Growing into a ‘dream job’
Popular radio and television personality, and well-respected gardening guru, Michael Keelan spoke to a full house in Two Wells on June 26.
Locals, residents from the district, and even some who had travelled from afar, gathered at Two Wells Bowling Club to hear Michael speak as part of the Two Wells Public Library’s successful author events.
Michael talked openly about his upbringing, crediting his grandmother with instilling a love of gardening in him, and reflected on his beginnings with his brother starting up a small garden store as part of his dad’s fodder business.
And Two Wells is a place he has a small connection with, after stopping in town on his way to the family beach shack in Kadina.
“I have fond memories of family trips to Kadina with rellies, and this was always a stop,” he said.
“I can’t remember if it was a bakery or not as to why we stopped, but we always did.”
Michael’s rise into radio and television was quickly recapped, with (radio) colleagues Jeremy Cordeaux and Phillip Satchell mentioned, but the theme of gardening and the pleasures it brings was a constant throughout his talk.
“Gardening is a hobby where you can have so many other areas of interest,” he told the appreciative audience.
“And one of mine was indoor plants.”
It was this “hobby” which helped launch his career into television, with Michael caring for the indoor plants at the Channel 9 station and being asked to host a weekly plant information segment as part of the Today Show.
Many people know Michael because of his 5AA radio show but it his more recent and popular television series “Out of The Blue”, made with good friend and co-host, Michael Angelakis, that has made him well-known.
“If anyone could have a dream job, this would be it,” he laughed.
“It combines all the things that we love, travel, food, fishing, wine and meeting people.
“And we meet some amazing people. It’s the best thing I’ve ever had in all my years in the media – meeting people.”
Michael said in today’s day and age there was no excuse for people not having a garden but said the industry was facing tough times in the next quarter of a century as house blocks get smaller and homes bigger.
“It’s one of the best industries to get involved in,” he said.
“We’re going to need people who know a lot about horticulture as it can solve a lot of problems.”
Audience members were involved throughout Michael’s presentation, with a number of jokes thrown around and questions asked at the conclusion.
District Council of Mallala chief executive officer, Charles Mansueto, presented Michael with a selection of quality, local Adelaide Plains produce as a thankyou.