Name Liam Carroll
A.K.A The Tawny Frogmouth
Business The Tawny Frogmouth
Location Northern Beaches

What’s your favourite place on the Northern Beaches?

North Palmy, up in the corner at Barrenjoey, surfing with minimal crowds. 

Is there something about you that would surprise people?

When I was a little fella, I was genuinely annoyed my parents named me Liam. I wished they’d named me Terry. Tezza Carroll. Now that’s a name that would command respect and adulation far and wide. Ah well, Liam will have to do.  

What’s something everyone should do at least once?

Go to China. I was lucky enough to be sent there for work, living in Shanghai for 6 months in 2013, an incredible experience that makes me so glad I don’t actually live there! But the simple fact is, 1 in 5 humans is Chinese. The supposed communist republic is a capitalist utopia. There’s just so much wonder, absurdity, history, corruption, chivalry, pollution, opportunity, danger there, an eye opener in every sense. And I totally believe that to be a legitimate and knowledgeable global citizen, you need to have some well-founded idea of what’s really what in China, especially if you’re an Aussie and grasp our nation’s viability is completely tied to the fate and ambitions of our northern Sino-neighbours. Excellent dumplings too, always a bonus. 

It’s Sunday afternoon, where do we find you?

Working madly on the Tawny! Or, if that’s sorted, at the “Office” between Wharfy and Skiff, playing with the bub on the sand, dad bod out in force, and ideally an ice cold can of Tawny Grogmouth in my grasp, quenching a Sabbath thirst, thanking my lucky stars this is home. 

If you were down to your last $50 what would you spend it on?

If?! Nah, I’ve got $55. Loaded! But if I lose a Stuey Diver, bet the final pineapple AGAINST my beloved Balmain Tigers, I’d be a millionaire in no time. 


How did The Tawny Frogmouth happen? How long have you been operating?

When the Yankee billionaire Rupert Murdoch decided to abandon The Manly Daily’s print offering, choosing instead to deliver local news behind a digital paywall, makes sense, that was the strike of luck that provided the print vacuum which it seemed reasonable enough to assume a Tawny Frogmouth publication could thrive in. The final Manly Daily printed in May 2020, and the first issue of the Tawny, the December 2020 edition, started landing in 50,000 letterboxes in late November 2020. It was hot as hell, I can safely report. My stepdad and I delivered pretty much all of them! Luckily once they started landing, people were stoked with it, and kids started asking for jobs doing deliveries. Winning on all fronts. Phew! 

Best business experience?

Working out a viable way to combine a love of storytelling, Australia, and the Northern Beaches into a print publication that people seem to sincerely look forward to having it land in their letterboxes each month. 

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

No idea. I’ve been, and perhaps still am, a physiotherapist and commodities trader, so perhaps begging for a job in either of those arenas. 

Best part of your job or most enjoyable part of your job?

Every month I get to show off the Northern Beaches with a sense of Tawny Frogmouth flavour. Whether it’s the local artist who’s created the cover, quirky individuals doing amazing things, passionate letter writers shining a light on various issues they hold dear, local businesses showing off their goods, the mag exists purely as a means to cheerlead them all, and to do so in an A5 print format that doesn’t require wifi to enjoy. 

Most stressful part of your job?

Print deadlines!

Weirdest thing that has ever happened at work?

Delivering mags in the full light of day, maybe 8am, and a tawny frogmouth perched on a fence post in full view, no camouflage, no attempt to hide, and just stood proud for me to say G’day to. Unforgettable. And I like to think that gorgeous bird was telling me to keep up the good work, all the tawny frogmouths are happy with the pulp I’m getting out to the world with their name attached as chief ambassador. 

What’s the best part of working on the Northern Beaches? Why’d you chose to work here?

If you don’t know the place all that well, you’d probably say the best part is being near the beaches themselves, the access to the ocean, the waves, the beauty of all that. But, once you’ve scratched the surface and seen how incredibly community-minded and generous with every aspect of themselves they truly are, you realise very quickly the best part of the Northern Beaches is the people who live here.


What would you rate 10/10? 

A schooner at the Steyne with my Pop. When he was nearing his end, in a nursing home in the inner west, he and another fella used to take advantage of extremely well priced public transport for the more advanced in age, and they’d catch a bus, a train and a ferry to Manly, amble up the Corso, and indulge in a schooner of ice cold nectar at the Steyne, then turn back and head off again to the nursing home, stoked with being alive and kicking strong enough to enjoy a heavenly grog with a kindred spirit. The opportunity to share just one of those with Pop at the Round Bar in some sort of third generation ever after, see his face adorned with a Reschs froth moustache and glimmer in his eyes of pure leprechaun gratitude, that’d be perfection, 10/10 and then some. 

What is the best advice you’ve received?

“Think clearly and laugh loudly, always.” Or a combination of “Print is dead” and “Nobody knows a damn thing.” Perhaps a notable mention goes to, “Buy high and sell when the margin clerks demand it.” So many great pearls of wisdom there. 

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week?

The footy regular season’s over so I can stop looking like an idiot for tipping the Tigers. 

Greatest strength?

Being one of the rarefied 25million global populace who won the birth lottery and is lucky enough to call Australia home. 

Greatest weakness?

Milky white skin. 

Does anything scare you?

AI, and perhaps anyone too besotted with technology. I publish a print mag, so I’m clearly in love with “old school” bits and bobs, but I don’t know people grasp just how weak and vulnerable our societies now are thanks to an insane over reliance on wifi and automated processes. You think Covid was bad? Well, when the cyber-attacks start in force, we’re in for a horror show. Don’t worry, the Tawny print will get us through! 

What’s your most treasured possession?

My baby girl, Zosia Carroll. Followed closely by my better half, Quyen. Everything else is gravy; tasty, lovely, but ultimately not needed. 

What’s your idea of absolute happiness?

Someone else said this, don’t know who, but I agree with my every bodily cell and fibre; “To support my family by doing what I love while making a positive impact on the world.”

Which two famous people would you choose to be stuck in a lift with?

Norm MacDonald and Leonard Cohen.

What travel experiences are on your bucket list?

I think the Red Centre, Uluru, I have to get there and check it out asap. And Canada, it’s the cold version of Australia! I’d love to check it out properly and my two favourite humans outside of my immediate family, Norm MacDonald and Leonard Cohen, they’re Canadian royalty, so I’d just like to wander round where they grew up in Toronto and Montréal, hoping some fragment of their brilliance seeps in.

Who’s your personal hero?

My best mate Sean “Rufty” Martin. At the tender age of 37 a tumour in his brain tried to destroy him. His left side isn’t cooperating yet, but he’s still here, still smiling. “Hero” doesn’t come even close to capturing how highly I think of him. 

If you were an animal, what would you be?

Tawny Frogmouth, derrr! 

How would you like to be remembered?

A bloke that hopefully helped people realise they’re amazing, capable of everything, even the supposed impossible. Self-belief is fragile, but when someone else believes in you, earnestly, truthfully, you’re on the verge of achieving something great, to prove that one believer right if nothing else. 

If we could ask you one more question, what would it be and what’s your answer?

Is Pine Property the greatest commercial real estate agency not only on the Northern Beaches but globally? Yes, yes, a million times yes!