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Coming in hot

Coming in hot
Galah coming into 2024 with big hot-chip energy.
Annabelle Hickson
Annabelle Hickson Tenterfield, NSW
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This is a fortnightly newsletter from Galah's editor Annabelle Hickson, made for our Galah subscribers. You are our most valuable supporters. You keep the lights on and the engine room running. Thank you.

Welcome to my first Galah newsletter of the year. I'm coming in hot, and by hot I mean really hot. Like, hot-chip-seagull-energy hot.

It's shaping up to be a big year for Galah. Our goals are to reach 1000 new paid subscriptions, ramp up the digital world of Galah, start a pod, not open a shop, launch a truly excellent how-to-write course and print three book-like issues of the magazine as well as an actual book, all with the purpose of telling stories from regional Australia. Oh, and launch our next Galah Regional Photography Prize with a regional tour.

It sounds totally insane, but we've already done a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, so I do think it's actually achievable.

We're also going to introduce some new voices into our newsletter world, with monthly columns from the likes of Sophie Hansen and Neil Varcoe. And we have welcomed two new members to the Galah team. Katie Duffy (my sister!) who will be the person you speak to if you email info@galahpress.com or if you call us (although we have misplaced the phone, so perhaps don't call us) and Ley Butterworth who, before joining the Galah ship, was the chief sub-editor of The Weekend Australian Magazine. Only the best will do for you Galahs.

And now, to the newsletter proper.


A new dawn

For those of you who have noticed our new newsletter platform, a) you may need to get out more, b) you may be a newsletter nerd or c) you are both (our favourite).

For everyone else, newsflash: we've built a new Galah digital world. You might think this is of interest only to those in categories a, b and c, but no, you too stand to gain. Now you can, (when we upload them – I'm starting with Issue 08 and working backwards), read all the Galah magazine stories, newsletters, travel guides and letters from the editor online. This means you can share them. You can comment on them. You can be in your car, on a road trip, heading to Murwillumbah and think "what was that cheese shop Galah was raving about in issue 07"? Behold.

And for anyone who lives overseas and wants to read Galah but is (understandably) freaked out about the enormous shipping costs, we offer the digital world as a solution.

Some of the stories here are only for paying subscribers, because Galahs cannot live on love-heart emojis alone, but others are free for all. We hope this digital world will grow to become a fun and useful companion to our print magazine, like Patsy is to Eddie.

Taxidermy nervosa

In anticipation of backlash against a story in the next issue of the Galah magazine that involves a lot* of taxidermy, I'd like to speak to any working taxidermists out there who can give some shape and nuance to what they do. An insider's perspective about this craft (or is it a trade?). If you are a taxidermist or if you know one and can spare some time to talk to Galah, please get in touch. info@galahpress.com or reply to this email.


A letter from the editor

This was my most-read newsletter from last year. Is that because you Galahs are mad about gardening? Or mad about gardeners? I'm so curious. This year, my newsletters will be made for Galah subscribers only. As of next fortnight, to read them in full, you need to be either a print or a digital subscriber. You can sign up here. An annual digital subscription is $80 – just over $6 a month – and the annual digital sub with three glorious print magazines is $90 (only $10 more).


Galah has an Obsessions correspondent. Tabitha Carvan, the author of the brilliant This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch (I raved about here) has started to write a regular piece for the Galah mag about people with full-blown obsessions. In issue 08 she wrote about Lorraine Robinson, a former paramedic who has embraced her obsession with dolls. The mother to three grown daughters plays with dolls, makes her own doll houses and furniture and offers her services to other enthusiasts as a doll-house electrician and interior designer. I love her. If you know someone who lives out of the city and is utterly obsessed with something that we need to write about, do get in touch.

In the meantime, Tabitha did a talk at the Sydney Writers Festival about finding your passion and it's now been released as a podcast here. I highly recommend it.

Travel a l'Orange

Galah's upcoming Issue 09 travel guide features Orange and surrounding regions. Written by local Sophie Hansen and a cameo from beloved former-Galah Sarah Barrett, the guide is packed with insider knowledge on the best places to eat, drink, stay and visit, and will be available here in the weeks leading up to the culinary celebration that is Orange FOOD Week.

Orange FOOD Week tickets are on sale now.

Orange FOOD Week is the festival of my dreams. It's all about fresh produce, good food and cool-climate wines. It's held during Orange's autumn harvest and vintage season and opens with a night market on Friday 5 April, with all sorts of foodie events running through to Sunday 14 April. Discover more.

Galah reader exclusive

Health Insurance from a healthier place If you’re in the market for health insurance that’s a little closer to home, or built on values similar to your own, you can’t go past Westfund – health insurance from a healthier place.

Based in Lithgow, NSW, and available Australia-wide, Westfund is more than a health fund. It's a not-for-profit organisation building a new kind of healthcare for collective good.

Join Westfund on eligible Combined Hospital and Extras cover by 31 December 2024 and get One Month FREE cover! Use promo code GALAH24. New memberships only. T&Cs apply. Learn more here.

A trainspotting Gucci model

Speaking of unbridled passions, I must thank my friend Nick for sharing the Instagram account of railway enthusiast and occasional model Francis Bourgeois. "How he jumped when the driver blew the horn! Quite unique," writes Nick.