Hobart writer – portfolio
A series of articles focussing on timber fit outs, for Forestry Tasmania (now Sustainable Timber Australia)
Catriona was commissioned by Forestry Tasmania to research and highlight projects where the designers or builders featured one or more timbers in the internal fit out:
- Timber.Fitout.CM.Utzon Room.Sydney.Opera.House
- Timber.Fitout.CM.Scottsdale Eco.Centre.Tasmania
- Timber.Fitout.CM.Crystal Inspiration.Shop
How to avoid the crowds in Hong Kong
In 2018 we wrote a blog post on how to avoid the crowds in Hong Kong, for the Escape Travel Blog site. We describe fun ways to get out of the city and into the National Parks, hiking trails, beaches and preserved areas. Although no longer live online, here is the published text:
Hong Kong: How to avoid the crowds … and still have lots of fun!
Typical Hong Kong attractions
Gleaming skyscrapers, bustling ferries, gleaming shopping malls and crowded traditional markets are the images most tourists see when they are researching Hong Kong. These exciting elements are only one aspect of the city: there are quieter places that many visitors overlook.
The ‘other’ Hong Kong
Hong Kong comprises three geographical regions: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories and Outlying Islands, and roughly 260 offshore islands, including the largest, Lantau Island. Surprisingly, less than 25% of Hong Kong’s land area is built-up. The majority is grassland, forests, woodland, and agricultural land. Most of the territory’s urban development is on Kowloon peninsula, in scattered settlements throughout the New Territories and along the northern edge of Hong Kong Island. These are the areas most tourists visit, and in which most of the built attractions are located. 40% of the remaining land area is preserved as country parks and nature reserves.
Getting around Hong Kong, and getting out
Hong Kong has an efficient and highly developed transportation network. Travellers use the MTR Octopus Card, a stored value system, which is widely accepted on buses, trains and ferries. The MTR network also extends into the countryside, and there are regular ferry routes that connect Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the Outlying Islands.
On Hong Kong Island, the Peak Tram, the first public transport system in Hong Kong, has provided vertical rail transport between Central and Victoria Peak since 1888. The Peak, in the western half of the island, is one of Hong Kong’s most spectacular destinations, and the ascent and descent are breathtaking.
Getting off the beaten track
Hong Kong has beautiful mountains and its long coastline contains many bays, rivers and beaches. There are also many fine walking trails through the forests. The ‘Dragon’s Back’ hike, for example, winds its way along Hong Kong Island’s mountain ridge. In 2004, Time Magazine declared it the Best Urban Hike in Asia, saying the trail is, “the city’s finest and most surprising ramble … you’re so close to the city, but could hardly feel farther away”.
Wetlands and water birds
At the end of another MTR line is an environmentally important site: the Hong Kong Wetland Park and Tsim Bei Tsui. Hong Kong’s rich biodiversity is on display and coastal Deep Bay, a key area of natural wetlands, is nearby. Deep Bay contains lush mangroves, vast mudflats and many water birds. The adjacent Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site, a world-class ecotourism facility, is a perfect hideaway from Hong Kong’s hustle and bustle.
Going across the border
If your idea of getting off the beaten track is to travel to the best bargains, then Shenzhen in Mainland China is the place to go! Goods, such as clothes and food, are cheaper here. Getting to Shenzhen is not difficult using the MTR/KCR transport system from Hong Kong. A five-day visa can be issued at the border for most nationalities.
Get out and about
To enjoy ‘the other’ Hong Kong, catch the MTR to hike a mountain trail, or a ferry to an outlying island. This is a region of contrasts, from neon lights to stunning wildflowers, and fire dragon dances to jeweled dragonflies.
Australian landscape design: key sustainable principles
Catriona was commissioned to research and write a report on Australian landscape principles for Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute. This report was to guide the planning choices made by SMEDI for a site being developed near Sydney.
As requested by the client, the examples in this report are well-known and award-winning landscape projects in Australia, that focus on design using native plants, stone, wood and natural materials and address topics, such as ‘global problems’, ‘green house’, ‘ecology’, and ‘sustainability’.
The editor of Renew: Technology for a Sustainable Future commissioned an article on harnessing river power.
In this article Catriona describes how Nigel Tomlin and his son Josh designed and custom-built a hydroelectric generator in their Southern Tasmanian backyard. The water’s power comes from its fall of 30 metres along 500 metres of pipeline: no mean feat given the project is entirely self-researched and self-funded and had multiple local and state authority hurdles.
Feature articles on design, building, architecture, and landscape architecture
We are frequently commissioned to research and write feature articles on design, building, architecture, and landscape architecture for nationally and internationally published journals.
We love writing blogs for other websites. Here is one we wrote on D&C contracts:
Catriona wrote a series of posts for the award-winning website Garden Drum, each of which describes the provenance, naming and characteristics of unusual plant species.
- Roscoea: unusual flowers cast a lemon glow in a dark spot
- Three garden angels: a personal mythology
- Book review: All About Roses
- Cheap potting mix brings uninvited visitors
- Brunsvigia josephinae: Empress of the garden
- Flashes of red – scarlet runner beans
- Behold: Colchicum!
- Cape gooseberry – Physalis
We research + draft competition entries for architectural and design awards.
Need help drafting your entry, and putting it all together? We can do this for you! These are some entries we wrote for our clients:
The sights and sounds of Portugal
Catriona was commissioned to research and write a 750-word feature article on Portugal for Flight Centre’s Escape Travel brand.
The brief was ‘to entice travellers to get off the well-beaten (Spanish) track and venture into Portugal’, by describing the best aspects of Portugal for a fun two-week holiday. The challenge of this project was limiting the sites/sights as there are so many places and things to see and do … and eat! The outcome is a fantastic looking feature article, delivered on time and within the tight word limit.
Reports on EPA NSW FOGO recycling bin initiative
In April 2018 we were commissioned by NSW Environmental Protection Agency to write two reports on the EPA’s FOGO (food organics and garden organics) recycling bin initiative in two NSW Council areas.
This process involved undertaking research, gathering historical and statistical data and interviewing the relevant Council officers and other stakeholders. The reports can be seen here:
Writing about ... words and ideas
Catriona was my proofreader for my PhD – I couldn’t have finished this without her professional and detailed help in proofreading this for me. She was not only able to do this quickly and efficiently but helped me in formatting and adding sections I hadn’t thought about. She is amazing and worth every cent!
Dr. Catriona McLeod went above and beyond to help me not only with crafting my scholarship application but also to mentor me so that when I did write the application I had something well researched, achievable and solid to create. I did not expect to finish the application with a clear realistic idea of where I am headed and the steps to get there. In writing the application I was completely overwhelmed and Catriona so graciously led the way to attack such a big application and to craft my words together so expertly.
When it came to editing Catriona was invaluable by helping me to cut everything down (by nearly 50%!) to fit within the word limits. Even on the application due date, Catriona was instrumental in checking that I made it in on time and for helping me with the daunting online form.
Thank you Catriona! I would not have been able to construct, write or hand in the application without your help. It was such a wonderful process and I feel much more confident in the direction I am going in!
At Flight Centre’s Head Office in Brisbane, the Content Writing team is required to provide continuous high quality articles across the many leisure brands of this global travel company. This constant demand necessitates that we outsource some of the blog articles to external providers.
Delivering thoroughly researched, comprehensive and well-written articles is often a daunting task for many writers. Not so for Catriona, as she quickly absorbed both the brief and the complex branding guides for several Flight Centre brands and produced engaging and inspirational travel stories.
Catriona seemed to intuitively know what questions to ask, what follow through was required and what we wanted to achieve with the particular piece that we had asked her to draft.
Catriona’s academic background, attention to detail and thoroughness came subtly through her writing and resulted in informative pieces that had an intelligent tone that resonated well with our target audiences, and still stayed on message and on brand.
The best thing was that we could just send the brief to Catriona and be confident that the task was well in hand. We could simply “set and forget”, and know that our brands would be professionally represented to our online client base through her thoughtful and engaging writing.
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