Who we are...

Bec Bignell

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Rural Room Editor

Bec grew up on a farm in regional Western Australia and has worked in film and media for twelve years, most recently at the ABC (Sydney) as Partnership Executive. She produced the exciting, new female series ‘600 Bottles of Wine’ and has multiple acting credits in stage, film and Television.


Gabrielle Major


rural room deputy editor

Gab grew up on a farm in Kellerberrin in Western Australia’s wheatbelt. She studied a degree that spanned across PR, Events and Journalism and worked at the Albany Entertainment Centre before relocating to small regional town of Ravensthorpe. She currently works at the Community Resource Centre and is managing a very important regional sports initiative. She is mother to three young girls and in her spare time (!!) she’s the Deputy Editor of Rural Room.

Clare Leake


rural room arts editor

Clare grew up on a family farm in Borden in the Great Southern region of WA. She completed her high school education as a boarder at Perth College where she graduated as School Captain. She was awarded a John Curtin Scholarship at Curtin University where she completed a Batchelor of Economics and Marketing. Clare commenced her professional career in banking with ANZ before moving into corporate advisory and in 2014, Clare relocated to London to assist Yonder & Beyond, a tech incubator to list on the ASX. In 2015 Clare returned to Perth, and married a farmer, relocating to Kellerberrin in the central wheatbelt where she now lives with their two children.

Jess Lehmann


Regional Community Development Manager

We needed an infectious person to help us build on the energy in the Rural Room brand. Cue Jess; a natural ambassador for Australian Agriculture through her association with the Cotton Industry, and a charismatic, whip smart, ever-curious individual who does everything with a smile. Jess completely manifests our Rural Room values and helps strengthen the community through our initiatives from the Media Stringers, to ‘Rain Dance’, Rural Room content and everything in between!

Jess grew up on a family farm in Narrabri, North West New South Wales and has trailblazed on a path of innovation and agricultural research. She’s been involved with research projects that deliver environmentally sustainable agriculture and we’re very lucky to have her expertise within the team. Jess will be increasing her involvement in strategic communications with key stakeholders and members of the Rural Room Community, including the Media Stringers, to ensure we can scale the impact we are making. Essentially, she’ll be helping us take #storiesfromthesticks to greater heights by implementing some amazing multi-platform community initiatives in 2019 that we’re really excited about sharing!

Please feel free to drop Jess an email to say g’day jess@ruralroom.com if you’ve got something happening in your local community that you think would be of interest or that you’d like to Rural Room to support.


Tom Moir


Media Stringers Content Manager

Tom Moir is a good sport, he loves sport and from time to time he writes about sport, which we love because he’s hilarious.  

He’s also a good sport because he’s one of the only blokes among a large group of powerhouse Media Stringer women and he champions them every step of the way. Here at Rural Room the differences are transcended by a united commitment to bring the profile of regional creatives to the forefront. One way we do this it by advocating for city businesses to award more creative work remotely to our network of regional creatives, the Rural Room Media Stringers. Tom is active in this cause through his role as Media Stringers Content Manager. He manages the schedule of stringers stories and in 2019 we are going to bring you an abundance of creative content from the sticks. He’s a Great Southern local from way back and his natural ability to intertwine humour and heart in stories (as only a bush kid could) makes him the ideal person to oversee the Rural Room Media Stringer content.

If you’ve got Media Stringers story feedback or just want to drop him a note about anything sports related, including the West Coast Eagles 2018 Premiership (#1 fan) you can hit him up at tom@ruralroom.com

Helen Carpenter

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Helen’s son encouraged her to “give it a go” and apply to the Rural Room Media Stringers. We’re very lucky she took his advice because over the past twelve months Helen has submitted a range of thoughtful, evocative and interesting multi-media stories. She has contributed a lot to the community and is an active participant in the Slack channel, the communication platform the Media Stringers use to support each other remotely.

In 2019 we have a range of exciting workshops planned for the Media Stringers that will span across many different areas of the arts, the media, film, and community development. Helen will manage the workshop administration, will be responsible for motivating the Media Stringers and will drive the momentum in the Slack environment. Helen is a great example of the growth you can achieve when you put yourself out there and take on challenges with both hands. Over the year Helen has extended herself from photography to writing copy and she has experimented with a range of different creative mediums. The stories from the sticks we promote are all grounded in authenticity and capture a mood that could only be generated by people who are on the ground in regional Australia.  

Helen is dedicated to sharing stories that promote Rural and Regional Australia to increase balanced coverage of the issues in the country and to bring country and city communities closer together through a shared understanding communicated through story. Helen’s kindness, resilient nature and generosity of spirit makes her the perfect person to take on this support role in the Media Stringers community.

Helen can be contacted on helen@ruralroom.com

Rosie Henderson



Rosie Henderson is one of those story tellers that sees things other people don’t. She captures still and moving image in a way that makes you stare a little longer, think a little harder and feel a little more. We are so excited to have Rosie on the ‘Rain Dance’ bandwagon when we get the show on the road next year. Rosie comes from farming lands on the west coast of Western Australia, born into a family of farmers, station people, pilots, photographers, writers, and story tellers. Rosie says “I suspect I was maybe destined to live the life of a floater, armed with a camera, ever in search of adventure and stories. Once qualified in the Dark Arts of Politics, International Relations, and Journalism from the University of Notre Dame Australia, I took off in search of passport stamps and adventures, only to return home to the bush in order to work to fund the next overseas trip.  For many years, my story telling, and inspiration stemmed strongly from those adventures and my interest in international development. However, my increasing stints back to the bush have left me with a new connection to and appreciation of the lifestyle, industry, environment, and country that I am privileged enough to have grown up a part of.”

In ‘Rain Dance’ we aspire to share an authentic story that reveals the depth of experience, layers and nuance in contemporary regional Australia. So, we couldn’t think of anyone better suited to help us keep the production grounded than country girl Rosie who says, “I hope to use my skills and passions to capture the many magical moments and stories from the sticks that so often go untold."

If you’ve got any questions about ‘Rain Dance’ or want to enquire about involvement feel free to send Rosie an email to rosie@ruralroom.com


Letter from the editor,

The wide-open spaces and the amazing characters I met during my childhood in the country influenced a lifelong obsession with storytelling. My ambition has always been to return to the country to take film, media and the arts projects of the highest quality to share these fascinating stories and characters.

I developed Rural Room to connect country people through stories and creativity. The community is such a beautiful, thriving, positive space that continues to grow. The genuine appetite for these stories, was made clear through the energy and engagement of the Facebook page, and prompted me to resurrect a film I wrote at Uni after my holidays working in our shearing shed. I believe a real, raw Australian film from the bush is well overdue. Through this film, Rain Dance, we have pioneered an approach to filmmaking where we have developed it completely in partnership with the regional online community. The Rural Room community brings a critical eye to the development of Rain Dance and they do not tolerate regional stereotypes - they insist on genuine situations and an authentic representation of the diversity of people that populate the regions.

I've been working on Rain Dance for twelve months now and I’ve come back to the Great Southern Region in WA to bring it to life. As I move around the country I’m meeting some very talented regional people and I’ve connected with organisations that are world class and many which are globally connected. 

It amazes me that so much of this talent and experience is hidden. Fortunately, the Rural Room online community is helping connect these dots and bring these people and stories to light.

As Rural Room grows, we are starting to see some interesting things happen.  We are starting to get an idea of what interests the community, such as the lack of access to cultural and sporting facilities in the regions. We'd like to bring this to the attention of more people, and to see what we can do collectively.