Jamie and I have been good friends for many years now and in all the time we’ve known each other, he continues to address me as The Gentleman of Disco. I had hoped he would tire of this novelty but I’ve since come to realise that, being an ad man, Jamie knows the importance of sticking to a slogan.
Despite being the savvy leader of successful Canberra advertising agency, Coordinate, Jamie is more Don Bradman than Don Draper. The super nice, everybody’s favourite local boy next door. Well, not next door to me because he lives in a gigantic town-house on the Kingston Foreshore, but the metaphorical type of next-door.
The first thing that hits me when I enter Jamie’s ultra-modern, “Oh Toto we’re not in Canberra anymore” castle, is the sheer scale. High, high ceilings, wide open spaces, windows and windows and visual freedom. And yet despite the majesty of scale, Jamie’s burgeoning modifications – such as a new feature wall – are starting to lend some intimacy. Interestingly, Jamie’s home is the opposite of his cramped office digs, which have been outgrown by the continual accumulation of new staff.
When we arrive for the shoot, Jamie’s housemate Sonny is lounging on a ridiculously over-sized couch such as I have only ever seen in air-port terminals or Bond movies.
In noticing the finer details of the décor, it comes as no surprise to learn that Jamie is a huge and true supporter of Canberra. Everything from the art and the wine, to the Canberra Brave merchandise and the music. It’s all from Canberra. I must admit, given Jamie’s love of everything local, I feel a little disappointed that my own album, Magnifik, is not on his playlist. He’s fixing that now, apparently.
As we tour his spacious abode, Jamie chats about his latest ideas and plans and it becomes apparent to me that his home reflects this same strength, determination and scale.
As we leave, I notice an old Christmas tree lying on the front lawn. “Oh yeah, I was hoping you wouldn’t see that” he grins. See, he really is the guy next door.
Words: Ashley Feraude
Images: Victor Tawagi