Why FNQ Rocks: Reef, rainforest and characters!
Thanks for the memories: Our departing online editor Simon Crerar found his two years in Far North Queensland to be the most stimulating of his career. Photo montage: Simon Crerar via Instagram.
IT is with great sadness that I write this, my last Digitally Enhanced column for Cairns.com.au.
I have done my best to explain the amazing digital developments powering the second decade of the 21st century. Far North Queensland has been an incredibly stimulating alternative to the Big Smoke.
A proud Scot who studied in Manchester, I lived in London for 12 years before leaving with my then partner, now wife, on a six month recce before moving Down Under.
Neither of us imagined we would end up living in FNQ, but we were looking for adventure, proximity to Asia, stunning natural beauty and tropicalia, and we found all that in abundance here.
After a decade spending two hours each day aboard a tube train with 3000 sweaty people a hundred metres underground, my commute to work here has been a joy, an easy cycle from Draper St or a short hop in from Machans since moving to the beach a year ago.
I have analysed Apple’s effect on my Luddite father, Skype’s ability to keep me in touch with my 95-year-old grandmother 15,000km away in Scotland, and Facebook’s rise to its massive IPO – and future crash?
I organised twitter #MeetUps that helped FNQ’s most enthusiastic social networkers put faces to @handles. I employed a group of visiting American students to produce my first #crowdsourced newspaper column.
And every day I have been amazed by the passion motivating commentators on cairns.com.au. We have become a multimedia company, covering elections live for the first time in our history, exploring 52 Pubs in 52 Weeks and introducing video: including our report on Cassius the Crocodile, the most watched video in News Ltd Australia’s history, viewed 1.3 million times: people sure love our crocs.
My highlights have included discussing Speedos with our future king, searching for white whale Migaloo from a chopper above the GBR, and lugging a full-size fibreglass Oprah from Palm Cove to Green Island and beyond.
I am off to Sydney, but will be back for the eclipse, if not before. So long, and thanks for the memories.