Home » Podcast » Claire and Kate embarked on a bootscooting road trip around Australia

Claire and Kate embarked on a bootscooting road trip around Australia


In this week’s episode, Josh is talking to Claire & Kate from Hoedowns For Country Towns. They were winners in the 2023 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards, QLD

Hoedowns for Country Towns – Claire Harris and Kate Strong embarked on a bootscooting road trip around Australia in 2022 teaching line dancing, putting events back on the calendar for rural communities, and raising money for seven rural charities. Across nine months, the duo ran 75 hoedowns in halls, pubs, schools, outback stations and everything in between, danced with nearly 3,000 people from all walks of life, and raised $38,250.

Kate, Claire and their adventures with Hoedowns for Country Towns will be featured on the TV show “Backroads” airing on ABC, Monday 14th August at 8pm. Make sure you tune in!



Check out the website: https://www.hoedownsforcountrytowns.com/

Connect on Facebook or Instagram


Want to know how to Rate and Review a podcast, see this article

Follow us on our Inspirational.Australians Instagram Page

Want to nominate someone? (It can take as little as 2 minutes to recognise someone making a difference)

Like some more information on Corporate Partnership?



[00:00:04] Josh

Welcome to the inspirational australian’s podcast, where  we chat to  people, making a difference in their communities and in the lives of others. And here is your host for

[00:00:13] Josh

today. Josh Griffin.  Thank you, Annette. And joining me today on the inspirational stories podcast is two very exciting  guests and I can’t wait to introduce them. But before I do that,  I just want to acknowledge the country where I’m recording from,  which is Bunnerong Country and pay my respects to elders, past, present,  and emerging. And one thing I always like to mention because that is somewhat of a standard acknowledgement of country,  is the emerging part of that is so meaningful for us with the young achieve awards.  And earlier this year we wrapped up seven amazing gala dinner award ceremonies in  seven cities and getting to meet with people from elders right through to young leaders, young First Nations,  people that emerging power is so resonating with us. And it’s just beautiful to see  what people are doing in the community again to share their stories. So we just had  no stop week as well. And, and seeing so many stories from around the country. It is  a good reminder that native weight loss is obviously an amazing reminder for,  for many non-aboriginal people or First Nations people, it’s their life it’s. It’s  a very important thing. So where we can really seek out stories of First Nations,  people engage with their continent where you can better today speaking of getting  around the country, the three of us are coming from three different cities,  different places, maybe one of Them’s not a city. We’ll find out in a minute,  but I’m speaking with Kate strong and Claire Harris and they are from  a group. Well, one of the out of the  group is called her downs, the country towns, and basically Kate and Claire co-founded this. And it’s  a forty six thousand kilometer boot scooting boat trip around Australia that they  did in twenty twenty to feature line dancing,  putting events back on the calendar for rural communities and raising money for  seven rural charities across nine months. Living out of  a second hand landcruiser Prado, the joy ran seventy five hundred pounds in halls, pubs, schools, outback stations,  and everything in between. They dance nearly three thousand people from all walks  of life and raised thirty eight thousand two hundred and fifty dollars. Both holding strong connection to the Bush,  Kate and Claire. Brad have contributed to the wellbeing and resilience of rural  communities right across the country. Following an incredibly tough few years in  the regions due to covid and Natural disasters. Post trip Kate’s now working as an  agritech education project officer based at a central Queensland University in rockhampton. While Claire is  a freelance agricultural journalist and rural business communications assistant based out of Adelaide. So from Adelaide, rockhampton, welcome,  Claire and Kate.

[00:02:51] Claire/Kate

Hello Josh, and thank you for having us. I think both of us think that

[00:02:57] Josh

that’s right. I just make for  a while. They’re just waiting so patiently for me. So apologies for the long run up  there. But yeah, so Claire, you’re joining us from Adelaide.

[00:03:06] Josh

Mm hmm.

[00:03:06] Josh

Yeah, no,

[00:03:07] Josh

it’s quite fresh.

[00:03:09] Josh

Yeah.  What’s the weather currently in Adelaide? Oh,

[00:03:12] Josh

it’s been trying to rain all day without actually raining at all. So it’s just Adelaide  winter and probably the same as Melbourne. Winter. Josh?

[00:03:18] Josh

Yeah, threatening at all times. You just expecting it to rain basically. Yeah. You don’t like it joining us from  a tropical location. So rockhampton’s not like that. I’m assuming.

[00:03:28] Claire/Kate

No, it’s, it’s sunny, twenty five here today. And it’s just rubbing it in and yet,  and we have, it rained a little bit last week. Was supposed to bring some cold weather,  but it has not. So we are just yet lapping up the Sunshine here in the Sunshine state.

[00:03:48] Josh

Very jealous. So good. Ask the obvious question First,  you’re obviously two completely different states and you’ve done this, you know,  huge boot scooting road trip as you called it in twenty twenty two. So did you know  each other from, you know,  did you used to live in the same state and you’ve come together and then come apart  or how did that you know, journey kind of happened with your friendships?

[00:04:11] Josh

Yes, so we, we’re both queenslanders originally so I grew up in Brisbane and then Heights just  near me between work and school. Little place caught our eye and we very authentically actually met at  a launch. It’s in class. So that was in toowoomba in the middle of twenty eighteen  and yeah, we just both were there one day and got chatting to each other in  a break. And in one of those very First conversations, one of us said,  and we really don’t know, genuinely, don’t know. But one of us said, Oh,  don’t be fun to land in Australia one day because that’s, that’s  a pretty normal thing that you would say to someone. The day that you First meet  them, so I guess that’s when the pop dream was born and then yeah,  it’s always stayed in the back of our minds and then yeah,  we thought in we really committed in about April twenty twenty one said okay. It’s  been such a tough few years for everyone that so many reasons,  especially in the room and yet regions all around Australia. So if we’ve got this  bizarre idea of how it can possibly, you know, make people’s lives a little better,  or give them something to smile about, or, you know,  get them to take their mind off things that they were thinking about even just for  one day and being a one stop shop in their town, then let’s do it. So yeah,  that’s how it really all started four years ago in the twenty, twenty two year of the content. So totally.

[00:05:35] Claire/Kate

Yeah, absolutely. And it was sort of like in the whole sort of leading up to it,  it was one of those things that just sort of kept coming up,  like we discussed it on that First night back in, you know,  whatever it was in twenty eighteen. And I think it was may or whatever,  and you know, it was something we discussed then and then.  Yeah,  I think the next time I spoke to Clare,  I had just had my wisdom teeth out. It was like months later,  it was really relevant. But it was just one of those things that kept coming up and  then like I was off at Uniqlo, I was out working and it just, yeah,  like I remember we were having one conversation because we used to often video call  in each other over in London at each other’s living rooms from you know,  Adelaide and armidale or wherever I was. And yeah,  it just was one of those things we’d often talk about it through those meetings.  And there was one where I remember sitting down and going, okay,  if we’re going to do this, what are the timelines for it?  ? Like what, when would it work? And who made that time? I was still in Uni. So I was like,  I want to finish my degree and I want to have like at least twelve months sort of  experience in the industry before we commit. And then yeah, that all added up to be twenty,  twenty two and then we had covid and the rest and it all just seemed like the right time.

[00:06:48] Josh

You know, most people talk  a big game and they plan all sorts of trips and all sorts of extravagant things. No  one ever does it. So it’s amazing that you’ve actually, you know,  had this big thing and it’s, you know, it seems like it started off as a bit of  a throwaway line if you will. And it’s just stayed with you both and you’re going  through your own, you know,  journeys in life and then you’ve actually come back and done it. What was the First  conversation where it was like, really serious? Yeah, we’re actually planning this and was it to the same?  Yeah. Like real or was it like Oh, I probably wouldn’t happen.

[00:07:22] Claire/Kate

I think when we committed, we committed it was, I don’t know,  we were video calling probably lined it thing and then I can’t remember what  actually was the catalyst for making it happen. It’s got  a better memory than me. She’ll probably remember the fine details,  but we maybe not. So, but we sat down and we just opened  a Word document. We were on, on a video call and we just open a Word document like on  a Google ship Google Drive. So that we could both add and it was just like, okay,  going through the who, what when, where,  what and how much of it. So if we were  to do it, who did we want to?  Like, who did we want to interact with? What did we want to do?  ? Where do we want to go? How did we want  to do it?  When timeline’s like and then?  So we have this like Word document from way back in the day with our little First  spider we’d ever taken together like printed on the front and just  a heap of random thoughts lumped into this document. And then it was sort of  a few months later we sort of were talking to different people about Okay,  what advice do we need to get started as far as business partnership? Go like what was our business structure?  ? Going to be all those things. And so we had  a boss in that sort of realm. And then Claire  came up to I was in Japan at the time.  So pretty well just where I am moment. And Claire came up for a visit from Adelaide one time,  and we went and bought yeppoon out of out of Australia maps and went and mapped  them with every place we wanted to see. So any places of interest that we wanted to  see, and then we also went and like just pulled up every state and went like, okay,  what’s on when, what events align with what we want to do? So country music events or rodeos,  all those sort of things like what aligned with where we were and when, when were they scheduled?  What were their dates for the next year and we’d mapped them all on the calendar.  And then we basically got a pen and went, okay, I tried to connect as many we could,  but feed into our timeline. And that was sort of our rough initial plan.

[00:09:28] Josh

Yeah, that’s a pretty good rough plan. That’s very well thought out. Trying to, you know, it did actually.

[00:09:33] Claire/Kate

It didn’t stay that way very long. Yeah, we had really, we did a lot of comprehensive initial planning.

[00:09:39] Josh

Yeah. So with the young achiever woods,  with judging. So give you a little insight to how you was like there’s  a winner. There’s usually over thirty judges, and it’s  a four to six week program of judging kind of process. And so Trinity, everyone,  you know, connected the dots, you’re going to be here this time,  get your Short list. And by this time it’s pretty difficult. Is that one of the  biggest challenges you faced, trying to, you know, to,  with all the different people from different festivals, there might be volunteers,  that kind of thing and actually sought out all the details.

[00:10:11] Josh

Yeah, I think when we First started, you know,  this idea is something that obviously literally started with just, you know,  just the two of us. Wouldn’t it be fun to do?  So when it First started, we thought this is an idea that we think is cool,  but no one else really knows about it yet. So we need to kind of preach to the  towns of hey, this is, this is the thing we’re doing. Would you like to be involved with us?  So it was  a lot of kind of cold calling and reaching out like that to start with. But we were  hoping that once we got going and hopefully got  a little bit of positive momentum behind us because we were doing  a good thing and far reaching and just something  a little bit different. We were hoping that people would then reach out to us  saying, Oh, can you please come to our town?  We’ve got a radio on at this time, can you come here?  ? Oh, that’s a country music, something can you come here?  Something like that. And by the time I got to Darwin, which was about three months into the trip,  we basically had enough towns having reached out from the rest of Australia saying,  hey, can you, can you come here?  So it was, our process was always, if someone reached out would be like, yeah,  great, we’ll let you know about six to eight weeks in advance, you know,  sort out some actual logistics of you know,  what that is going to involve. And it was tricky of, you know, if you’re travelling, you’re running these events,  but at the same time you’re constantly having to plan ahead. That was,  it was always so, so busy. And while a  lot of people would say, Oh, well, isn’t it just a fun holiday? Well, in ways it was a holiday,  but it was also so much constant work on the road having to literally keep this  show on the road and yeah, just keep running those events and planning forward as well.

[00:11:48] Claire/Kate

Yeah, and I think sorry, just to add a bit more that clearly I think our plans would have changed  a bit once we hit the road. Like initially with that big map we were like yeah,  let’s just focus mainly on going to already established events and we’ll just run  a few of our little hot downs every now and then. But as we were on the road,  it really shifted from Okay,  we’ll do the occasional event as we reach out to them and say they were interested.  But we’re actually going to focus most of what we do on the events that we run ourselves.

[00:12:23] Josh

Yeah, well seventy five is a lot of you know,  to get I was trying to do mass and how many days per week it’s  a lot. But what do you reckon was the biggest one you did and which was the smallest one

[00:12:39] Josh

Our biggest one interesting.

[00:12:42] Claire/Kate

They’ll be in our upcoming backroads. So actually our biggest one was one hundred  full people in tassie and they’re at Westbury. So I have that,  right. I know there’s a lot going on in my mind at the moment, but yeah,  so we had one hundred and four people at Westbury in tassie. So we had that one was  a bit interesting to organise. We’d sort of been up to that point. We’d been  expecting our average to be about thirty to forty people. Yeah. So we’d like  contacted the town that said they were interested and we were like, Oh,  you know catering for the night and that sort of thing that. Oh yeah, we’re getting group. We love catering,  so we’ve got you covered. We can do cooking for that. Okay,  cool. Like all the ladies all very willing to cater for the event. Yep. Cool. About  like two weeks out. We’re like all we’ve heard from about thirty to forty people.  We should be on track and they’re like, no, we’ve got fifty booked. Like, Oh,  okay. I used to write like we don’t want to do like an outline and then like  a week later we’re like, Oh, you know how we going numbers yet?  ? We’ve got seventy confirmed. Oh okay. And then like  a couple days out like that up to ninety and we were like are you sure you still write code?  Not yet not we’ve got this covered. And people were coming in the door like we had  one hundred and four people come in the door and we got to like ninety two or  something and, and see why this would just going mayhem. They were like,  we don’t have enough food. How are we going to feed everyone like people are just  piling up their plates? We don’t know what we’re going to do.  Like they went in like rummaged through the  The freezer of the pub to go and find anything they could. They had like oil like  fries on to go and like get some extra steam seems always sort of things like this madness

[00:14:28] Josh

because they wanted mayhem in there for sure.

[00:14:30] Claire/Kate

They successfully fed one hundred and four people on eighteen casseroles Because that wasn’t enough. That was  our biggest event, and then our smallest one was like a week later in rosebery in tassie,  where we had one person rock up. The event was supposed to start at six o’clock and we were,  we had the crew with like the backroads crew with us and everything like that. We  were like, okay, this is looking like a bit of  a no show which the First no show of the trip. Sort of what do we do?  And then we’re like, okay,  no one’s here about six thirty. We’re going to pack up and go home and will be fine.  Six, twenty eight.  We had Amelia roll on in. And yes, so we had,  we just talked like the one dance and then went back across to the pub and she told  proceeded to tell all of her friends about all of the stuff that she’d won. Being the only attendant,  she was the lucky recipient of the lucky to us.

[00:15:28] Josh

So I mean to be unlucky to not win that one. Yeah,

[00:15:31] Claire/Kate

,  yeah. So we thought those would, yeah, we’re our biggest and smallest crowds, but yeah,  we really got to dance with some incredible people across the country.

[00:15:40] Josh

Yeah, well, Amelia was lucky because she got a one on one on two private tutoring, basically. Exactly,  because they had the best line dancer in Tasmania. Surely

[00:15:51] Claire/Kate

We would hope so.

[00:15:53] Josh

That’s incredible. And how amazing is that the backroads crew were there in the  space of a week, the biggest one down to the smallest one. Yeah,  that’s awesome. So speaking of backroads, maybe, Claire, you can tell us  a bit more about this.  If people aren’t familiar with the show, tell us  a bit about it. Did you have to change what you were doing to accommodate a film crew?

[00:16:14] Josh

Yes, I did it backwards. Is basically  a show just to highlight the amazing places we have around the country. There are  now episodes on Monday nights and generally though, yeah,  go to an area really highlight and showcase everything that happens there in terms  of the places itself. Natural beauty as well as that people in the locals there. So  it’s been going this way. They’ve just started season nine. And yeah, it’s a program that we both think it’s  a great thing that it exists and we just got an email out of the blue saying, Oh,  I’m Sondheim, I’m producer from backroads, where we’re pretty interested in,  in your trip, which you, which he became to work together for  a backwards episode and it was one of those. I can’t quite believe it moments and  so yeah, so a little bit of organizing in terms of, you know, what they,  what they did need from us. They couldn’t, but we had to use their like sample soundtrack,  music rather than the not pushing all those other songs that we dance to. But they  were all really, really minor hurdles. And, you know, if you’re filming, you’re going to want some, you know,  really great visuals to film. And if you’ve got  a whole dance floor of people all dancing and laughing, then that’s  a pretty easy visual. So I think our story,  we were lucky in the way that our story really lent itself to,  to show us that and filming like that. And then. Yeah,  it just came to tassie just because that was good with their time one and worked  with us as well. And yeah, a lovely crew of four. Yeah. As I said,  followed us around five or six days.  And just coincidentally came to some of our  biggest events and smallest events because you know,  we had seventy five events all up and a lot of them were that average, you know,  thirty to forty people. But they managed to come to events that had one hundred  people and then one person. So I think the episode, which is on twenty First of August,  we’re pretty excited to see that journey that is really showing it shows the highs  and lows of the trip. Definitely in terms of attendance,  so it should be good and especially because the trip to Spain is a little while ago now,  I think it’ll be really interesting for both of us to watch it as well after  a bit of time has passed and seeing what things all look like from from the other  side of the, of the screens. It will, yeah,  looking forward to it and we hope and know that they will have done a great job of putting,  putting it all together.

[00:18:38] Claire/Kate

Although I don’t think either of us are going to watch TV  the same again after having, having still cruised all of us there and we’re like,  there’s so many angles. There’s so much time. How do they cut people down?

[00:18:50] Josh

Yeah, so were there any pieces you know, you see on TV shows sometimes like they’re asking you  a question and then the producers throw like the same question that you buy  different times in different ways and stuff like that. Yeah, that happens, but

[00:19:03] Josh

I think it’s, it’s part of it. You know, you just can’t do TV without. They’re not, you know,  they’re asking the same thing five times just because they’re bored. It’s just all,  all part of it. So I think you definitely patience must be  a virtue if you’re part of a film crew, but we yeah,  we really got to know and really enjoy the company of guys. Yeah. Of that for those  four people in the film crew. So yeah, it should be a good episode in our very biased opinion

[00:19:28] Claire/Kate

on you have any idea what it’s

[00:19:32] Josh

meant to be and it’d be so cool to look back as you said,  to relive it. But also you’ll probably be thinking like, Oh,  what we did at that time, what, you know, what happened there?  ? And That’ll be surreal. It’ll be amazing. So I  wanted to ask you as well, you know,  with your different differing professions and things like that. Did any of that  come in handy like clear, imagining as a journalist, you know,  just being across that kind of field would have really been a key, you know, asset for you?

[00:20:02] Josh

Yeah, I love people.  Kate will attest to the fact that I basically never stop talking. I  am and I Journal. And while I’m very passionate about Agriculture,  I think above that it’s that the actual people in the agricultural industry which  are Yeah, that’s what really makes me tick. So yeah,  we both thought going into the trip that the people that we would get to meet would  definitely be a highlight. And yeah, always going to is perfect for, for  a story. And I did a little bit of freelancing last year,  and it’s actually coming in handy this year as well. Continuing with Yeah,  freelance journalism, you know, there’s lots of contacts that I met last year. Oh,  that could be handy. I could chase them up about that. So yeah,  it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. So can this person be a storyteller?  ? This person be a story, but it was more just, gee,  I’m really going to love getting to meet some amazing people all over the country.

[00:20:54] Josh

Oh sure, and Kate with yourself being in Education and going to agritech was that useful as well?

[00:21:00] Claire/Kate

Well, I’ve had a little bit of  a sort of career shift since the trip in some ways. So prior to the trip,  I was that AG consultant and And for another company down in yeppoon and yeah, again,  it was like very much talking to the people while I’m not as comfortable on the  phone and cold calling people as Clare is. I definitely enjoyed getting to talk to  people along the trip as they came along to our events and I,  it’s sort of in my previous role, had done  a lot of sort of financial benchmarking and business analysis sort of stuff for  different businesses. So I very much Took on the,  the finance and numbers side of things, while Clare was all things, words and calls and comms,  I was all things sort of numbers and upon the same sort of thought of things of the business. So

[00:21:54] Josh

what a team because you can’t have someone who’s not into the numbers handling the numbers, it doesn’t work well.

[00:22:00] Claire/Kate

Yeah. Yeah, so we were, we’re pretty lucky I’d say, and both of us acknowledge the fact that we have  a complementary set of skills and that really came into play and yeah, it was  a great asset for the trip.

[00:22:12] Josh

Now I’ve got so many questions and we’re going to run  out of time. So I’ll throw a few kind of  rapid fire ones out if you will. You know,  I know you’ve talked about your biggest event was one hundred plus people. But did  you have one that stood out as your favorite

[00:22:24] Claire/Kate

artificial I think we both agree that  it was probably our barossa Valley event. Our big event for South Australia was  called scooting in the cellars and we had  a beautiful winery that in South Australia donate their venue which was that pink won

[00:22:42] Josh

shout out to the dairy wines.

[00:22:44] Claire/Kate

Yeah, absolutely. And we had a sold out event,  eighty five people in this space. Everyone got up and dance. That was one flowing pizzas.  Everyone had  a great time and the whole atmosphere of that night was just absolutely incredible.  So yeah, that would probably be a standout for both of us as  a sort of favourite event. But they were all absolutely fantastic. I think every  event was so different and, and just as good as we are the one that some just had  a special energy about the

[00:23:15] Josh

nice one. And what about the, the next road trip?  You probably talked about lots. Is there something else than the trip, or is there, you know,  small little events that you’re doing when you can get back together given, you know, you’re both in different states.

[00:23:29] Josh

Yeah, I think living on the road for two hundred and seventy three days out of  a car. I think we both only want to do  that once. So we are not very happy with how  it all went. But it’s, it’s a long time and it was a lot of instability as well. You know,  we joked about the fact that the whole year we were just focused on that bottom  level of maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  You know, the,  the thoughts in the front of our wants were okay. Where we’re standing next grocery  shop, where can we get food?  ? Where are we going to camp and all of those sorts of things just that real primary  level. So it, it was good and it was certainly, you know, exciting in  a way of having the, the home on wheels.  But we were very much ready to, you know,  for a bit of stability after the trip. So in terms of downs, it was mainly  a one year event shopping and twenty, twenty two. But there are, we’ve got a few plans to just have  a few pop up things here. And then we’ve been lucky enough to be asked to dance and speak at  a few events this year. So we went to the Rabobank conference in Sydney in March this year,  and I think we danced in total with three thousand dances last year. And the  Rabobank conference added another sixteen hundred on top of that. So it really  through our stats. Yeah. So that was great. And then we’re going to something to  a conference in Queensland in August. So there’s  a few things where we feel really quite honoured and lucky to have been asked to go  to to them. But we will, we endeavour to just run a few,  a few things here and then we both are going to take wine, dancing in our respective locations. So yeah,  that’s probably the long story. Short stories, mainly one year event shop,  but they’ll be bits and bobs here and there. It’s never going to die completely.  And we are in the process of writing a book about the trip as well. So that,  so bringing all the memories back up, which is quite funny at times quite well,  how did we do that at times and a bit of everything. So yeah, it’ll go on for  a little while just so much more pulled back version the last

[00:25:30] Josh

year. Yeah.  Is the book a Claire Harris venture or you know, you collaborating on that? Has it working?

[00:25:37] Claire/Kate

No it’s, it’s a joint venture,  but Claire is probably going to take the lead on it being all things comms and  words. But going through sort of my,  my diary and sending Claire lots of screenshots of different messages and sort of  writing up my thoughts as well. And then That’ll be all sort of smooshed together  with claire’s stuff. At the moment I think I’m about a third of the way through last year’s diary,  and I’m already at eleven thousand words. Claire.

[00:26:02] Josh

Oh great. So I got to read your book before writing a book

[00:26:09] Claire/Kate

Or at least a third of the way,  but you’re going to have like, fifty thousand words to read heavy

[00:26:14] Josh

on talky. That

[00:26:17] Josh

sounds epic. Well, another event that you danced at a pretty good one if you ask me,  was the seven years young achiever awards gala dinner in Brisbane. And I remember  when the awards coordinator for Queensland, Emily in my team and to me and said, I’ve got this thought  a prostitute approach. I think she said you’ve been approached,  but you may be right.  You’ve got your lot cleared up. They’re saying,  Oh yeah. So for entertainment, why don’t we have some line dancing? What do you mean?  And she was filling in and telling me about you both Clare and Kate. And it was  a very easy sell straight away because it’s like that sounds really fun actually.  So it was more just the initial concepts. I was like okay, sounds weird,  but so how did that go? Did you, did you pitch to M? What has she pitched to you about?

[00:27:02] Josh

It was kind of just because launch date thing was at the forefront of our mind  because of what we do and when we realized we were lucky enough to be finalists and  therefore would be there on the night. It just kind of happened in conversation. I  was on the phone to Emily and said, Oh, by the way, if you know,  if you need entertainment and are always up for a day and you know, we can do a demo,  we can teach people how have you like it. We’re going to be there and we’re happy  to do it. So it was just a very informal offer at the start really,  and we’re really stoked that you. Yeah. Took a chance on us and yeah,  included us in the event program. So everything that we learned last year,  it can be something for anyone and everyone. And we did a demo First and then when we called volunteers,  I think we probably had twenty or thirty people joining in. And everyone’s just  having a great time. You really, you don’t need any experience to want it,  and you can want Insta, any type of music as well. So it was really, Yeah,  we absolutely loved that night. And yeah, we felt very, very lucky to be able to get  a bit of boot scooting happening. As part of the program,

[00:28:09] Josh

well, was it, was it boot scooting or high heeled scooting or was it because you if you’re  dressed very lovely both of you?

[00:28:17] Claire/Kate

Well, one thing is that is rather versatile. We’ve. We’ve come to find Josh,  so. Yes, we would fit in heels. Usually that is not what we wood dancing,  that we tell people to dance in whatever they most comfortable in. But yes,  if he are your go to then go for it.

[00:28:37] Josh

There is some great footage from the event  with and it does look like the stage is full of people just dancing. Yes. Great.  And everyone’s having a brilliant time. So yeah, I wish I was there. I was able to make the,  the Brisbane event so he can myself

[00:28:51] Josh

so there’s always time to London. It’s just  wherever you are at any point in time. If, if the urge comes up, give it a go.

[00:28:57] Josh

True, true. Now you said very humbly that you were finalists,  and of course at that time in that conversation Emily, you were announced as finalist,  but you ended up winning the spirit suit by connecting communities award. And so,  you know, I should I said at the top,  but congratulations to you both for winning that award.

[00:29:13] Claire/Kate

Thank you very much.

[00:29:15] Josh


[00:29:15] Josh

you. You’re welcome. And it was  a pretty it was really cold. That was watching some of the footage just before,  before we jumped on and straight away when you accepted the award,  you said that tell me about that song has got you in the mood for dancing,  then we’ll take care of that later.  We’re getting back on stage to dance,  so you can just say your passion for it is so evident just like shines through. And  I can imagine that it would be easy when you are doing those events for people to  join in. Because when someone else is passionate,  it’s so infectious and it helps other people feel at ease. Did you have any trouble  with people you know, having to win them over? Or was it fairly easy for you?

[00:29:58] Claire/Kate

Well, for us, the three main objectives of the trip were to share the love of blind dancing raise  money for charities and bring communities back together. So while Claire and I both  absolutely love dancing and I’m Super passionate about it,  and that’s sort of the conduit. We used for our events and getting people,  bringing those communities together and that sort of thing. If people showed up and  all they wanted to do was stand on the sidelines with  a beer and talk to their neighbour that was sort of more than enough. Like we  couldn’t, couldn’t be happy with that,  I guess because at the end of the day they’ve given themselves permission to come  and have a night off. And actually, you know,  fold themselves in some sort of Community event which was sort of what we wanted to  try and do, you know, it’s been  a tough couple of years. We really wanted to focus on that community building sort  of thing. So that was a big, big part of it. But yeah,  none of our events did. We force people to dance?  ? Well, we highly encouraged people to get on the dance floor and give it  a go. But yeah, we didn’t have any dramas. And  a lot of the time people would sit off to the side and have a bit of  a watch or know we started with the nut pushed in order at a lot of our events too,  in order to sort of get people on. Because that’s something that most people know  but yeah, a lot of the time to we’d be dancing and people would be like,  Oh that actually looks really, really fun. Maybe I’ll get up and have  a go. And then they’d get up and you know  bump into their neighbour and, you know,  it’ll, That’ll get up there and have a bit of fun and then go, Oh, it’s actually  a scary place to be.  And nobody wants to be First on the dance floor,  but at the very least they were going to be third, because a be there.

[00:31:40] Josh

That’s true. I love that. Do you have any great testimonials whether it  was immediately after the event or down the track? I like how you mentioned that there’s kind of three pillars,  but there’s three reasons why you did it. You know,  some of those feedback that really made you feel. Yeah, we nailed that.

[00:31:57] Josh

Yeah, definitely Josh, and I actually have a page in the back of my diary that’s titled warm,  warm and fuzzy is basically about all those sorts of things. The moments where we’d  get a bit of feedback or something would happen and we would both think wow,  that’s the whole reason we’re doing this trip. So just think of an example. We run  an event in lakes entrance in Victoria, and  a lady came along who I think she’d been kind of toing and froing about whether or  not she wanted to join a local one dancing group. She hadn’t had much land dancing experience before,  but because we really advertised our events and all our events sort of, you know,  you don’t need any experience. It really doesn’t matter. Just come along,  no matter what happens as long as you have good time. We’re happy with that,  so it was very low pressure situation and she came along and had  a great time and then sent us a message  a little while later saying that she had had now joined a local,  a local group and she was going every week and loving it,  so there were things like that. We also heard from  a few people who had actually started lawn dancing groups in their towns after we  had left. Well, we were just a one stop  shop everywhere. So, and again, just, you know, if there’s one long missing group going in  a town that didn’t already have lawn dancing, then that’s one extra opportunity that the community has to come together.  Basically because it’s something that we,  we started and just got the ball rolling. So there’s really nice things like that,  that one does. And so we had someone come to our event and she loved lawn dancing  to the point that she she was about to get married. And she got  a second wedding dress for her reception so that she could dance at the reception.  So just fun things like that. And, you know, people, people who are new to town who, you know,  we’re swapping numbers with people at the end of events, you know,  because they didn’t know anyone yet.  It just gave people  a reason to come together as, as Kate said. And so, yes,  so many warm and fuzzy moments and, you know,  just constant reminders of whether it really was worth it because of that positive effect.

[00:34:04] Josh

Yeah. Now that’s so cool. Everything to add. I couldn’t tell if you were trying to jump in there.

[00:34:10] Claire/Kate

No, I think Clarence pretty well covered it like yeah,  I think we could talk do a whole podcast ourselves on,  on just the just the warm and fuzzy feelings of the trip at least one from every event.

[00:34:23] Josh

Well as I mentioned, Oh there’s the place. That’s awesome.

[00:34:27] Josh

There’s a lot happening.

[00:34:29] Josh

Yeah, that’s such a good idea though,  because sometimes you have that little slump and yet it’s the little pick me up and  yeah, that’s really nice. Well, as I mentioned,  you won the spirit Super collecting communities award and that’s exactly what you were doing,  connecting communities and connecting people. And this episode of the podcast is  actually sponsored by spirit Super today. And they’ve sent through  a question that they want to ask you both. So spirit, Super,  I’m really proud to be supporting young people. So they actually wanted to know if  you think your age being young yourself helped or hindered you when it came to  connecting communities and making these changes.

[00:35:03] Josh

Oh, go spirit Super we are. We have not been asked that question of the whole of the  whole of last year. So points for originality. I think one thing that was helpful when people think on dancing,  they would automatically think you have to be seventy five plus you have to have  knitting as your number one hobby. You know, all of that, you know,  you have to be an old lady to enjoy it.  So I think the fact that we’re both in our mid twenties, in a way,  helps what we were trying to do is showing that. Now you don’t actually have to  have to be, you know, those things. It’s great if you are and you’re doing well on dancing,  but you can be anything.  So in that, in that way I think youth helped and yeah,  we just said that the get up and go to do it,  which I guess you can technically have at any age, but being you a mid twenties,  you know, we’ve got we don’t have families yet you know,  we’ve got jobs that we knew that would be jobs to come back to. We were probably  more able to be free and just, you know,  quit jobs that we did love and just and hit the road. So we were lucky in the way  that we could do it now and it was kind of the,  the fact of if we don’t do it in our mid twenties,  we never will. So it’s probably got things to add. That’s what I would say. So  overall I would say yes, it helped us with the trip and youth being on our side was helpful.

[00:36:23] Claire/Kate

Yeah, I think I think I agree. I must have dropped out  a little bit there because you both went a little bit glitchy on me, but I would agree.

[00:36:32] Josh

Well now we can say what you would say how you would answer the  question and see if it matters. Oh

[00:36:38] Claire/Kate

yeah, so I would agree, I think you’ve definitely helped give us that get up and go and  a lot leading into the trip. A lot of what we said was, you know,  if we’re not going to do it in our mid twenties, then when would we?  ? Because, you know, as I mentioned we, we don’t have, you know,  we’re relatively unattached as far as families and that sort of thing. So we had  the opportunity to live out of car and that sort of thing quite easily. And another  thing, not, not, not necessarily our age,  but I think we both from experience got our heads sort of screwed on and were able  to reach out to people,  to give us advice along the way and that sort of thing. And that really helped as  well. I think, you know, just jump into these sort of things willy nilly. And we definitely sought advice  and that along the way and have so many people that helped us along the way that  were able, you know, that really celebrated us being, you know,  young and wanting to give something a go and going. Yeah, no,  I’m going to support you because you’re all of the things that I think you know,  we need or whatever else. So I think youth definitely helped us there too. And  people wanting to really help us along and give us,  give us advice and those sort of things because they were like, yeah, you’re two young girls,  one wanting to do something good. I want to support this any way that I can, did they want wanna,

[00:38:06] Josh

it was good because they were in a similar vein, but in different ways,  person from different ways that was good. That perfectly maybe we should have done some kind of U-turn. You know,  you speak as off as

[00:38:18] Claire/Kate

unplug your headphones yet. Yeah,

[00:38:21] Josh

exactly. So before we wrap up, I did ask  a few more questions if that’s okay. Yeah, absolutely. You know,  with the young achiever words we want to mention every year.  And so I’m really keen  to get your thoughts and of how the experience was and whether you’d recommend,  you know, other young people, whether it’s in Agriculture specifically,  or in any field to be part of it and to enter in a nomination.

[00:38:44] Josh

Yeah, I think you know,  when Kate and I had the idea to do the trip and I’m assuming this is the same for  every single finalist. You don’t do these kinds of things for, Oh, if we did this,  we might win some great awards. So that was never a driving motivator behind,  behind doing these things. But at the same time,  you’re going to meet lots of amazing people, if you, you know, if you are part of that, you know,  that calibre of people who go for these awards. And I think,  I think for me that was definitely what I enjoyed most just on that night,  you know, hearing what so many amazing other people are doing and you know,  following their passions to essentially all try to try to make the world a better place. So we’re really,  really grateful to awards Australia for organising, organising the awards and spirit Super,  obviously for our award and all the other sponsors. And it’s just, it’s  a really great thing to be involved and you never know what opportunities are going  to to come from it. The people that you’re going  to meet. So yeah, I think, yeah, I couldn’t recommend highly enough being involved and yeah,  just thanks. Thanks very much to Josh and Matt and the whole team for putting it  off, letting us be a part of it.

[00:40:02] Claire/Kate

Yeah, no, I agree. I yeah, I don’t think there’s much roll back that

[00:40:09] Josh

Says I think I do, but you know,

[00:40:10] Claire/Kate

I think Yeah. Actually the

[00:40:15] Josh

final question, Josh, give her about the question asked yeah, Excel spreadsheet shortcuts,

[00:40:22] Josh

,  she loves that. Oh, now you’re getting me really interested. So what is your favorite?  Except we can have our own podcast about Excel spreadsheets.  Now, back to the real questions,  I wanted to ask you both. So I’ll kick off  with you. I find you to be both very inspirational, but what is it that inspires you? Or

[00:40:43] Claire/Kate

what inspires me. I’m probably going to go around this question  a little bit I there’s probably the things that make me sort of want to  get up in the morning and sort of make me tick. I would say cows, Agriculture,  kids and dancing. So for me, I love the agricultural industry grew up in the AG industry,  all that training. And I think there’s some really amazing people in there that are  trying to do some really awesome things. I think Agriculture also gets a bit of  a bad rap from time to time and I’ve sort of got this like little deep seated idea.  And I know that me on my own cannot do this but to make Agriculture. The best  industry that it can be because I think we’d be pretty hungry and pretty cold  without it seeing as it is the production of all of our food and fibre. So I think  I really love that and being able to work in a space where I can work with great people,  right across the industry at all different levels from, you know,  school leavers that are just starting to come into that into Agriculture and just  sort of learning about, you know, what’s a tractor and all those sort of things right?  ? Up to people that have been working in it in the industry,  their whole life and have so much drive and passion for making the industry the  best that it can be. So I think that’s definitely one thing and then I love and  this was sort of, you know, really tapped into along the trip as well, where we worked with  a few different schools and that sort of thing. I love kids and love getting to see  how they view and process the world.  I think you know that young innocence of  everything is exciting and new. I think a lot of us could take  a lot from that sort of mindset into our everyday lives and actually, you know,  instead of being Debbie downer but you know, we can be at different times actually going, you know,  it’s pretty cool to be able to, you know, have Sunshine outside and have such  a beautiful day around us and things like that. So yeah, probably just the little things and definitely yes. Agriculture.

[00:42:48] Josh

Yeah, and I stayed true

[00:42:49] Claire/Kate

to that. It

[00:42:51] Josh

was great. It was very good. So true about kids and that curiosity that they have,  and the way they see the world is something we should all keep striving to do. But  the one thing I want to quickly pick up on is if the school leavers is still on  what’s Attractor, that’s a bit of a worry potentially. But

[00:43:06] Claire/Kate

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. In my current role, I spend  a lot of time going out to schools and actually teaching them teaching kids about  some of the technologies and careers that are in Agriculture. And the number of  kids we sort of run into that. Didn’t realise it’s sausage sausages,  beef or eggs come from chicken or like chicken and chicken like the you know,  sandwich whatever is the same as the chicken bird that you go and get eggs from as you know,  and there’s thirty per cent of kids in America. Believe that chocolate milk comes  from brand cows and there’s all of these mind blowing statistics that you probably  wouldn’t even believe that are actually true of you know,  the younger people’s perspective perspective of where their food comes from. So yeah,  school systems that are like what the tractor

[00:43:59] Josh

going through that recently with my six year old,  a four year old and that conversation of dad is the fish for  dinner. The fish in the ocean were like, yes. Is that a kind of like thinking about this long pause?  Yeah, that’s right. It’s a funny one with two little kids.

[00:44:20] Claire/Kate

Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

[00:44:23] Josh

So Claire same question to you, what is it that inspires you?

[00:44:27] Josh

I think I’ve had a lot of time to think about it now listening to it. So that’s,  that’s great. I think on being a journalist,  what I always have felt really lucky about is being able to meet people doing  incredible things and being able to tell their story.  So most journalists stop journalists South,  australia’s rural weekly news anchor for the three years before the truth. And to  the things that I really love were meeting those people who had an idea back  themselves and went for it. You know,  whether that is in the face of adversity or not. I think I think both are really,  really impressive. You could, you could argue that, you know,  if you go through adversity, it’s even more impressive. But even if you don’t,  if you just have that idea and you still go for it,  there’s going to be hurdles no matter what the back story or the background. There  is so I really enjoy that and I think that is what inspires me amazing. Those  people who are doing incredible things and you know,  have backed themselves and have gone for is what always inspires me. And it was quite interesting. Last year,  being on the air was saw on the main people asking us all about  our adventure and, and that sort of thing. But yeah, on the whole,  I would say when you get to meet people who are just going for it and you know,  regardless of what roadblocks they do face and they’re still pretty determined to make those dreams a reality. Yeah,  that’s really what inspires me.

[00:46:02] Josh

I love those little lessons a little everyday,  like Nuggets you get from people who are from all different walks of life because of upbringing,  a different perception and different ways of tackling their problems and,  and how they rise to the challenge. And not always, I agree with you so much,  Claire, that I do find inspiration in that myself as well. Yeah,  thanks. I’m just going to let it catch up for a second because it’s like kind of  a little phrase for a moment there. Yeah, before we finish up,  I just want to ask how people can connect with you whether it’s, you know,  individually or with her down to the country, towns in case they want to book you for line dancing,  that their conference like Rabobank did or, or something else

[00:46:40] Claire/Kate

different Claire comes

[00:46:43] Josh

yet comms, so far, all Excel spreadsheet enquiries contact Kate for anything else. Our website is W W.  W quote. As the country towns dot com,  there’s all our contact info always on there as well as just general information about our towns,  the country towns and our year of the wantin lost yes. Yeah,  that’s the best place to start. And we’re always happy to hear from anyone who is  interested in what we do.

[00:47:13] Josh

Perfect and everyone don’t forget that the ABC backwoods episode will be airing on Monday,  August twenty one at eight PM. So make sure you catch that and see how everything  played out. Are really looking forward to that episode, Kate and Claire. And yeah,  thank you so much for giving up your time to join us today.

[00:47:33] Claire/Kate

Thank you very much for  having us, Josh. It’s been absolute pleasure.