When Colin Munro was asked if he’d like three gorgeous ponies for his little girls, he said yes — but he wasn’t expecting what came with them. “There was a bloke in Roberston who said, ‘We’re moving
back to Sydney — do you want some ponies?’ and when I said, ‘Absolutely,’ thinking of the girls’ Christmas presents, he added, ‘Great, but you also have to take the alpaca and two Holstein Friesian cows.’ So, I think we might’ve been conned!” he explains. The story on page 26 of how he and wife Brooke spent Christmas Eve tying pink ribbons to trees so their daughters Arkie and Ruby could find their surprise presents in the paddock the next morning captured everyone’s imaginations — I think there are quite a few people in this office, including me, who wished for a pony for Christmas when they too were little. Photographer Marnie Hawson was in the middle of organising an AGA to be installed in her kitchen when I called and asked if we could feature her Riddells Creek home in this issue. She bravely said yes — thank you, Marnie! — and you would never be able to tell by looking at the images on page 42 that parts of the house were a building site only hours before our shoot. There is so much innovation in the bush and we are constantly finding inspiring regional businesses to feature on our pages. And now, more than ever before, is an important time to support them, so please turn to our regional shopping guide on page 104 — you’re sure to find plenty of things to cross off your Christmas present list. And, on page 62, we talked to Juliette Wright, the founder of Givit (an organisation that helps direct donations to the right place), who spoke about the importance of supporting people on the land. “We need to remind both donors and the general public that when it rains, it’s not the end of suffering for farmers who may not have stock left or have to consider alternate income streams. We have to support drought-affected communities to ensure long-term recovery — it will take two to three years at least to get them back into a position of strength.” Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas.