Series 2: Episode 7 – Pippa Grandison, Steve Le Marquand and Charlie

From Big Screen to Big Backyard

Written by Bec Bignell

Australian artists Pippa Grandison and Steve Le Marquand have graced our screens in some of the most iconic television shows and films such as Muriel’s Wedding, All Saints, Underbelly, Red Dog, Water Rats and while the prolific creative couple are used to the dizzy heights of show business, they always yearned for a rural property where they could nestle in nature and plant their feet in the dirt.

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So, when the opportunity arose to sell their home for an attractive price in New South Wales, they packed up their lives and, with their teenager Charlie, leapt across the country landing in Lake Clifton, Western Australia.

“As artists we struggled often, we had to sort of get the mortgage put on hold at one stage and then when Covid hit, it was a double-edged sword – we lost a lot of work but at the same time the price of the house just skyrocketed and there was a big market for it because a lot of people in Sydney realised that they could live in regional areas, that they didn’t have to live in a cramped flat in Bondi or the city…we thought – now could be the chance to sell up and then move back home and we’ll find a property (which we always wanted to do) and be mortgage free, which we are.” (Steve)

Newfound financial freedom was complemented by freedom of space and the family pinched themselves when they landed on their rural slice of paradise where the perks of country life were everything they’d imagined, “we just never thought in our fifties that we would be able to have that opportunity…to move rurally, to not be in the big smoke anymore… it’s so beautiful and there’s wildlife everywhere, and the neighbours are friendly and you drive home and…you pull into the driveway and it takes you a while to get to your house on the driveway and you go – yeah, this is this is a dream that we managed to realise.” (Pippa)

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When considering the move Pippa and Steve wanted to ensure that Charlie was involved in the decision so talked through the idea as a family, “we wanted to do it as a team and if Charlie wasn’t into it, we wouldn’t do it because it’s a big thing to do, it’s a different way of life.” (Pippa)

They also researched important details together such as what high school Charlie would attend and while moving schools can be daunting Charlie lent into the experience, “I feel like being open about yourself is the way that you’ll find people that you’re meant to be friends with…it’s always hard not knowing people and there’s always going to be that sense of fear that people always talk about, it’s definitely real, but it’s not that hard to find friends if you’re just sort of open about who you are.”

Charlie also maintained connections with friends in New South Whales by tapping into technology, “sometimes just being able to ring someone up or text a friend late at night is something that’s really important and being here, and having friends on the other side of the country that I can talk to whenever I want, is also really important to me and that is just a really helpful way of keeping those kinds of connections going.”

Adjusting from a suburban habitat to a much bigger block the family wasted no time in stepping up their gardening game; planting, foraging, and cultivating corners of their expansive backyard to support the local ecosystem.

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“There are so many birds, so many different birds! I think I’m like the crazy bird bath lady because I’ve got loads of bird baths…I’m still trying to place them strategically…and the roos – we’ve got this whole mob and…you see them just, you know, a meter outside the front door, having a drink out of a bird bath and there’s a bubba there as well. And for me, it’s just extraordinary, we’re keeping a lot of the property bush, so that they’ve got it.” (Pippa)

It’s not just the wildlife that benefit from the productive gardening, “I’m using my body a lot more, you use all of your body when you’re being active on a property, you know in the garden, or you know carrying stuff around…your whole body and I just feel that I’m keeping myself active.” (Steve)

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And you’d be wrong in thinking that the passion for planting has been the result of a downturn in work; despite assuming the move would hinder their careers, it has actually seen them surge, “I’ve branched out into areas that I really wanted to branch out into now that I was too scared to do before and I can’t say that that’s one hundred percent because of where we live, but I certainly think a large percentage of it is. You go outside, you breath the fresh air and you think okay, what am I going to do today? And what do I want to do with the rest of my life? We’ve done this, we’ve made a change – let’s make it work. I’ve always wanted to be a director and since I’ve come home, I’ve directed. I’m about to direct my third piece and then all these TV jobs have come along, and a play with Black Swan and things have started happening. So, for me, personally, it’s been wonderful. I kind of thought I was petering out, but it seems no… so I’m kind of happier than a pig in shit at the moment, to be honest.” (Pippa)

Steve has also had a steady stream of offers and while he’s in high demand as an actor, he’s chosen to supplement his on-screen work with a gig as a Bar Manager at the local watering hole. Customers are surprised to see the well-known actor working behind a bar tucked among humble hills, rather than Hollywood, but Steve loves it, “I’m just as happy running a pub as I am onset of a big TV show. It doesn’t really make much difference to me. I pretty much find a way to be happy whatever I’m doing wherever I am. I’ve certainly never had any desire to be famous in any way, shape, or form. So, you know, I’m sort of happy to be where I am.” (Steve)

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Pippa, Steve and Charlie value genuine connection and the community spirit shown by locals from the neighbours to patrons in the pub is authentic and appealing, “it’s a nice way to live because that human connection is so important. At the end of the day, where all just trying to get through life and hopefully we enjoy it as much as we can and being kind to each other and looking after each other makes things much, much easier and it seems to come quite naturally in the country.” (Steve)

Moving as a family unit presents unique complexities but Pippa, Steve and Charlie have navigated the twists and turns of the adventure with a united front, and they’ve discovered things that bring joy and contentment both as a family and as individuals.

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“I think there’s something really special about knowing that when I was younger, when I was little, if you had told me that we were going to be living here, I would have been so happy because I’ve always loved nature, and I loved bigger spaces. I loved fields and I loved the idea of living on a property. So, there’s something really comforting about knowing that this is the kind of place I’ve always wanted to be, I think that’s what I really love about it.” (Charlie).



“Fortune favours the brave…I mean it’s seems like such a massive thing on paper, but once you get the ball rolling, and you get in and amongst it at your destination it is one hundred per cent worth it. Get out of the city, get into the sticks, be at one with nature and your family. It is unreal.



Get on country, feel what it’s about. First Nations people, they know the country. They are of the country, and I think being in the country, you really start to understand what it means to respect the earth and take your spirituality from it.



I reckon if you’re thinking about it, then you should absolutely go for it, and especially if you’re a younger person and someone like me, and you know that it’s something that you’ve always thought about, it’s definitely going to be right for you.


There are so many birds so many different birds. I’ve got I think

I’m like the crazy bird bath lady because I’ve got loads of bird

baths camp Aussies are relocating from capital cities to regional

Australia in record numbers. We could give you all the stats about

better house prices all the jobs on offer and higher levels of

happiness, but what’s better than hearing from someone who’s made

the move themselves welcome to you moved where the podcast where we

interview everyday Aussies with moved from the city to the country.

I’m your host a girl from Rachel Australia who moved to the city and

then you guessed it back to regional Australia this is you moved



When you order a schooner at a pub out in woop war you don’t expect

to be served by a film and TV star unless you live in Lake Clifton

wa prolific artists Steve lekwand and peeper grandison have graced

our screens in some of the very best and most iconic shows and films

like Muriel’s Wedding underbelly Red Dog Water Rats the list goes on

PIPA Steve and their teenager Charlie decided to trade in their

Sydney lives for something completely out of the box a rural

property in wa they discussed the idea together and we’re committed

to ensuring everyone was 100% on board to ensure that Charlie was

happy to relocate in high school with a newly found freedom on their

rural slice of paradise the family wasted. No time in stepping up

their garden game and they spend their days planting foraging and

cultivating corners of their expansive backyard despite landing lead

roles in.


Up and coming series they remain humble and grounded so much so that

Steve has taken on a gig as the bar manager at the local pub pouring

beers to patrons who are loving the novelty of Being Served of

frothy via film star the fresh air abundance of wildlife and slower

pace of life has totally rejuvenated the family and in pippazine

words the move has made her happy as a pig and shit.


Paper Steve and Charlie you moved where we moved from Sydney to Lake

Clifton Western Australia people are in Steve you both grew up in

Perth before moving to Sydney did you always want to come back to

Western Australia how did that come about? Well? I didn’t

necessarily grow up here. I was born here born in Perth and my

family moved back over east or to the east my mum was West

Australian and my dad Victoria and so they settle for neutral ground

they New South Wales when I was before I started school sold it

might be two or three and I did all my full years in growing up over

there, but I always used to come back mum’s family was always over

here two brothers that her parents so we’ve come back once a year at

least once every two years and spent a lot of time here and when I

finished school instead of doing schoolies as a lot of City

folklore. You know your school leaders do.


I travel back to Perth for the Americas cop in 1997 and when I was a

young man. I was only to just turned 18 so I was seeking my phone

and fortune and I didn’t go back home for another two years, so I

spent a lot of time over here and so yeah, I have a voice one up to

come back absolutely and I am much more always Australian than my

husband is of course.




per last few years of school, we’re here for me in wa and then I

moved when I was about 18 or 19 over to Sydney


Where I’ve been ever since like Steve always come back always come

back to visit and I worked a lot actually in wa and I’d love coming

home for the shows but every time I would come home this might sound

a bit tweet but it’s it’s true. I I never really wanted to go back

to New South Wales I had a live there. Obviously and and my friends

and a career and everything but I I just always wanted to stay like

there was a part of me that just wanted to stay if you know what I

mean getting all emotional about it but and now we’re here so it

feels right even though we’re rural now. We’re down south not in you

know the big smoke of Perth just being back here in wa feels just

feels right feels right and can you tell me what sparked the move

back to the west?


Was that you Charlie oh, maybe well, it was covid to a large extent

where you bought a property actually living on the central Coast

which is a halfway between Sydney and Newcastle on the on the East

Coast it’s about an hour and a half Drive north of Sydney and we’d

lived at 10 years we bought ourselves probably we lived my dad in

the northwest of Sydney to save some money we both had some good

jobs. Got enough deposit finally bought ourselves a house on the

central coast and we lived there for 10 years struggled sometimes

with the mortgage as artists. We we struggled often with we had to

sort of get the mortgage put on hold on one stage and then when

covid it was sort of a double-edged sword we lost a lot of work, but

at the same time the property of the house just Skyrocket sorry.

Yeah the price of the property and there was a big market because a

lot of people in Sydney particularly realise that they can now live

in regional areas. They have to leave you know the cramped flatten

Bondi or the city. Are you going by a nice?


Also central Coast beachside Suburb and and so as I say the price of

the property absolutely linked through the roof and so we thought

now could be the chance to sell-up make a fair bit of money and then

move back home and we’ll find a property which it always wanted to

do and be more be true which we are and it was a very appealing

option which we obviously talk. Am I you know since covid even

though covid was devastating for many people and people were in much

worse positions and we were we’ve been living hand to mouth all of

our lives because we’re Australian actors and that’s just the way it

works. What has worked for us any time you audition for a job you go

you used to go in as you would probably know into the Casting agent

and you would do your audition and that’s the way it is, so you’d

want to be living in the places where the big casting agents were so

you had the opportunity to get work.


Then covid came along and was devastating but then the positives of

that I guess for us as it was saying about being able to move

financially with that we can auditions for anything anywhere via

self test now. I miss going into the Casting agent that that rushed

adrenaline and the excitement and they actually kind of can Direct

you in a different way if you’re moving down the wrong path you know

but but having said that now. We’re here. You know I ring when we

were thinking about it around my agent and I said what are you? What

do you think and she said well? Why not? Why wouldn’t you do it my

agent calls it by coastal. You are now buy coastal asces.


But you know we always wanted to get some land. It was always A

Little Dream that we’d had some land and I really wanted a minute to

cow or something like that. I don’t know that and we just you know

never thought in our 50s that we would be able to have that

opportunity to have the land to move rurally to not be in the big

smoke anymore, but the trade-off is that it’s so beautiful and

there’s wildlife everywhere and the neighbors of friendly and you

drive home and you know why you’ve driven that far because you pull

into the driveway. It takes you a while to get to your house on the

driveway and you go yeah, this is this is a dream that we managed to

realize so and then Charlie we weren’t sure if Charlie was gonna be

keen on the idea and we were walking you. Can you say what happened

for a little while I wasn’t too keen on it because it’s staying in

one area for 10 years of your life and growing up there from.


Play a toddler it’s kind of you have a connection to it that you

don’t want to have to get rid of you. Don’t want to leave that place

and then we were going on a walk and I said if you want to move we

should do it now and we did wow and Charlie it’s such a huge

adjustment. You know especially in high school, but what is it like

as a high school kid sort of going into a new community and having

to adjust into into that environment as a high school student it can

really differ depending on the kind of person that you are I feel

like I’m lucky enough to be able to make friends easily. I feel like

just sort of being open about yourself is the way that you’ll find

people that you’re meant to be friends with but it’s always hard.

It’s always hard not knowing people and there’s always going to be

that sense of fear that people always talk about it’s definitely

real but it’s like it’s not that hard to find friends if you’re just

sort of open about who you are it can be easier to.


In if you lie about who you are, but it’s always easier to make

genuine relationship, so it will in the long run. You’ll have a

better time fitting in and like being at the school in general. Feel

like that’s such valuable advice because I know that when parents

are considering on moving one of the things that they obviously want

to make sure is that their children are Gonna feel comfortable and

it’s a new environment that they’re going into so for you pepper and

Steve how did you kind of you know embrace that for yourselves was

there anything that you did or did you just lean into the fear with

Charlie and just sort of take it as it comes. We did a lot of

research into the schools. Obviously you look at the areas where you

might be able to afford where you might want to live but for us. It

was even with the school. We feel wasn’t a school there that we

thought Charlie might be I mean as Charlie’s so eloquently just said



Depends on who you are. You don’t really know exactly who you’re

gonna meet but we had a bit of fun actually looking at schools

online. Didn’t we there was some what was that the reviews there are

some crazy reviews of schools out there right. You’ll always find.

Oh, wow. Yeah.


That’s cool those people have a good sense of humor. Maybe that’s

the right school and also are inclusive you know too we logged on to

one and there was a big rainbow flag right behind a bunch of kids

and we’re like yeah. That’s an inclusive school, so that’s important

to but we never would have done this move without Charlie being okay

with it. I mean I know people always get young people get

apprehensive about things and sometimes you need to try and

encourage them but we’re not into forcing.


Sally’s do anything where we can help it, but I think we did lean

into it together. Yeah absolutely and I think I always you know I

think we’re always near the Charlie would go okay, because he’s a

really Brazilian charismatic because that’s just said he’s very open

and and quite forthright as well and and so does attract a lot of

friends quite easily and they can sort out the good friends from the

not so good friends, so I’ll always do that that was probably going

to work out having said that the first week that we arrived from the

East before we we would sold up what we had were our possessions on

a on a train that got stop other floods and the way over to earth

and we all just sort of look at each other and said what the hell

have we just done.


Contain and the little space where we couldn’t get outside obviously

and there wasn’t a garden and we’d come from we’re in the suburbs,

but we still had a garden and beautiful yeah. Yeah, but also like I

think we all loved the idea of having space. Yeah, I get that and I

also think Charlie you’re advice is valuable as well for adults a

lot of people when they’re going into new environments one of the

things that they talk about in terms of the Adjustment is the

finding friendships and networks of people that they can connect

with so that openness that you talk to is a theme that comes up on

this show when people are talking about you know even as adults how

they can form new relationships and new Communities what are some of

the other ways that you’ve created networks in the the new

environment that you’re in now. Well one of the really good things.

I would say well about a more modern world living in a more modern

world is having technology and


You know I know a lot of people can be a bit skeptical about kids

always being on their phones or whatever but it really is such a

good way to be able to keep in touch with people especially just

considering a lot of kids. Just struggle so much with making friends

and sometimes just being able to ring someone up or text a friend

late at night is something that’s really important and being here

and having friends on the other side of the country that I can talk

to whenever I want is also really important to me and that is just a

really helpful way. I think of keeping those kinds of connections

going that’s actually a brilliant thought because it’s unrealistic

to think that you would move to a new place and not want to retain

those relationships and connections that are a big part of your life

to that point you’re now in an area. Where you’ve got some acreage.

What are some of the things that you love about being in your ruling

environment now.


Are so many on my favorites.


I think well to toss up between just being able to do anything you

want with the garden and so much gardening and I can’t get enough

gardening and I’ll just probably drop dead gardening but for me the

wildlife, so we’ve got the people who sold us the place had two

little dogs and they have fencing around what the cool kind of the

homestead area which is quite big still but that’s fencing yeah

about an acre with the house and then you know we can grow our

veggies and and things that we don’t want stray sheep from the

neighbor to get to all rooms and you know we have the fences have to

be a certain height to the rooms don’t jump but it’s fencing you can

see through and there are so many birds so many different birds.

I’ve got I think I’m like the crazy bird bath lady because I’ve got

loads of bitter baths now. I’m still trying to play some

strategically they’re not a long top of each other but they’re here

all the time and the ruse we’ve got this this whole mob and they

share themselves around there’s a in this area where we are there’s.


I guess as 20 or so properties that are about 8 to 10 acres each or

whatever and a lot of people like us don’t have fantastic fences, so

there isn’t just like you know they share themselves around but then

you see them just you know immediate outside the front door having a

drink out of a bird bath and there’s a Bubba there as well and for

  1. It’s just extraordinary. We’re keeping a lot of the property

Bush so that they’ve got it. Well might carve. Some little Bush walk

paths in there if you want whatever because there’s wildflowers too

and they’re all out at the moment, but mostly those parts are up the

back are left for the wildlife, and it’s it’s just glorious to think

that they’ve got a space and it’s ours and we can give it to them

then there’s the possum that eats my mother’s memorial geranium

garden that I planted for her mum died nearly a year ago now and I

thought I’ll plant this drainium data for her and this pugger of a

possum every time. It’s about to.


They’re not supposed to eat geraniums. You know and we’ve got a cat

that we sort of looked out open at night. So just in the homestead

areas it out of there, but just to try to scare the possum off and

one day we saw the gap following the possum across the backyard.

Yeah, they’re hang.


Ing out where we of the flowers. Oh look these are about to Bloom

over here come and eat these she’ll go crazy Alliance is able to do

anyway. Oh my God yeah for me for wildlife. I think what about you?

Yeah, but I just love that. I’d love the active. You know what I

mean. I am I’m 55. No spring chicken. I played a lot of sports. So

I’ve always used to being active but I sort of get the chance to to

play the score to do children. I think my body be capable of it, but

having the gardening and just moving stuff around I’m always moving

logs and stones and and then finding stuff as well, because there’s

there’s been a lot of tenants and people have owned this place for a

long time and at least beautiful Stepping Stones I’ll just digging

through some dirt one don’t found a stepping stone and like I’ve got

proper all one. This is beautiful and then on earth it went up

finding like 70 or 80 and so and then all the bricks that had these



Tones that we’ve made a stone garden out of and just that kind of

stuff yeah. Yeah that people bought sort of left up in the backpack

20 years ago it gets covered with soil and grass and every time he

finds. Oh my god. I know just what to do with that and then lugging

it around and I’m just finding that. I’m using my body a lot more.

Do you use all of your body when you’re being active on a property

you know in the garden or you know carrying stuff around and

chopping stuff and same stuff and all that just uses your whole body

and I just feels along on keeping myself active which at this age.

If you’re not on property or something else it could be very easy

just to sit around and drink a lot of b. Yeah and growing

vegetables. It’s very vegetables is good to pour Charlie we are in

the garden a lot and it’s not your bag. Is it it just it may it

makes for a beautiful garden though. We’ve done so much in the time

that we’ve moved here like there is so much. That’s been done. It’s

almost unrecognisable. How beautiful it is now.


So, I think it’s really important not going to appreciate the work

that you guys do well. Thank you very much. If I haven’t done any of

them myself.




something really special about knowing that when I was when I was

younger when I was a when I was little if you were told me that

we’re gonna be living here. I would have been so happy because I

always loved nature and I love the biggest space is I loved fields

and I love the idea of living on a property so there’s something

really confident about knowing that this is the kind of place. I’ve

always wanted to be I think that’s why I really love about it. I

relate to everything that you’ve all said because it’s a familiar

story for us and I have to say the space and the work that comes

with that is actually something I didn’t consider because we had

lived in apartments. Previously like you’re saying and I just didn’t

appreciate just the work and the incidental exercise that you get

off that which is an added benefit that I sort of hadn’t considered

that you’ve described perfectly now you mentioned before that you’re

Australian artists and I have to say I’m a shameably that I am a

huge fan of both.


Feel work people and Steve in honor of mural’s wedding my husband is

also a huge fan. We have named our chooks after characters in

Muriel’s Wedding like Peter van arkl we’ve got Mr hefflop and Betty

we made a conscious decision not to call when Nicole out of respect

to you can also


how she’s going to behave this is but that’s why we love Nicole so

much to be honest, but can you both just give me a bit of a snapshot

of your career until now and then we’ll also talk about your career

within the regions but to start with I’d love to hear from you what

your career has involved. I started out. I was kind of I was doing

telly and film and Theater at the same time and when I when I hit

New South Wales I got a lucky break in terms of working for the

Sydney theatre company I was very very green and I’ve been doing a

couple of other things to let TV and films but then I you know made

my way into this audition and landed that and kind of just took off

and kept working and worked and worked a lot, but then there were

periods where I didn’t work and I did other jobs as most actors will

do I sold wine on the telephone which was a very popular side job

for those of us and in all of this comes in Muriel’s Wedding came

along and


All you know six months later. There’s no job so I’m back to doing

whatever other jobs that I can do in the meantime. You know and

that’s been the way it’s gone you know there’s been periods where

there’s been loads of work and all different things where I’ve

earned good amounts of money and then other jobs where I’ve done it

for the love. You know and but I’ve been very very lucky that it’s

been filmed tele and Theatre and Music Theatre for me and singing in

Bounds all the way along so it’s been there’s been a good variety

for me and as you older when things slow down sometimes it can be a

bit scary because it feels like there’s longer between jobs and I

guess that’s what kind of was happening toward the end and you start

thinking okay well, what are the creative strings are there to my

bow and I’ve done it before but you kind of get a bit tired and you

go all. I don’t know if I’ve got that. Hope that there is something

just around the corner. You know they guess the corners the blocks

get longer or something like that, but I have to say I’ve been very

very lucky and had a so fast.


Not over it’s kind of getting a new lease here. It’s been

tremendous. I hope that answers your question without you know it’s

fantastic, because it’s nice to paint a picture of what the artist

does you know because often people just see you on screen, but don’t

necessarily know the story of the path that you’ve taken and so that

perfectly gives a great understanding of all the different things

that you’ve been involved in and also the idea as well. I think

people think that you might star in a film like Muriel’s Wedding and

then living a match in on Sydney Harbour they do it what they say

for you at school well usually, it’s why are you going to this

school? You must be like that you must Mansion all of those kinds of

things which is just you have to laugh at the momentously, but you

know it just a lot of people just don’t understand how it works a

lot of people really don’t understand how much a lot of artists

actually struggle with finances and it’s it’s actually really

interesting to see.


There are so many people who don’t have that same worldview and it’s

a good thing to be able to educate other people about I reckon and

Charlie has that influenced has it influenced your aspiration or are

you interested in following in your parents footsteps? I’ve always

said that seeing the industry has sort of given me more insight into

how it actually works. I hear a lot of people saying that they want

to be in the industry. Just because they think that Fame is

something that’s amazing to have but I feel like I get a perspective

on the hardships that are involved as well. It’s something that I

obviously my life has been influenced by it and it’s an industry

that I really admire and it’s not necessarily something that I

wouldn’t want to be involved in among other things but I also feel

like I’m lucky to be able to make an informed decision on what I

want to do. That is such a good way of looking at it and especially

when you’ve got two parents that are artists as well and Steve what

about your experience in.


Industry once it been like for you. Well. I now am the manager of a

part of the duty manager of a country cut I’m not far from where we

live it’s about a 20-minute Drive I’m on a salary for the first time

in my entire life and it’s the most bizarre feeling every week.

There’s exactly the same amount of money exactly the same day as

went in last week on the same day and it’s remarkable I’ve never

experienced it before but I’m really enjoying that I haven’t been in

the industry for 30 years one of the hardest things is and just sort

of touching on what we spoke about just a moment ago. Is that a lot

of people obviously recognize me? What done 20 odd movies and some

of being quite successful, and they say aren’t you the guy from this

in that and this why are you working in a pub? Surely? You could be

retired and a millionaire with all that money you were and they

assume because they’ve seen you on screen in a film that you must

have got paid at least a million dollars per movie. You know that’s

just the white works because all I read at the American tabloids and

so I often three or


On the dial, I have to explain yeah sure go blah the acting and

that’ll have him given up on it pippin’ on just just did a TV show

together a TV show together playing husband and wife yeah, we just

got back from Derby yeah. Yeah, we can’t really tell you too much

about it at the moment, but so we’re still doing it. It’s also great

to have that salary income as well and so I’ve always done stuff in

between jobs. It’s almost easy to talk about the stuff. I’ve done in

between then the actual acting jobs that I’ve had our life driven

cabs of look off at 30 or 40 different jobs of as I sold wine or gun

all sorts of unspeakable things from a money. You know and then so.


It’s a good opportunity to remind the audience that’s listening that

it’s really important to support Australian shows and films because

contrary to popular belief not everyone is walking around with bags

of money and how good is holiday pay when you’re working at job. You

don’t even realize that we don’t you know that things are holiday

pay and super great to get what you could get them in a in a

tradition more traditional job, but like you know the

resourcefulness that you have to have to keep your head above water

within an industry where everyone gets to enjoy the fruits of your

labours actually. It’s a lot a lot harder than what they think but

the thing that can help is always supporting Australian film and TV

by going into the cinema or making sure you support it online and

streaming in those sorts of things I now want to talk about the area

that you’re living in West Australia where you are now. Let’s talk

about the water of West Australia in the regions.


Can you describe to me just how wonderful and this I feel like I’m

putting words into your mouth. I absolutely.




describe obviously a close to the ocean and just the bodies of water

you’ve got Lake Clifton the thrombolite. Can you explain that to me

and to the audience and look I mean, I’ve always been quite bias

about the Western Australian coastline coming from here and growing

I was a real you know beachgoa. I love beach. I spent hours and

hours at the beach on my own reading books. Just lying this

swimming. That’s all I did really to be honest in many friends and

but it’s the color of it and the freshness and it’s nice being back

to the long stretches too because you know particularly in New South

Wales and East Coast there’s a gorgeous or the cliffs and hills and

things like that here. It’s long and flat but yes, then we have we

have been to see the thrombolites couple of times and that lake is

extraordinary large large bodies of water and then the estuary on

the other side and they’re so well protected at


This stage down here. Hopefully they will remain that way national

park, and I think that’s where a lot of the you know that amazing

bird life comes from true. We have those that are just hanging here,

but they also are coming off the water and just the air the air is

fresh and for me it sits extraordinary. It’s I don’t think I could

live inland. I’ve I need that I need to feel that breeze and then

sometimes. I just want to drive to the beach because we’re actually

as a crow flies. We’re really close. We could walk, but where we sit

we have to either go north or south and then across the national

park to the coast so probably takes us 15 minutes to to drive, but

that pesky like clifton’s rotten or what?


Just to go and sit and watch the sunset over the ocean again. It’s

kind of warms my heart really is is the best way I can describe it?

I feel quite lucky that you know that I can’t really add to that but

we are surrounded by year three quite amazing bodies of water with

the estuary like Clifton and the ocean which is still yet to be

explored to its full potential I suspect but every year and a lot of

that has just been yes spent head down bump up doing doing the gun.

I found my nice spots to have swims, but it seems to be a solo

activity for me.


But there’s lots of mud peps to be caught was a widing to be

coordinating as well which we haven’t sort of explored. I’d love to

get a boat on the assailing boat or a little tinny and just start to

explore it a bit more, but there’s a lot of Life On The Water here

people have you know there’s a lot of as you say the cramming and

fishing and there’s a lot of water activities that go on Daniel

Island growing up in Perth I used to go out with a boy who had a

speed boat and with the water skiing every weekend. I was always on

the river. Just so used to to having that kind of recreational life

and it’s the same down here so pretty pretty lucky. It’s paradise

and you’ve talked about space nature water and those sorts of things

that are pretty good ingredients for creative inspiration when

you’re in an environment where you’ve got Direct contact with those

things as artists. What has the experience been like for you since

arriving to the regions.


A meats given it a whole new lease if that’s the right way to say

it’s but interestingly my mother as I mentioned before died recently

and that’s made a big difference as well to who I am as a person and

how I approach my career in my creative Pursuits sometimes. It holds

me up another times. I’m even free up then. I ever imagined I could

have been if that makes sense but


coming home and living here in this beautiful place where the

pressure is off us to a certain extent to be paying the mortgage

every week and when’s the next meal coming from having that pressure

taken off and be as you say in a in a space that is good for

thinking and feeling and you daydreaming and all of that. I think

it’s been fabulous and it’s made me feel braver in a way. It’s I

think that that big change when you make a big change in your life

when it’s little bit scary but your brave and you’re going this is

what I want. I’m going to do this. I think I know it affects it

opens you up to possibility and if you can keep that kind of channel

open. There’s no end to what you can do apart from the saying no, so

we don’t want you for that job, but I’ve branched out into areas

that I really wanted to branch out into now that I was too scared to

do before and I can’t say that that’s 100% because of where we live

but I certainly think a large.


Is go outside to breathe the fresh air or anything okay? What am I

gonna do today? And what do I want to do with the rest of my life?

We’ve done this. We’ve made a change. Let’s let’s make it work and

I’ve always wanted to be a director and since I’ve come home. I’ve

directed about direct my third piece and then also TV jobs have come

along and the play with black Swan and just I think if I started

happening so for me personally. It’s been it’s been wonderful. I

kind of thought I was I was petering out but it seems no I’m a

really excited about to direct a musical for Whopper and I can’t

wait because they’re gorgeous the people of gorgeous there so kind

of happier than a pig and shit at the moment to be honest except for

the fact that I’m parent menopausal and heading into menopause, so

I’m completely and uncomfortable most of the time but really quite



That he fantastic and it’s just so much.


run out into the


clothes on and scream and no one is you so there’s another good

thing ladies feel like that needs to be our trailer for The episode

the whole series actually fantastic. I was also going to yes Steve

what would you like to collaborate on that? What’s it been like for

you? I’m just happy where I am. I never really taken my career that

seriously doesn’t always thought of luck you know and every time I

get a job log over really they’re going to pay me to do that fine.

That’s fine. That’s why I’m just as happy running guitar or I am on

set of a big TV show doesn’t really make much difference to me on

I’m pretty much find a way to be happy whatever I’m doing wherever I

  1. I’ve certainly never had any desire to be famous in any way

shape or form. So you know I’m sort of happy to be where I am as a

as I think I know you but it’s his daughter. You know they just

Sophie and an autograph kind of thing you know having been friends



Famous people with just a crap Idol typically live your life having

said that since we got over here maybe because there hasn’t been any

pressure as Pictor said the work is sort of been coming in fairly

that three weeks after I got here. I went back to Sydney to shoot

the lead in the film then we did the play for Black Swan then we

played husband and wife and two TV shows you can stand with touring

the play for Black Swan again next year and pips done and all this

directing in insight. I just wants to pressures off and you don’t

really care. It doesn’t matter as much that seems to be when it all

starts to come flooding in you know that’s Murphy’s Law absolutely.


And it’s great like you said with self-testing and technology and

new ways of working that you can actually still have a very dynamic

career from in places that are outside the city when I move back to

the country one of the things that I had to adjust to was my

impatience when ordering coffee because I have a bit of a tendency

to tap my foot because my flat white wasn’t coming out as quickly as

it would in Sydney and I had to learn to accept that there was a

good conversation to be had and it really didn’t matter if my flat

white was ready in 25 15 minutes because the conversation was way

better than my need to get it quicker. What are some of the things

that you’ve been educated about since getting into the sticks or

things that you’ve had to adjust to that. You didn’t expect this

might sound a little bit silly, but I actually find that. There are

when I’m talking about.


Primary School to other kids over here because obviously they’ve had

a different experience in primary school the the years actually

worked differently. I’m pretty sure they have like prep, but you’re

still not really sure but one of the things I noticed and I’ve been

Interstate a few times and this is always a big difference is that

you know the popular game tag that all kids play is called different

things all over the country the I call it tip but nobody here knows

what tip is they say tag and I also know that in Melbourne I think

they called it tiggy and nobody knows what that is, so that’s one of

the that’s one of the biggest differences that I’ve noticed on it

very good and what about you Steve have you know does anything

different in the pub? It’s a massive difference because I’m policy

quite a few clubs around the country and and it is it is very much.

We’re in a time. It’s Perth time. It’s like listen times like have a

bit of a yarn. How you’re going. How’s your day been much been up to

I’ll have a beer please as opposed in Sydney


Is going to excellent and you’ve had so for both sides of the bar

you saw the gonna get familiar with that as you say about ordering

your coffee. It’s you know that they can if you’re in a rush some of

the pump is are going to want to have a bit of the yarn about the

weather and about their sheep and their you know the car that broke

down last week in short some period of time before they finally ask

for their beer time is and then this country time or City time you

go country time and they’re talking shapes and that does take a lot

of getting used to but it’s great it makes you slowed out it brings

you up right down. It makes you stop stop and slow the Roses as they

say because there’s no other choice and then that becomes part of

your DNA as well a


Member of mine who lives actually come from birds as well, but lives

in Victoria and has a house in Melbourne and also Farm where she

runs and she breathes cattle and I talked to her quite a bit and I

stay with her when I’m in Melbourne and told her we were moving here

and so that I really want to get a miniature Cowell to you know and

all the things that I really want to do but then got to go away for

work here and there. So, what do I do when when we’re when we’re

away I mean this animals. It’s not just like a dog you can put into

a kennel. You know or stay with your sister this does the large

animal with Hooves and things like that chick.


Dude chickens, how do you cope and she said neighbours that was it?

She’s like neighbors. I’m like oh, but they’re in and she said you

wait you tell them you’re gonna go away seriously what happens and

true enough. We just as I said we went up to Derby to shoot this

telly show and we’re away for quite some time and before we left we

said to Keith next door. Just bumped into Keith who walks around

with his deaf and blind dog with a cup of coffee or a beer depending

on the time of day and his silk row covered in flowers and he coming

down the street hey.


It and you know you’ve got at least a 10-minute conversation, so if

you were timing and walk before the sun went down, then you stuffed

said all we’re going away for a period of time even all right then

well. I’ll do your bins and your mail and what are you doing about

this and that I’ve had an asked hadn’t said anything and and like

for me. That’s at the part of what you what you started talking

about with the impatience with the slowing down people care about

people. I’d say that for everyone. There are some people. Who’ve

moved down here because they don’t want to talk to anyone ever wa

wait a while isn’t that what it stands for that when I was growing

up here but now that I’m back. I don’t drink coffee so I you know

get bagger as well. I think I’ll probably that person that most

people in Sydney wanted to avoid because oh god and then I’ll forget

what I’m saying halfway through but it is it’s a it’s a nice way to



Because that human connection is so important at the end of the day

where all just trying to get through life and hopefully enjoy it as

much as we can and being kind to each other and looking after each

other makes things much much easier and it seems to come quite

Naturally in the country one of the things that we’ve that. We

always do is we try and bust a myth in this episode Steve pepper and

Charlie we would like you to bust the myth that you can’t find a

good Indian Italian Japanese restaurant in the sticks. Can we get

good food that has a variety of cuisines outside of city centre

well, you don’t want me to say there is direct hotels are very good

menu and the service with a vile is outstanding seven days a week

and look the chef. There is really good but


It seems to be for me anyway, if you’re talking about in the sticks

down here where we are. There’s some great pubs. They’re like says

his power but that’s where if there’s a couple of pubs where you

know you it’s just pub Fair there’s I think there’s nothing exciting

but there are some pubs and there is a variety and the produce is

fresh and local and that makes a big difference you know if you’re a

meat eater like I am the produce down here and also the fresh

veggies and all that kind of things so yeah, but we we’ve got the

lazy crab. Just up the road and we go there a little bit too. Oh and

of course not to get in there half hour drive 25-minute drive from

Mandurah and the foreshore so you can but that’s not yeah here isn’t

no that’s not sticks but it’s not far from our sticks like you said

the foreshore on the floor bit further away, but I would say if you



Thing to go and find more diverse food. I would it’s a good place to

go out to eat. I think a lot of the Good Food is around that area I

think that would probably the first you would go if you wanted to

find more diverse food. There’s Bunbury bunbury’s. Got yep great.

That’s really good. Yeah, Bunbury Scott flight stuff and added to

that you can also create delicious food at home as well because you

can grow your own veggies like you discussed. That’s like you’re

making a salad or something and you got like I need Chile and it’ll

lime I need some rocket. I need an onion I get so excited and even

capsicum, whatever I’m like. Oh my god. I just got to the garden

with my basket. I built from scratch a brick herb, bit just outside

the back doors. He’s such a man. That’s I’d like to ask Charlie you

gave some grated advice.


Around a couple of different things like how we can make friends

when we move to a new place outside the city and also how we can

retain our friendships and relationships once we’ve moved do you

have any other tips for people particularly younger people that

might be moving that you’d like to share today well. That’s actually

really tough actually because I feel I’m I’m pretty solitary and I I

sort of have always said that. I just sort of want to get through

these years. I understand that they’re important, but I feel like

through a lot of people especially people who struggle with fitting

in which I have always related to it’s hard because sometimes you

don’t find the advice that you’re looking for but I’ve always said

because I’ve had a lot of friends who have moved schools like what

you have to do is just you just have to make sure that you’re being

totally authentic and try not to worry and try to remember that

things that happen in school aren’t gonna matter in five.


Time the mistakes that you make are apart of who you are and a part

of growing up and maturing as a person and the whole social

hierarchy that seems so important to you all through high school

will totally dissipate when you get out into the real world, so it’s

really important to remember that and just be an authentic person

and remember that most things just don’t really matter at the end of

the day.


From the hospital then was out you’re amazing that that is just the

most thoughtful comment I feel like I mean that is such valuable

wisdom for anyone pretty much actually in any situation, but in

particular for people that are moving adults and children. So thank

you for that people are in Steve did you have any tips for parents

that are going through the move with high school children that you

would like to impart. We’re really lucky with Charlie and I guess

the way that we have tried to pair it Nobody’s Perfect that would be

the first thing. I would say do you gonna make mistakes people are

going to get upset you know moving is a tumultuous time, but we’re

lucky jellies are great communicator but always has been and we’ve

tried to keep that open I think from my point of view. I would say

to to continue that to keep the lines of communication open to



To your young person, they know themselves better than anybody else.

There will be times when they struggle really badly and you might

feel guilty that you’ve taken them to a place and they don’t want to

be there and they hate you and they hate their life and not saying

that that’s what you have said Charlie but those times will pass if

if in the beginning everybody’s up for it. I we wanted to as a team

do it and if Charlie wasn’t into it. We wouldn’t because it’s a big

thing to do. It’s a different way of life. You are asking your kid

to live far away from a hustle and bustle and it’s it can be a bit

isolating so listen and allow and see what they need what will make

them. Enjoy it hear. What can you do together to see that? It is a

beautiful way of life and be patient. I think now that with just

listen, but really listen. You know sometimes. It’s sort of you know

just fine you’re there but to really listen and engage which which I

think we both try to do a


In jellies, very easy to engage in that regard, but also and that

looks some people may say that we’ve given Charlie to too long

leash. I’m I disagree. I think you know that’s ever parents need

different ways some kids probably not a short relation necessarily

tricky children like children because I think they often have a lot.

There’s a lot more going on that you will hardly discover if you

listen and let them burn themselves that like shades absolutely it

does I think there’s that inkling to always patronize like kids from

Toddlers through to high school, but it actually really tends to be

the reversed as an out where you learn more from them that you could

ever have imagined like we had today Charlie you just offered so

much invaluable insight that I know will be super helpful to

everyone listening and we would like to end as we always do with a

one sentence pitch. So you can do this we’ll go from each of you and

it’s just a quick punch.


Pitch to say to anyone listening that isn’t already compelled from

that brilliant interview to move to the regions. Why should someone

move to regional Australia fortune favors the brave. I think you

know I mean it’s seems like such a massive thing on paper but once

you get the ball rolling and you get in it and amongst and you

arrive at your destination. It is 100% worth it. Get out of the city

get into the sticks. They’re one with nature and your family it is

our real.


I can’t say anything after that maybe you could sing it feel free.


Get on country feel what it’s about why like First Nations people

that they know the country. They are of the country and I think

being in the country. You really start to understand what it means

to respect the Earth and take your spirituality from it and Charlie

what about you? I reckon if you’re thinking about it, then you

should absolutely go for it and especially if you’re a younger

person and someone like me and you know that this is something that

you’ve always thought about it’s definitely gonna be right for you

and at the end of the day. You’re definitely gonna love it.


You moved where is made on the land of the binjarra people we would

like to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

as the traditional custodians of the land and pay respects to elders

past and present this episode was produced by grace with audio

production by Adair shepherd and hosted by me Beck beignell. The

podcast is brought to you by move to Moore and the regional

Australia Institute make sure you follow us. Wherever you get your

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