The Courier

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

The diversity of Ballarat and its residents will be front and centre as a campaign challenges old stereotypes and delves into what makes the community special. 

Below, we will feature the people that make Ballarat great.

You can find links and celebrate these people below.

We will keep adding to this page with every feature we do.

Watch this video and scroll down for all the profiles.

Matt Cumani 

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Horse racing is in Matt Cumani’s blood. The son of one of British racing’s leading trainers, Luca Cumani, has brought his family’s rich racing history to Ballarat. 

Bryce Ives 

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

The 35-year-old who grew up in Wendouree is embracing his passion for regional Australia and belief in the power of communities, back at his home base in Ballarat. 

Julia Zass

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Julia Zass’ bubbly and lighthearted personality comes out in the radio studio at Power FM Ballarat.

Dominic Saunders 

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Dominic Saunders works out of a small office in his home town Ballarat, delivering innovative pathology services to medical practices and hospitals worldwide. 

Ryuji Nakamura 

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Turn over a packet of Hakubaku’s organic Japanese noodles in a supermarket almost anywhere in Australia and you’ll read that they are proudly made in Ballarat.

Christopher Zeegers 

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Moving back to Ballarat has meant Christopher Zeegers can share childhood experiences with his daughter. 

Kylie Lavery 

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Kylie Lavery always had the intention of returning to Ballarat. She just didn’t know when. 

Andrew and Kassie Blaszak

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Wool garment company Interknit has a long history in the Ballarat region, first beginning sock manufacturing in Clunes in 1939. Andrew and Kassie Blaszak moved to Ballarat 14 years ago to keep the business alive. 

Zainab Sabri 

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Zainab Sabri can recall arriving in Ballarat with her husband and three children in 2012 and seeing Lake Wendouree for the first time.

Nathan Porter

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Nathan Porter’s thesis at university researched contemporary buildings in heritage cities. 

Christine Lethlean

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Christine Lethlean admits she felt like a traitor moving to Victoria.

Wendy and Clive Kirby

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

There’s a pig and a goose at Wendy and Clive Kirby’s farm in Clarendon, and on the signboard of their general foodstore in Buninyong. 

Temam Hussen

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Bringing authentic Ethiopian cuisine to Ballarat means Temam Hussen is surrounded by the smells and tastes of his childhood. 

Stacey Oliver

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Stacey Oliver sees great power in inspiring young people. It’s a belief she shares with YMCA Ballarat in her role as director of community and youth engagement.

Bridget Aitchison

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Bridget Aitchison believes in lifelong learning, whether it be completing a doctorate at university or becoming a dive master.  

Charles Zhang

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

It takes a profound degree of determination to embark on a 14 day journey from Robe to Ballarat on foot. 

Bec Paton

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Bec Paton had a vision that her two young girls would one day be able to play together side by side on a Ballarat playground.

John and Jess Lim

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

One of the best parts about owning a business for dentists Jess and John Lim is being able to work by their own rules.

Kerry Armstrong

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Ballarat was a place Kerry Armstrong had grown up visiting regularly as a child, growing up in the small country town of Linton. 

Nick Beale

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

For Nick Beale, Ballarat is a reminder of his home town in Zimbabwe. It’s almost as though he has come full circle. 

Sara Mangere

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Growing up the youngest of seven children, Sara Mangere relished the freedom and adventure that came with living on a 20-acre property in Mount Buninyong. 

Michael de Kort

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Starting a farm from scratch was a far cry from twenty years working in management in Michael de Kort’s corporate world. 

Helen Bartlett

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Professor Helen Bartlett had never been to Ballarat before being offered a position as Vice Chancellor of Federation University. 

Robert Layton

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

He may have earned a Bachelor of Computing degree, an Honours degree and a PhD at Federation University, but Robert Layton did not think he would soon be on his way to running his own business.

David Clark

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

David Clark has lived in Glenbrae his entire life. The Pyrenees Shire Council mayor’s first childhood home was located just 10 metres from where he operates his mixed farming property.

Wilson Ekayapan

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

It was love that brought Wilson Ekayapan from his home in Kenya to Ballarat, but he says he couldn’t have chosen a better city himself. 

Zac Hill

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

A career in hospitality wasn’t in Hop Temple manager Zac Hill’s sights until he came to Ballarat. 

Jeff Unmack

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Being a part of community has always been important to Creswick Pharmacy owner Jeff Unmack. 

Georgia Amoore

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

When rising talent Georgia Amoore played her first competitive basketball match, she was wearing thongs.  The five year old had been called upon to fill in for her cousin.

Simon Coghlan

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Simon Coghlan didn’t envision himself returning to Ballarat so early in life. 

Kat Pengelly

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

Artist and fashion designer Kat Pengelly is putting it out there, Ballarat could be the next arts centre of the world.

Katherine Cape

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

It was the appeal of a regional lifestyle that drew community health worker Katherine Cape to Ballarat. 

David Sanders

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

David Sanders and his wife Bronwyn have installed solar systems worth over three megawatts of electricity since they moved to Ballarat in 2005, enough to power around 3000 homes. 

Justine Linley

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

City of Ballarat chief executive Justine Linley believes one of the most exciting aspects of living in Ballarat is its sense of opportunity.

Mark Guirguis

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

It was 2005 when surgeon Mark Guirguis first established head and neck cancer services in Ballarat. 

Monica Dickson

More Than Gold | The people that make Ballarat shine

When Queenslander Monica Dickson first arrived in Ballarat as a fresh graduate working in a veterinary practice, the plan was always to return north and be close to family.