The Hobart

Celebrating 5 Years

by Stephanie Williams
Celebrating 5 Years

A lot can happen in five years. Fire, flood, pandemic, border closures and a whole lot of resilience building! During that time, we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of Hobart’s most fascinating people – from sports and screen stars, to adventurers, creatives, business leaders and those agitating for social change.

Issue 19: Sam Elsom, founder, Sea Forest

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Rapid! For me personally and for Sea Forest, leaping into a new space, building a team and pioneering a new industry the learning has been so immense and through one of the most challenging times in the world with the pandemic forcing us to be creative and pivot constantly to maintain positive progress toward building better environmental outcomes.

What do you hope for the next five years? I am optimistic that in five years time we will see a broad embracing of emissions reduction solutions and the important role these technologies play in maintaining our way of life on this planet for the long term. I hope to see more businesses with purpose succeeding and building better outcomes for communities and for the planet.


Issue 10: Mitch McPherson, founder, Stay Chatty

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Taxing – so much has happened, so much has changed, we all need a rest, but feel we have so much to do.

What do you hope for the next five years? I truly am glad to be seeing more and more young people feeling comfortable to be themselves, to express how they feel, to share what they believe in, and to be open about who they want to be. But I hope people learn to do it more respectfully. I worry that the level of empowerment we are giving to these young people to be themselves, is overshadowing the fact that it is important not to listen to the thoughts and beliefs of others, and to ensure they aren’t hurting others along the way.


Issue 4: Michelle Crawford, stylist, writer and photographer

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Resilient – because despite facing numerous challenges such as natural disasters, political upheavals, and a global pandemic, individuals and communities have shown remarkable resilience in adapting to and overcoming these difficulties. We’ve seen countless examples of people coming together to support each other, businesses pivoting to survive, and healthcare workers risking their lives to save others. The past five years have been tough in many ways, but we’ve shown that we’re a resilient lot and can keep moving forward.

What do you hope for the next five years? I would hope for significant progress in the fight against climate change, including reducing greenhouse emissions, transitioning to renewables and protecting habitats and biodiversity, especially in Tasmania. I would also hope for a society that is more inclusive and equitable, where people of all backgrounds and identities are treated with respect and dignity. for greater empathy, kindness and compassion towards others as well as a greater sense of community and connectedness.


Issue 28: Robyn Mundy, author, adventurer

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? A second chance. The past five years have been tinged with the sorrow and introspection from the severing of a long professional relationship. Unexpectedly, the past year has then delivered the eye-blinking wonder of a new beginning, returning to the polar regions and the life I love. Through turmoil, through home-bound months of covid, I set myself the task of completing my Arctic novel Cold Coast, the publication of which has been the cause of such happiness and pride.

What do you hope for the next five years? Several close friends facing significant health challenges come as a reminder of how precious and fragile are all of our lives. The next five years? May life continue with breathless, giddying, unscripted gusto.


Issue 7: Rodney Dunn, co-founder, The Agrarian Kitchen

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? The word to describe the last five years would have to be tumultuous, but not necessarily with bad connotations. So much has happened that the last five years seem like a lifetime. From the highs of opening a restaurant to the lows of a pandemic that threatened it all, to the challenges of building a new cooking school and garden. Even without the elephant in the room (yes the pandemic!) we have changed and evolved in so many ways. There have been highs and lows but overall looking back we are incredibly proud of our survival and growth.

What do you hope for the next five years? When we first opened our business in New Norfolk many thought it strange to open in a low socio-economic town and especially New Norfolk given its dark past. To deliberately open in a building that was part of that past seemed like the perfect solution to turning around the stigma. Since then the town has seen many other great businesses open and thrive, helping to change the public perception. Our hope for the next five years is to see the town continue to grow and thrive. For the young people of the town to have opportunities and to be proud of where they come from.


Issue 15: Richie Porte, retired cyclist

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? The word I would choose for the past five years is adjustment as it has been a period of so many changes. Life has gone from being a professional cyclist living on the opposite side of the world to becoming a father with two children and just recently retiring and moving home to Tasmania. All positive and changes I have looked forward to but nonetheless big adjustments.

What do you hope for the next five years? My hopes for the next five years are to settle back into Tasmania and enjoy my time with family. Less travel might sound boring but I look forward to being in the one place instead of living out of a suitcase. It’s nice to be able to sit back and reflect on the past five years without too many plans for the next five years.


Issue 13: Justin Kurzel, film director

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Family. We moved to Tasmania five years ago and it was one of the best decisions we made. Being able to be around family especially when COVID happened has been so important. Work has always taken me away to all parts of the world and there has been something so anchoring in getting to really experience this incredible part of the world.

What do you hope for the next five years? That my family is happy and healthy. That we continue to look after this place and protect its environment from those that want to exploit it.


Issue 05: Rebecca White, politician

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Busy. The past five years have just flown by. The last time I spoke to you my daughter Mia was only a toddler and I was juggling motherhood with my responsibilities as Labor leader. Now Mia is six and has a little brother Hudson who’s a toddler. So the workload has picked up a bit on the home front and, between running the farm and my duties as Labor leader, there’s a bit more juggling involved. I’ve been inspired by the incredibly brave women – including Tasmania’s Grace Tame – who’ve come forward to share their stories and shine a spotlight on women’s issues. Their courage and resilience has made a difference but we still have a very long way to go and as a woman and a leader I will never stop fighting to give everyone the same opportunities and support to thrive in all aspects of their lives.

What do you hope for the next five years? With two young kids, there’s lots of experiences ahead that I’m looking forward to as a parent – watching them grow and develop as people is an extraordinary experience. As anyone who’s done it knows, it goes pretty quickly so I want to savour the moments. For Tasmania, I want to be part of a government that works to improve Tasmanians’ lives. Last time I spoke to you, I talked about the need for more housing and action to ease pressure on the health system. Unfortunately, neither has happened and it’s to everyone’s detriment.


Issue 44: Elliott Nimmo, artist

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Transformative. A lot has happened. Some awful stuff, some great stuff – it always manages to filter into the paintings. It’s like looking at two completely different painters if you see my work five years ago compared to now. Change is good, otherwise we stagnate.

What do you hope for in the next five years? When I was younger, I was very future-facing, but now I’ve learned to be less concerned about the future and to be aware of life now. I guess, though, I hope to be painting.


Issue 26: Ahmed Omer, year 12 student, college captain

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? I would use the word surprising. Five years ago I had no idea that I would be calling Australia home for the rest of my life, or graduate year 12 as the college captain whose dream is to change the world.

What do you hope for the next five years? I hope that more people will start playing a role in shaping to help this world become a better place where people who are less fortunate can be provided with opportunities. I hope to make impactful changes in the world through my future career.


Issue 31: Lewis Taylor, adventurer

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Delicate. I feel, at least in the developed world, that human existence has been speeding towards a point whereby loss of agency and skillset is widely accepted. We often relish in so many luxuries that band-aid our problems – online shopping when we’re sad, social media when we’re bored – that when we are confronted with real adversity or are tasked with completing a variety of practical tasks, we are incapable and must pay others to do it. We have become a specialised state, and as our often one-dimensional jobs have started to be replaced by advancements in machinery or AI, our direction and purpose has as a result become more delicate.

What do you hope for the next five years? The word delicate is an antonym for ‘resilient’, and resilience is the most important skill to wield when combatting adversity. Moving forward, I hope, as a general rule, we can look at the perspectives provided by world disruptors such as Covid and ChatGPT, and learn from them. As our jobs become more flexible, homebound, and sadly irrelevant, then let’s take the opportunity of more time in our lives to re-learn that piano, get back into the shed and tinker, go for a walk or hike, learn something new.


Issue 33: Tim Hurburgh, architect

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Dodg’em. #dodged bushfires #overcame floods #ducked covid #gritted teeth at Ukraine #evaded rate hikes #mostly dealt with ‘em all.

What do you hope for the next five years? I’d hope we could do better! #build less, plant more #endangered species protected #tall poppies trimmed #trump(s) retired #equality for all #referendum passed, phew



Issue 32: Hannah Vasicek, founder, Francesca

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Transformative – I became a mother three and a half years ago and have since had my second. It’s enabled me to have purpose outside my work but has pushed me to automate the business to allow for freedom to spend with my family.

What do you hope for the next five years? Over the next five years I hope to open the Francesca Foundation where we bring our charity and awareness efforts in house managing small projects worldwide to create change and impact!.


Issue 41: Frankie, four years old, THM editorial assistant

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? I just like it. I like being alive. I like making magazines. I like helping Daddy stack up the magazines and I liked seeing my picture on the front cover. My favourite thing was my birthday. Unprompted, Frankie then shared, “To the Muwanina people, for the stars, for the river, for our hearts. That’s what we do before our meetings at school. I love Hobart.”

What do you hope for the next five years? I’m not looking forward to going to school but I’m looking forward to going to Derby again and also learning to use my pedal bike.


Issue 35: Katie Parrott, fashion influencer and founder, ecclestone

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Change. Between covid and the fact that my social media career has really taken off, I feel like so, so much has changed since 2018!

What do you hope for the next five years? My hope is that I continue to be excited for what might be around the corner and open to opportunities – I hate the idea of becoming stagnant and predictable. So who knows what might come next!



Issue 36: Suzanne, illustrator

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Growth. I’ve had a lot of change over the last five years. Big creative steps, making new work, putting it out there, starting a micro business – it’s all positive, but it’s still change which sometimes comes with icky foreign feelings. Looking back from the perspective of five years though, I can definitely call it growth and I’m very pleased with the results and progress. Coincidentally, I’ve also planted a garden from absolutely nothing in the last five years – same issues; some great growth, spurts of growth, slow growth but when you look back it’s come a long way and (often) looks amazing.

What do you hope for the next five years? More of the same. I know that sounds uninspiring but all I can do is keep putting on the fertiliser and prune. Sure I want some big blooms and quite literally ‘fruit,’ but I can only do my part and be present. My part in the art sense is to keep working on my craft, practice and explore.


Issue 34: Ben Brown, AFL player

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Learning. I’ve learnt a lot during covid – we need to be able to change and adapt. I have changed clubs, had two kids in that time. I’ve learnt a lot about myself and have had to do things differently.

What do you hope for the next five years? I hope to continue to learn and grow as an individual. I definitely don’t think I have everything figured out. I need to learn how to be a better husband, father, teammate, friend. Who knows, I might be in a different job five years down the track.


Issue 24: Robert Clifford , founder and chairman, Incat

Which word would you use to describe the past five years? Why? Consolidation. Research and development regarding electric ship opportunities emerging, increased training of apprentices and the challenges of the skills shortage, disappointment not seeing an Incat built ship on Bass Strait.

What do you hope for the next five years? Electric ships market expanding / shipyard expansion / seeking more staff. I hope to see a Derwent Ferry Service to more stops than just Bellerive and to see a Maritime History precinct in Battery Point.

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May 2024

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