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2013 Expo Ambassador Announced - Pip Courtney

Pip Courtney 2012 distance

The Weekly Times Rural Lifestyle Expo Committee, are pleased to announce the appointment of Pip Courtney, Landline Presenter - ABC TV, as the 2013 Expo Ambassador. ABC TV will present at the Expo, reporting on the event and they are anticipating it will be shown on Landline at a later date.


Pip Courtney is the presenter of the ABC’s rural and regional affairs program, Landline.

Pip grew up in Tasmania and studied politics and English at the University of Tasmania. After graduating she did a cadetship with ABC Radio News in Hobart in 1986. In 1988 she moved into television with ABC TV news in Launceston, and then Hobart. 

At school Pip tossed up between two careers – wool classing and journalism.  With assorted aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins on the land her interest in agriculture led her to study ag science, but when it came to choosing a career journalism won out.

In 1993 she combined her two interests when she joined Landline.

In 2007 Pip and former Landline presenter Sally Sara were named Queensland Journalists of the Year for a feature on depression called "Black Dog".

In 2009 Pip won the Queensland Rural Press Club's Excellence in Rural Journalism Award. The prize was a trip to the USA to attend an international agricultural journalism conference.

A blog about her trip called "Saddle Up" was the ABC's most popular online blog for three months.

In 2011 Pip's two-part feature on the coal seam gas industry in Queensland won her the Queensland Media Award's Excellence in Rural Journalism Prize, the Rabobank Star prize for rural broadcasting (Qld), the National Rabobank Star prize and the International Star Prize for Rural Broadcasting.

In 2012 Pip was appointed host of Landline. She continues reporting, with a particular focus on Queensland and Tasmania.

2013 Rural Lifestyle Expo Promotional Video





...and what a better way to know more, generate more ideas, and produce a lifestyle you and your family can enjoy for many years, than by coming to the Rural Lifestyle Expo on the 6th of April 2013.

There will be lots to see and do as well as tasting the wondefulness of fresh, regional produce, and discovering how you can use this fresh produce in many amazing ways.

See you at the Expo!!

Ballarat Business Awards 2012 Video

Rural Lifestyle Expo - winners in their category in 2012! View the following video to see the award presentation and acceptance by Gerard Ballinger.



Matching Food & Wine

Simon Beaton - Renowned Chef

The Rural Lifestyle Expo is lucky to have convinced presenter and renowned chef, Simon Beaton, to showcase regional wine and produce, in our new Food & Wine Pavilion.


Simon has been cooking quality food for over 25 years and together with partner Flip, brings an amazing wealth of hospitality experience to Ballarat for you to enjoy. From 1st prize for his cupcakes in Year 7 Cookery to running some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, Simon was awarded Best New Restaurant in the Age Good Food Guide and an all time equal high restaurant review score of 18/20 from Stephen Downes.

Melbourne’s food scene took notice of the enigmatic Beaton’s career with Executive Sous Chef positions at Florentino’s and Marchetti’s Latin, followed by 2 years cooking in Europe and Asia before returning home to continue his career as Executive Chef at both Caffe e Cucina and Il Bacaro where he held a combined total of 5 chef hats in one year. Next Flip and Simon opened Zukini, Australia’s first certified organic restaurant and many businesses followed with the last being The Food Farmacy in Margaret River awarded the best regional restaurant in WA with stars in both food guides and claimed as the most exciting food in WA.

Only an innovative food purist renowned for reliability and the highest of standards cooks for royalty, sheiks and the world’s biggest names in entertainment. As chef to the stars Simon has cooked U2 and The Roiling Stones private tour luncheons, a formal dinner for Princess Margaret, Kylie Minogue’s 30th birthday party, Sarah O’Hare and Lachlan Murdock’s engagement and GTV9’s Logies after parties. George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Liz Hurley and Tom Jones have all complimented Simon’s food and you will too.


Simon has now set up Mr Beaton's Cookery, a catering business in Ballarat, and has an interest in educating people on how to match fine food with fine wines. You can engage Simon as your caterer, cooking coach, or chef.

Come and learn from Simon's extensive experiences and taste some of the regional produce available at the Expo, in the Food & Wind Pavilion.


Waratah Fencing Demonstrations

Are you wondering what to do with the fencing on your property, so you can run a couple of sheep or cows? Why not do it yourself? At the 2013 Rural Lifestyle Expo we have been lucky to secure the services of the expert fencing instructor: Nev Prince.

The following video will show you the sort of demonstrations Nev will be conducting at the Expo, on all type of fencing topics such as:

  • StockLock & Plain Wire Fence Erection
  • Strainer Assemblies Do's & Don'ts
  • Handy hints to save you time and money.



Winners in Our First Year

Expo Committee Winners

The Rural Lifestyle Expo Committee is 'over the moon' to announce that, in our first year, we won the CGU Commerce Ballarat - Business Excellence Award, in the category of Special Events and Attractions. Against tough competition from the many other attractions and events held in Ballarat, the Rural Lifestyle Expo was voted the best in this category.

The CGU Commerce Ballarat - Business Excellence Awards is an annual event with the purpose of allowing Ballarat residents, customers, clients and busienss people to recognise the contribution they and their fellow businesses make to the Ballarat economic and social environment.

The nominee's are judged by a panel of experienced, independant, business representatives, with the awards night being held in August every year.



CGU Awards

With over 4,000 people visiting the Rural Lifestyle Expo in 2012, and many of the visitors being from other regional centres such as Horsham and Colac, as well as visitors from metropolitan Melbourne, the 2012 event was a great start to what the Committee believes will be a long-term event.

With plans to make the Rural Lifestyle Expo a bigger and better event every year, that encourages more and more people from Melbourne to see how wonderful a rural lifestyle can be, we have no doubt visitor numbers will grow.

See you at the Rural Lifestyle Expo in 2013!

Cgu Winner Logo


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