Speaker: Stephen Scourfield, The West Australian Travel Editor
Review written by: Roy Done

Stephen Scourfield has been a travel writer for 40 years. He writes a regular column for the West Australian and has published several books as well as producing travel videos and sound bites for online publication.

Stephen’s presentation was full of light hearted anecdotes and some very moving stories about the many people he has met and befriended in his wide and varied travels.  Travelling for Stephen is a ‘full  on’ experience; research, getting to the heart of the local cultures and personal interaction with the local people seem to be hallmarks of his travel. Keeping on the spot note books to record experiences and impressions in the moment are very important to him. From such notes he can go back years later and recall  his experiences with clarity. It is vital to Stephen that his interaction with his readers is a transaction with integrity. He writes every day during his travels and completes 2000 words each day.

His travels around the world have allowed him to see connections between cultures from as far apart as Madagascar and Sulawesi.  His recommendations to his readers could be for a river cruise or a visit to Rwanda but the places will always be safe, accessible and interesting. Stephen encourages his readers to look for more and interesting aspects to their travel and to engage with the local people to get a real understanding of the places visited.

Stephen pointed out that travel does not have to be to overseas destinations all the time. His stories of travel in Western Australia, particularly the Kimberley and Pilbara reminded us all that there is much to be discovered and learned close to home.

Stephen held the audience spell-bound for well over an hour with a presentation that excited our curiosity, our sense of humour and our empathy for the lives and problems of others.