RADIO personality Sandra Moon has joined forces with author Melissa Pouliot to produce an audio version of a book revealing the stories behind the Wimmera’s biggest project for a century.
Ace Radio Broadcasters statewide rural editor and the Albury station’s assistant manager Ms Moon will be the voice behind an audio version of "For Life… how we got the water back", a book about the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project.
The audio book will be available for the first time at the 50th Annual Wimmera Machinery Field Days. The printed version, launched by former Wimmera Mail-Times editor Danny Lannen in Jeparit on November 25, will also be available at the field days.
The estimated $688 million Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project is one of the largest water infrastructure projects in Australia. It has replaced 18,000 kilometres of open earthen channel with 9159 kilometres of pressurised pipeline.
Benefits the piped supply is delivering to the region include more opportunities for business, recreation and the environment.
Ms Moon, who first met Ms Pouliot when they completed Leadership Wimmera’s Business Leaders program in 2008, said it was exciting to collaborate on something so unique.
"An opportunity like this doesn’t come along every day and to be able to build on Ms Pouliot's printed interpretation of the fight for a piped water supply in audio format is a real honour," Ms Moon said.
"The pipeline is such an important part of the Wimmera Mallee’s history and people will appreciate in years to come having both printed and audio versions of this story," she said.
"And it’s fantastic to work closely with Ms Pouliot because, as usual, we’re having a whole lot of fun."
Ms Moon moved to Horsham as Ace Radio’s rural reporter in 2007 and said the pipeline was one of the biggest stories she had covered.
"I arrived in the Wimmera Mallee during extreme drought conditions, but there was this ongoing thread of hope in all the stories because the pipeline was being built at record speed," she said.
'There was the promise of a positive future thanks to the piped water supply, despite the hardships that towns and farms were facing.”
Ms Moon said the personal stories in the book were easy to bring to life.
“When you’ve got such good characters, many whom I have interviewed, it’s so enjoyable to tell their stories, and the way Ms Pouliot has put them together in print translates really well to voice," she said.
Ms Pouliot said the idea for making an audio version of For Life came to her the night after the book launch in Jeparit last November.
"An audio version is an exciting and different way for people access the incredible story of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline," Ms Pouliot said.
"The launch and the build-up to the day were fantastic and I felt inspired to continue the momentum the book created," she said.
"I love Ms Moon's voice and knew she would tell the story true to the style of the book."
"We’re also fortunate to include the songs of farmer Peter Gosling and his sons Ben and Andy, also known as the Lazy Farmer’s Sons, who are important characters in the pipeline story."
Ms Pouliot said launching the audio version at another historic time in Wimmera history, the 50th anniversary of the Wimmera Machinery Field Days, fit perfectly.
"The field days are an iconic part of the Wimmera and have been for half a century, so it was fitting to launch our audio book at this landmark event," she said.
Both printed and audio versions of For Life... how we got the water back will be available at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days for special field days prices: audio $25, print, $30; audio and print package, $50 for cash or cheque only.
After the field days both are available for purchase online at www.mpmediasolutions.com.au or at Wimmera Business Centre, Wimmera Design and Print in Horsham and Dianne Marchment and Associates in Warracknabeal. Pre-paid orders are available for pickup at GWMWater offices in Horsham.