Our Stories


Just like every other person in Oz, our Random Aussie team all have their own stories to tell – get to know Paul, Jamie and Luke below.
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Season 1

1. Ballarat - Dylan (Baden) Riske

Our first episode, where it all started. We met Dylan with his friends in the Ballarat mall. Dylan was an enigmatic young kid who’d had issues with authority as well as other social issues. But we spent an afternoon with him and found him to be charming, funny and a switched-on young kid. We drove around Ballarat, where he seemed to know everyone, before having dinner at his local pub. A funny afternoon!
2. Healesville – Daniel Schmolling

We had been wandering the streets of Healesville for some time before bumping into Daniel. He was friendly and open from the start, and we were impressed with his blue comby van! We got a chance to meet some of his friends, visited his old school where the gym had been named after his grandfather, and even got to hear some of the music this talented artist has produced. A lovely guy!
3. Warrnambool – Jennifer Murphy

Warrnambool was a struggle for us, and we had to return a second day to find our Random Aussie. We eventually met Jennifer at the Warrnambool Dog Show, and it was worth the wait. We were able to learn about the dogs and the people who show them, we met some of her friends and were able to just sit and chat with her, gaining some amazing wisdom. Jennifer is a beautiful woman who gives a lot of time to the community.
4. Wagga Wagga – Fred Burke

We met Fred while driving around Wagga Wagga asking for directions. Looking like an old rocker, we soon found there was more to him than meets the eye – Fred was a pilot! He teaches people to fly, and we were lucky enough to go up in his small plane with him. It didn’t end there - we went surfing on boogie boards in the Murrumbidgee River, before managing to get on community radio, then going out for dinner with Fred. GOLD!
5. Bathurst - David McMahon-Winter

David and his wife Vera were on their way to the chemist in the main street of Bathurst when they bumped into us. We were on a high from driving Ferret the Falcon around the famous Bathurst track, but nothing would compare to the afternoon we spent with this wonderful man. David had done so much in the community, and was full of life and jokes. We loved his poems, stories and wisdom. David made us feel like we were on the right track. A true legend… Never forgotten. 
6. Albury – Alana Foster

We met Alana while having a break at a café where she worked. It had been another hard slog that day, but we still managed to fit in a trip to the Fruit Fly Circus and the War Memorial before spending time with Alana. We had a lovely afternoon with her, meeting her boyfriend and then heading back to her place, where we got to see her amazing photography. We walked through her favourite park before settling in for some karaoke at her local pub. Not exactly a tough day at the office!
7. Stawell – Raie Gale

Stawell was a highlight for Random Aussies, as we acquired our mascot Wally the Wombat there! And it was Raie, our Random Aussie, who gave it to us. We met Raie in her gift shop in the main street of Stawell, as we were about to run the Random Aussies version of the Stawell Gift and needed a trophy. Eventual winner Jamie was kind enough to donate Wally to the Ferret, where it still sits on the dash. After the race, we enjoyed walking around the ponds with Raie, before going back to Raie’s house to see her beautiful gardens. We enjoyed her company and lengthy chats.
8. Mount Gambier – Brian Short

It was a cold, wet day in Mount Gambier when we bumped into Brian, a Tigers supporter who was up for a chat. We had previously visited the Engelbrecht Caves, then driven down to Crater Lakes for a look… but we hadn’t had much luck before Jamie noticed that Brian was a Tigers supporter – it was the hat! We then spent some time at Brian’s house, listening to his life stories and amazing advice. His portrait display of his grandchildren that stretched around the room was impressive!
9. Mannum – Alicia Schache

We had organised to catch up with the mayor of Mannum, and stopped at the local bakery while waiting when we bumped into Alicia. She was working in the family business, and came across as a vibrant outgoing girl who immediately made an impression. We met her after work, and managed to get on a paddle-steamer with her, before visiting a not-so-big waterfall. A lovely way to end the day was to watch her play with her two pug dogs beside the great Murray River. Legend!
10. Burra – Juanita Queissner

We spent a quiet Sunday in Burra, South Australia – where we met Juanita, who was running old miner’s cottages as accommodation. Previously we had struggled again, as the town was extremely quiet with no one about. We still managed to go on a self-guided tour throughout the historical town and learned how to build rock-walls, before encountering Juanita. Though reluctant at first, she soon opened up and we were enthralled with her stories, especially how she survived a Tsunami.

Season 2

1. Canberra – Ela Mondello

Canberra was our biggest city so far – with so much to see and do. We were turned away from Parliament House, so we ended up visiting the old Parliament House. Then Go-Carts were a lot of fun, but not as fun as the afternoon we got to spend with Ela. She was on her lunch break in the mall, when we found out that she was a masseuse. It didn’t take Paul long to have his shirt off and receive a Big Kahuna massage from the talented Ela. We finished the day in a pub listening to some of Ela’s philosophies on life and love… over a few drinks of course!
2. Bateman’s Bay – Sally Padey

We were excited to be able to film the intro in a boat at Bateman’s Bay, after which we enjoyed fresh oysters and a damn good coffee. But nothing was to prepare us for our day with Sally and Paul at Mogo Zoo. We were able to interact with some of the amazing animals, which included a guided tour where we got to feed and pat monkeys, lions, tigers, meerkats and giraffes – just to name a few. But it was Sally’s passion for her zoo and the animals within that held our interest the longest. Sitting down and chatting with her about her passions was truly inspiring. 
3. Griffith – Sharnee-Rae Somerville

Griffith was good to us. We were able to explore local caves, meet some amazing people and even engage in a little tasting at a local winery. But we got more than we bargained for when we stopped for a coffee at a local café and met the eighteen year-old manager, Sharnee-Rae. Sharnee put us to work cleaning the place immediately – she even had Jamie scrubbing the toilets! After she finished we hung out at her place, hearing her amazing story before she took us for a ride in the Ferret – despite being on her L’s! Another great day…
4. Tamworth – Dwone (DJ) Jones

In true Random Aussies’ style, we arrived in Tamworth a week too early for the country music festival. It didn’t deter us from having one of our best days – enjoying some historical museums and even a ride on a miniature train. But it was after we bumped into DJ in the main street that things got interesting. DJ was full of smiles and positivity from the start, and once we spent some time with him at his gym we were able to get a glimpse at how inspiring he really is. He has an amazing life story and we got to see him motivate those around him. Finishing off by putting Paul through a brutal fitness session was just perfect! 
5. Stanthorpe – Dale Gillam

Stanthorpe was another great Aussie town, where we got to experience some of our favourite activities – we visited Law Dogs Australia, went to our first B&S ball and even saw a pyramid! Then we bumped into Dale, who was walking to the ATM with his girlfriend. Our day changed for the better, as we swam in the local lake, chatted about his recent accident and even played mini-golf. Another inspiring and passionate Random Aussie, and a ripping bloke!
6. Bundaberg – Kelly (Tiger-Lily) Dickson

Things were looking grim in Bundaberg. We had been on the road a while, had been chased out of a rum factory and turtle enclosure and it was REALLY hot. Luckily we were to see the best the town had to offer, firstly with the Bundaberg Soft Drink factory and then by meeting Tiger-Lily. A truckie with a heart of gold, Tiger-Lily inspired us with her enthusiasm and zest for life. She was instrumental in the push to get Luke’s nipple pierced, and we ended up back at her house having a beer and a great old chat!
paddy and jerry
7. Mooloolaba – Paddy and Jerry van Driels-Vis

At the time, Mooloolaba seemed like an ordeal. It was the end of our road trip, Jamie was unwell and the heat was stifling. But looking back we did some amazing things (bull-riding, jet-boating and visiting an aquarium come to mind) and met an incredible couple, Paddy and Jerry. Our first Random Aussie couple, we met them while they were walking with friends – and it was a testament to the type of people they are when they invited us over for a spin on their jet-boat. We then got to relax at their house on the canal – not a bad finish to the day!
8. Hamilton – Telina Lewis

Hamilton was an enjoyable town for us. Not only did we get to check out some great museums and meet some awesome people in the street, we also got the chance to hang out with Telina. She was hurrying past us to meet a friend for coffee when we pounced, and it wasn’t long before she was teaching us how to dance in the park, playing a thrilling game of pool at her local pub before finishing off with a few drinks and great chats!!!
9. Meningie – Kevin Kropinyeri

Though only a small South Australian town, Meningie had a lot to offer – including the delicacy of eating the local mullet and checking out the church off the Australian $50 note. Then we bumped into Kevin in a drive out to Raukkan, and the day got even better! Kevin worked at the local nursery in the indigenous community, and his passion for local flora and fauna had even Jamie speechless. He taught us about the indigenous history of the area, we chatted to some of the elders and even planted a tree in Raukkan – a great community and a great day.
10. Victor Harbor – Paul Jenkins

Picturesque Victor Harbor was a blast! We stayed in an historic hotel, The Grosvenor, rode on a horse-drawn carriage, went quad biking and even adopted our own little penguin, Arnie. Then we wandered into a sports store and met Paul, a highly regarded person in the community who works with the emergency rescue services. We were lucky enough to hang out with him, hear his wisdom and even get a personal tour of the base where he keeps the rescue boat. We met some of his friends and finished the day with a cold beer – perfect!
11. McClarenVale - Krystal Panakera-Thorpe

The day started off sublime in sunny McClarenVale. We went to a brewery in a winery region, tasted the local olive oil and even ventured down to Port Noarlunga for a snorkel and chat. Then we met Krystal, a local girl who had just finished work and was on her way to the physio. We had a quick tour around her family-owned white-goods store, before going to her house for dinner with her husband and friends. It was a real treat, a laugh a minute!
12. Geelong - Henry Van Andel

Our hometown was always going to be a treat, especially for Paul and Luke when we started off at the famous Geelong Footy Club. Then we went to the Geelong Dialysis Unit, where Jamie was on a dialysis machine for years. It was a touching moment, as Jamie revisited old friends and memories. We bumped into Henry as he was leaving the gym with his wife, and spent a great day together. Henry had played for Geelong in his youth, so a trip back to the ground was special for him. We then finished the day at the foreshore - having a great chat while eating local mussels, followed by a helicopter joy flight. Awesome!

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