Our NEGS Old Girl is Georgie Rogers Class of 1993. After living an adventurous life travelling the world, Georgie was inspired to start Gathered Goods, a bespoke hamper service which sources beautiful goods from regional Australia.
Georgie grew up on a family property in Guyra and started boarding at NEGS in 1988. Her family has a long history associated with the Armidale region and NEGS.
“My grandmother Phyllis Bell (nee White), and mother Trish Rogers (nee Bell) both attended NEGS. Saumarez House was named after the White’s homestead just south of Armidale. The women in our family went to NEGS, including my sisters and cousins, we were also joined by the children of family friends who had also attended NEGS which meant we had a historic connection to a large group of girls which continues to this day”.
Having a family so close to NEGS meant that Georgie’s parents regularly had NEGS girls stay for the weekend and each week the boarders would look forward to food deliveries from her mum. “Mum’s famous chocolate cake and food drops were a highlight of our week”.
Georgie’s best memories of NEGS include doing drama with Mrs Coventry and participating in the annual play. Weekends would often be spent away at friends’ farms, friends who she is still keeps in contact with today.
“Although time has passed, on the rare occasion when we catch up, the years peel away and we find ourselves in the easy comfort of one aothers company, it’s rather like time travel, it’s as though we haven’t changed a bit. A welcome self-deception”.
Being a creative student Georgie loved her teachers, the Lovells, who both taught Art at NEGS. “They appreciated my free spiritedness, fostered my creative energy, and kindly took me out for beautiful home cooked meals in the company of other creatives”.
When she finished school Georgie’s plan was to study photography at RMIT in Melbourne, this however was waylaid when her mother became gravely ill. She put everything on hold and attended Armidale TAFE, studying fine art, so that she could stay at home to help her father care for her mother and siblings on the family farm. Being interested in permaculture and organic farming Georgie also enrolled in various courses that she used whilst WWOOFing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms).
After her mother passed away Georgie left Australia in 1998 to travel the world and did not return to Australia until 2006.
“I travelled to Japan where I WWOOFed and helped restore an old homestead in Ishiuchi. Then I fulfilled a dream when I walked the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, followed by a solo cycling journey that took me thousands of kilometres around the country”.
1998 – 2001
“I soon ended up in Chicago where I founded “Doggie Walk About” a dog walking business, it was possibly the best and most fun way I have ever learnt a living, I had a change of scene and moved the business to Los Angeles in 2000. There I began “Artemisia”, a beaded jewellery and card designing business”.
“I arrived in Florence, Italy, where I studied furniture design and restoration as well as jewellery design, while working in a leather and gold shop in Piazza Santa Croce. Here I met Lapo a wine maker from Tuscany and the father of my two girls, Elkie and Romy. We lived the dream on a farm near San Pancrazio between Florence and Siena in Tuscany, where I soon began working for the British travel company, Abercrombie And Kent managing villa rentals, the second best way to make a living”.
“I went on to study what translates as Marketing for Agricultural Companies in Arezzo, this is where I began to garner the ethos for my current business, Gathered Goods Australia. I have been inspired by the regional marketing strategy of France and Italy in relation to promoting the uniqueness of a product’s characteristics based on its geographic location”.
After returning to Australia on a more permanent basis in 2008 Georgie studied graphic design, and began working as a graphic designer.
In 2018 Georgie started her business Gathered Goods Australia. As a business owner Georgie uses many of the talents and skills she has accumulated through her years travels and work. The inspiration behind Gathered Goods Australia is to level the playing field for regional producers and artisans, and deliver their products to a wider market place. Gathered Goods Australia is “A Country Community In A Hamper”, a curated pantry from the bush and is the perfect gift during this Christmas period supporting Australian businesses from the bush.
If you are interested to know more about Gathered Goods you can visit the website https://gatheredgoods.com.au/