“I grew up in the Adelaide Hills so I was always a scrub boy and became very passionate about the environment. My family used to come to KI a lot; I loved it. There’s always been a magic about the place that is hard to describe and I have been pretty lucky to have had the opportunities to travel. My partner Amy and I lived and worked in the APY Lands for three years and that is where we started making films. She was teaching and I was there out of interest in culture and community for a start. I am a journalist by trade and picked up my camera because NITV was offering grants for different stories at that stage. We submitted a few ideas and they took one and our documentary-making business built from there. On a visit to Adelaide, we made a trip over to KI and Amy immediately fell in love with the place. We had one of those moments on the island; a perfect full moon night with no wind, down at the point at Sapphiretown. That was kind of the confirmation that we wanted to live here. We were so glad to finally make the big move at the start of 2020. We bought a block at Pelican Lagoon, great spot; the kids love it there.
I love travelling and meeting people; that is probably the journalist in me. It’s funny when I look back at my life and as a teenager, I always had a video camera in my hand. I was one of those annoying guys at parties that walks up and films people unwittingly. I look back at that and think, that was training, I was getting ready to at some point in my life film documentaries.
I love to be able to tell people’s stories and making ‘Fighting to Farm’ was one of those opportunities to really go back in time and to tell a vitally important piece of history. I hopefully told it well enough for people’s memories and to honour our Soldier Settlers and the amazing work they’ve done. To make a film like that about the community requires the community’s cooperation and everyone I approached and spoke to was really open about it, even in such tough circumstances. To be able to gain their trust and ensure their stories are forever preserved on tape was a privilege.
That is probably the future for me, telling people’s stories – it’s my main passion.”