HighCast 061 – Dallas de Brabander

Dallas is host of Skinkworld House Concerts in Bundanoon.

Ben Folds has a song called There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You. It’s true, Dallas is way cooler than me, and she’s not even trying.

I was lucky enough to talk with Dallas and go to one of her house concerts. The concerts are as warm and as welcoming as Dallas. The artists, hand picked by her, were super intelligent and inspiring musicians. I felt a like I was in a dream and humbled to be present.

Dallas is doing something in Bundanoon that’s authentic, beautiful and empowering. Her spirit of generosity is only matched by her obvious passion for music and bringing others together to enjoy it with her.

Southern Highland and surrounds is home to some unique people doing some pretty incredible things, Dallas fits right in. It was a pleasure to talk with her and be invited into her home.

Thanks Dallas!

HighCast 060 – Darren Green

Darren is creator of Heartisan Market.

I was hit by the life force that is Darren (Dazza) Green. He’s got a drive and a determination that not many posses. Most will spend their time pondering or reminiscing, Darren is doing!

Darren has a vision and is determined to see it happen. He’s the kind of guy you read about in the history books, the type with grand dreams and a desire to do something different, rebellious even.

The market at Penrose is taking shape, Darren is a good cook (seriously try the deep fried ham and cheese tostie!) and the facility he dreams of setting up is filled with potential. You can sense Darren wishes time wasn’t dependent on our relativity to speed of light. That perhaps, if he could go faster, time would appear slower and he could get more into a day!

What a pleasure to meet another ordinary, extraordinary, person in the highlands turning their everyday into something magic.

Thanks Darren!

HighCast 059 – Steve Hogwood

Steve is an artisan blacksmith and owner of 1910 Ironworks.

Our ability to create, our ability to imagine and to change is embodied in Steve. An ex advertising executive, who was once consumed by the art of consumption now spends his time working metal and producing boutique iron products.

I was lucky to visit his forge. There is something natural about his work, a connection to the world that goes beyond tangible into something almost spiritual. Maybe it’s because the heart of the earth is iron, maybe that the work involves fire, I’m not entirely sure, but the feeling is pervasive and infectious.

Through my conversation with Steve, I learned a lot. I learned that sustainability, artisan is a vocation and a lifestyle. That if you want to do it, Steve is an example of how it can be done, and that, if Steve is any example, it’s truly rewarding.

Another great podcast with another local who is doing his bit to change the world.

Thanks Steve!

HighCast 058 – Dylan Lourey

Dylan is owner of George Harris Movement.

Dylan produces hats, shirts and bags from hemp. A magical plant, best known for changing our consciousness, which, with its sustainable qualities, could end up changing the world.

It’s pretty cool that he does what he does from the highlands. He doesn’t have easy access to his chosen material and relies on manufacturing and distribution networks well beyond our area. That’s what’s so cool about it, he does what he does in spite of the difficulty, because it’s the right thing to do.

Dylan gave me GHM hat. I’ve been wearing it around, that is when my 5 year old son, who is, by the way, significantly cooler than me, isn’t wearing it. It feels good not only on my head, but in my head, to know that we have people in our area doing great things with global impacts.

Thanks for sharing Dylan!

HighCast 057 – Mark Bourne

Mark is owner and vigneron at Cuttaway Hill Wines.

Mark is a really happy guy. Why wouldn’t you be when you get to spend your days in the fields cultivating and creating a product that people love? Not to mention that he also gets to sip wine most days..!

Mark is more than a wine maker, he’s a amateur historian, part time geologist and meteorologist, he has to be when he’s meeting people from all over the globe and explaining the providence and characteristics of his wine. He’s also a passionate advocate for local produce and talks as enthusiastically about other local products as he does his own.

I like drinking wine, perhaps a little to much, but I’ve never really appreciated the nuance and artisan nature of it’s production. Mark embodies that essence in a way, he’s more than a wine maker, he’s on a journey to learn and to enjoy his life. I feel he’s doing a great job!

Thanks Mark!

HighCast 056 – Alyse Price – Tobler

Alyse is a psychotherapist and owner of Bowral Road Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre.

My old man is a regular listener to the podcast god bless him… He told me that he almost turned off straight away when we talked about psychotherapy because he thought it might be about some sort of new fandangled woo woo. Such is the stigma around the brain and mental health and the limited societal knowledge of mental health practitioners.

I’m training as a counselor and deeply enjoyed this conversation. I find peoples behavior and subsequently their mind fascinating. I got great insight from Alyse. She is a caring and engaging person who has compelling knowledge of the working of our minds.

I always suspected that mental health workers would be exposed to some of the greatest challenges of the human condition but I wasn’t aware of the extent to which Alyse and her peers are working with some of the greatest challenges of our existence. This was certainly an eye opening conversation and one I will certainly have to follow up on.

Thanks Alyse!

HighCast 055 – Claire Connelly

Claire is a freelance journalist in Southern Highland.

I didn’t know what to expect when Claire came into the studio. I knew she is a journalist and does freelance work. I was interested to find out how she does her work from here and how she balances her intellectual and employment needs in a regional area.

I found myself deep in economic discussion and as I said on the podcast, I was barely keeping up. The discussion ranged from economic fundamentals to ethics and our obligations as citizens to be engaged in the process.

It’s fantastic to know that in our area of the world we have engaged and articulate individuals like Claire prepared to engage on a global scale. Her story, and the others I’ve heard, and brought to you, are the reason I started HighCast. If I hadn’t I feel as though I’d be sitting at home wondering whether there was anyone else in our neighbourhood pondering the big questions in life. Turns out there are…

Thanks for joining me Claire it was one of my favourite conversations so far!

HighCast 054 – Mitch Harding

Mitch is advocate for DILF Club in Southern Highland.

DILF Club bitches!

A fantastic story about blokes getting together to talk about being a dad.

Being a dad is awesome but it can also suck. Like really suck. So much suck that you just have to suck it up and bottle it in and never, ever talk to anyone about it ever, lest you die. But at DILF club, blokes can talk about dad stuff or the footy or whatever, and that’s cool.

I like that DILF Club is free from institutions. It’s been established by a group of guys who just wanted to get together with no agenda. Mitch embodies this, he was feeling a bit isolated as a dad, came across DILF Club and started one in our area. Simple as that.

Seriously dad’s listen to this one and get down to DILF CLub on a Sunday morning in Mittagong.

Thanks Mitch!

HighCast 053 – Michael Meldrum

Michael is Convener of Climate Action Now Wingecarribee (CANWin)

The planet, maybe it’s flat, maybe it’s spherical, perhaps it’s doughnut shaped… One thing is definite, it’s our only home for now until we take to the great expanse of solar system and beyond.

It’s this notion of our only home that drives Michael and perplexes him as he promotes climate action in the Wingecarribee. How can you destroy your only home and why would you do so?

On HighCast I’ve met many local folks trying to do their part to make the world better for them, for their community and for the future. There are different opinions on how to do that, but as Michael demonstrates the passion for resilience and security runs deep within us.

I really enjoyed the conversation with Michael even if we got on our high horses for a bit. The view is great up there 😛

Thanks Michael.

HighCast 052 – Charlie Fenton

Charlie is candidate for One Nation in NSW state election.

I must admit I didn’t know what to expect from a One Nation candidate. The party, their leader are almost infamous, and their reputation has faced serious challenges over the past two decades. So when Charlie greeted me with a smile and some cheer, I was delighted to discover he wasn’t a devil /s*.

*For the non internet nerds /s indicates sarcasm.

Charlie comes across as friendly and genuine. He cares about health, education, law and order and is keen to see those types of services improved in our area. His opinions on these topics make complete sense and would not be out of place in any platform of any party.

I did try to get an insight in how he would make a pitch to people who don’t align with the the One Nation brand. I don’t know how it will play out in the electorate, but for what it’s worth I really enjoyed my conversation and his views on topics above were certainly centrist, if not, a little left leaning…

I’m super glad to have met Charlie and all the candidates. I embarked on this process by accident, but once I did, I wanted to demonstrate that even though across our fine region we may have differing political views, we can all have a decent, reasoned and respectful conversation. I think I achieved that.

Thanks Charlie and good luck!