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Kate Taylor

Crossing over from the dark side... PR... five years ago, Kate Taylor found herself looking for something to do. She turned to the only thing that keeps talented writers lacking the required tortured soul of a commercially profitable novellist, fed. Journalism. A devoted news junkie who works from home writing for a newspaper and a magazine, and who enjoys creating imaginary work colleagues based on an unlikely cross between the cast of Mad men and John Cleese, Kate takes current issues and drags them kicking and screaming into LOCAL relevance. articles by Kate Taylor

Fiona Morgan Arts

Creative. Geek girl. Foodie. Oil painter. Artist of

Fiona will interview creatives of all stripes in their natural habitats. You may have never noticed them in your street or realised where they make their magic, but they’re there. They’re everywhere. Fiona will entice out and put on display those marvellously creative natives of the Ballarat region and their magnificent imaginative creations.

Artists, crafters, gourmet food producers, furniture makers, digital designers, photographers. Calling all those slapped by the muse. Share your stories here. Spread your inspiration. Put a smile on people's faces. For a profile of you and your work or a feature on your creative event, contact me. articles by Fiona Morgan

Jon Stanger Politics in Ballarat

In order to avoid ever settling for a career path, Jon adds 'political columnist' to residential support for people with a disability, sound engineering, welfare, office administrator and politics. Jon played a key role in organising the first Walk Against Warming in Ballarat, probably just to make some new friends and give concerned layabouts something to do.

Somewhat annoyingly if you're unlucky enough to have a conversation with him, Jon sees politics in everything from food and music to waste and recycling. Expect content relevant to the local community with a political edge and make sure you comment and criticise: we're relying on you for some balance.

Twitter: @jonstanger Facebook: articles by Jon Stanger

Shayna Williams Lifestyles Columnist

Shayna acquired her love of all things culinary whilst working in the hospitality industry and travelling through Europe. She has a penchant for seeking out fine produce and making the most of what can be sourced locally. She is renowned for her baked goods, in particular her award winning cupcakes and her creative designs. Shayna loves all things vintage. Her sewing room is an Aladdin’s cave full of vintage cloth, buttons and a dress maker’s dummy her Nanna won in a design competition during the 1930s. The column 'With love, Shayna' focusses on what she has been up to that week, be it cooking, baking, preserving, sewing, knitting, crocheting, reading, shopping or socialising. If you have any questions, Shayna will do her best to answer them, particularly if they involve a challenge! articles by Shayna Williams

Collin Van Uden The Twitter Guy @thebindy

Follow us at @theBindy

Collin is the father of three girls, a compulsive nailbiter, and an avid collector of pens.

An IT guy, he offers a focus on technology, media and communications locally and abroad -- occasionally branching out into topics as diverse as art, entertainment, politics, appropriate lunchmeat selections and other issues of community interest. He is not particularly qualified to write on any of these topics, though steadfastly ignores suggestions to stop. With a penchant for drawing out the humour from the gloomiest of circumstances, and casting shadows of doubt on those most seemingly flippant and innocuous, his articles are sure to get you thinking, laughing, crying, or demanding a refund as you smuggle the complimentary soap out in your knickers. articles by Collin Van Uden

Melissa Watts Columnist

After running up a HECS debt and paying it off in a non-related career, Melissa has decided to make use of her critical thinking and word smithing skills more often. She finds inspiration in things that frustrate her with the world. Spending her days with Instructional Design work in Melbourne, Melissa loves returning to her early Victorian home in Ballarat to make jam, preserve home grown fruit and plan her next travel adventure. Melissa volunteers for Ballarat Writers Inc, writes her own blog at and tweets @MelissaAWatts. articles by Melissa Watts

Robyn Perham Disability & Accessibility

Robyn Perham, (formerly Robyn Gobert) is well known across Australia as a disability rights advocate and speaker. "I was born with disability and I've acquired a few along the way," she said. Robyn has worked extensively as a disability access consultant and an advocate and activist for disability access across the nation. I am a Director (Administration and Personnel) for MPMS P/L. I am living at Lake Learmonth, in western, rural Victoria. Most recently I've joined the newly emerging Women With Disabilities Victoria (2012). I've been busy for a number of years drawing attention to the many access deficits in the Ballarat region. I'm currently working to convince the Ballarat City Council that we should be the absolute home of democracy by becoming Australia's most wheelchair/disability accessible destination in Australia. articles by Robyn Perham

John Barnes Contributor

John Barnes worked as a senior officer in local government in Ballarat. He subsequently went on to be a councillor and was Mayor from 1998 -2000. He was Chairman of Central Highlands Water from 2001-2010, and is an advocate for commuter bike riding through the Ballarat Bicycle User Group (BalBUG). articles by John Barnes

Leon Dwyer Media Director

Leon Currently Art Director and Production Manager at AscetInteractive, a “new media” agency that deals directly with small to medium businesses in Ballarat.

Leon ran as Greens Candidate Ballarat West in the 2010 state. Leon is no longer a member of the Greens after resigning to prevent conflicts of interest in his roll as Media Director for TBI.

Leon believes strongly in the roll new-media play

articles by Leon Dwyer

Heather Marsh Garden

When it comes to gardens Heather can be prone to wild flights of fancy. "I was already imagining my section in the Victorian Open Gardens yearbook. In my happy, carefree world of make believe gardening I had mentally skipped some hundreds of hours of soil preparation, weeding, pruning, propagation and pest control." Heather comes back to earth occasionally digging, weeding and planting in her garden in between chasing her toddler son, her two wolfhounds and the occasional cockatoo on her Central Highlands piece of paradise. articles by Heather Marsh

Shaun and Lisa Williams Yum, Food

Shaun and Lisa have spent much of their 20s (and their earnings) travelling on the whims of their stomachs. Wherever there was an aromatic waft of something delicious, they were there to try the local cuisine. This love of food and the search for the perfectly palatable platter continues, albeit in less exotic locations. Joined now by little Piper who (much to the dismay of grandparents when she has Indian smeared all over her face) partakes when it suits her, the three will share their experiences of the local fare on offer in Ballarat and the surrounding regions. articles by Shaun and Lisa Williams