RA editors pick their favourite 2018 stories

RoyalAuto magazine

As the last issue of RoyalAuto wraps up for the year, content editor Justine Costigan and
deputy editor Clare Barry pick their favourite stories from 2018.

December 2018


man and dog patchewollock pub

Bryce Harriman, the Patchewollock Hotel’s publican, and Tilly, with the silo portrait of Nick ‘Noodle’ Hulland.


Top pick


Patchewollock: Passing the pub test

Story: Paul Daffey
Photos: Shannon Morris

JC: 'Paul Daffey’s Patchewollock Pub story was a lovely snapshot of small-town life in this part of regional Victoria. More than just the place, it’s the people who live there that make a story. At a time when many parts of regional Victoria are doing it tough, the story of the Patchewollock Pub was inspired. The RA team were also thrilled to hear from Paul that there had been a significant growth in visitors to the pub since the story ran, with the classic Wyperfeld steak a hit with customers. I've since added Patchewollock to my own list of must-visit places in Victoria.' 

CB: 'What she said! This is a lovely local yarn about community and ... and townies . And Shannon's pic of publican Bryce makes a bloke in jeans and a cap look epic.'

Appeared: October 2018 edition
Click here to read the story

Justine’s picks

close up of poppies in France Western Front

Poppies in bloom.  Image: Clare Barry


writer sofia levin with husband matt sit on electric vehicle renault zoe in geelong

Writer Sofia Levin with husband Matt.


woman arranging flowers at crofters fold estate

Crofters Fold Estate.


Back to the Western Front

Story: Clare Barry (RA deputy editor) 

JC: 'I loved Clare’s Western Front story, it really brought to life both the war history and present-day experience of this part of France. It's no surprise that the impact of the First World War continues to be felt across the generations.'

Appeared: July 2018 edition
Click here to read the story. 


What’s it like to drive an electric vehicle?

Story: Sofia Levin
Photos: Eamon Gallagher

JC: 'I wasn’t sure if this story would work, but an ordinary person’s experience of driving a new car proved a really nice counterpoint to our expert reviews. The take-up of electric vehicles is still quite low, so few Victorians would have had the chance to experience driving one. This story answered the question: what's it really like?'

Appeared: September 2018 edition
Click here to read the story. 

Seeds of change: sustainable flower farms

Story: Jo Stewart

JC: 'The slow-flower movement – who knew there was such a thing? This story revealed another side to Victoria's agricultural industry and the passionate people who work within it. Plus, who doesn't love peonies?'

Appeared: November 2018 edition
Click here to read the story. 

Clare’s picks


Oslo Davis’ illustration of the Glenelg River.



Plane spotters at Melbourne Airport. 



Melbourne's housing affordability crisis.  Source: Getty Images 


Plane spotters: eyes to the sky

Story: Nick Place
Photos: Andrew Haysom

CB: 'Okay, so a 21-year-old Berliner had four days in Melbourne earlier in the year and spent them on a box at the edge of Melbourne Airport, filming aeroplanes coming and going from the tarmac over the fence. Plane spotters! Nick's little story is a lovely slice of life about people doing things they love.'

Appeared: July 2018 edition
Click here to read the story. 

A ripple in time

Story: Anson Cameron
Ilustrations: Oslo Davis

CB: 'Anson writes so evocatively in this travel story - a slo-o-ow paddle down the Lower Glenelg River in the very west of the state. We're in the canoe with him. Rippling water, shacks on stilts, kingfishers, gangster possums and 'xylophone' bones. His final paragraph is perfection. And Oslo Davis' hand-drawn illustrations adorn the whole thing beautifully.'

Appeared: May 2018 edition
Click here to read the story. 

Home for good: housing affordability in Melbourne

Story: Larissa Dubecki
Photos: Eamon Gallagher

CB: 'Larissa Dubecki's story on housing affordability, addressing a seismic social problem of huge local concern, was filled with really clever, thoughtful ideas and smart Victorians making them happen. After reading it, I felt hopeful that young people will be able to find a way to live in the places they love.'

Appeared: September 2018 edition
Click here to read the story.