April View
Princess Diana made them look exquisite, Princess Beatrice had a controversial one, and Princess Kate brought them back in vogue. Hats! Elaine Mergard has made almost 5,000 of them in a millinery career that’s sent her from catwalks to Government House.
March View
Most women would do anything for their child, and this mama is no exception. Emma Shaw found hope when she thought all was lost, as Profile’s Jessica Jane Sammut discovers.
Brendan Weatherill can be likened to a chameleon, with a career of many colours, including rubbing shoulders with the billionaire jetset pack, but nothing says cool like a man with a heart, as Jessica Jane Sammut reveals.
January 2013 view
Sharon Tan grew up on a New Zealand dairy farm. Then she made an incredible journey from pasture to pastor. Together with her husband, she built churches across two countries. Now she works as a life coach empowering others to live their life’s true purpose. Tonia Zemek met with Sharon to learn the secrets of a life well lived.
December View
When it comes to Australian icons, perennial Aussie soapie Neighbours is up there with the lamington and Vegemite! Now in its 28th year, it has been the training ground and launching pad for a string of world-famous actors and singers over the years such as Kylie Minogue, Delta Goodrem, Guy Pearce and Natalie Imbruglia, to name a few.
November view
Dr Kirsten Baulch knew she’d have to write her own prescription if she were to achieve the life of her dreams. Financial freedom, philanthropy and travel were at the top of her wish list. So she invented a business that remedied her deepest desires, as Tonia Zemek discovered.
October View
Wendy Barnes loves playing sport. As a triathlete, she thrives on a challenge. But when she discovered a cancerous lump in her breast, she knew she was facing a formidable foe. Four years on, she’s happily in remission. Wendy sat down with Tonia Zemek to discuss her latest test of endurance.
September View
Some people simply live to serve, stepping up to take on challenges few would dare to tackle. Local Carmel Crouch is such a woman, devoting her life to supporting those in need, with particular focus on disability services, as Nikkii Joyce discovered.
August view
Beauty may be only skin deep, But even if all of us aren’t equally genetically blessed, Cec Toomey of Mooloolaba’s Hoi Polloi Beauty Centre tells Nikkii Joyce it’s every woman’s right to feel beautiful.
July view
Landsborough teenager Caity Sanderson has been leading two different lives, but now it’s crunch time. Nikkii Joyce discovers this Coast teenager wants to be more than just your regular pretty face.
June view
Those in show business will tell you it is no place for the fainthearted. As the curtain prepares to rise again on the nationally-acclaimed and controversial production Erotique at this month’s Noosa Longweekend Festival, creator Sam Coward rubs his hands with delight and shares the courage of a Coast industry long overlooked.
May view
First-time parents Ronnie and Carlie McKenzie have put everything on the line to step out of their comfort zone and into a new business. The inspirational pair have utilised their professional skills to create a niche business that will allow them to spend more time with their precious son while forging a bright future for their family.
april view
What we put into our bodies has a direct effect on our health and well-being. Owner of Husk & Honey, Tania Hubbard, is living proof that this is the case. Jessica Jane Sammut finds out all about this incredible woman.
March View
What’s a girl to do when her grandfather, Pro Hart, and father, David Hart, are revered as two of Australia’s most iconic Australian painters? Paint, of course.
February view
Once a contestant on The Biggest Loser, these days Noosa’s John Morrall is most definitely a winner. But it hasn’t been all smooth sailing, as Alli Grant discovered when she caught up with her old friend for a salad (of course) and a chat ...
January view
Niki and Justin Deighton definitely have guts. Having sold their thriving business in London and relocated their whole family to the Sunshine Coast, they are now on a mission to raise the profile of the Coast globally. Jessica Jane Sammut discovers how.
december view
Dating back to 1900 BC, chocolate is truly a wondrous invention loved by civilisations throughout the ages, and for Louisa Raven, it is also her calling. \
november view
From landscaping to accountancy, Narelle Cameron is a woman with plenty of personality who refuses to be labelled, preferring to make her own rules and live her life out loud.
view october
Dr Debbie Pfeiffer, medical director of BreastScreen Queensland Nambour Service, is up against it in the fight for women’s health. Profile finds out how public misconceptions, a lack of funding and the persistence of this disease are worthy foes for this determined medical practitioner.
June view
Nikkii Joyce

Those in show business will tell you it is no place for the fainthearted. But when a Matthew Flinders student set his mind to building a life on it, Sunshine Coast theatre was set for quite a ride. As the curtain prepares to rise again on the nationally-acclaimed and controversial production Erotique at this month’s Noosa Longweekend Festival, creator Sam Coward rubs his hands with delight and shares the courage of a Coast industry long overlooked. 

“There’s no business like show business”, so the song goes. To prove it, sharp-shooter Annie Oakley went on to get her gun, but on a fickle Sunshine Coast May afternoon, it’s the wit and fervour of Sunshine Coast producer, director, performer and businessman Sam Coward which is firing. For the past 17 years, Sam has dedicated the majority of his irrepressible energy to the stage. Much of that time the hysterically candid Sunshine Coast born and bred producer has been standing on it, demanding local audiences take a deeper look at the talent and brilliance on our doorstep.

At just 19 years of age, producer Sam played a hand in breaking Sunshine Coast attendance records for Andrew Lloyd Webber classic Jesus Christ Superstar performed in a Warana warehouse. Since then, Sam’s stage credits are a whirlwind of renowned comedies, musicals, dramas and tragedies in the roles of producer, director and performer. His credentials as a bold yet shrewd portrayer of stories and characters were cemented in 2008 with his daring restructure of Shout! The Legend of Johnny O’Keefe and again last year when he broke Noosa’s box office record with Influence.

The quality of the sell-out season was witnessed in the audience by playright David Williamson, who testified the production was a “bold and brilliant interpretation”.

But two years ago, Sam turned what the Coast thought was theatre on its head.

The then nightclub manager spied local business mogul Walter Iezzi enjoying a coffee at E1 Restaurant and convinced the prominent entrepreneur to turn a neighbouring empty old surf shop into a stage.

“We set up a makeshift 90-seat theatre, with curtains, atmosphere and proper stage lighting in this empty shop and it went like wildfire.

We put flyers about the show out to all the high-rise buildings and we sold out every performance,” Sam says proudly, his brown eyes twinkling.

“I was told from the restaurateur later on that for weeks and weeks everyone kept ringing wanting to see the show and wanting to check it out.”

The show was Erotique, a live, nude, theatrically sensual production which focuses on themes of homosexuality, rape and abuse as well as the raw emotions they invoke such as lust, love and rapture.

By pure coincidence, in the following 12 months Sunshine Coast audiences spent one million dollars on purchasing tickets to amateur theatre company productions. The search for a world outside tired nightclubs was building momentum

It’s a difficult life on the stage, explains Sam, who also traded in his clubbing days to build his own performing arts company, XS Entertainment, with wife Xanthe. But it remains an ongoing battle because of a “culturally inept” area whose status he blames on local government.

“I would say our local government has a fairly heavy hand in that. You look back in the ‘80s when places like the civic centres were built. There hasn’t really been any advancement in cultural infrastructure for a long time. There are a great number of artists in the area, but because we’ve always managed to survive there hasn’t been a need to support,” he explains.

Will the passion of our thespians then end in a catastrophic finale? “Unfortunately, I don’t think so. I say unfortunately because maybe if we did then people would get worried about it and want it back. It then becomes a koala. You need to preserve it.”

And there he is, back in ‘Coward’s perennial glory’ of pushing boundaries, unapologetically, just like in 2008. National headlines descended on Caloundra when he staged a lesbian kiss in a $200,000 council-commissioned production of acclaimed yet benign homegrown musical Shout.

The kiss was reluctantly cut on council direction and order was restored, though not without some cheeky Coward-ish embellishments. Sam and wife, renowned theatre critic Xanthe Coward, this year celebrate 10 years of marriage. They met, where else but on stage, at Buderim’s BATS Theatre in anti-fairytale production Into the Woods.

Sam is equally besotted by five-year-old daughter Poppy, whose candour already resembles that of her larger-than-life father. “Daddy [Sam] has put on 36 kilos in a relatively short time. So we’re out walking and Poppy says to me, ‘Daddy, why are you walking so fast?’ and I said, ‘Daddy is trying to lose weight.’ She’s thought about it for a moment and said, ‘Walk faster Daddy’.”

When Erotique returns to the Sunshine Coast stage later this month, it comes with the endorsement of key Australian industry stakeholders after conquering the Sydney Fringe Festival last year.

“It was the intention of the piece to create high level entertainment. Sensuality is exciting. Eroticism is exciting,” he says, matter-of-factly. “We’re stoked to be a part of the Noosa Longweekend, which is known among the industry as one of the grooviest, sexiest festivals to be a part of and there are people all over the country of every level of professionalism who are also pretty excited to be a part of the Longweekend.”

Sam becomes surprisingly tight-lipped about what lies ahead, but the return of that twinkle in his eye forewarns that not only is anything possible with Sam, but it is likely to already be in production.

“Being on the stage is not like an engineering industry where you get your degree, you work your way up and then you are a master. It doesn’t matter about your skill or qualifications. There’s a whole lot of luck involved in our industry. It’s like buying a Quick Pick every time you step on stage. It still doesn’t guarantee you’ll make it. It just means you’ve got a better chance.”

Erotique will be performed from June 21 to June 23 as part of the Noosa Longweekend festival. Tickets can be purchased at www.noosalongweekend.com or from The J box office by phoning 5455 4455.