Richard Morecroft - Media
Richard Morecroft was the face of ABC Television News in New South Wales for 20 years. Now a director of a multi-faceted media business, Richard and his company are based near Jervis Bay in the Shoalhaven district. His diverse activities range from senior executive media skills training to conference hosting and facilitation; photographic exhibition to travel journalism and book authorship; corporate video presentation to Board membership.
In past years, Richard and his partner Alison Mackay have travelled together to the Antarctic as guest lecturers with Aurora Expeditions and led that organisation’s Galapagos tours. They’ve journeyed from Yosemite to French Polynesia and to some of the farthest reaches of Australia.
Now, their commitment to travel and adventure has a more local focus - their backyard playgrounds are the outstanding beaches and National Parks along the NSW South Coast and they write regularly about the surrounding wild environment for the Nowra-based glossy magazine “South Coast Style”.
The first of their “Natural Wonders of the South Coast” series of photo-illustrated articles was published in March, 2006. In words and pictured they explained how they had donned backpacks and explored eucalypt forests and heathlands, abseiled down cliffs and climbed rock formations in the 76,000 hectare Budawang Wilderness Area, the backdrop to the Shoalhaven just 200km south of Sydney.
Since then, they have continued to publish their journeys through many of the wildest and most beautiful parts of the region, from the Minnamurra Rainforest to the cliffs of the Shoalhaven River itself.
Their articles include photographic work from both Alison and Richard – and for Richard, photographic exhibition has become a vital part of his professional portfolio.
In late 2006, his approach to landscape and nature photography was demonstrated to a regional and a wider audience through an exhibition at the Precinct Gallery in Berry titled “Detail to Distance”. It was officially opened by Peter Garrett, now Federal Minister for Arts and the Environment. In this exhibition, the Morecroft style was seen with his ultra-vertical format exploring the structure, patterns and colours of nature’s forms.
Since that show, Richard has held several other exhibitions both locally and interstate. His works are now held in private collections in Europe and the United States as well as Australia. Four of his photographs were recently purchased for the collection of the Federal Parliament in Canberra. In Sydney, the boardroom of NSW Tourism Minister Matt Brown is decorated with Richard’s images of the Shoalhaven and South Coast area - “Tannin Lake” – on the shores of Lake Meroo, “Stalactite Pool” – at Stony Creek in the Booderee National Park and “Pool Falls” – at Currambene Creek near Jervis Bay.
Richard’s commitment to the arts is further demonstrated by his appointment to the Board of Bundanon - the creative centre on the Shoalhaven River donated to the nation by the late Arthur Boyd. Since 2002 he has also been the Patron of the See Change Winter Arts Festival, a biennial celebration of creative talent in the Jervis Bay area.
Writing has been a big part of Richard’s life in recent years. He has written two best-selling books on wildlife... Raising Archie and A Natural Selection and is co-author with partner Alison Mackay of several books including Wolves of the Sea and Pool and more recently Impossible Pets and Zoo Album for children. Richard’s hilarious bestseller 20 Years from the Waist Up was a farewell to the TV news desk and a look at the lighter side of broadcasting.
Richard’s move away from nightly TV news was planned specifically so he and Alison could become permanent Shoalhaven residents. As property owners who’d built their own bush hide-away some years before, they were keen to enjoy the South Coast more fully. Richard was introduced to Jervis Bay on a scuba-diving course two decades earlier and loved the mix of beautiful beaches, National Parks and small-scale coastal towns like Huskisson.
“This wasn’t retirement for me” says Richard. “I wanted to work in a different way and pursue new directions for my company. This was the perfect place to do it”.
Richard finds a balance between the aspects of professional activity that he can carry out in his Shoalhaven-based office – writing, research and preparation for training and conference performance – and the face to face deliverables that necessitate travel to Sydney or other state capitals.
“I’m only two and a half hours from Sydney, which is a fairly easy trip. I’m up there perhaps 30 per cent of the time – the rest is in my office down here, with kangaroos right outside my window and a leg-stretch on the beach only 5 minutes away!”.
Richard has always had a strong interest in wildlife and the environment and for several years hosted Richard Morecroft Goes Wild! - a weekly national wildlife programme for the ABC. He has been a long-time trustee of the World-wide Fund for Nature (WWF), is a patron of WIRES (the Wildlife Information and Rescue Service), a Governor of the Taronga Foundation and one of the Directors of the Zoological Parks Board of NSW.
But these days he’s most often found hosting conferences for the financial services industry or training CEOs to be more confident media performers. Richard Morecroft’s clients and colleagues at events and forums around the country seem to agree on one thing though. Many of them comment with enthusiasm on the enviable work/life balance he’s achieved – by reinventing his professional life and basing it firmly in one of the most beautiful locations in Australia.
Copyright © 2002 Shoalhaven City Council - Last updated: Monday, 18 August 2008