GNAT CHAT is here! Welcome.
Let’s get it out of the way upfront. Why are we referring to ourselves as pesky little insects that swarm in uninvited to bite the unsuspecting?
Oh yeah, it's an acronym we could come to regret.
No matter how unfortunate the truth happens to be, the fact is that GNAT is well suited to describe us. This is because we are Liz Rivers (I’m writing this post) and Kim Morgan, and together we front the G-rey N-omad A-wards T-eam. That’s right, we’re G.N.A.T.
GNAT CHAT is our team blog and this is our very first post.
Who are we to promote the Grey Nomad Awards?
Well, one of us (me) is grey and a nomad. The other is also a nomad who passed grey some time back, now boasting pure white. We don’t align with the accepted definition of a grey nomad because we are not retired, so we call ourselves Digital Nomads.
I’m the not-so-serious one who still takes herself way too seriously (I was caught recently reading a business book at the beach!). Luckily I balance this flaw by being a hedonistic “goat” (Capricorn through and through) with a creative flair. I live by the motto that kindness matters and have three relevant passions – awards, tourism and travel. The Grey Nomad Awards combine all three.
I was guilty of perpetrating acts of journalism in my first few jobs. That was very serious even for a serious person, so I left journalism to take on marketing and events at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. It was a position brimming with many pleasures that changed my life perspective – I felt a little like Julie Andrews playing Maria von Trapp, dancing through floral meadows while urgent matters flickered at the periphery of my existence. Bliss!
That was a long, long time ago though and all good things come to an end, so I left the Gardens to plunge into the dark world of self-employment. Luckily work flowed quickly, and soon I was producing winning tourism award submissions, training people to become tourism guides and managing awards programs for TAFE. This sequence transformed my little business into a company called Awards Absolute, which happened to be the world’s first awards management and submission agency, though I didn’t know it at the time.
Kim has travel and tourism in her veins too. After having lived, worked and travelled across the globe for many years, she returned to Australia to be close to family some years back. She then became joint owner and the driving force behind a relaxing waterfront resort of bungalows set on numerous acres of tropical gardens in the heart of the Sunshine Coast. Like me, she also found awards entrancing, which led to her resort winning Queensland and Australian Tourism Awards.
These wins kick-started her journey as an awards judge, which has seen Kim be the Chair of the prestigious Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, a Tourism Awards judge, and an International Judge for two global awards programs. So Awards Absolute jumped at the chance to have her join the team a few years back.
Kim is a cunning canasta player who “wore out” her last cards partner (yeah, that was me), and is now seeking a new one to energise her in preparation for the strategic role she plays at the Grey Nomad Awards. Find us at any campsite and if she’s not deep in the back-end of our online awards portal then she’ll happily and nimbly relieve you of any canasta prowess you may have once enjoyed.
And we know you have one more question you want answered about us – do we look anything like the above pictures? Maybe – maybe not. It might depend on whether we meet in a caravan park amenities block or at a business workshop. Either way, don’t stress as it’s all part of the game.
Enough about us. What’s in this for you?
We cruise the back roads and highways (err, it's sounding like this is about us again - hang in there) to reach those that will benefit most from entering the Grey Nomad Awards. That's you - the business owners, Councils and townsfolk in every corner of Australia, and the flocks of travellers who have crested life’s hill and are still picking up speed.
This blog will be a multi-focussed platform about travel and tourism (think “crash courses on must-visit Aussie destinations”), awards, the Digital Nomad life and the Grey Nomad way, all shared through the magic of storytelling. It’ll be a journey within a journey.
And we’ll be letting you know in advance where we’re heading. Maybe you’d like to meet up along the way (for a sneaky canasta game – or not)?
We’re in the planning stages at the moment for autumn 2019 and over the next few weeks we’ll let you know what we are doing before heading out on the road for an extended period. Maybe you have some tips for us too. What do we need to live comfortably in your part of the land for a while? What will we have trouble sourcing? And what do you have trouble sourcing that we could bring to you?
Our blog name fits well here too, because you won’t need anything more than the attention span of a gnat to read it. Life is too short for long blog reads – and bad wine! So by making our posts short and sweet we hope you’ll easily find the time to come along with us on our travels and that together we’ll learn as we go.
2019 is going to be a fantastic year – share it with a GNAT.