A Brief History of Everything
Tracks made its first drop in 1970 when co-creators, Albe Falzon, David Elfick and John Witzig had a hunch that a surf rag could be the centrifugal force in a rapidly evolving counter-culture movement. As a broadsheet publication it rapidly became the oracle for surfers seeking coalescence between waves, travel, music alternative living, and rebellious fun – in many ways the blueprint hasn’t changed. Gliding into the 80s Tracks clung to its counter-culture roots while embracing the nascent era of professional surfing. Idols were ordained, new frontiers explored and fluoro was splashed liberally across covers and ad pages, as Tracks reaffirmed its reputation as the publication that read the pulse of Australia surfing. Hooking into the 90s Tracks dug its toes in as the industry soared, surfers took flight and some guy called Slater owned the decade. A radical direction change beyond 2000 saw the broadsheet ditched in favour of a smaller, glossier, sexier product, but we never forgot to have fun and these were the glory years of wild parties, exotic world tour destinations, celebrated writers and flamboyant photographers. As Tracks trims past its 50th year it remains an evolving state of mind, drawing on its eclectic past while reflecting the wonders of the present; always conscious of entertaining its readers as it rides boldly into the surfing future.
Luke Kennedy has been filing copy at Tracks for more than twenty years. Dragged off the beach as a salty freelancer, he took on the Tracks Deputy Editor role in 2005 and secured the editor’s position in 2008. Since then he has overseen and written for well over 100 issues of Tracks, hosted web series, enjoyed cameos as a commentator and co-produced several Tracks films. He’s always been a fan of immersing himself in the subject matter when writing stories and is renowned for his ability to surf more than the pros on travel missions. When not making Tracks or dealing with his surfing addiction Luke can typically be found lost in the columns of a cryptic crossword.
Ben enjoyed a stint as a competitive junior surfer before he answered the call of his creative instincts and took on a job with Tracks in the heady days of the early 2000s. After more than 15 years of rolling with the ebb and flow of Tracks, Ben is ideally poised to oversee the look and feel of every facet of the Tracks brand. Whether it’s a cover-shot photo, an elegant mag font or a website wireframe, the discerning eye of Ben Bugden is behind what you see. Ben is also an accomplished photographer with his own distinctive take on the surf photo genre. His shots have appeared on the cover of Tracks and his images regularly feature in the magazine. These days Ben still rips but prefers to do his surfing on a diverse array of craft. Between work, and surf sessions he finds solace in walking the dog.
As a Tracks team member for over two decades, Damian Martin has accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge. Damian understands the importance of building long and lasting relationships and is a keen follower of new media trends and technologies. As a result, he thrives on executing integrated campaigns that achieve synergy between print advertising and new platforms.
Through his positions in advertising and marketing, Damian has followed the surf industry’s roller coaster journey through the new millennium and understands the volatilities and idiosyncrasies of the surfing marketplace. He enjoys a chat, loves throwing a Tracks party and is passionate about surf travel.
As a General Manager, Damian has diversified into business development, and has been a driving force behind many of the new brand initiatives undertaken by Tracks.
Raised in Bronte, Luke Faddy honed his frontside whip in the idyllic rocky cove where the city collides with the sea. A champion junior surfer ‘FADDY’ who is built like a rake, went on to become part of the fabled Bondi Lifeguard team. When not dragging backpackers from the rip and fending of propositions from female fans he studied communications and design. The slick operator and sharp dresser is now the Social Media and Advertising Manager for Tracks.
As a surfer, lawyer, entrepreneur, raconteur and ukulele player, Peter Strain brings a Renaissance man quality to his role as Tracks CEO. Fabled for his mid-winter surfing feats minus a wetsuit, Pete is also a founding member of music festival ‘The Drop’. When not taking on high profile cases, engaging in Wim Hof surfing experiments and coordinating live acts, Pete can be found indulging in his other passions, namely Irish history and racehorses.
Perth’s golden beaches, Margaret’s and Rottnest were Karen’s early stomping grounds, later it was Noosa and Newcastle. All you needed in those days was a sarong and a bong…and a Tracks mag, of course.
The grown-up Karen punctuates her text messages which makes the free-spirited word-nerd the perfect fit as Tracks’ sub-editor/proofreader…the BA in Professional Writing is helpful.
Karen is co-owner of production company JAK Films. She co-produces and presents a weekly community radio program. Far more comfortable writing about other people, Karen ghost-writes auto-biographies. She is firmly entrenched in community initiatives that support homelessness and mental health issues, as well as being an active member of a vibrant Arts community.
If Karen isn’t behind her computer, you probably won’t be able to find her because she’ll be immersed in nature somewhere far out of range.
20-year-old Sienna Mulham delivers a lovin’ spoonful of youth and energy to the Tracks team. Raised in a surf-mad family, Sienna is a Sydney girl who has been reading Tracks over the shoulder of her dad since she was a grommet. Sienna now relishes her role with Tracks, which allows her to apply all the skills she has learned in her management and marketing degree. When not at the beach or coming up with innovative ways to market the Tracks brand, Sienna likes to hit the tennis court and work on her serve-volley game.
1970 – 1973: ALBE FALZON
1973 – 1977: PHIL JARRATT
1978 - 1981: PAUL HOLMES
1981 – 1984: KIRK WILCOX
1984 – 1986: NICK CARROLL
1986 – 1988: JON ELLIS
1989 - 1991: TIM BAKER
1991 – 1994: GARY DUNNE
1994 – 1997: NEIL RIDGEWAY
1997 – 2000: WAYNE DART
2000 – 2008: SEAN DOHERTY
2009 - CURRENT: LUKE KENNEDY
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