I’ve been telling stories and interviewing people as a journalist, broadcaster, author, spin doctor (yes one of those), PR consultant and film maker for over 30 years. I started at the ABC and now have my own business, Living Stories, where our mission is to connect people through stories.
// Living Stories started in 2010 from a single, life-changing conversation, with a man who ran a nursing home. He regularly attended funerals. He was surprised by how often the children, of the person who had died, would talk of their regrets to him. About the questions never asked, the conversations never had, and the stories that they had never known about their Mum or Dad.
A lightbulb came on for me. I wondered if I offered a service creating a personal documentary through interviewing, editing and adding photos, if that would be something people would want? Films that would act as conversation starters that could connect people, deepen understanding, bridge the divide between generations.
In 2010 I walked away from my salaried position in one of Adelaide’s top marketing and communications agencies to start Living Stories in the spare bedroom of our home.
In 2023, we have offices in Port Adelaide, we create films, books and podcasts. We do personal stories, work stories and everything in between. We work collaboratively with our clients to tell their stories.
// It’s a privilege and humbling to be trusted with these precious stories that are shared among families, friends and communities.
Hobbies? A morning beach walk with my dog is my way of defragging my brain, I love an occasional glass of red in the evening, cooking, gardening and spending time with my favourite people.
// What has been a lesson you learnt in your career/business, that has stayed with you?
The lesson I’ve learnt from my early days is the value of giving positive feedback. In some workplaces, you only hear from your manager when you’ve made a mistake. A little bit of positive feedback can go a long way in a team, people feel appreciated and valued. The result? They are much more motivated and interested in doing great work.
// What do you love most about working for yourself?
I love the flexibility of being my own boss and being able to choose who I work with. This is an extraordinary perk. It means we have a team of people who are smart, fun to be around, curious and always happy to learn. The one thing I insist on from people working at Living Stories is that they are respectful to each other. For me it’s vital to create a workplace that is safe and supportive and allows everyone to grow.
// What are you most proud of?
I’m so very proud that I have created a business from an idea and that some 13 years later we are still here! I’m proud of the impact that many of our films have had – I know some of them have been transformative. I’m proud of the people who had their first paid employment at Living Stories and are now forging careers in the film industry, as well as those who are currently working at Living Stories.
// Do you have a fave place to spend summer/go to for coffee/ go to to relax/ go to for food? My favourite place is the beach. Living at Semaphore means I get my beach hit every day whether the sky is blue or grey. For a summer stay I love Goolwa Beach which has one of the best beaches ever, the sand and the sea goes forever. One of my favourite places to eat is The Little Rickshaw in Aldinga, every meal I’ve had there is a winner, just sublime food. A business that I love supporting because she has kept me healthy and fit for over ten years is Seaside Pilates run by Chantell Murphy. I’ve been going there for 10 years, she and her team are amazing – https://www.seasidepilates.com.au/
// Share with us a quote or mantra you live by…
Stories can change lives.
A well told story allows us to see the world through someone else’s eyes and understand it from their perspective. Stories can provide a bridge to connect people across cultures, generations and genders. Stories create understanding and empathy – I believe at this time we can never have too many stories!
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