Shotput falcons, half marathons and... guinea pig races?
FIVE minute conversation can be all it takes to find out something interesting about anyone, according to new Gympie Regional Council senior manager Stephen Jewell.
Just four months into a new venture as the senior manager of council's Water Business Unit, the 57-year-old said he had already become acquainted with the Gold City before he moved his life here.
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"I first visited Gympie in 1969, when I was all of 8 years old,” Mr Jewell said.
"We stayed with my uncle and aunt at Kybong for a week. I was supposed to be taking it easy recovering from an recent accident at school where I got hit in the head with a shotput.
"I was riding a bike down a hill, flat out, in front of my uncle's ute when I hit a rock and went over the handlebars. I hurt myself badly enough that I literally couldn't sit down for a week.
"The ute rolled to a stop beside me and Dad rolled down the passenger's window and said 'is this what you call taking it easy?' (and) they drove off and I limped back to the house.”
Boasting an impressive working history across three states and working with local government in Gilgandra, Cootamundra, Scone, the Central Tablelands and Wagga Wagga before settling in Gympie, Mr Jewell said he enjoyed the appeal of working in regional areas.
His passions outside the office lie mostly in long-distance running, but there are a few quirks under the surface too.
"I'll still wake up early in the mornings and run. I like the challenge,” he said.
"It can be hard to convince yourself to go, but it always feels worse if you don't go at all.
"The best part about running is feeling glad that you've done it, even when you're still running.
"I used to race guinea pigs, there was betting on them and everything, I still have them at home now. I also like creating things and working with electronics, so I blend that together a little bit and make a lot of miniatures.”