Peter Freeman| Managing Director
Being a typical Aussie, I don't get too hung up on official titles. I want to know what you're passionate about and who you've impacted in a positive way.
So while I'm officially 'The Big Cheese' here at WOOF Media, let's skip the formalities and get to know each other as equals who together can make a positive impact on our regional communities.
Along with overseeing the work we do here at WOOF Media, I am one of a team of ambassadors supporting Australian Regional Tourism, the peak Australian body representing regional tourism practitioners.
A Lifelong Connection to Regional Communities
I saw a lot of the southern half of Australia during my childhood.
My younger years were spent in the southern Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. After a short stint in Western Australia, we moved just west of Ballarat where my family lived and worked on a large mixed farming property before moving back to South Australia's west coast.
Growing up knowing the freedom of the land, of appreciating local and home grown produce, being part of down to earth regional communities—these experiences shaped my perspectives of life in our regions.
I have great memories of childhood holidays well spent with a fishing rod in my hands, sand between my toes, the cricket on the radio and a seemingly endless supply of freshly-caught seafood to keep the appetite at bay.
The first half of my working life saw me travelling regularly throughout the Eyre Peninsula and South Australia where I saw first-hand the gradual decline of many regional communities. You know the story - kids moving away to chase opportunities in the 'big smoke', shops closing as sales dwindled in the face of online competition, sporting clubs struggling for numbers and populations declining as small family farms were consolidated into larger commercial operations.
After joining WOOF Media in 2012, I recognised the opportunity that tourism provides for our regional communities.
I believe tourism—the visitor economy—is an opportunity for regional towns to think outside the square to solve many of the long term challenges of regional economics but do it in a sustainable way.
With today's technology, people like myself live in a regional location and work with people anywhere in the world. We're just one of many businesses proving that this model can work if you’re willing to embrace change and think differently.
So What's With The Canadian Connection, Eh?
It's a long story! I currently live in Northwest Ontario, in a regional city on the edge of the stunning Canadian wilderness. After spending half a dozen years home in Australia my wife and I moved back to her home town of Thunder Bay with our four young children to be closer to our extended Canadian family.
Since relocating to Ontario in 2013, I've led the transition of WOOF Media into a fully location independent company with team members and clients in many locations across Australia and Canada.
Distance doesn't have to be a barrier to regional business (and yes, we do occasionally remind everyone that we were doing this remote work from home thing long before Covid made it 'normal')!
In leading a remote team, I've learned a lot about remote working, even more about myself, and have lost none of the passion I have for seeing regional tourism businesses and their communities succeed. Whether they're in middle of the Australian outback, on a remote lake in Canada, or anywhere in between.
How can I support you?
If you're one of 'my people', you see the visitor economy as an opportunity to sustain your region so future generations can experience the quality of life those of us who 'grew up in the country' enjoyed.
We place so much emphasis on relationship building, especially as a distributed team with clients everywhere. We still make face-to-face catch ups happen whenever possible because we know how valuable they are in a global marketplace where a connected-yet-apart life is more common than it once was.
In my experience WOOF Media is a business that delivers high level outcomes for their clients without exception.