FORMER Terang local and start-up podcast entrepreneur Jarrod Pickford wants to help showcase the stories of ordinary Australians and the towns they live in to a global audience.
Along with fellow start-up podcast entrepreneur Emily Edge, he is hoping his new podcast start-up Storytowns will provide tourists and locals with easy-to-access stories and information on towns
throughout south west Victoria and beyond.
Starting his career path in radio production, Mr Pickford eventually moved onto freelance work, before packing his bags and setting out for a trip to spots including Wales, Italy and Azerbaijan.
“Radio wasn’t exciting enough for me,” he said.
“I was really excited by the podcast industry.”
Mr Pickford launched the Hitchhiker podcast whilst travelling through Wales, Yorkshire and Italy, which included conversations with unique characters.
Mr Pickford also developed The Daylesford Podcast, but his drive for a larger scope eventually saw him become involved with Warrnambool start-up mentoring program The Ideas Place.
The judges picked his Storytowns idea for a web-based podcast as the winner of the program and received $10,000 to help launch the project.
Mr Pickford said the Storytowns podcast is receiving interest from tourists, residents and local councils.
“Getting local businesses involved in new media is very important,” he said.
Connecting to real-time geolocation technology, the podcast takes users on a tour of local towns, with a scavenger tour through Warrnambool and a tour along the Timboon Foodie Trail now available.
“The listener gets to hear from the people behind the business,” Mr Pickford said.
“I really love local communities and local businesses.”
Future projects in the pipeline include a picnic tour in Port Campbell, a winery tour from Macarthur to Dunkeld and the Hamilton Foodie Trail.
Mr Pickford said the goal is to shape the website to allow anyone to submit a podcast telling the stories of towns across the country.
“It’s a very personal medium,” he said.
“What we’re looking for are curious people.”
Mr Pickford said he is excited for what the next few months hold for the project.
“We’re in uncharted territory,” he said.
For more information or to access a podcast tour, visit storytowns.com.au.