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June 25, 2021

Beau Miles leaves an airport with a trolley and his infant daughter in a carrier on his back


Five minutes with... Beau Miles

Beau Miles is many things: award-winning filmmaker, outdoors man, offbeat adventurer and writer of books, just to name a few. Madman that he is, Beau recently spent 15 days travelling from mainland Australia to Tasmania in a sea kayak. He is also our newest ambassador, and we caught up with Beau to find out more about his world. 


How did you get into what you're doing?

I've fallen into storytelling as a job. Not that I think of it that way most of the time, but if I'm to write anything on my incoming passenger card now-a-days (if I were to go overseas!), it would be Storyteller. Not to be wanky, but to simply say I write, make films, tell yarns — all of which can be batched together as storyteller. I'm not much good as a teacher, not really, but my one saving grace was that I tell stories while teaching, which is basically teaching via metaphors that are relatable, and often fun. Another way to put it; I enjoyed films like most people when growing up, and love a good book, so thought, “I'd like to do that”.  

What is the edgiest experience you've had on the job? 

Gee. I've had a bunch of close calls — which I often forget to learn hard and fast lessons from. A massive wave in South Africa was petrifying. Genuine, hardcore, scared to my bones, too-close. It became the opening chapter of my book and PhD, because I don't intend on repeating the experience — yet I'm glad I felt it, and came through the other side. Very much a Brad-Pitt-holding-a-gun-to-a-service-station-attendant's-head moment (Fight Club).  

FIlm flyer for Beau Miles's film, Africa By Kayak. It shows Beau kayaking on the ocean and numerous accolades.

What is your most touching experience?

3:05pm, Oct 19th, 2019. May [my daughter] came along. 

What motivates you?

Not sure. I mean, really, I'm not sure. I get asked this a lot and it's hard to pin down why I give a damn about anything; doing things, loving, loathing, writing, film making, being ambitious. It's all a bit of a mystery. But it's there, not broken, and so I simply go with it. 

Beau and his partner walk through the bush with their infant daughter, May, in a carrier on her mother's back. All three are smiling.

How do you continue to educate yourself? 

I try to nudge my thresholds physically, emotionally and professionally, which is code for being active and busy, and always, without fail one-upping myself. I often called myself a polyjobist, a made up word that tries to exaggerate the fact that I like doing lots of things to a good level (I'm not smart enough to be a polymath — an expert at lots of things). Plus, I make a habit of hanging out with people who are good at what they do, and the odd bit rubs off.  

Who in your field inspires you? 

Athletes that seem humble (Mack Horton and Steph Gilmore types); Creatives that are uncompromising (Alejandro González Iñárritu — director of The Revenant and writer Paul Thoreaux types). I give a nod, and think about, people who do it tough that don't know how hard they have it. I know I have it good, easy, on-toast and both world famous doers and hard-nosed livers make me appreciate my patch. 

Close-up shot of Beau Miles exercising outdoors.

What is your advice for anyone wanting to get involved in your field?

I don't really advise people. Not my game. My advice is to not be advised, as such. Do what you want because you never have to make a decision then (this is a bit flakey, but key to all this; trust yourself and take no prisoners into how you spend your time).  

If there was a one-word reminder that encouraged you to keep going, what would it be?

You're okay (mate)

(ok, two words...well, three really).

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