13 May 2019

At Home with Tegan McAuley

| Ashley Feraude
Tagn McAuly

If you’ve ever met Tegan, even casually, you’ll know that she is open, warm and calm. Like her personality, the day we met up with her was bright and sunny, yet cool, calm and collected. We met outside her home in the terrace style complex and I almost forgot I was in Canberra. The various levels, as well as their outlook, had a certain Melbourne feel about them.

Tegan moved into this place as a fresh start with her housemate and friend Caitlyn, and their home soon became known as the ‘Bluebell Studio’. Why a studio? Well, just consider that Tegan’s Hustle & Scout creation was born here. Ten events later, it is Canberra’s best-known alternative fashion and food markets.

The countless late nights working on this project have really paid off for the benefit not only of us as the punters, but also for the cultural fabric of Canberra. Since then, she has also collaborated with the girls at Handmade Canberra to launch Oh Happy Day, last year’s festival designed to inspire people planning weddings and celebrations.

In case she didn’t know, I pointed out that Tegan should really celebrate that achievement. ‘Oh we have … numerous times,’ she answered. ‘Now we’ve reached our noise complaints quota. It really must have been the dancing on that table that broke the camels back.’

Tegan’s place reflects her casual, yet thought-out approach as well as her interest in fashion, art, craft and events. The townhouse is airy, open, simple and gently filled with interesting objects that have that slightly alternative and hipster element to them. Speaking of hipster, I need to point out here that I mean this in a positive sense — her non-mainstream approach is a far cry from the overly commercialised thing the hipster movement has become.

In saying that, I should point out that Tegan does not have a bushy beard and a penny farthing; but she does have an eye for organic, vintage, traditional and wholesome elements that make her events something so much more satisfying than rows of vendors selling replica sports shoes.

We then got super side-tracked discussing her work at the National Portrait Gallery and Oh Happy Day, and time started to really fly. Tegan made us feel very at ease; and her place did too. When we finally started to head off, I remembered we were in Canberra again … but you know, that’s a really good feeling.

Words: Ashley Feraude
Pics: Victor Tawagi

Weekly Wrap

Canberra is renowned for its restaurants, bars, arts and culture. If you want to know what's going on in and around the nation's capital, sign up for our weekly newsletter and have all the best of the Canberra community delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.