Cox's change all at sea

DEB COX may have helped give Australia the phrase ‘sea change’, but that doesn’t mean she ever wanted to make one herself.

Ms Cox, the brains behind the celebrated television series and, more recently, with Fiona Eagger, behind the locally-filmed and produced East of Everything, had only been seeking a one-year break from the frantic pace of Melbourne when she moved to Byron Bay.

That decision came just as the ABC decided Pearl Bay and Diver Dan were something Australian audiences might go for. With the Northern Rivers at that point lacking the infrastructure to produce its own TV series, that meant regular commuting between Byron and Melbourne, and a battle to transmit scripts over an internet still in its infancy. The effort left her ragged.

Ms Cox could have pulled up stumps and gone back to Melbourne. Instead she stayed, getting involved in local film industry umbrella group ScreenWorks.

Ms Eagger said the East of Everything series employed 660 locals, supported 270 local businesses and spent about $4.3 million.

It was precisely the sort of enterprise development expert Professor Ed Blakely said coastal communities needed.

It paved the way for thecelebrated animated series dirtgirlworld, by Whiporie film-makers Cate McQuillen and Hewey Eustace, and for the feature film, Lou, shot around Murwillumbah.

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