Mother Teresa said “let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” When I met Samantha Durney and Trish Redman-Collister during the community radio training at the Pulse I felt I had known them a long time. Their smiles, their shiny and happy eyes and energetic souls gave a wonderful atmosphere to the class. Immediately after the course Sam and Trish started their voluntary radio program ‘Breaky with the Gems’ at 94.7 the Pulse, each Monday morning from 7-9am.
Sam and Trish met 15 years ago by way of their kids. “We learned guitar for two weeks and we practised a few cords, then we started our first gig and we called our band ‘The Gems’”, says Trish. They both consider their band their first adventure and since then they have always looked for exciting projects hoping also to take friends along with them. ‘The Gems’ duo play a range of instruments: guitar, drums, bass, harmonica and more. The two friends are also organisers of the themed and fancy dress ‘Desperate Housewives Night Out’ party which has been running annually at the Potato Shed in Drysdale for 9 years, selling out each year. Their band performances are just as often aimed at children as adults. They organise ‘Funky Mummies’ and children’s pantomimes.
“We love to be involved in fundraising and want to give our support”, says Trish. ‘The Gems’ have raised thousands of dollars for Geelong charities. Over a three year period they ran a ‘Bellarine’s Idol’ performed at the Potato Shed in Drysdale, raising money for Cottage by the Sea to help disadvantaged children. Sam and Trish began the annual event for children living with autism spectrum for the Treehouse, a non-profit group run by families living with autism. They have also hosted and played at events raising money for Parkinson’s disease.
Sam is a personal trainer and Trish a part owner in ‘Rockin Donuts and Coffee’. They run events at the Potato Shed Drysdale, gigs paid and voluntary within the community. The ‘Family Fun Day’ is a free community fun day in Drysdale which the two community aware musicians have hosted for many years. ‘Children’s Week’ teaches hundreds of prep level students over one week in October to sing, dance, act and perform at the Potato Shed.
Sam says “even though we have busy lives with our children and Trish’s grandchildren we still try to add some more excitement”. Last year the two girls went on a cruise with 40 people for their 50th birthdays. Sam and Trish get involved in as many activities as they can, including the ‘Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge Race Australia’ (a fun 5km obstacle course).
Sam and Trish love to have fun and love their community. They are in their young 50s and they are living a happy life as they love to add a smile to everyone around them.
The Pulse will be exhibiting at the Humans in Geelong Expo on Sun 7th Oct 10-3pm at Deakin Waterfront. Who knows, we might even see The Gems there.
Story: Zahidah Zeytoun-Millie Photo:supplied