Speakers and Other Attractions

Our line-up of speakers for 2017…

paulsmPaul Pritchard

Paul was a cutting-edge rock climber and mountaineer hailing from the UK. His adventures took him from Wales to the Himalayas, the Karakoram to Patagonia, Baffin Island to the Pamirs and the European Alps.

When he won the Boardman/Tasker Award for mountain literature in 1997, with his book Deep Play, he spent the prize money on a world climbing tour that found him in Tasmania  climbing a slender sea stack known as The Totem Pole. It was here that all he had known before was turned on its head.

On Friday the 13th of February 1998 a TV-sized boulder falling from 25 meters inflicted such terrible head injuries that doctors thought he might never walk or even speak again. Being in hospital for a year gave Paul the impetus to write his second book: The Totem Pole in 2000. This narrative about his personal journey through hemiplegia also won  an unprecedented second Boardman/Tasker prize, and the Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize and was translated into four  languages. Nominated for the Banff Prize, The Longest Climb followed in 2005.

He has continued to lead a challenging life, climbing Kilimanjaro, caving, river rafting and lead rock climbing again. Paul rode a recumbent trike through Tibet to Mount Everest and, in 2016 he finally climbed the Totem Pole, 18 years after his accident (the subject of an ABC Australian Story). Paul has spent his time since the accident in contemplation of the hemiplegia which has robbed his right side of movement and continues to play tricks with his speech and memory. He sees the accident as a gift and describes it as the best thing that has ever happened to him. He is a passionate believer that without the mountains he climbed, and moreso the Totem Pole accident, he would not have learnt some crucial life lessons. Those lessons learned in the mountains got him through a harrowing injury, and the painfully slow recovery process has engendered a life lived in the moment.
“I use them still, repeatedly, each day of my second, radically different life.”


lindab_smLinda Bootherstone – An Adventurous life

What are adventures? Can they change our lives?
With song and story Linda recounts some of her early travel experiences including riding behind the Iron Curtain in 1967. She reflects on what this and her many other adventures have taught her.

Linda Bootherstone has been riding for over 50 years using a variety of machines from a Triumph in the 1960s, BMWs during the 70s-90s, various Japanese bikes in later years and now a CT110 Honda Postie bike!

She has toured extensively in east and west Europe, America and Australia and made two overland trips, one through Africa 1974/5 and, in 2005/7 from Spain to Australia. Her most recent adventure was in 2015 celebrating her 70th birthday in Sucre, Bolivia while touring in South America on a 125 Yamaha.

Linda made a brief foray into the world of road racing in Australia in the 1970s where she raced a Suzuki , Ducati and Yamaha on various circuits but her first love is touring to experience other cultures.

Her other love is folk music and she plays a variety of instruments writing songs alinda_smbout the places she visits.

Now living in South Australia she has spoken at HU meetings and for other organisations in various countries.

Still following a variety of interests she has written three travel books and one of poetry. Her books are available on Amazon and her website is www.lindab.id.au

She extends a warm welcome to Port Lincoln for motorcyclists touring in Australia.




Alex Hotchin & Marty Gordon

Not so long ago Alex and Marty closed down a business, packed their possessions into a storage container and headed to Scotland with a one way ticket and a loose idea of a route to the far south east. Some 18 months, and an incredible world of experiences later, they pedalled into a dusty dry Cambodia having travelled most of the way under their own steam, on a bike.

The spirit of adventure has sat strong in both these individuals since a young age. Alex grew up in outback Queensland, studying via School of the Air.  Her best friends were the wild goats, donkeys, and random wayward animals and days spent riding motorbikes, mustering cattle, shearing sheep and making rafts to paddle the Mungallala river.

Marty spent the vast majority of his twenties living in, and out of tents, travelling around the state. Either climbing, snowboarding, or mountain biking someplace. He was one of the first people to snowboard on Mt. Bogong, and Feathertop, and the first to do an entire ski season at Hotham living out of a home made tent, on the fringe of the resort.

Our bike ride adventure was simply an extension of the people we are, and the way we like to live our lives. We made friends, made art, met people, slept in our tent in the middle of nowhere and were as one with our surroundings.

Adventure doesn’t have to be far from home, it’s the spirit with which it is absorbed in your core that matters.

Alex      http://alexhotchin.com/store/borderless-book

Marty    http://www.elephantsandrobots.com


klinlao_smKym & Lyn Bolton

Kym and Lyn’s philosophy is “You only visit this planet once, better see it before you leave”.

To date they have travelled in their 4×4 Camping Truck over 250,000kms through Asia, Russia, Europe, North, Central and South America, and currently the vehicle is stored in Namibia awaiting their return soon after this festival to continue overlanding Africa.

Drawing on their experiences over the last 8 years of overland travel they are here to draft how to undertake such travel with reference to vehicle type, planning, individual or group travel, the shipping process, cross border vehicle paperwork, wild camping in foreign countries, and the all important anticipated cost.

Between the international exploits Kym has designed what are now the three main production overland 4×4 vehicles available on the Australian market.




Jackie Hartnell

Seize the day, be adventurous

Jackie Hartnell was born in the UK in 1940 and emigrated to Australia in 1962 as a £10 POM. She very quickly fell in love with Australia (and Australians) has never regretted that £10. This was perhaps her first solo travel adventure.

Many years later, when Jackie Hartnell’s husband Ian died unexpectedly before they had time to enjoy retirement together, she realised the importance of making the most of every opportunity and became a serious solo traveller. Jackie decided to follow a long-held dream and became a backpacker travelling on a shoestring. Her first adventures included journeys in Morocco, Greece, Finland, Ireland and Thailand. Back in Australia after her first journey Jackie decided to continue her newfound passion, and bought herself a campervan, SKI2, so named because she was having a second attempt at Spending her Kid’s Inheritance!

She has subsequently travelled in Vietnam, Italy and Ireland, as well as transitory visits to Spain, Denmark and other countries. She has stayed for longer periods in Cambodia and Norway while, closer to home, she drove 19,000km solo in SKI2, exploring Western Australia over four months in 2012.

After thirty years in the computer industry, via primary teaching and assorted other attempts to findhartnell_sm job satisfaction, Jackie found it in her retirement as a writer. Her books, No Fixed Address and Still No Fixed Address, [Kindle] inspirational tales of her travel adventures, illustrate her philosophies of seizing the day and taking a few risks to do what you want with your life. They propose that we are never ‘too old’, that it is possible to make the most of every day and every opportunity, and that everyone can live life to the full.




axel_smAxel Leonhardt
Being fascinated by reading about adventurous stuff from others I soon decided to make my own. Since I have had larger and smaller encounters with thrill, excitement and “boy i don’t wanna be here” moments. My most recent was a ride from Vladivostok to Spain, although ‘riding’ I did not all the time. Join me and I shall show & tell





In 2008 the World went into a financial meltdown, Ireland was especially hard hit. Bogdan lost his job and his future. Like many construction workers things didn’t look bright. Instead of giving up and going on the dole he decided to fulfil a lifetime dream and travel. He bought a flight ticket to Helsinki and from there started an overland  journey all the way to Beijing. After a year of backpacking in Asia visiting several countries and meeting lots of wonderful interesting people he had an epiphany in Japan. Bogdan was staying in  one of Tokyo’s hostels doing some cleaning jobs for free accommodation when he came across Alistair’s Humphreys book about his incredible bicycle adventure around the world.

Taking complete leave of his senses and with no planning, Bogdan took a ferry from Japan to Qingdao in China. He bought a cheap bicycle and some camping gear and set off across China to central Asia. Two years later, money exhausted and 35,000 km under his tyres he finished his adventure in Bangkok.



Heather Ellis


Heather Ellis is the author of Ubuntu: One Woman’s Motorcycle Odyssey Across Africa (Black Inc. 2016), a travel memoir based on her solo motorcycle journey through Africa from 1993 to 1994 over 15 months and 19 countries riding 42,000 kilometres. It is as much about Africa’s most remote, beautiful and dangerous places as it is about having the courage to do it alone. It is about a life-changing adventure into the soul of Africa where she finds Ubuntu— a Bantu word meaning human interconnectedness (‘I am because we are’). Heather has worked as a radiation safety technician, a motorcycle courier, a journalist for News Ltd and in communications for an NGO. After her motorcycle travels in Africa, she always felt compelled to share her adventures interwoven with the kindness of strangers and the guiding hand of a higher force. She lives near Melbourne with her three children, and is currently writing the sequel to Ubuntu. And she still rides motorcycles.



evan_smEvan Howard

Evan lives and works in Melbourne’s northern suburbs but he originally hails from British Columbia in Canada’s west, were the glaciers are splendid and mountains inspiring.
Australia  has been his base camp  since 2005 with trips shooting off to places like New Zealand, Alaska and and the far flung exotic island of Tasmania.
Evan also returns back to his native Canada regularly  to explore an area of the Coast Mountains that are steeped in legends. From lost gold to mystic animals, the area is the Terra Rosa Glacier. Evan and his adventuring partner Adam have had multiple  trips into the area exploring  the glaciers and its spectacular peaks.  The inspiration from the Terrarosa Glacier  can been seen in a 6 part series from Animal Planet in the USA and Canada as well as the name sake for Evans business building adventure gear. www.terrarosagear.com



damo2smDamian McDermott     Producer

Damian is passionate about film making, adventure and the environment. Over the last 20 years he has lugged cameras and tripods through the Australian alps, the Andes, the Cambodia/Laos border, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and New Zealand for ABC, SBS, Lonely Planet and independent productions (and often just for fun).

This wanderlust inspired Damian and some like-minded friends to form Random Footprints. A group whose mantra is to capture engaging adventures with real people in faraway places. They are not endurance athletes, there are no records being broken or new worlds being discovered and there are no support crews or porters. The mission is simply to capture genuine, accessible adventures – in a typical “larrikin-arthouse” style… and survive.

In Damian’s latest film Strangers in the Forest of Taboos the Random Footprints team trek deep into the Indonesian jungle and attempt to extricate themselves without succumbing to exhaustion, flash floods, poison arrow-toting hunters or rancid deer meat.

“Strangers” stars Environmental scientists Pat Giltrap and Marcus Sainsbury with their friend and “cultural attaché” Michael Schultz.  The film highlights the groups inability – no matter how good their intentions – to match the abilities of their local guide Mr Buan in surviving the forest with equanimity.damo1sm

For Damian, carrying a camera, tripod and sound recording gear through the jungles of Indonesia is an added challenge, with humidity, rain and mud causing havoc. Thankfully cameras are a lot lighter (and cheaper) than twenty years ago and we are able to capture the unexpected moments that the wilderness can present…. And the result is a unique snapshot of a moment in time, a world away.

Damian lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and two daughters. Random Footprints are currently planning their next adventure for 2017. randomfootprints.com








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Travel Photography Competition

  • Bring along an A4 print of your best travel photo with your contact details on the back
  • Hang it on the boards in the information centre outside the cinema
  • There will be a variety of prizes on the day including best entry under 18
  • Photos should not have been used commercially in any way