ideas our own, and then make them for everyone.

From all of the Gippslandia team, may you have a wonderful and safe festive season.

We look forward to presenting your bright ideas in these very pages in 2024!

Gippslandia - Issue No. 29

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