Page 4397 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 25 October 2017

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Each of the events in Mental Health Week was designed to celebrate mental health as a source of strength and empowerment, to challenge negative perceptions and take a positive step towards reducing stigma. By reaching out, starting a conversation and really connecting with people who are struggling, we can build a stronger, mentally healthier ACT.

Tim the Yowie Man

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (6.46): It seems very fitting on the day that Lonely Planet has announced Canberra as the third best city in the world to visit in 2018 to alert the Assembly about yet another feather in Canberra’s cap, that is, bringing Tim the Yowie Man to the world. For many years now, Tim has brought mysteries and his love for our great region together. He has delighted, dazzled, occasionally befuddled and educated readers with his Canberra Times column. He has introduced thousands of Canberrans to what it means to be a crypto-naturalist, a term Tim coined himself, meaning someone who is versed in the study of strange, rare and hidden phenomena.

In his work, Tim has shone a spotlight on all the weird and the wonderful things about our region. From hunting crayfish in the Brindabellas to catching ghosts in Gungahlin, Tim has travelled all over the capital region to tell untold stories, uncover new mysteries and, of course, search for the elusive yowie. And Tim has steadily expanded his wonderful storytelling with books and with mystery and ghost tours.

From unassuming properties just out of town to one of our major cultural institutions, his tours scratch the surface to reveal the intriguing and the little bit creepy. The fact that these tours are regularly sold out months in advance is a testament to the quality of his storytelling. Now, thanks largely to a local Canberra film crew led by the excellent filmmaker Justin Bush, we have Tim the Yowie Man—The Series. In this way, Tim’s distinct style of storytelling and uncovering of so many mysteries of our area can be shared with an even greater audience. Through film, we are seeing the Canberra region through Tim’s eyes like never before. And, in turn, we are promoting the Canberra region to the world like never before—just like Lonely Planet.

I was honoured to help launch the series last Wednesday. The first episode will be live on YouTube, I believe, this Saturday, just in time for Halloween. Viewers will be delighted by the series, which has three episodes and a number of “minisodes” showing off this region and the mysteries behind it, including a very important mystery that needs to be solved: where to get the best pie.

Knowing the talent behind this project, it is no surprise that this series is such a professional production but, collectively as a city, we can be no less proud of it. I guarantee that even those of us who know how enchanting and special our region is will be stunned at just how well the series has captured our region’s beauty and its uniqueness. Just like the Lonely Planet recommendation, Tim’s recommendations will encourage those who live here to explore their region, as well as attracting even more visitors.

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