History - About the Documentarian

I have worked as an audio engineer for over fifteen years. When I landed a job at a radio station known then as EON FM, later becoming Triple M, I discovered the wonderful world of audio and knew that this was what I wanted to do. Radio wasn't necessarily 'it' for me, but this was where I first became fascinated with the art of putting sounds together, layering and weaving them in the quest to create something appealing, interesting and perhaps exciting. The possibilities seemed boundless.

After radio, I ended up in the advertising industry creating soundtracks for TV and radio commercials. I continued to work in this area for over five years and it was during this time that I met my husband. It wasn't until I had children and stepped out of the advertising industry, that I found the opportunity to work on some projects of my own. As my husband is also an audio engineer, it wasn't difficult to talk him into the idea of building a studio at home. This was it for me; I could now spend any free time I had in the studio creating freely.

This brings me to 'High Country Life' and how it became one of my 'projects'. From it's beginning, there was no real plan. It was a project born out of my love for riding horses, my great interest in audio and a conversation I had with Charlie Lovick. I have known Charlie, his wife Glenda and their family for close to ten years. They taught me how to ride in the bush and have given me a greater appreciation and respect for it. I've gone back to ride with them countless times and spent many nights around campfires talking, listening to stories and experiences of their life and history in the high country.

Almost three years ago now, as Charlie and I sat by a crackling fire next to the Howqua River, we spoke about family history. I asked Charlie if he had ever written down any of the remarkable stories and memories he had stored in his head. 'Nope", he replied. The Lovicks have a history rich in tradition with uncounted tales of human spirit, perseverance, heroism, skill and daring. For seven generations they have run their cattle in Victoria's high country. It was a history that I felt should be documented. I suggested to Charlie that perhaps I could bring my recording gear with me when I came to visit. I would record the campfire chat and gradually collect these accounts with the intention of passing them on to the Lovicks as a record of their family history.

As time progressed, I began carrying my recording gear with me everywhere, including on horseback to some fairly treacherous areas. Over a period of almost two years, I gathered close to 35 hours of recordings. It became obvious that I needed to do some sorting out, to put it all into some kind of order and format. I sifted through and chose the stories that I thought gave a good insight into the life and history of the Lovick family. As I continued to edit, the project continued to evolve and as I wove the stories together with music that evokes a strong sense of actually being there, I soon realised that it had become more than an audio documentation of the Lovicks. "High Country Life" provides an insight into the way of life of the many mountain cattle families of Australia.

Coincidently, the completion of "High Country Life" coincided with the end of alpine grazing in Victoria. Cattle that have grazed there over the past 100 summers have been barred. With the loss of their traditional way of life, the Lovicks and other mountain cattle families are forced to seek other ways of life and with this we lose a direct link to our pioneering heritage, historical information and vital local knowledge.

I feel now that I've captured and preserved not only the history of one family but also a precious part of our nation's history, before it fades away, before there's nobody left to tell it first hand.