Whispers of history

Yesterday I walked the Gib Track up and around the quarry at Mt. Gibraltar with the family.

Every step you take you get the sense of treading on ground traversed by someone before. Whether a first Australian, a quarry worker or fellow highlander you can hear the whispers of the past echoing off the high walls of the 178 million year old stone as the sun gently creeps below the horizon.

I’ve done the walk, or parts of it, countless times before. I love walking it with my children. They explore every nook and cranny of the tracks and scar of the old mine. I live vicariously through them, experiencing clambering, climbing and falling for the first time on the slippery and hard surfaces.

As they journey, you can feel as though they, we, are the only one’s to have ever done this. That no other human could have ever experienced this feeling or emotion but I know that’s not the case. We’re treading where others have before us and continuing their legacy, and when walking the Gib, we should be mindful of history and grateful  for it’s contribution.

It’s easy to forget that many millions of years of history and generations of people have come before us. That after we have gone there will be many more. As I walked the Gib Track it dawned on me that maybe all the past is, is whispers, and all that I, and we, will leave behind will be as well.

Whispers that linger in the mannerisms and eyes of our children, the gardens we have planted and the communities we’ve grown. Whispers of the past are important, speak loudly and clearly now so that they linger for a long time afterwards.


Most Saturday mornings you’ll find me down at Bowral Parkrun taking part in the free, timed, 5 km run. It’s great fun and in the time I’ve been participating I’ve met some great people I’ve come to call my friends.

There is something about people who exercise. There’s very few, if any, dickheads! and people who are willing to get up and moving early in the morning when it’s freezing cold tend to have a really positive attitude towards not only their exercise but to life.

This morning I was volunteering. I handed out tokens as the 89 runners crossed the finish line. It was inspiring to see people from all walks of life, from across the generational spectrum smile as they completed a lazy 5 k’s all before 9 am!

Hopefully I’ll see you next Saturday. Bring a jumper it’s pretty cold this time of year 😛

HighCast 025 – Debbie Smith

Debbie is a highlands local and Manager of Meals on Wheels Southern Highlands.

More than a meal is their slogan and Debbie embodies its meaning. She is caring, keen to make a difference and has can do spirit that so epitomises organisations such as MoW.

We talked volunteering, the importance of community and finding and pursing purpose in your life. I really enjoyed her openness, candor and humor. The highlands is lucky to have a leader like her.

Meeting people like Debbie and hearing her story is the reason I do this. I hope you enjoy it to and that together we can make a difference in our community.

Today I launched HighCast as a social enterprise. Through sponsorship, I hope to give support to volunteers who give so much to us. If your a business in the highlands who wants to not only promote your brand on HighCast but also give back to community get in contact.

0405 037 038


Promote, promote, promote

What I’ve learn’t about podcasting today:

  1. People want to be entertained
  2. Human interest stories are in high demand
  3. It doesn’t matter what the topic, it needs to be relateable on a human level
  4. People consume content in so many different ways, you can’t be everything to everyone
  5. Promote, promote, promote.

I’ve been at a bootcamp for the last two days looking at innovative ways to develop and deliver solutions. At the end of the day, I’ve caught up on some, nowhere near enough of my day job, and I’m writing this. I had to, it is important to get down what I’ve learnt otherwise I’ll forget it.

I’m the only one left in the room whilst everyone else is of having a beer and eating pizza. I guess that’s the price you have to pay if you want to create something.

If you like what I do, tell a friend about HighCast, like the HighCast page on Facebook or follow me on twitter @High_Cast.


Lights and sirens

On Friday night, around 10:30 pm, just as I was dozing of to sleep, I received a message and then my pager went off.

RCR Mittagong, persons trapped, it read.

I sprung out of bed, put on my overalls and shoes, grabbed keys, wallet and phone and ran down my driveway to the rescue truck parked 50 meters away.

This would be the first time I had driven a truck under lights and sirens.

Before I could depart, there were a number of things I had to do; unlock the bay doors, warm up the truck and radio in.

In the dark and cold, and with the Adrenalin pumping, my hands were shaking as I fumbled for the keys and clumsily unlocked the bay doors.

I tripped as I jumped into the truck, and in the dark, tried to locate the choke as it bumbled to a start.

Eventually I got rolling and radio’d in as I hurtled down the road for the first time under response conditions.

A few gear crunches, and five minutes later, I was on scene and parking the truck.

The whole time I was thinking to myself, what am I doing? why am I doing this?

We rescued the gentleman who was trapped and despite a few hiccups, I’m glad that I challenge myself to do what I did.


Photo Sasha Baer.

It’s easy to let fear of failure, or making a mistake, stop you from trying different things and challenging yourself.

I felt anxiety and trepidation before and during the response but despite those feelings I did it anyway and I’m planning on learning from my mistakes.

Try something new today…

HighCast 024 – Jo Crowley

Today Jo Crowley General Manager of Barbara May foundation was on the podcast. The foundation supports maternal health in Africa through sponsoring doctors and building community. It’s really cool that in our own backyard people are doing work that has a global impact.

Conversations like this one, I said it during the podcast, is the reason I started HighCast. To bring people together through stories, to build community connections and to empower others by promoting inspirational people.

Jo and foundation she represents do fantastic work and are a shining light in the often dark times of modernity. I’m very glad to have met Jo and hear her story. I hope you enjoy her story as well.

HighCast 023 – Ben Fitzsimmons

When I was younger I loved the pulp song Disco 2000. I liked that 2000 seemed so far away and unrealistic, and when they got there they realised it was just normal and things didn’t turn out exactly as expected. Today, thanks to you, HighCast has been listened to over 2000 times! When I started HighCast I didn’t think I’d get more than 10 listens on the first episode and maybe I’d do a couple before it folded but today I’m averaging 90 listens per episode and you’ve told me to do more, so I have.

Today Ben Fitzsimmons was my guest. Ben is a highlands local and representative of Hume Coal. Ben is a great guy who can have reasonable and rationale discussions about what has proved a sensative topic in the region – the proposed hume coal mine…

Ben is a fantastic advocate for Hume Coal and an articulate and nuanced geologist. His representation demonstrates he understands the sensitivities of the proposed mine and is prepared to have difficult discussions. Even though I don’t endorse the mine, I endorse people like Ben who bring science and people skills together to help us answer the important questions of community. We need more discussions like the one Ben and I had, I really enjoyed it.

Don’t forget you can now listen to HighCast on YouTube as well as on iTunes or listen on your browser or mobile with SoundCloud.


HighCast 022 – Martina Drysdale + Ben Ling

This morning, local social media aficionados Martina and Ben visited the Highland FM studios to join me on HighCast.

Martina and Ben moderate Just Ask – The Southern Highlands & Surroundings page on Facebook.

I discovered Martina started the page in 2015 out of necessity and it has now grown to almost 17,000 members, quite phenomenal really considering it reaches about 30 per cent of highlands population.

Martina and Ben are both down to earth, they are real people, with real feelings who are doing their best to provide a service to our community. We talked about the challenges of moderating the page, the great parts and the not so great parts and the phenomenon of social media in our society.

It was really interesting conversation with two people who encountering the challenges of modern communication at the coal face who are doing it with dignity and passion.

Thanks for joining me today, I had a blast!

HighCast youtube channel


apple blur business communication

People asked for alternate ways to listen to HighCast so I created a youtube channel and I’ve uploaded the first 18 episodes!



Today marks another little milestone on my HighCast journey. If you told me a year ago that I’d be doing a podcast and that it would be listened to almost 2000 times and I’d have created a youtube channel I wouldn’t have believed you. Goes to show that you just have to do things, learn adapt and evolve and you can transform yourself!

Happy listening…

HighCast 021 – Joe Stammers

There are between 3000 and 4000 koalas in the Wingecarribee, how cool is that!

What’s even cooler is that we have people like Joe with the vision and the passion to drive koala conservation in our special part of the world.

On this episode Joe talks broadly about how ecosystem, community and economy can thrive with evidence based, scientific approaches to planning. It was really interesting to hear Joe’s thoughts on the future and how we could make the Southern Highlands a utopia for furry friends and humans.

Today was another day in which I consider myself really fortunate to be doing this podcast. Each episode I learn something fascinating and my hope for the future expands. Thanks Joe!