After a hugely successful line-up in 2018, Mercedes me Melbourne was thrilled to host another spectacular season of TDF Talks in 2019 in collaboration with Australia’s leading design blog, The Design Files.
Hosted by TDF founder Lucy Feagins, each evening showcased inspiring minds from the worlds of architecture, art, sustainable living and fashion in store at Mercedes me.
David Bromley – Prolific Australian artist
Kicking off the 2019 series in February, Australian artist David Bromley provided guests with some terrific insights into the world of art – speaking to a crowd of avid fans about how he has managed his own creative career from a young age. Whilst his journey began in pottery and ceramics, his eclectic paintings soon became his primary focus, gaining attention right around the world.
As a “collector, curator and creator” of a number of different spaces, it‘s no surprise that David and his wife, Yuge, have a passion that branches out into other creative spaces. In addition to owning a thriving brand and chain of galleries, quite literally to their name, Bromley & Co., the pair shared with our audience the diversity of their event spaces that span inner Melbourne, regional Victoria and Brisbane. These venues showcase quintessential Victorian talents and bold interior design.
Peter Maddison – Architect and host of Grand Designs Australia
Second in the 2019 series was the host of Grand Designs Australia, Peter Maddison. Discussing his role in Australia’s most popular architectural show, Peter spoke to our inquisitive crowd on the current state of architecture in Australia. As a prominent and experienced architect for more than 30 years, Peter explained his line of work as a “flawed profession” that carries a lot of responsibility. He further explained that with a rather strict development approval process, the creativity and experimentation in Australian buildings has been on the decline. Nonetheless, the unwavering passion for his career was obvious, and he was proud to have the opportunity to “progress the way people live”.
To the aspiring architects in the crowd, Peter emphasised the importance of enjoying the process that each venture brings. Explaining that many more houses get started than those that get finished, he stipulated that rather than holding out for a completed project, celebrating progress is far more rewarding in the long run.
Paul West – Chef, Farmer and host of River Cottage Australia
Paul West was in store in April to chat through his current career as a chef and TV host of River Cottage Australia. Through a keen sense of humour and a knack for storytelling, Paul spoke of his atypical career path from working a host of odd jobs to becoming a keen advocate for sustainable living and urban farming. He spoke passionately to the crowd about his love for sustainable produce, attributing this to his early days in Tasmania where he worked WWOOFing (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), getting a taste, quite literally, for the benefits of consistent organic food.
Following a short-lived chef experience at a number of establishments, including top Melbourne restaurant Vue de Monde, Paul decided that a high pressure kitchen environment wasn’t for him, and he soon returned to his love for growing fresh produce.
Paul spoke enthusiastically to the crowd about the importance of growing your own food, and even went as far to characterise it as a “magic bullet for your ailments”; whether they be physical, mental or even societal. He strongly believes that it has the power to bring communities closer together and provide a sense of security in a future where the origin and availability of our food is becoming more unknown.
Justine Cullen – Editor of Jones Magazine
To conclude the series in May, we had the pleasure of listening to Justine Cullen, editor of Jones Magazine.
As a Sydney-based, mother of four, Justine had a refreshingly honest take on working motherhood as she spoke to a full crowd of aspiring journalists, writers, and fashion lovers about her surprisingly forthright career trajectory.
Adamant about a career in fashion journalism from a young age, and with previous roles at publications such as Girlfriend, Marie Clare and Shop ‘Til You Drop’, she distinctly recalls her ultimate goal was to become editor of ELLE Magazine. So when the news broke that ELLE was (finally) considering an Australian edition, Justine found herself torn between pursuing the career of her dreams and taking time out to focus on continuing to build her family. She mentioned that she first became an editor around the same time she became a mother to her first child, and didn’t really know one job without the other.
Justine spoke about the importance of having mentors in the industry, and how hers insisted she was “crazy” if she was going to put her life on hold for a job that may or may not happen. Luckily, Justine took this advice; soon fell pregnant, had a second baby AND got the editor position at ELLE Australia when her newborn was just 12 weeks old.
The crowd was in awe of Justine’s authentic attitude to how she juggles life as one of Australia’s busiest fashion magazine editors. Justine’s central piece of advice to the crowd was to always “learn – in – life”, try not to plan everything out, and instead learn it all as you go.
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