October 13th, 2021Lauren’s continuing passion for media
CLUNES local Lauren Goodrham has always had a passion for the media. Working part time as a 15-year-old camera assistant at the then Ballarat television station BTV-6 to now owning one of Australia’s leading audio agencies based in Ballarat, Lauren was instrumental in paving the way for female camera operators at a time when women were generally in front of the camera.
From working ridiculous hours on live TV to recently launching a new interactive QR code medium, Lauren, pictured with Mike Pritchard, says she has always been fascinated by all realms of the media.
“My bestie school friend Lisa and I were lucky to get weekend work at the station as kids and I was fascinated by the process and I especially had a passion for camera work,” she said. “After my HSC I worked full-time at BTV-6 and in those days, everything was done manually and we loaded carts the size of a house brick onto a huge machine that held at least 40 commercials.
“The experience of telly in those days was fantastic but I wanted to be a camera person so after some convincing, the director of news agreed to let me join the ENG (electronic news-gathering) team and go on the road where I eventually shot and edited for the nightly news.”
Lauren made the move to the city where she worked at Channel 10 editing news stories for the one-hour nightly news bulletin and then ended up on the Bert Newton program as the production editor.
“It was fantastic…the best time I had working in telly. The team was phenomenal – to produce 12 and a half hours of TV per week, and with some of that live to air was huge.”
The ultimate professional, when asked to share any behind the scenes info about Bert, Lauren said he was the ultimate gentleman and a pleasure to work for. While Bert’s show attracted local and international entertainers, it was meeting an Aussie icon that Lauren recalls as her one of greatest memories working on the show.
“John Farnham…yes it’s true. I was introduced to him and I just squealed. That’s true too. Then another time I opened the production booth door and Eddie Van Halen was standing there. That time I screamed. I’m not usually one to scream but I did it again when I shared the lift with Sammy Hagar (front man for Van Halen) after his appearance on Bert’s show.”
But the backroom stories continue to be shared in the small township of Clunes given a number of former camera people (cameraman 3 on Bert’s show now owns the fruit shop), producers, writers, TV set designers (Blue Heelers and Prisoner) and directors all call Clunes home.
“I don’t know what it is that has attracted a number of former telly people. But being part of live television or part of the Melbourne media and entertainment scene is such thrill so it’s great to catch up with others to talk about those days.”
For women who were part of the broadcast industry long before international movements were the norm, most would recall horror stories. In Lauren’s case, she remembers having to navigate her roles in an often all-male team.
“There weren’t many women in production, they were all in front of the camera but there was certainly pressure on them like body image expectations and social expectations. It was a difficult time for many in the industry particularly for the on-screen female talent.”
Lauren moved back to the area 10 years ago, settling in Clunes after freelancing as a production editor and working for DubSat – Australia’s first commercial digital delivery service – “it was phenomenal ground-breaking technology” – then moving into print media where she was a sales rep for now defunct Advocate newspaper in Daylesford. She then accepted a position with Hardy Audio in Ballarat and when the opportunity arose, she bought the company.
“Hardy Audio was created by Paul Hardy in 1998. Paul was the one of the original voices of the Harvey Norman ads and he had the most amazing reach. He would voice literally thousands of ads a month and was truly an extraordinary man with an amazing voice. When I bought the company, I wanted to keep the name going in honour of his legacy to the entertainment industry and for his family.”
In 1998, the Hardy Audio studio had two booths and three mixing suites. Today the studio produces high-end digital content and in-stream marketing via podcasts and music streaming services, as well as script writing, foreign language translations and audio design.
And not one for keeping the status quo, Lauren has recently launched a new arm of her studio – QRush Media. “I’m a bit of a thinker and I’m always planning so when I saw the audio tours at the Ballarat Bergonia Festival where people were engaged with technology out in the gardens listening to the story of a begonia or a tree in front of them, I could see the potential in the QR technology,” she said.
“I then engaged some seriously clever people and we launched QRush Media earlier this month. We have been part of art exhibitions at the Ballarat Post Office Gallery and will be part of the Daylesford Art Show where local artworks displayed in shops will be featured in audio and Auslan (Australian Sign Language) tours simply by using a QR code in the shop window. It’s really exciting to be a part of it.”
Words: Narelle Groenhout | Image: Kyle Barnes