The Our People podcasts are stories from South Gippslanders. They provide an insight into how people came to live here and what makes the region so special to them. Like our region, their stories are diverse and interesting. If you’re thinking of relocating to South Gippsland or you want to hear how other people ended up calling our region home… why not take a listen?

Episode 1: Jay and Kim

Jay and Kim are organic market gardeners from Bena, in South Gippsland. Hear their story as they tell you all about their business, and their passion for sharing their sustainable agriculture knowledge with everyone from farmers to home veggie-growers.

You’ll hear about Kim’s move from the Netherlands to travel Australia with Jay before settling in South Gippsland’s hills, about discovering the joys of fostering connection in South Gippsland’s small rural farming community, and about how South Gippsland makes Jay and Kim feel especially “gezellig”.

Episode 2: Jaci

Jaci Hicken runs Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, South Gippsland. Jaci swapped life near the small South Gippsland village of Loch for the bright lights and high-pressure of the television industry. But, as she says, it was always the plan to return to South Gippsland to “grow vegetables and cook”, and you join Jaci from her home and food studio in Mirboo North where she does just that.

Jaci tells us the story of how she grew up and found herself in TV, how she set up her food studio, the story behind her sprawling veggie garden, and her thoughts on food in South Gippsland. All while baking us a beautiful Fraisier Cake!

Episode 3: Melanie

Grab a cup of coffee or go for a walk in Leongatha and it’s likely you’ll see some of Melanie Caple’s work: her murals featuring unique juxtapositions of native flora and abstract, Art-Deco inspired shapes brighten much of the Western side of the central Bair Street, and a few other places besides. The Berrys Creek-based artist and arts manager takes delight in prompting South Gippsland locals and others alike to look at their local landscapes in new and exciting ways.

Join Melanie at her studio in Berrys Creek, where she shares her experience of growing up on a dairy farm in Nerrena, leaving Leongatha to pursue her artistic dreams, and art’s growing importance in the South Gippsland community.

Episode 4: Jackie

Many people move to South Gippsland to make a ‘sea change’, and that’s certainly true of Jackie. Her and her family moved to South Gippsland from Central Victoria, with the intention of trying it out for a few years before maybe moving back. However, that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon…

Jackie tells us her story of what’s keeping her and her family in South Gippsland. She tells us her experience of living and working in Inverloch, the story of establishing her business and working remotely for clients across the state, and how her husband ended up being recruited for the local footy team less than 24 hours after arriving in town…

Episode 5: Robert

Robert Waycott describes his story by borrowing the title of a Thomas Hardy novel: “Return of the Native”. Born and bred in South Gippsland, Robert did as a young person what many of our other subjects of this podcast series did- left as soon as they could! But after returning to South Gippsland and becoming involved in the local community, Robert found that the influx of new residents to the area made him see his home through fresh eyes.

We join Robert at the former Mirboo Shire Hall, home of the Mirboo North Historical Society, where he shares his passion for the history of South Gippsland and documenting the events of his local area through his local community newspaper. We take a tour of some pretty amazing artefacts, and hear Robert’s changing perspective on his home.

Episode 6: Rondinne

Rondinne is a recent addition to Mirboo North, South Gippsland, having built her house and made her home here in South Gippsland during 2020. However, Rondinne’s journey to South Gippsland has been longer and more eventful than most: she’s lived on four continents, having had a professional career taking her to the UK and North America.

However, even that can’t compare to Rondinne’s story of her escape from Kuwait as a refugee when she was a young adult. We join Rondinne at her home in Mirboo North, where she recounts her story of leaving Kuwait, driving across Europe to the UK, and then finding her way to “her view” in South Gippsland.

Warning: This episode contains Rondinne’s descriptions of her memories of escaping war in Kuwait, which may not be suitable for some listeners.