Triple J awarded the 'Keys to Cohuna'

Published on 07 July 2017



Media Release

Gannawarra Mayor Brian Gibson has handed over the first ever ‘Keys to Cohuna’ to Triple J presenters Veronica and Lewis following the completion of a number of set challenges.

Mayor Brian Gibson undertook an official presentation to the duo during their afternoon ‘Drive’ show.

“Veronica and Lewis really embraced the concept of the challenges and, following some assessment and feedback from the locals that were present during the challenges, I can say that I am satisfied they were completed to a standard worthy of ‘Keys to Cohuna’,” Mayor Gibson said.

It is the first time in history that a Gannawarra Mayor has given the keys away for any town within the municipality.

The opportunity arose when local girl Tahlia Ellery, who currently resides in Geelong, sent in a text nominating Cohuna for the competition.

“I sent a quick text and next thing I know they are ringing me to have a chat!”

Tahlia’s mother, Yarran ward Councillor Sonia Wright said as soon as Tahlia filled her in, she knew it was an opportunity that needed to be grabbed on to.

“Triple J has a national listening audience of over 1.9 million people, predominately in the younger demographic age group as well. To have access to that amount of people to promote and market Cohuna is an incredible opportunity,” Cr Wright said.

“It’s been so wonderful to see the community really get behind this competition, the banter and cross promotion on Facebook and Twitter has been outstanding.”

Mayor Gibson had set a series of five challenges to Veronica and Lewis, which had to be completed before any key was handed over.

“I made it pretty clear that gaining the ‘Keys to Cohuna’ is no easy feat, and it would involve some grit and determination,” Mayor Brian Gibson said.

The challenges, as set by the Mayor, included:

 - An early morning jump into Gunbower Creek.

 - A ride on Elliot’s bus.

 - Inspire the local roos

 - Be our love doctors

 - Perform a miracle

At the brisk time of 7.30am, and after losing the ‘rock, paper, scissors’, Lewis stripped off down to his speedos and undertook the first challenge – a jump into Gunbower Creek. Easy peasy!

The duo then headed to Elliot’s farm, ‘400 Acres’, an organic dairy and pasteurised egg farm which boasts over 1200 chickens and uses old Bedford buses to house them. A quiz by farm owner Elliot was undertaken and it wasn’t a great outcome. Their penance was to have 2 eggs (one for each incorrect answer) smashed over their head. Veronica was the loser on this occasion!

Tuesday evening saw them attend the Cohuna Kangas football training, with the challenge to

‘Inspire the local roos’. Going by the audio that was broadcast on Triple J following this challenge, we are not sure if they inspired or terrified the Cohuna Kangas outfit, however there was definitely an attempt to inspire.

Challenge 4 was to ‘Be our love doctors’, being a dairy region, and recently named the Mallee Region ‘Legendairy’ capital, it was only fitting that Veronica and Lewis visited a dairy farm and assisted with the farm duties, including milking and insemination! The photos shared on taken by local photographer Shayne Mostyn speak volumes about how this experience went for the pair!

Finally, it was asked that a ‘miracle be performed’. Due to water levels and safety concerns in the Gunbower Creek, we trekked over to Lake Charm to undertake this final challenge – water sking, aka ‘walking on water’.

Lewis drew the short straw (once again) and had to brave the freezing conditions to go that final step closer to obtaining the ‘Keys to Cohuna’. After some tips from some local professional champion skiers, Lewis jumped in the deep end and strapped himself in. After a wobbly first go, by the second time you would think that Lewis had been water skiing his whole life! He did a lap around the lake before making a less than graceful dismount to mark the end of the challenge.

With the five challenges now undertaken, it was Mayor Brian’s turn to assess if the duo had done enough to be awarded the ‘Keys to Cohuna’.

“I was very impressed with the dedication towards each challenge, particularly the water challenges – it was freezing cold! And the fact that they got down and dirty at the dairy farm was remarkable, a true indicator that Lewis and Veronica are committed to being a part of Cohuna folklore for years to come!”

“I am thrilled to announce that I deem Veronica and Lewis worthy of the ‘Keys to Cohuna’ and am pleased to present them with this prestigious honour, one that has not been handed out in the history of Gannawarra Shire Council,” Mayor Gibson said.

The Triple J ‘Keys Challenge’ has been an amazing experience and Council wishes to thank each and every person in the community and beyond who got behind the campaign and got Triple J here.

Before leaving, Veronica picked out a duck for the Big Cohuna Festival, which is held on the Melbourne Cup weekend. They selected number 80, and if their duck wins, pledged to come back and collect their prize!

For more information please contact Council on 5450 9333 or visit council’s website


Date: 6 July 2017

Media contact: Katrina Thorne T. 03 5450 9333 M. 0409 616 627