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 

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. 

Read more about Matt here. 

Bryce Ives 

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. 

Read more about Bryce here. 

Julia Zass

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

Read more about Julia here. 

Dominic Saunders 

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

Read more about Dominic here. 

Ryuji Nakamura 

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.

Read more about Ryuji here. 

Christopher Zeegers 

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

Read more about Christopher here.

Kylie Lavery 

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

Read more about Kylie here. 

Andrew and Kassie Blaszak

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. 

Read more about Andrew and Kassie here. 

Zainab Sabri 

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

Read more about Zainab here.

Nathan Porter

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

Read more about Nathan here.

Christine Lethlean

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

Read more about Christine here.

Wendy and Clive Kirby

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. 

Read more about the Kirby’s here.

Temam Hussen

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

Read more about Temam here.

Stacey Oliver

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.

Read more about Stacey here.

Bridget Aitchison

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

Read more about Bridget here.

Charles Zhang

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

Read more about Charles here.

Bec Paton

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.

Read more about Bec here.

John and Jess Lim

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

Read more about John and Jess here.

Kerry Armstrong

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

Read more about Kerry here.

Nick Beale

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

Read more about Nick here.

Sara Mangere

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. 

Read more about Sara here.

Michael de Kort

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

Read more about Michael here.

Helen Bartlett

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

Read more about Helen here.

Robert Layton

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.

Read more about Robert here.

David Clark

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.

Read more about David here.

Wilson Ekayapan

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. 

Read more about Wilson here.

Zac Hill

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

Read more about Zac here.

Jeff Unmack

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

Read more about Jeff here.

Georgia Amoore

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.

Read more about Georgia here.

Simon Coghlan

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

Read more about Simon here.

Kat Pengelly

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

Read more about Kat here.

Katherine Cape

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

Read more about Katerine here.

David Sanders

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. 

Read more about David here.

Justine Linley

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

Read more about Justine here.

Mark Guirguis

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

Read more about Mark here.

Monica Dickson

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.

Read more about Monica here.