Inside The Hamilton Hamper are pieces of regional Australia that ought to be celebrated, as do the creative souls behind them. All too often, the innovative individuals and small businesses within the Bush do not get the recognition they deserve. It goes unnoticed - and unsaid - these people are the knitting of a community; they are the motivators, the encourages and the inspirers. That is why at the very core of The Hamilton Hamper, there is an innate need to celebrate our regional people and the creativity they possess.
Grace Brennan, the founder of 'Buy From The Bush', is one of these people. She has shown our country how a small idea can become a powerful initiative. Grace's campaign has given countless bush businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their creativity and products to a larger audience. She has allowed many to keep their businesses alive at a time when many in regional Australia felt forgotten, The Hamilton Hamper included. Since its inception, we have been proud supporters of 'Buy From The Bush' and will be forever grateful for the promotion of our gourmet hampers of regional produce and how these have been shared via this initiative far and wide.
But how do individuals like Grace Brennan become the innovators and creators of our regional areas? Our parents often have the most considerable effect on our lives and shape who we are without realising it. That is why we asked Grace to share some personal insights into her Father; the endearing qualities he possesses, moments of wisdom and even the unique dishes that remind her of him.
Memorable moments in Grace's life have seen her dad front and centre. For example, he was there when the Buy From the Bush campaign exploded in Martin Place, Sydney, lending a helping hand. He is also never far away from his grandchildren; take, for instance, the photo below of Leigh sharing a special moment with August, Grace's youngest child. August, was front and centre with Grace during 2020 and held the best position in the house during Grace's Australia Day Presentation.
We asked Grace about her Dad and what his favourite things are; this is what she said.
"My dad’s got a few favourite things. A swim in the surf. Seeing cricketers in whites playing on a green oval. And a woman pushing a lawn mower. “Nothing beats it” he says. When I think of Dad, it’s not a favourite recipe or a silly Dad joke that springs to mind but all his little quirks. At the local Chinese, there’s a ‘Leigh’s special’ (which is a watered down, chicken dish with not a whiff of chilli or spice). At home, there’s ‘Dad’s salad’ (orange, cheese, iceberg lettuce and maybe a carrot stick sparsely laid out on his dinner plate). He likes grey mince (no garlic) like his mother used to make and other bland grub that was served up to him at boarding school.
The point is, he knows what he likes. And is unwavering. ‘Trendy’ means nothing to him. This extends to politics. Business. And his relationships. He met Mum when she was 11 and he was 13 at the school fete. They fell in love and have been together ever since.
Growing up, he’d call home every day from the office and ask me ‘how’s Mum? Ok, just checking in’. As a kid, I thought it was irritating. As an adult, I think it’s beautiful. With each check in, he told her he loved her.
And with each unique, predictable quirk, he taught us kids about honesty. And integrity. And to be unapologetically yourself."
We want to say the biggest thank you to Grace for giving us an insight into her Father; what a beautiful relationship. We also want a round of applause for the woman who created this unique, authentic and unapologetic movement. Grace, you have made sure the rest of Australia knows the Bush is always open for business.