Village buzz blog post

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I was commissioned to write a post for Madeleine Hicks Real Estate’s community blog on local speedway racer Leonie Knight:

Because I can

Probably the last thing you’d imagine when meeting immaculately groomed McDowall local Leonie Knight  is that she spends many of her weekends competing on equal terms in the male dominated sport of speedway racing.

It’s a far cry from her weekday occupation of managing a top recruitment agency but she has become addicted to the thrill of competition and pitting her wits against the more experienced drivers as they hurtle round floodlit oval dirt tracks vying to be first across the line and the chequered flag.

“My dad Phil Mutton was a stalwart of the Brisbane racing scene and ever since I was two weeks old I was taken along to motor racing meetings but only decided to give it a go myself after he passed away on June 15, 2015,” Leonie said.

“Dad was widely known as one of nature’s gentlemen and ran service stations in Zillmere and Sandgate for many years. His great love was motor racing and he was always either participating or building racing cars for sale to other competitors. For years he was the official supplier of methanol racing fuel to IndyCar racing on the Gold Coast.”

At the time of his death Phil was busy restoring a De Tomaso Pantera which had been converted into a racing car and competed at Toowoomba for many years. Leonie decided to enlist his old pit crew, led by crew chief Michael Denning to finish the job in his honour.

The car, dubbed Rory the Red Racing Car by Leonie’s daughters Georgia, 10, and Samantha, 8, was soon restored to his former glory but the thought had entered Leonie’s mind that she’d like to have a go at competition herself. The family were too attached to Rory to risk him in the hurly burly of racing, especially after a clutch-related incident in which he leapt out of the garage in McDowall and wedged himself up a wall.

Fortunately unhurt, Rory was placed on display in the Queensland Motorsport Museum at Ipswich as a permanent memorial to Phil Mutton and it wasn’t long before a muscular Holden V8 by the name of Arnie joined the family and Leonie Knight Racing was well and truly launched.

Arnie came with a 253 cubic-inch motor developing 340bhp and had been built to compete in AMCA (Australian Motor Contest Association) Nationals speedway racing. AMCA had been developed as an affordable dirt track racing discipline where the best driver could win rather than just whoever could afford the best technology.

The top AMCA racers complete a full lap of the oval track in about 16 seconds and Leonie has improved her times from 26 seconds to an average of 17 or 18 seconds. She started out determined not to drive beyond her ability but to drive smoothly and gradually get fast enough to become competitive.

“My pit crew roll their eyes at me when I don’t know all the jargon but I learn more and more of the real names for the thingies on the car every day,” laughed Leonie. “The AMCA guys are great mob to race with and very helpful to me as a rookie, and a female one at that.”

Leonie drove in her first race in February 2016 and competed in the season-ending AMCA Nationals in Lismore in May where she placed 33rd in a field of 41, all of whom were men. That season had already begun so her official rookie season is the 2016/7 season which began in November during which she will complete in the Queensland and New South Wales Title events.

“My goals in going racing are to have fun, to show my fellow women that we really can do anything we set our minds to and commemorate the life of Phil Mutton, a truly wonderful man. On Arnie’s boot is written the motto ‘Grandpa’s Girls’; that’s Mum, me, Georgia and Samantha,” said Leonie.

Keep an eye on Leonie Knight Racing – Helmets & Heels’ page on Facebook for the latest updates on the team’s activities. Why not come out to Archerfield speedway one day? You’ll be expected to give an especially loud shout of support when Leonie and Arnie (car Q52) go blasting by.

  • Project type: Blog post
  • Skills needed: Writing, interviewing, client liasion
  • Customer: Madeleine Hicks Real Estate (Village Buzz)
  • Project date: January 2017
  • Link to blog: Because I can
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Mikaela Briggs press release

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Breast Ever Brunch an outstanding success in Milton

Milton-based Body and Soul Breakfast Club scored a major hit recently when members put on a fundraiser for Mater Chicks in Pink.

“A large percentage of women and their families will be affected by breast cancer at some time in their lives and our community members wanted to do something concrete to help,” said Body and Soul Breakfast Club founder Mikaela Briggs.

“We decided that we would hold a Breast Ever Brunch to benefit the Mater Chicks In Pink who provide vital support to women being treated for breast cancer at the Mater Hospital,” she said.

“We thought we could get a large bunch of ladies together and have a terrific workout followed by brunch to raise funds for this very worthy cause.”

Body and Soul Breakfast Club’s Breast Ever Brunch was held on October 30 and thanks to the amazing support from local businesses there were thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes up for grabs on the day.

A bunch of over 40 Chicks in Pink supporters gathered to enjoy an intense 30-minute workout led by Mikaela. In the process of raising $750 the ladies enjoyed free beauty product samples, newly released cookbook samples and five major raffle prizes.

After the workout which tested everyone’s muscles, attendees made their way to Cafe Nui where they received a very welcome glass of champagne on arrival and the usual sumptuous eats which were provided by the café staff.

“The Body and Soul Breakfast Club came about after a Breaking Free of Fear workshop I attended where I realised that fear was the main reason that we saw so few women in our gym,” said Mikaela.

“We decided to start the breakfast club as a safe women-only community where we could all progress on our individual fitness journeys in an atmosphere of mutual support and free from fear. We women are all bosses and the club aims to improve our body confidence and empower us all to be the best we can be.”

Mikaela leads a Learning To Lift session at 21/43 Lang Parade, Milton, every Saturday morning. It is open to all and attendees pay only what they think it is worth.

This is followed at 7:30am by a 30-minute free workout for The Body and Soul Breakfast Club which is free and open to women only. Afterwards the club meets at nearby Café Nui for a delicious breakfast at each member’s cost.

Prospective new members are welcome to pitch up any Saturday or call 0499 499 955 for more details.

 

  • Project type: Press release
  • Skills needed: Writing, interviewing, client liasion
  • Customer: Mikaela Briggs Strength Coach
  • Project date: November 2016
  • Link to site: www.mikaelabriggs.com
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Cori’s Pet Therapy Release

Cori's Pet Therapy

View the actual Pet therapy Press Release (PDF)

Pet visiting service launched in Caboolture

Lonely, ill and depressed people in the Caboolture area have been thrown a new lifeline with the launch of a pet visiting service by Corinna Deveth and her hound Holly.

“Pets have been loyal friends and partners of mankind since time immemorial and the positive effects of interacting with them are now being recognised to the extent that they are being used for rehabilitating inmates of prisons in the USA and even in Brisbane where the Mater hospital is running Pet Visiting and Pet Therapy programs,” said Ms Deveth.

She said research showed clearly that the opportunity to interact with a pet had a beneficial effect on people and even short regular sessions could do a great deal to improve the quality of life for people not able to be full-time pet owners. This phenomenon is explained, she believes, by the fact that interacting with a pet boosts the levels of the ‘feel-good’ hormone oxytocin in the body.

Benefits associated with pet visits include reduced stress, blood pressure, pain and anxiety and in improvements in mood and outlook. Ms Deveth said her and Holly’s visits gave their clients something to look forward to and that they were always greeted on arrival with big smiles.

“Arf, arf!” Holly agreed.

Ms Deveth is a highly experienced animal handler while Holly is a registered and trained therapy dog. The pair is offering a cost-effective service in the region and will visit people of all ages in their homes or in retirement complexes, nursing homes and schools.

Clients will have the opportunity to pet, play fetch or walk with Holly and Ms Deveth will be more than happy to answer questions and advise on the care and handling of our canine friends.

ENDS

  • Project type: Press Release
  • Skills needed: Copywriting, Interviewing
  • Customer: Cori’s Pet Therapy
  • Project year: 2016
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Assorted projects

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Australian Ports News

Articles written for Australian Ports News’ March/April 2013 issue on Hart Marine and Port Phillip Sea Pilots’ purchase of a pilot boat from them. The photography is not mine.

Ports News Story  Ports News Story

Ports News Story

Australian Ports News

Article for Australian Ports News’ November 2012 issue on Asciano’s Port Botany project and their AutoStrad technology. The photography is also mine apart from John Mullen’s portrait.

AMRC

Article for Australian Main Roads Construction on PolyCom road stabiliser.

Australian Ports News

My first article for the new Australian Ports News magazine. It’s a profile of the Nederman organisation which is a specialist in dust and fume extraction. June/July 2012.

Editor

Last issue of Eastern Cape Industrial & Business News that I edited. January 2011.

Editor

Last issue of KZN Cape Industrial & Business News that I edited. December 2010.

PR article

Story and photography published in Business in Durban magazine on behalf of Turners Shipping. Winter 2010.

PR article

Story and Photography published in DSV Moves magazine on behalf of Turners Shipping. 2010.

Book production

Book laid out and produced for local client. 2009.

Company newletter

I produce the first issue of a quarterly four-page newsletter for the Turner Group. Service included writing, photography, design and layout. March 2009.

My book

Edition 3 of my book Facts About Durban is published. 2007. It has sold approximately 6000 copies in three editions – first edition 2003. The three editions were entirely self-published & distributed.

PR apointment

Appointed as public relations consultant to the Turner Group, a Durban-based shipping, travel and conference specialist – January 2008.

Editor

Appointed Editor of KZN Industrial & Business News and Eastern Cape Industrial and Business News – October 2005.

I win the Durban section of Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk. 4 September 2009.

Book production

Book laid out and produced for client. 2006.

Local history

Story and photography published as part of a series of articles in Metrobeat, official magazine of the Ethekwini (Durban) Municpality. August 2006.

Article

Durban’s shipbuilding industry – October/November 2006.

PR article

Article for ABX Turners Shipping – April 2008.

Personal blog

There are hundreds more of my articles and posts on my personal blog going back to 1995.

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