THE RURAL ROOM CREW

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COVER IMAGE:

Thank you Emma Leonard from @littlewildlovephotography for your permission to use the beautiful image of flowering gums for our revitalised site design!

Bec Bignell is an alumni from Curtin University. We thank Curtain for this video


RURAL ROOM TEAM

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Bec Bignell

RURAL ROOM EDITOR

Bec grew up on a farm in Kojonup, 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’ which premiered on the BBC (UK) and also has multiple performance credits in stage, film and Television. In 2018 Bec was named in Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence and she’s currently participating in the Australian Rural Leadership Program, as sponsored by Telstra.

For any requests to collaborate with Rural Room, questions about the organisation or Media Stringers applications of interest, please email bec@cockatoo-co-lab.com

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Helen Carpenter

MEDIA STRINGERS COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

Helen is an award winning self-taught photographer, who is passionate about promoting the diversity of life in Regional and Rural Australia, from her family lifestyle farm in Central NSW. In her role as Communications Officer Helen is responsible for maintaining the positive, inclusive culture within the Media Stringers Network. She coordinates the Monthly Media Stringer Sessions and provides ongoing support to network members across all areas. Importantly, Helen assists Media Stringers ongoing with their use of the digital technology and platforms Rural Room employs for all remote activity.

Helen can be contacted on helen@ruralroom.com

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Jess Lehmann

REGIONAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

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 this year she started in a new role with Plant Health Australia where she’s working on projects to improve on-farm biosecurity measures for growers. Jess has also undertaken a number of significant advocacy roles such as being the face of the rural cotton story behind the 100% Cotton Womenswear Collection spring launch in collaboration with Cotton Australia and Jeanswest. In her role for Rural Room, Jess contributes to the content on all platforms, coordinates multi-platform community initiatives, maintains the aesthetic and brand and performs in a variety of important support roles for all Rural Room activities.

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.

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Tom Moir

MEDIA STRINGERS CONTENT MANAGER

Tom grew up on a family farm in Border where he cultivated a love of sport and developed a passion for sharing sports stories from the sticks to highlight the integral role that sport plays in regional communities. From the farm, he spent time working for COFCO, a Chinese agricultural trading company, before completing his studies and moving into the sports industry. He worked for the West Australian Football Commission as the Regional Manager in the Great Southern for the past 5 years and is currently an Employment and Training Officer for ATC Work Smart; a regional not for profit organisation dedicated to helping employers meet their needs for skilled people in the workplace. Based in Albany, in the Great Southern of WA, Tom is actively involved in the regional Football community and in his role for Rural Room he manages the content submission for the Media Stringers network, ensuring an engaging variety of content is delivered to our audience.

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


Special Mentions

Positive community development and management is critical, and we value the contribution of everybody involved in creating this dynamic space and building the energy and momentum. The following people have been instrumental in helping us grow and share the Rural Room spirit:

 
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Gab Major

ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTOR

Gab Major grew up on a farm in Kellerberrin in Western Australia’s wheatbelt. She studied a degree that spanned PR, Events and Journalism and worked Deputy General Manager at the Albany Entertainment Centre before relocating to small regional town of Ravensthorpe. She currently manages the local Community Resource Centre and is coordinating an important regional sports initiative to ensure the sustainability of the local competition as populations dwindle. She is mother to three young girls and actively helped bring together the moving parts of Rural Room in its conception. Gab remains involved in the community and her early contribution was invaluable.

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Clare Leake

ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTOR

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. Clare’s expertise and content contribution was significant in helping develop the foundations of the Rural Room community.

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WHAT WE DO & WHY:

Planting the seeds of today for the stories of tomorrow… 

1.    We release #storiesfromthesticks and increase the circulation of regional voices by;

a.    Sharing original multi-media content created by regional creatives and our Rural Room Media Stringers across our digital platforms and wide-reaching audience over 62,000 across Facebook and Instagram

b.    We publish user generated content, cross promoted from the online Rural Room audience

c.     We syndicate stories from major Cultural, Arts and Media organisations and Rural Room creative partners to highlight the creative initiatives occurring in regional Australia

2.    We discover and connect regional creatives of all backgrounds to highlight through our Rural Room Media Stringers network. This network brings together experienced creatives from all over regional Australia to represent the extensive creative footprint, quality of work and impact the regional creative network makes. We’re also committed to up-skilling the creatives within the network and we provide regular access to highly specialised experts in the Cultural, Arts, Media and Film sectors through bespoke workshops coordinated online.

3.    We advocate for increased sustainable and genuine commitment to investment in creativity within regional Australia by;

a.    Encouraging metro, local and government businesses to tap into our network and engage regional creatives for work they commission in regional areas.

b.    Encouraging metro, local and government businesses to outsource creative work to regional creatives to undertake the work remotely.

c.     Encouraging metro, local and government businesses to allocate creative spend into regional communities so regional people can enjoy the same access to creative activities as their city peers. Importantly, we encourage the creation of legitimate creative pathways and support programs so regional children can remain within their communities and dually aspire to the same creative ambitions as their city peers.

d.    Encouraging metro, local and government businesses to consider how they activate regional funds so significant, meaningful contributions can be injected to regional communities for increased long term creative support and not indirectly funnelled straight back into city centres, where people already enjoy an abundance of creative initiatives and access.

4.    We produce major multi-media projects and film productions through our parent company, Cockatoo Colab, to share unique, progressive, nuanced portrayals of life outside city centres.

Rural Room content is diverse, and we speak to all of regional, rural and remote Australia, not just agricultural sectors. We’re not limited to hard news stories, and our creative features draw out the artistic, the cultural and the textured tapestry of life in the bush. Similarly, our niche audience is a cross-section of people who live in regional towns, in remote communities, on rural properties and also includes city people who desire to connect to their own bush backyard and vicariously enjoy the space, country characteristics, people and access to nature that regional Australia provides.

Our intent is ultimately to create a progressive, dynamic, creative picture of life in regional Australia which extends beyond the stereotypes and negative perceptions that have traditionally perpetrated mainstream media.