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The charm of White Birch Cottage, Orange

Jillian Kilby:


Burrangong Picnic Races, Young

Snowy Valleys Tumut • Tumbarumba • Adelong Batlow and Villages


Showcasing the best of rural and regional New South Wales





trading as Central West Magazine ABN 151 6322 9418 ADDRESS PO BOX 1050 DUBBO NSW 2830 PHONE 0429 441 086 FAX 02 6867 9895 WEBSITE FACEBOOK PUBLISHERS, ACCOUNTS & ADVERTISING Elizabeth & Alex Tickle EDITOR Elizabeth Tickle CHIEF WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER Jake Lindsay ART DIRECTOR Zora Regulic

DISTRIBUTION Central West Lifestyle magazine is published quarterly (available at the beginning of each season) and distributed to selected newsagents and retail outlets within the Central West and in the surrounding regions of the Far West, New England & North West, Riverina & Southern Slopes, Southern Highlands, Canberra, Northern and Eastern suburbs of Sydney, in addition to a selection of other rural and coastal areas of New South Wales. Subscriptions and back issues are also available to read online, on desktop and mobile devices. Unsold magazines are distributed to cafes, health waiting rooms, quality hotels/motels, bed and breakfast establishments, hair and beauty salons and tourist outlets.

Central West Lifestyle showcases authentic content from across rural and regional New South Wales. The heart of the magazine is in the Central West of the state, but a great story knows no boundaries. We are continually amazed by the innovation, inspiration and spirit that we find time and time again in communities both within the Central West and further afield. It is our passion and privilege to bring these stories to you.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE To order a subscription or back issue (mailed or online), visit © Central West Lifestyle Pty Ltd 2019 All Rights Reserved No part of this magazine may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the publisher. While every care is taken in the publication of Central West Lifestyle magazine, the publishers will not be held responsible for omissions, errors or their subsequent effects.

Pegasus Print Group, is an environmentally responsible printing company that is committed to helping achieve a sustainable environment. To underscore our commitment to environmental sustainability, Pegasus Print Group is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified as well as being ISO 14001 accredited. Paper and paper-based materials carrying the FSC symbol can be tracked back to their source, guaranteeing they come from forests which are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations. Pegasus Print Group is also an accredited ISO 9001:2008 supplier, which ensures each step of our production process is aligned with world’s best practice to deliver the finest quality possible. Together, these accreditations offered by Pegasus Print Group, offer our clients a guarantee that their printed products are produced by world’s best practice environmental and finest quality standards.


Autumn 2019 13




13  NATURE AT ITS BEST Blessed with extraordinary natural assets, the Snowy Valleys is much more than just a winter wonderland.


150  ELLERSLIE ENCHANTED Damien and Sue Fraumeni’s garden has thrived over time under their tender loving care. 174  AMAZING GRACE Enthusiasm, planning and country ingenuity combine with a touch of whimsy to make Jodie and Jane Costello’s Rustic Maze and Country Garden in Monteagle well worth a visit.



182  LOVE AT FIRST INSPECTION Tricia Walker knew she’d found “the one” when she first inspected White Birch Cottage in Orange. 194  MEET THE MAKER The Capertee Valley’s Elizabeth McKay is turning natural fibres into intriguing wearable artworks.



198  SITES TO BEHOLD While a trip to Jordan cannot be complete without a visit to the ancient city of Petra, there are many extraordinary and unique experiences to be had in this romantic and arid land.


162  ONE TRUE LOVE The story of Tom and Audrey Volkofsky is one of undying love and devotion. 168  ONWARD AND UPWARD Jillian Kilby is smart, driven and passionate about rural Australia. 204  DIVINE SERVICE Travellers will find Gundagai’s Church House B&B to be the answer to their prayers. 212  THE RIGHT STEP Dr Sol Qurashi says an active life is possible after hip and knee replacements.




Image: Peter McDade Jillian Kilby:


Burrangong Picnic Races, Young

Snowy Valleys Tumut • Tumbarumba • Adelong Batlow and Villages

$12.95 inc GST






216  CWL SUMMER 2018 LAUNCH Pics from the event at Leeton’s beautiful Roxy Theatre. 220  BURRANGONG PICNIC RACES Faces and fashions from a wonderful spring race day. 224  A SEASON IN THE COUNTRY What to see and do this autumn in country NSW. 230  WEDDED BLISS See who’s tied the knot in your region.

The charm of White Birch Cottage, Orange

BEAUTY AND SERENITY: The Tumbarumba Creek, Tooma


Showcasing the best of rural and regional New South Wales





A U T U M N publishers’ letter


welcome to autumn “If you feel more fortunate than others, make your table longer, not your fence higher.”

Welcome to another magnificent autumn with its show of colours, in the Central West and beyond.

Leeton Feature Thank you to our many loyal readers for embracing the Summer 2018 edition so enthusiastically! In Leeton alone, over 1200 copies were sold in the first three weeks, a very impressive sales record! Many people have already told us of their newly created travel plans to visit lovely Leeton and surrounds. So much to see and do in and around Leeton, located in the heart of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA). See ‘Your Letters’ page for feedback from Leeton Council Mayor Cr Paul Maytom and Leeton Council Manager of Communications and Marketing Brent Lawrence.

Snowy Valleys Feature This massive edition (total size 244 pages) includes the largest feature ever! Across 147 pages we have been privileged to showcase all that is on offer in the Snowy Valleys Council area, including Tumut, Tumbarumba, Adelong and Batlow and the surrounding villages. We were overwhelmed with business support and thank all those proactive businesses, which chose to promote their communities in this way. We were also in awe of the absolute beauty of the region with breathtaking scenery, many natural and manmade attractions, flanked by the magnificent Kosciuszko National Park.

Winter 2019 Feature We have been busy researching all that is on offer in the Narrandera Council area. Thank you to this visionary council for their active collaboration. We look forward to showing you the gems of Narrandera across 100+ pages in our Winter 2019 edition.

The beauty of Autumn in the Snowy Valleys. Image: Peter McDade.

Team Changes Our CWL team changes slightly from issue to issue depending on who has contributed on a seasonal basis. We thank our past contributors and continually welcome new faces on board. It is with pride that we are able to say our team is talented and, above all, passionate about giving rural and regional communities a stylish presence in each and every edition.

Buy Local Thank you to the many businesses that have committed to a further four editions of advertising support. We are very grateful for your loyalty. CWL urges readers to support our advertisers where possible and so ensure the long-term viability of local businesses. Enjoy the beauty of autumn as you work and relax. Make every day count and don’t forget to spend quality time with those you love.

Warm regards, Elizabeth and Alex Tickle Facebook “f ” Logo


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High achieving McKay family: Daughter Elizabeth Miller, sons Christopher, Andrew, William and David McKay with parents Maureen and Ritchie McKay. Apologies from CWL for the captioning error in the Summer 2018 edition (page 137).

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Beautiful Handmade Rugs for Inside and Outside your Home WOOL | JUTE | COTTON | INDOOR OUTDOOR o F rie n dly


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A U T U M N Jake’s message

HIGH SOCIETY I found the inspiration to write this column from glorious Brindabella Farmstay near the apple town of Batlow in the Snowy Mountains. The spectacular mountain views, cool evening breeze and rolling green paddocks stretched out before me are food for the soul. It doesn’t get any better. I think how fortunate other guests must feel, knowing the owners are willing to share their ultimate country hideaway with others. I think I finally get it. The joy of letting go and doing nothing! It has taken a while, learning the subtle art of chilling out in silence. No phone, Spotify or TV, just the uplifting noise of chattering parrots in their own paradise. I’ve stayed in dozens of country towns and villages – in motels, pubs, B&Bs and farmstays, and I’ve loved every single one. I’m always fully charged, juggling appointments, keeping photographic files and notes up to date while slowly ticking off my long list of assignments. Sometimes I “miss” the experience! But not this time. I know there’s a wealth of great yarns in each and every place I go. I know there will be a few old timers I get to chew the fat with. I know I’ll meet a few savvy farmers, agents, the local sporting hero and business owners forging ahead. But here, down in the Snowy Mountains Shire, it just feels different – reminiscent of New Zealand, with endless green hills, pine plantations, prime cattle and vibrant rural towns. I think the real joy is to enjoy the experience while you have it and then go home and appreciate that just as much – just on a different level! I’ve always enjoyed aerial photography and I had the opportunity to see Tumut from the front seat of an ageing Tiger Moth that was used as a training plane for young Australian pilots during the war. I’ve been up in all types of aircraft, some roomier than others, but this was the first time I was alone at the front of a plane! My pilot, Andrew Pitcher, was seated behind me but I doubt he could see much! Shooting against the breeze was a new experience and not one I’d recommend. Between the cumbersome goggles and pull on my camera, it was challenging enough to hold the camera without it blowing away! Tony Clee from Tumut Aerodrome Club kindly later took me up in his tiny Jabiru for a great look at the glorious countryside from 2000 feet. Thanks fellas, top job! Meeting other photographers is always special and we have featured two of the best in this issue. Tumbarumba’s Peter McDade is a true artist, painting exquisite landscapes from the remarkable photos he captures. Tumut’s Robyn MacRae is similarly gifted, recording her subjects, usually landscapes, with sensitivity, beauty and style. I’m very proud to showcase their outstanding craft, alongside the work of our regular and gifted shooters Robert Bruce and Zenio Lapka.


“I think the real joy is to enjoy the experience while you have it and then go home and appreciate that just as much – just on a different level!” You’ll find your usual assortment of ripping yarns in the Snowy feature. There are plenty of talented people in this neck of the woods and you’ll read all about them, in this, our biggest town feature ever. I really dip my hat to the Boggy Creek Show, a highlight of my trip and featuring some of the most genuine talent! Remember that every dream doesn’t become a reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and lots of hard yakka. Tim and partner Jo (and their menagerie of farm animals) have worked tirelessly to make this one of the “must-see” shows of the year. Enjoy this special time of the year as the colours of autumn come alive. And as a great mate always tells me as he signs off the phone: “Live your life and be free”.

Cheers, Jake

ABOVE: As drought grips most of the country, the lush countryside around Tumut was a joy to behold; perched in the historic Tiger Moth with my pilots.

Make your Will and take care of what’s important. Making a Will might be something you know you should do, but just haven’t got around to. You’re not the only one. Studies show that on average 45% of Australians do not have a Will that accurately reflects their current stage of life or assets. NSW Trustee & Guardian understands things can get in the way. Work, family commitments, even things around the house take up time. Even with a lot going on, its important to have a Will prepared. A clear, legally valid and up-to-date Will is the best way to look after those you care about. It will help ensure your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes. If you die without a Will, the law sets out which of your family members are entitled to your assets, despite what you may have wanted. If there were charities or friends you wanted to benefit from your Will, they would miss out.

There are also certain milestones in our lives that make it even more important. If you’ve welcomed a new member of the family, had a change in relationship status, made travel plans, bought a house or thought about retirement, it’s advisable to talk to a professional Will-maker like NSW Trustee & Guardian. Your Will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. NSW Trustee & Guardian will make it easy for you. They’ve been writing Wills for ages.

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meet your team


Publisher, Editor, Advertising



Chief Writer & Photographer


Website Developer

Sub-Editor & Proofreader



Advertising Designer










CHRISTINE GHRAYCHE Home & Style Writer, Photographer

Health and Wellness Writer







10 CWL


Publisher, Distribution, Advertising

Garden Writer

Social Media

Travel Photographer







Wedding Writer


Home and Style Writer


Social Photographer

your letters The Central West Lifestyle Magazine team collated excellent stories and promotion regarding tourism, education, agriculture, farms, businesses, sport, local characters and volunteers in our council area coupled with some outstanding photography. The positive feedback that I have received from locals and visitors to the town has been nothing short of overwhelming. Many of our townspeople have purchased large quantities of this magazine to share with their family and friends who no longer live in Leeton however are proud to call our welcoming and inclusive town their home. Council believes that investing in the Central West Lifestyle Magazine will have a great flow-on effect to our local economy as this publication will stay in homes, professional businesses, food and coffee outlets for a long period so that our town’s stories, personalities and experiences receive continued promotion. Thank you, Elizabeth and your team, for your dedication to helping put Leeton on the regional tourism map! Cr Paul Maytom, Leeton Shire Mayor

It was my great pleasure to collaborate with Elizabeth and her team to deliver such a high quality Leeton Town Feature in the Summer edition of the Central West Lifestyle Magazine. In June this year I met Elizabeth. Leeton Shire Council had just set out to collaborate with Central West Lifestyle to produce a dedicated feature on Leeton in the Summer edition of this publication showcasing Leeton’s history, town personalities and local businesses that all contribute to making our community the great place it is to live, work and play. Put simply, this magazine is stunning and a high quality publication and for me it has unlocked a lot of unique stories and experiences that Leeton has to offer to visitors and locals alike. The professionalism and attention to detail of Elizabeth and the Central West Lifestyle Magazine staff is

something to be envied and admired. Sincere thanks to Elizabeth, Alex and their extremely hardworking staff for giving the Leeton Shire community the opportunity to be part of such a unique magazine that showcases towns like Leeton, which offer the best of rural and regional NSW. Brent Lawrence, Manager Communications and Marketing, Leeton Shire Council

I wish to congratulate you on your latest articles on Leeton in your Summer issue. I read with interest the motivation of Ted Celi to build such a mountain in business, and what a wonderful partner is Anne, who was by his side all the way. The great story on Brad Booth is also to be admired, as are many others. It is really a beautiful magazine full of worthwhile stories to read, and the photography is second to none. To Elizabeth and Alex Tickle and staff, keep up the good work. Each edition is well read in my house. Elvy Quirk, Forbes

Thank you for producing such an informative, wellpresented magazine. Since my partner and I live in both Florida and Australia, we use Central West Lifestyle to bring us up-to-date on NSW events and activities when we come back to her family farm on the Liverpool Plains. After reading your new Summer 2018 edition, we are certainly going to make a detour to visit Leeton the next time we head south. Before retiring, I headed a successful marketing, advertising and public relations agency in the Tampa Bay area of the USA. I’ve worked with numerous publications and yours is certainly among the best – great articles, compelling graphics and a true sense of what your audience needs to know about what’s happened and “is happening” in regional NSW. Ralph Campbell, Tampa Bay, USA


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LillyPilly Wines

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nature beckons from the Mayor of Snowy Valleys Blessed with extraordinary natural assets, the Snowy Valleys is much more than just a winter wonderland. My family have been graziers in this region for five generations, so these hills and valleys are close to my heart. We are blessed with fertile farmlands growing some of the best fresh produce in the country, spectacular scenery and waterways, and wonderful people who are passionate about their towns and villages. In years gone by, those living in the cities had, for the most part, some connection with family or friends in the country, and had a sound idea of where their food came from. This has changed over time and unfortunately for some this connection has been lost. Many people are living fast-paced lives, with little opportunity to recharge away from their electronic devices. The Snowy Valleys is the perfect place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle and get close to nature. Here you’ll have the chance to connect with those who grow the apples, grapes, cherries, blueberries, beef, lamb, chestnuts, hazelnuts, truffles or honey you’re about to eat. You’ll chat with the makers of the beer, wine, cider, bread, kombucha and jams that you’re enjoying, and you’ll see how their personal touch helps to deliver such quality products.

The first Snowy Valleys Council was elected in September 2017 and as councillors we are proud to represent the people of this community. We are entering a phase of immense and unprecedented opportunity and as a council have been working to capitalise on those opportunities to grow our region and to help our communities thrive into the future. We are proud to have developed the first Destination Management Plan (DMP) for the Snowy Valleys, which provides a clear direction for tourism investment in the region. The Snowy Valleys, with our (relatively) quiet roads, tough hill climbs, and long sweeping descents – as well as the myriad tracks through State Forests and National Parks – is an attractive cycling and walking destination, drawing devotees of all types. Within the next 18 months this state’s first Rail Trail, running from Tumbarumba to Rosewood, will open, delivering another cycling experience for locals and visitors alike. Council’s commitment to recreational tourism will see an investment of more than $6 million in the region over the next two-year period. Our crystal-clear waterways are the envy of many, and a magnet for fishermen. Fly fishers tackle the Swampy Plains River near Khancoban, and the Tumut and

Goobarragandra Rivers, on the hunt for elusive trout, while massive Murray Cod are frequently caught in Blowering Dam. The mighty Murray River forms the Snowy Valleys’ southern border and offers excellent fishing at Jingellic. Other popular fishing spots include Khancoban Pondage, Talbingo Reservoir, Paddys River Dam and Tooma Dam. The towns and villages throughout the region all have their own distinct histories and personalities, and are well worth exploring. Our museums and places of historical significance, such as the Pioneer Women’s Hut in Tumbarumba and the Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins, are highlights of any visit to the area. The upgrade of Brindabella Road, providing a touring route between Tumut and Canberra, is a project that has been bandied around for decades but is now closer than ever. Council has prioritised the upgrade of this road as a vital link between the nation’s capital and the many tourism assets of the Snowy Valleys. The Snowy Valleys boast a pristine, natural environment ready to explore, coupled with excellent food and drink, and not much in the way of crowds. I know you’ll love it here just as much as we do. Cr James Hayes OAM, Snowy Valleys Council Mayor

“We are entering a phase of immense and unprecedented opportunity and as a council have been working to capitalise on those opportunities to grow our region and to help our communities thrive into the future.” 14 CWL TUMUT

Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

year of WONDERS The Snowy Valleys region has so much to offer, in winter, spring, summer or fall.

The Snowy Valleys is a region of contrasts, encompassing Australia’s highest mountain in the east and stretching towards the fertile plains of the Riverina in the west. In some areas, we see snow in winter, making the landscape seem magical and prompting people to snuggle up by the fire. Mt Selwyn plays host to families as children learn to ski and snowboard. The adventurous strap on snowshoes and head for the back country, making sure their packs are well-prepared in case the weather turns. Those with good luck, or great planning, see Laurel Hill’s Sugar Pine Walk covered in a blanket of white – it only happens a few times a year. In spring, plants that have been waiting throughout winter finally burst forth. The rolling hills, valleys and plains are a riot of colour, from freshly blooming tulips in the main streets, to green pastures with bouncing new spring lambs. It’s the time of budburst in the Tumbarumba Wine Region, with vignerons working hard to ensure another award-winning vintage of these famous cold-climate wines. We spend time outdoors and explore the great tracks and trails of our National Parks and State Forests. The new season is celebrated through a broad range of events like Tumbarumba Tastebuds, the Batlow Apple Blossom Festival and the Three Bridges at Tooma Boutique Markets. The fruit trees are a sight to behold – their gorgeous blossoms a delight. As the weather continues to warm, the waterways of the Snowy Valleys become popular places to relax. The rivers, creeks and dams throughout the region provide for a range of activities, whether it’s for boating, skiing, paddling, swimming or fishing, our crystal clear waters are the envy of many. During the Christmas period the shores of Blowering Dam are dotted with campers, and otherwise secluded spots in Kosciuszko National Park become mini-villages filled with families of holiday-makers. In January, the Tumut Cycle Classic sees riders from across NSW, ACT and Victoria experience the sensational views of Tumut and surrounds while raising money for the local hospital. Towards the end of summer, Tumbarumba’s quiet park, just behind the main street, becomes the venue for Tumbafest. Sprawled under shady trees are market stalls featuring fresh local produce, wines, ciders and craft beers. Some sit with their feet dangling in the cool water of the creek that meanders through the park, others enjoy dancing to the amazing bands and musical artists featured on the main stage, or sample the range of delicious food available. With autumn settling upon us, the region changes from green, through gold, to red as the leaves turn and fall. It’s a busy time for festivals as everything cools once more, with Rock the Turf, Festival of the Falling Leaf, Tumut MTB’s 3 Hour Enduro, and the inaugural

Snowy Valleys Cycle Challenge, which will see cyclists ride 144km from Adelong via Batlow to Tumbarumba and back. Batlow CiderFest is celebrated in May, closing the main street as visitors sample ciders and craft beer from local makers and those across the country. There are so many reasons to visit, no matter the time of year. We’re sure we’ll see you soon. CWL

ABOVE FROM TOP: Alpine Way, Khancoban; Blowering Dam; Sugar Pine Forest, Batlow. FACING PAGE: Elm Drive, Tumut.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut

“I bewilder myself, I’m so complex, so how could he who knows me not, be able to unravel me?” Miles Franklin, letter to Emma Pischel, May 6, 1947

Miles of memorabilia

Tumut Museum is brimming with pictures and paraphernalia from an intriguing past. Celebrating its 40th birthday in 2019, the Tumut Museum is well worth a visit to view the priceless photographic collection of the district’s pioneering days. Then there’s the Miles Franklin memorabilia. The feminist, nationalist and acclaimed author entered the world at Talbingo station, Talbingo, in 1879 among pioneering families of the Monaro. She is best known for her audacious first novel, My Brilliant Career, which was rejected locally and published with the aid of Henry Lawson by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London, in 1901. Written out of inexperience and consuming longings and discontents by a 16-year-old, the novel brought Miles instant acclaim before she had turned 21. The popularity of the novel in Australia, and perceived closeness of many of the characters to her own family and circumstances, caused Miles and her family a great deal of distress. Shortly after My Brilliant Career, Miles wrote a sequel, My Career Goes Bung, which would not be published until 1946. Miles headed to America in 1906 but publishing success eluded her. It was the same story in London, where she lived from 1915-32 before finally returning to Australia. With renewed gusto, she plunged into the literary community, championing Australian literature and publishing a string of books. But it was not enough. She believed the brilliant potential foretold for her in 1901 had not come to pass. On her death in 1954, frustrated but undefeated, she left her estate to establish the Miles Franklin Literary Award to encourage Australian writing – an act of personal philanthropy unprecedented in Australia. Her vision survives in not just the award, now worth $60,000 (and first won by Patrick White for Voss in 1957) but her published work, the international screen success of My Brilliant Career and in her voluminous papers, willed to Sydney’s Mitchell Library. The exhibition at the museum is dedicated to this brave and indomitable Australian, whose ashes were scattered on Jounama Creek, Talbingo. The museum is managed by the 30 members of the Tumut & District Historical Society and is open between 1pm and 4pm on weekends or by appointment. CWL Historical images kindly supplied by the Tumut & District Historical Society.

ABOVE: My Brilliant Career was published in 1901. The museum believes it may have the only surviving soft-cover original copy. RIGHT: Tumut and District Historical Society president Marcia Commins has been an enthusiastic volunteer for nearly 40 years. She is pictured in front of a magnificent portrait of Miles Franklin.

Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

H. E. Snowden in a bullock-driven cart.

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Charismatic and community-minded, Tumut has something for everyone.


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E



Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

not just a

pipe dream The Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme is rightly regarded as an engineering marvel. The high country stockmen used the mountains for grazing in the long summer months but it was the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme that left a lasting impression on the land. Between 1949 and 1976, the scheme was pivotal to Australia’s post-war economic and social development. It took a mighty workforce of 100,000 to get the ambitious job completed in 25 years, on time and on budget. Nearly two thirds of the workforce employed in the construction were immigrant workers from over 30 mostly European countries. Over 1600km of new roads and tracks, seven townships (including Khancoban and Cabramurra) and over 100 camps enabled the construction of the 16 dams, seven hydro-electric power stations and two pumping stations. This meant building 145km of tunnel and 80km of pipelines and aqueducts. Just two per cent of the construction work is visible from above ground. When the scheme finished in the mid 1970s, it was touted as Australia’s greatest engineering marvel. The major dams hold 7000 gigalitres of storage – almost 12 times the volume of Sydney Harbour. Discover your own adventure wonderland in the magnificent Snowy Valleys – from fly fishing, bush walking and biking in the pristine mountain countryside to skiing and snowboarding at Mt Selwyn in the colder months. CWL Tower 3 near Talbingo is part of the vast hydro network.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut

WATER WORLD Famous as the site of the world water speed record in 1978, Blowering Dam is three times the size of Sydney Harbour and one of the biggest dams in NSW.

On the Tumut River and 13km from Tumut, the dam stores water released upstream for electricity generation in the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. It’s a valuable water supply for agriculture in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and for landholders and towns along the Tumut and Murrumbidgee Rivers. The large reservoir, named after a nearby property, Blowering Station, has become a popular water sport and recreation destination.


In 1977 the dam made world headlines as the spot where Ken Warby broke the world water speed record. A year later Ken returned to set his second and current record of 317 miles per hour, which to this day remains unbroken. Despite two unsuccessful official challenges to Ken’s record – along with many challengers claiming they will build a boat to beat his record – to date, no one has. Now 40 years later, Warby Motorsport are again challenging the record with Ken’s son, Dave, driving the Spirit of Australia II

on the same water – only this time with a jet-powered hydroplane that the father and son team spent five years perfecting. Watch this space. For those who enjoy a quieter pace, there are walking tracks above the reservoir to reach Blowering Falls. CWL

Blowering Dam is open 24 hours a day, all year round and entry is free. ABOVE: A recent aerial view of Blowering Dam.


JOYFUL - TIMELESS - FUN WWW.ROSLYNCLAREPHOTOGRAPHY.COM Professional portrait and wedding photographer based in Tumut NSW.

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Riverglade Caravan Park is located on the banks of the stunning Tumut River. Known amongst the regulars as the best Caravan Park in Australia, it is hard to disagree when camping here.

2– 4 Fitzroy St, Tumut P. 02 6947 2528

TERRACE CAFÉ Café , Catering & Events The Connection 95 Wynard St Tumut NSW 2720 02 6947 6068 Mon-Fri 7.30am to 4.30pm / Sat 8am to 1pm


truth BE TOLD

Fascinating stories abound in the mind, and the life, of local historian Phyllis Dowling.

Phyllis Dowling talks on the radio each week about her beloved high country and still gets annoyed by inaccurate stories. “We don’t need romantic journalism. We need the facts, which tend to be far more interesting than anything we can make up,” she informs me as I enter the Tumut home she shares with husband Mick. As far as the contentious issue of the brumbies are concerned, Phyllis believes numbers must be controlled in a humane way. “I don’t believe there are thousands of them nor the amount of damage they allegedly cause. If they could re-home at least 50 fillies a year it would help.” While Phyllis loves talking about the mountain country she has reached a certain age where she understands that her story, too, has become part of that rich history.


And what a story! After being ushered into the world in Tumut in 1934, she was taken by car to Rules Point, between Yarrangobilly and Kiandra. From there, her mother carried her on horseback a further 14 miles to the family’s tiny cottage at the Blue Waterhole, at the head of Cave Creek. Her father trapped rabbits, with the skins sold for extra income. Phyllis and her mother did likewise. During the summer months he helped with stock work on the snow leases. They were largely self sufficient and the war barely affected their remote alpine existence. “We had our own milk and butter, eggs and meat,” Phyllis says. “The biggest problem was tea, which was rationed during the war years. Mother would swap her butter and meat tickets with others who had extra tea tickets.”

They were largely self sufficient and the war barely affected their remote alpine existence.

Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

In the 1930s there were very few cars. It was an all-day job getting the vehicles through the bogged creeks. Horseback was the only effective way of getting around the hilly terrain. Phyllis has a sharp mind and remembers even the most minute details, like learning to ride a horse before her fourth birthday. “There was no entertainment when I was a young girl but I believe we were better off than the young ones of today,” she says, choosing her words carefully. “We didn’t have much but we made our own fun, never worrying about all those unpleasant things besetting today’s youth. Without TV we were blissfully unaware of world events. Our wireless, run on three dry batteries and one wet, was used only sparingly.” When she was seven Phyllis was sent to live with her grandmother in Tumut to start her education. Although she enjoyed school, she couldn’t wait to get home for holidays. “It was a fairly quiet existence until the drovers started passing through. It really was living from day to day,” she says. “It was nothing to saddle up and ride 20 miles to the Yaouk rodeo or down to the Yarrangobilly horse sports. We danced all night to sun up, had a camp and then rode home.” Phyllis admits it’s easy getting confused with exactly where the high country begins and ends. Her “high country” was from the top of Talbingo Mountain to Kiandra and back to Coolamine Plains, the Blue Water Hole and Currangorambala. “Livestock came from all over the Riverina for summer grazing,” she says. “There was always plenty of water and good pasture with lots of snow grass. Stock were walked up in the middle of November and had to be off, by law, by May 24. “There were no trucks. Drovers would bring them up and then my father took over. He looked after three or four big mobs on different leases, mustering them before the drovers arrived for the long journey home.” Phyllis and her family lived there all year round, while some stockmen were there only for the season. “During the 1940s the State Park took over the snow leases but you could still graze cattle. In the 1960s the National Parks took over and the grazing days were phased out for good.” In 1944 the family moved from the high country to Grong Grong Station where her father obtained work as a stockman. Phyllis rode her horse three miles to school before the family started a dairy in Tumut. Her first job was at the sawmill stacking boards. Later she helped make bras at the Dyomee factory, worked as a telephonist at the Tumut Telephone Exchange and, with her sister Shirley, helped with the milking. Her single days ended after meeting Mick at the movies one miserably cold evening. Mick was a plant operator and motor mechanic who went on to spend nearly 40 years with council.

“The high country has always held a special place in my heart.” They tied the knot in an Adelong church four years later in front of her parents, an aunt and one friend. “All our savings were being ploughed into a house, and money was tight,” she concedes. “Our family didn’t even have a car until I started going out with Mick in his old Chev.” Despite leaving the high country a long time ago, Phyllis always managed to find her way back, visiting relatives and enjoying regular camping and fishing trips with Mick. “The high country has always held a special place in my heart. It’s my heritage and what led me to study its history.” The Dowlings have lived long and fruitful lives with an amazing 64 years of marriage behind them. Over that time they have faced triumph and tragedy. Phyllis was involved with the successful Back to Kiandra Celebrations and awarded the 1996 Tumut Shire Citizen of the Year for her long involvement with volunteer organisations like the historical society and Family History Group. Five years later they lost their son Barry in a tragic motorbike accident. A keen water skier and their only child, his sudden passing was devastating. Thankfully they have three granddaughters in Kingaroy, Queensland, and two great grandchildren. And Phyllis only has to close her eyes to recall enduring memories of the upper reaches of the Snowy Mountains – the whiteface cattle that roamed there and the men and women who proudly called it home. CWL

FACING PAGE: The old shack that Phyllis called home as a young girl. Remarkably, it has survived the ravages of time. Phyllis and Mick are happy in their digs and enjoy documenting the days of old. ABOVE: Bringing a mob of Herefords down from the High Country in the snow; Mick and Phyllis in their youth. It proved a loyal union, still unbreakable after 64 years of marriage.



Behind the Tumut River Brewing Co is a tale of two mates determined to succeed, but it hasn’t all been beer and skittles.

on tap

“If this story is about us, you may as well hear the full story,” declares Tim Martin as he swings opens the doors of the Tumut River Brewing Co for another day of business. Coming from a fellow beer drinker, I’m not sure where this is heading. Tumut’s first micro brewery sits on the corner of the busy Snowy Mountains Highway leading into town. Conveniently located across the road from the Tumut Region Visitor Information Centre, it’s impossible to miss. “In a nutshell, our story is one of sweat, blood, failure, success and poverty,” Tim laughs. “And it all started (as it so often does) with two mates sharing a few home brews in the shed!” Tim was in the IT business when he decided Tumut needed a micro brewery. His drinking buddy, Simon Rossato, was home to help at the tyre centre (where the brewery now stands) and wanted in. Tim had never brewed beer and Simon, with a degree in Sports Science and Nutrition, was a casual brewer. It was the perfect blend! As the brewery dream started taking shape, Tim’s world was becoming increasingly complicated. It was proving a logistical nightmare to get the business up and running.


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

“Eventually, all micro brewery plans were put to one side and life went on but we never stopped brewing! Our equipment grew, our knowledge blossomed, books were read, courses attended and through the toughest times in our lives brewing was a constant,” he says. “We created new beers, new flavours, made beers that will never be repeated and some that never should have existed in the first place! Years after our plans for world domination had ended and our brewery had been all but forgotten, we realised we had the tools, knowledge and passion to make this thing happen.” Tim and Simon, without really thinking about it, had become beer activists, beer judges and, most importantly, quality craft beer brewers. After a mountain of paper work that would have killed lesser mortals, the Tumut River Brewery finally opened in its current form in early 2018. Today it’s a funky food and drink destination with some 24 beers on tap. Gun brewer Brad Dwyer was naturally thrilled to score the plum job. Before that he was your regular forklift driver who dreamt of drinking the stuff, not making it. Brad admits there is plenty of science involved, like chemistry and microbiology. “Nobody has the answers to the problems I encounter,” he jokes. “Seriously, it’s a lot of trial and error. Fortunately, the boys have plenty of experience and I feed off their knowledge.” The boys must be doing something right, having picked up a gong at the recent NSW Tourism Awards. “We won bronze in the Tourism, Distilleries and Breweries category,” Simon says proudly. “We’re very happy, considering the calibre of the other well-established nominees. “As for this place, we just want a nice family orientated venue where you can drink in moderation without poker machines, TAB or a giant TV in your face.” Expect regular jazz and blues nights, board game evenings, trivia nights and occasionally country music. Having invested over a million dollars in infrastructure, the lads have the capacity to produce 35,000 litres of beer each month or just over 1000 litres each day. With 50 different recipes and 24 beer lines, they aim for a new variety each month. I ask Tim about the qualities of craft beer. Put simply, he says, your average Australian beer drinker drinks commercial beer made from a large portion of corn syrup and sugar. Craft beers are made only from malt. “The industry is changing so much,” Tim says. “Beer for me is where wine was, with people now going to breweries, looking to match different beer types with different foods. “Society, too, is changing. People no longer drink to get off their face and are happy to spend a few extra bucks on having a couple of drinks that appeal to their taste buds rather than simply smashing down whatever is cheapest.”

Tumut River Plan B is another innovative answer to being away from the main street. If you stay for a meal and a few beers the boys provide a taxi home. How’s that for service! Tim and Simon are great blokes with a great product and story to match. Long-suffering wives Paula and Leah are thrilled the boys are finally winning! “We now brew great beer and our dream has reached fruition. I promise there will always be beer flowing in our shed – if the doors are open, come have a cold one with us,” laughs Tim as he pulls his first Squealing Pig of the day. CWL FACING PAGE: Tumut River Brewing Co. owners Tim Martin and Simon Rossato love beer, good times and a full house; some of the many beers on tap. ABOVE: Gun brewer Brad Dwyer loves his job; a massive beer bottle collection is on display.

– Tumut’s own microbrewery (est 2012) – 24 taps pouring local beer & cider – Live music most weekends – Gourmet pizza & house roasted coffee – Brewery tours & more 1-5 CAPPER ST TUMUT P. 1300 04 BEER


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E


Geoff and Betty Pritchard have added a splash of colour to the Tumut landscape.

Peonies, the traditional floral symbol of China, are known as the flower of riches and honour, which helps explain their appearance on Chinese bank notes and credit cards. With their lush, full, rounded bloom, peonies embody romance and prosperity and are an omen of good fortune and happy marriage. The peonies have certainly worked wonders for enthusiastic growers Dr Geoff Pritchard and wife Betty, who grow them by the thousands on their 50-acre farm, “Brookdale”, Tumut. The retired surgeon, Snowy Rivers councillor and father to four children in Sydney, tends to the plants while Betty, allergic to the pollen, handles the marketing, sales and dispatch of their small commercial crop. “Small blocks like this have traditionally been starvation blocks for farmers,” Geoff says. “We needed another source of income and felt the peonies might be a viable side business.” Becoming the only commercial peony grower in the district meant plenty of trial and error. All Geoff knew was that the plants required perfect drainage. “My first efforts involved using a rotary hoe and were a complete disaster,” he admits with his notorious laugh. “Then I learnt about fungicides to control disease. Tree peonies grow on the hillside and once established keep growing – sometimes for decades if you don’t over-fertilise. “The secret here is to not let things get out of control,” he continues, as we wander though the extensive and rambling gardens. “Living with them, you do what has to be done when it needs to be done.” On the day of CWL’s visit, the peonies are looking spectacular, barely days from flowering. It’s an exciting time of the year and Geoff is quietly optimistic it will be a tremendous harvest. With thousands of trees, including plenty of natives, the farm is a sea of colour, particularly in autumn. It’s hard to believe this was once a bare cow paddock. “Not a day goes by when we don’t remind ourselves of the unique qualities of Tumut,” Geoff says. “It’s a safe, friendly and peaceful town with magical seasons. My attitude is if you can’t save the world, at least you can help fix your own backyard. One is obligated to leave the place better than how we found it.” Perhaps this explains his lifelong commitment to helping others, both as a doctor and long-standing councillor, including a 10-year stint as Tumut mayor. As he checks his irrigation, Geoff explains the Chinese peony connection. The Chinese goldminers are thought to have introduced

the flower to Australia and continue to grow it in a similar latitude and climate – typically a strong, moist spring, dry autumn and cold winter. In 2001, before retiring from medicine, the Pritchards attended the Luoyang Peony Festival in China. Geoff admits it was one of the highlights of his life. It was back in the 1960s while conducting medical research in Seattle that he was first captivated by the peony’s beauty, making a promise that one day he would grow them. That opportunity presented itself in the 1980s when they purchased “Brookdale”. Geoff’s father had moved his family to Tumut during WW2 for “safe-keeping” before serving his country in New Guinea. During those formative years the young lad from Fairlight developed a strong bond with the region before spending 26 years in several leading Sydney hospitals. “Towards the end of my career I decided to work as a surgeon in this district and help out others in the community, as my own family were helped during the war. My mother’s life was spared by capable GPs back in the day and I’ve never forgotten.” Geoff scans his well-trained eye over the peonies once more. Within a week or two he and Betty will commence a frantic onemonth selling period before the heat sets in. The flowers will be stored in the cool room before being dispatched in refrigerated trucks to the Sydney markets. “It could be a much bigger business,” Betty says. “They can’t grow in Sydney, so the city florists take everything we can produce. Asians have a great nostalgia for the peonies and can’t get enough.” Geoff agrees. Despite his advancing years, he has toyed with the idea of buying a few acres in Batlow just to extend the season. “It’s taken us 30 years to get this far and I fear we’re running out of time.” There’s no denying this bloke’s enthusiasm. In his Tumut townhouse he is growing thousands of seedlings for planting in public areas between Tumut and Tumbarumba. “Peonies have given me a great sense of achievement”, he says, as he holds a flower up to the light and studies it like a marvellous trophy. “We have introduced a beautiful new horticultural crop to the area with the added potential of future tourism.” Never underestimate the power of a peony! CWL FACING PAGE: Dr Geoff Pritchard has enjoyed growing peonies for several decades; peonies come in all colours and varieties. ABOVE: Betty and Geoff are committed to their peony enterprise.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut



Visy is committed to continually and sustainably innovating for a better world.

Visy is a global leader in the packaging, paper and resource recovery industries. The Visy Tumut Pulp and Paper Mill, 7km west of Tumut, produces approximately 700,000 tonnes of paper each year and manufactures high quality innovative packaging solutions. “We have been leading packaging innovation in Australia for 70 years,” says general manager Chris McComb, who runs a team of almost 300 workers on site. Visy began in 1948 and early signs were that this would be a company with a sustainable future. Visy continued to grow over the years by steadily building its customer base, establishing a reputation for strong customer service, competitive prices and innovation.


In the early 1980s Visy opened its first paper recycling mill. “It was an investment that not only recognised the need to use our resources more sustainably but also put Visy at the forefront of the recycling movement,” Chris says. Visy continued to grow, acquiring box plants and building a paper recycling mill in the United States. This led to Pratt Industries USA signing a waste paper recycling contract with the City of New York in 1995. In the late 1990s, Visy was determined to build and operate a pulp and paper mill that was sustainable in every sense of the word. Tumut was the natural location.


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

TODAY VISY IS ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIVATELY OWNED PACKAGING AND RECYCLING COMPANIES IN THE WORLD. Every aspect of the mill set the highest environmental standards, from design to implementation. At the same time, the mill delivered substantial economic and social benefits to the town and surrounding communities. Today, Visy is one of the largest privately owned packaging and recycling companies in the world, operating over 100 packaging and recycling sites across Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The Tumut mill, the largest integrated pulp and paper mill in Australia, has set new standards in sustainable kraft paper manufacturing and environmental performance. High quality kraft and white top kraft papers produced at this site are shipped to more than 50 countries around the world. “Pulp and paper are a big part of what we do at Visy,” Chris says. “We’re proud of all the paper we produce, in particular our recycled paper. We have eight paper machines across Australia, and they’re used to produce recycled corrugated and kraft paper for the packaging and building industries.” Visy engages local firms to undertake contract cleaning and maintenance work. Of those employed, there are some who have been recruited for their pulp and paper industry experience from overseas facilities. Most have relocated and are now established in Tumut with their families. “Our sustainable business practices have resulted in financial success as well as supporting the environment and the community,” Chris continues. The Visy Tumut mill hosts a renewable energy generation facility, producing half of the plant’s own energy needs. The mill also operates a closed loop water system where all mill waste water is reused for farm irrigation.

Visy has worked extensively with the people of Tumut over the past 20 years and has been proud to support a range of initiatives to encourage local people to thrive. The Pratt Foundation was established in 1978 with the vision of helping a wide range of people within the community. The fund supports areas including medical research, education, the arts, religion and the relief of poverty. Since its creation, the foundation has contributed more than $250 million to thousands of community organisations. With recent investment, successful innovations and by ensuring their mills are better utilised, Visy is keeping more jobs in Australia, with over 300 people directly employed inside this plant alone and close to 1000 people indirectly. CWL

ABOVE: The mill delivers substantial economic benefits to Tumut and district; Workers keep check of progress via computers; pulp mill shift manager James Eade, general manager Chris McComb and pulp mill manager Uday Bhagwat; another day for a Visy trucker on the highway (Image: Peter McDade). FACING PAGE: The pulp and paper mill provides work for 300 Tumut residents and almost 1000 people indirectly.


LOOK WHO’S talking Dave Eisenhauer, the man with the golden tonsils, is one of the local voices heard on 2TVR Sounds of the Mountains.

As station manager for the Tumut and Gundagai regions community radio station, Dave Eisenhauer works with two staff members and 30 dedicated volunteers to run the station in conjunction with Tumut’s Montreal Community Theatre. The station was built in 2002 and licensed a year later. Dave has been a guiding hand since the start when he and community members transformed the former council library into the new radio hub. Originally from a Junee farming property, the 2018 Tumut Region Citizen of the Year puts in long hours at his workplace, hosting the breakfast show and selling and producing sponsorship. He also keeps things rolling in the engineering department, maintaining five transmitter sites and studio equipment in various locations across the two council areas. “I virtually live in the place,” he admits. “I’m definitely married to the job!” Dave’s first experience with a microphone was calling trotting trials at Junee Harness Racing Club while working as a farm labourer for retired NSW Senator Bill Heffernan.


He sat in the broadcast towers around the district with Alan Wallet from 2RG. During harvest he drove chaser bins on the family farm with a chart of all the drivers and their colours pinned to the glass. One cold winter’s day while in the driver’s seat of an 856 International tractor with only half a cab, Dave heard a 2WG advertisement calling for applicants to the Australian Film, Television and Radio School at North Ryde (now Moore Park). “I thought, that’s for me. It’s got to be better than the deafening scream of the tractor and it might just help my bourgeoning race-calling and show commentating career.” (Dave started at the Junee Show alongside RAS commentators Graham Barker and the late John Nash and is still there 25 years later). Accepted as one of 12 students from Australia from hundreds of applicants, Dave was finally on his way to becoming a fully fledged commentator. “It was my first time away from home and it was a big shock for everyone, especially me. I shared a house with six other students, some now household names in the media industry,” he says.

After graduating, Dave landed his first full-time gig at 2LF in Young. Over the years he gained further experience with 2WG in Wagga Wagga, helped launch the Riverina’s FM93.1, which later became Star FM and now Hit!, and worked for ABC Riverina. Somewhere along the way he became a snow reporter for Selwyn Snowfields and joined the circus as a sound engineer. Having notched up his quarter century behind the microphone, Dave admits working in radio has its moments. “It’s been the most amazing, exciting and rewarding experience as well as being painful and stressful,” he concedes. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way.” With little time for hobbies, Dave has amassed a small collection of old model Mercedes Benz cars he enjoys tinkering with. His real love, however, is talking to his listeners every day on air, playing some great tunes and helping others achieve their dreams of working in the industry. CWL

ABOVE: Dave Eisenhauer is one of the local voices heard on 2TVR Sounds of the Mountains.

Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E


must go on The Montreal Theatre is once again a star of stage and screen.

Joy Beruter has always loved the elegance of the Montreal Theatre and was not happy when the town looked liked losing it. Arriving in Tumut in 1983, one of her favourite pastimes was enjoying a nostalgic night at the flicks. Then it closed a few years later before eventually being put on the market. There was even talk of tearing it down. Joy was incensed at the mere thought of it. “Can you believe it?” she exclaims. “They were going to bulldoze what they thought was a big white elephant!” Faced with the likely loss of such an integral building in the town, Joy joined a group of concerned citizens to form a steering committee to see what could be done to amend the situation. In 1995, 65 years after the first opening, the Montreal once more swung open her famous doors with a showcase of local musical talent. It was a packed house, with 194 patrons upstairs and a further 347 below. In the first six months, 10,000 patrons (equal to the shire population) marched through the door. In 1998, with the support of the Blakeney Millar Foundation and money raised from locals, the theatre was purchased on behalf of the community. Joy has lived through the long fight to save the building and is thrilled to see the Old Girl, as she fondly calls it, be listed on the State Heritage Register while entering her next chapter as the town’s premier live performance and movie theatre. Movies are screened weekly with brilliant picture quality and sound. The stage is widely used for entertainment purposes – from opera, jazz and country, to orchestras and solo performers. They all rave about the acoustics. There’s no question it’s a wonderful spot to hold a concert, wedding, launch or conference. As Joy lights up the small but beautifully designed foyer, she tells me the theatre’s name is an anagram of the name of local draper JJ Learmont, who had the theatre designed and built in 1929. “It’s a big part of the town’s history. When they built the Snowy Scheme a lot of men came here to watch the movies and learn English. It was the golden age of the ’40s and ’50s before the advent of videos.” The Montreal Theatre umbrella includes the Tumut Performing Arts Society and the community radio station, Sounds of the Mountains. It continues to be run by a committed group of volunteers who are firm believers that the show must go on. CWL

“It’s a big part of the town’s history. When they built the Snowy Scheme a lot of men came here to watch the movies and learn English.”

FROM TOP: The Montreal sits over 500 guests. It’s one of Tumut’s most iconic buildings with a history dating back 90 years; enthusiastic volunteer Joy Beruter opens the doors for another movie experience; the foyer of the theatre has changed little in its long history.


a pleasure doing

BUSINESS New Tumut networking group Local Leading Ladies is all about empowerment and making new connections.

When Deb Boardman moved to town seven years ago to work with Commins Hendriks Solicitors, she found it difficult finding an avenue to meet other business owners. As someone trying to grow a business profile, she found it disheartening to direct people away from the area for services she was unaware were available within the town. “That all changed when I reconnected with Natalie Randall from MIQ Private Wealth after her 12-month stint overseas,” she explains. The pair met for regular early morning coffee catch-ups before Natalie introduced Claire Markwick (Reignite Performance Coaching) and Sarah Miller (White Moth Studios) to the group. “It was during discussions about each of our businesses and the services we offer that we realised there was a lack of any defined group or forum that allowed local business women to connect and potentially grow their business through those connections,” Deb says. “Over the past few years we’d noticed many more women, with diverse and interesting businesses, move into the area.


“While you have some idea of what products and services are on offer we felt that a platform to provide a deeper understanding of the businesses in town would benefit everyone. “Although we are a relatively small town, there’s a lot going on under our own radar. There’s a definite new and exciting vibe in town and we saw all this new blood as a great opportunity to tap into.” Local Leading Ladies was launched in August 2018 with 50 women in attendance at Tumut River Brewing Co. It was a great success and cemented the group from day one. “Most of our committee are also members of the Chamber of Commerce, which we liaise with regularly as we see both organisations of benefit to one another through co-operation,” Deb says. “The chamber do an amazing job for our region. However, their main focus is to bring new business to the area whereas we wanted to help strengthen the business community already here.” Since that first event, Local Leading Ladies has become an incorporated association

aimed at creating a strong and healthy business community for women that is inclusive, supportive and keeps locals local. “By inclusive we mean that it is not just for women who own a business, it is also for women who work in someone else’s business or work from home.” Events are held on a monthly basis, intended to provide a fun atmosphere at which women can connect, make new friends and receive relevant content. Most women are time-poor, so events are kept to less than two hours, often with an inspiring guest presenter. The group also hopes to implement a mentoring program with the local high school for young women looking to venture into the business world. “Many young people leave the community to obtain qualifications and never return,” Natalie says. “We’d like to show them that it is possible to be a successful and prosperous woman without having to live in a big city. “We welcome all ladies from Tumut, Batlow, Adelong, Tumbarumba and Gundagai. While we are separated by geography with today’s technology there is no reason why we cannot connect and build strong relationships.” CWL Image: Roslyn Clare Photography

For further information email or visit ABOVE: Leading Ladies Claire Markwick, Deb Boardman, Sarah Miller and Natalie Randall surrounded by like-minded women in the grounds of the Brooklyn on Fitzroy function centre.

Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E



Tumut autumns offer a spectacular display of seasonal colours, culminating in the Festival of the Falling Leaf.


the Turf In 1954 the local headmaster, Alf Wood, introduced the idea of a festival to celebrate the arrival of autumn and the falling leaves, which characterised the town’s many parks and gardens. Alf enlisted the support of the local Rotary Club, and the Tumut Festival of the Falling Leaf was born. The initial aim of the festival was to foster an appreciation of nature’s colours among the local community and visitors through a series of events over a 10-day period. This year’s event will be held on April 27 when the festival will celebrate its 65th anniversary – a remarkable effort for a community-based festival. The event is well supported by the Snowy Valleys Council, the local business community and residents. The Festival of the Falling Leaf is recognised as one of the major events in the Tumut region. The scenic location, autumn

colours and crisp, clean air of the local region provide a unique festival experience for visitors. A street parade through the CBD encompasses all that Tumut has to offer, including a huge range of floats with various displays and promotions. Of course, no parade would be complete without music and marching bands, vintage vehicles, custom cars and Mini Minors. Traditionally, the parade is preceded and followed by a market day and entertainment in Bila Park with over 100 stalls and a great variety of performers. The day winds up with a fireworks display at the Bull Paddock later in the evening. CWL

For further information visit:

Rock the Turf will be staged on Saturday, March 23, from around 11am until late. This popular music event, featuring bands and solo performers, is held at Tumut Racecourse alongside the Tumut River, a delightful open-air location with shady trees, grassed areas, food choices and licensed bar. Bring a rug or chair. There is plenty of signed free car parking, with a shuttle bus and taxis available to and from town. CWL For further information visit:


Beverley the brave

Beverley Dennis is a strong and determined woman of the land, who just happens to be a devoted mother and grandmother and highly skilled artist and craftsperson to boot.

Artist Beverley Dennis has been consistently creating and selling artworks and crafts for 40 years. In recent years, following the death of her beloved husband Joe, she tentatively took her first steps in managing the cattle herd alone at “Jamberoo”, Bombowlee, a small blue-ribbon property near Tumut where his spirit continues to guide and shine. As the fun-loving mother of two daughters, as well as step-mum to Joe’s two children, Bev led a full and active life as an artist and grazier in partnership with her husband in the Peak Hill district. But one day while flying home from a visit to family in Tumut, barely after take-off in her husband’s tiny ultra light, she spotted the most beautiful farm she’d ever laid eyes on.


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

The spacious modern homestead amid the lush green, hilly terrain surrounding it, was far removed from the plains waiting for her at home. Bev closed her eyes, trying to cement her dream home in her mind. One year later she noticed a property advertisement in The Land and was keen to delve a little deeper. During inspection it suddenly dawned on her that this was indeed the one and same place spied on from 2000 feet. This was meant to be, she figured. The deal was signed and sealed. But there were other factors at work. Joe and Bev had only been married a few years when Joe was diagnosed with prostate cancer. With time not on his side, he decided to downsize, move closer to medical facilities and enjoy the best of his final chapter. They sold their 3000-acre mixed farm in Tomingley, Joe’s son Shaun took over the second property at Peak Hill and they trucked the herd and 200 Angora goats up to the high country for a fresh start. “Joe always wanted a decent-sized back paddock, not a 25-acre lifestyle block,” explains Bev, as two noisy birds, a rosella and rainbow lorikeet, two cats and eight dogs vie for her attention. They were happily settled when Joe’s health started deteriorating. “Despite tremendous support from the medical centre, hospital, palliative care nurses and our own family, we sadly lost our fight in 2016,” she says quietly. Most thought Bev would sell the farm and move on but they didn’t count on her tenacity. “Joe always told me I could carry on but, truthfully, I never felt up to the task,” she says candidly. “Although being very involved with the day to day running of the properties, I always felt more at home with my sewing and painting.” He was gone six weeks when 145 cows started calving in the wettest winter in decades. Bev survived the harrowing introduction to life as a single grazier but is now revelling in her new position, turning off weaners at six to eight months, managing the weeds and attending to general livestock husbandry. The herd has been cut back to about 60 of what must surely be the quietest cows in the district. Recently she purchased a Reiland Angus bull from Gundagai she calls Harry (all bulls are named after their owners) to put over her mixed herd of Santas, Charolais, Angus and Bos Indicus cows.

“If you google it, you’ll see I’ve got a multicultural herd of French, British, American and Indian cattle – and not necessarily in that order,” she laughs. Having selected each beast on temperament, Bev is able to carry out most of the work herself, apart from marking. “Working with the cattle helped me work through my grief, giving me something on which to focus my energy. Thankfully I’ve now found the right balance between my three pet projects: our children, the herd and my art.” Having run an Oberon dress shop while teaching art and raising her two daughters, Bev was looking forward to working within her new Tumut community. At one meeting of like-minded artists she emerged as the reluctant co-ordinator of the Railway Creative Crafts, a gallery at the refurbished railway station. Bev prefers oils and acrylics and her favourite subject matter is Australian landscapes. Soon she plans to tackle cattle portraits. A few of her works hang on the wall, although most are hanging in other people’s homes. In recent years Bev’s focus has been on art quilts, creating small, colourful art pieces from fabric and thread. Her workshop takes over half the house and she couldn’t be happier. There’s always work to be completed for her upcoming autumn textiles, paintings and jewellery exhibition at the Tumut Visitors Centre with daughter Cath Taylor and good friend Jill Lorimer, from Roundabout Stitches. Delightful, animated and charming, Bev is proud of her achievements in the male-dominated cattle industry. In the process she has become an even greater role model to her five grandchildren and women in general. “You honour your partner by moving forward the best you can,” she says with equal measures of love and strength. “I’m sure Joe would be happy to see that I’ve kept the cattle and farm going.” And he’d be particularly thrilled to know the financial rewards have been channelled into worthwhile causes. “I buy my groceries with my art money while my penchant for good wine and overseas travel are covered by my cows,” she laughs. CWL ABOVE: Beverley Dennis loves painting Australian landscapes; she is also a dab hand when it comes to fabrics. FACING PAGE: Bev gets up close and personal with one of her favourite bovines; the herd is made up of various breeds but share one trait - easy handling ability.


with the

UTMOST RESPECT The Tumut Community Labyrinth for Peace celebrates the community service of local citizens in times of peace and conflict.

Alongside the Tumut River in Rotary Pioneer Park, the Tumut Community Labyrinth for Peace is a beautiful place to reflect on the enormous sacrifices made by the hundreds of men and women from the region who have served in times of conflict around the world. The labyrinth is a gift to the community by the philanthropic Blakeney Millar Foundation, which conceived and funded the project for the benefit and enjoyment of the local community. The foundation funds innovative projects in the fields of community service, education, health and the beautification of Tumut – and the labyrinth ticks all these boxes. The foundation partnered with the Rotary Club of Tumut and Snowy Valleys Council (who provided the location) to realise this extraordinary and special project. The work of Dan and Dan and Mark Paine landscapers from Canberra in building the octagonal design is exceptional.. The labyrinth includes three way-stations to provide places of rest and reflection and for school groups to gather and learn. Text panels highlight the contributions of our first inhabitants and more recent settlers. Chairman of the Blakeney Millar Foundation Tim Oliver said the labyrinth, possibly the largest ever built in Australia, had to be accessible and feature local materials. It’s certainly accessible, particularly for those in wheelchairs and people walking side by side. The local materials include 25 million-yearold Wee Jasper bluestone as the main path, edged with concrete and an exposed aggregate of Murrumbidgee River washed pebbles. Other stones include 500 million-year-old columnar jointing from Tumbarumba. Mapped across the surface and represented in nine local stones are the planets as they were above in that location on November 11, 1918.


Under each planet is a sample of Western Front soil donated by the director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, along with Anzac medals and a horse shoe and dog collar representing the animals that went to war. On each Remembrance Day, Tumut joins with cities, towns and villages across Australia and the world to commemorate the sacrifices of wartime. On November 11, 2018, a special lantern lit service was staged on the labyrinth at 9pm approximating Greenwich Meantime when the armistice was signed and enforced on the Western Front. Like all vibrant communities, the people of Tumut value coming together to honour a shared past. Festivals and gatherings held on the riverside celebrate the region’s diverse heritage and the common values that are essential strands of the local fabric. In this spirit, a peaceful and resourceful township has the foundations for a hopeful future. CWL

Like all vibrant communities, the people of Tumut value coming together to honour a shared past. ABOVE: The Tumut Labyrinth for Peace from a drone provides a pleasing new perspective; the magnificent stonework in the labyrinth is just one of its many features. Drone image: Anthony Hatch.

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Lanterns on the Lagoon and Sculptures in the Park has become a permanent fixture on the Tumut region’s calendar since its inception in 2011. It is held every two years on the Saturday closest to the Spring Equinox (in late September). It is a celebration of the season, rejuvenation and new life, of community and sustainability and of culture and creativity. Lanterns is a community based, not for profit and volunteer run festival. There are four main elements to this festival: an outdoor sculpture competition, live music and entertainment, artisan market stalls and multicultural food and drink stalls as well as the lanterns themselves, which are lit and set afloat on the lagoon as the sun sets. The festival is held at Pioneer Park, Tumut, on the banks of the Tumut River. Lanterns on the Lagoon and Sculptures in the Park 2019 will be held from midday until evening on Saturday, September 21, 2019. CWL Images: Robyn MacRae and John Stanford

For further information visit: facebook: Lanternsonthelagoon


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut


ON A PLATE “Our Table – a taste of our region” is an annual celebration of everything local. Event organisers Emma Murray and Robyn Harvey say the aim of the producers’ lunch is to showcase the produce and beauty of the region while creating a gourmet and beautifully styled experience for guests. “We have managed to achieve this over the past two lunches through using local produce, engaging local caterers and hiring local musicians to entertain,” Emma says. “We have brought our event to small country halls in the area to show off their potential as event spaces with great success.” The past two events sold out quickly and garnered wonderful feedback with people eagerly awaiting the next event. The 2019 event will be held on March 30 at the Batlow Literary Institute. Organiser Emma Murray says this year’s event will be a collaboration with the Nest Cinema Cafe from Tumbarumba and will feature special guest chef, former MasterChef contestant and Batlow local Trent Harvey. CWL For more information: Instagram: @tasteoftumut Facebook: or contact Emma Murray on 0432 882 091 ABOVE: The Gilmore Hall looking stunning for the Our Table lunch; Emma Murray and Robyn Harvey, organisers of the Our Table lunch. RIGHT: Guests enjoying the meal.


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THE SKY’S THE LIMIT Acclaimed young videographer, singer and musician Grant Hardwick is equally at home on both sides of the camera.

Twenty-year-old Grant Hardwick found his forte early in life. Determined, refreshingly modest and highly respectful of his peers, this ambitious young man is flying by the seat of his drone. Growing up near the South African town of Durban was an exciting place for a young boy. His Italian grandfather was famous for belting out opera in the shower and young Grant was soon stretching the vocal cords himself, singing along without understanding a single word! During one family holiday he sat enthralled as an uncle entertained the group with his guitar and harmonica at a singalong. By his eighth birthday, young Grant was doing likewise, surprising the family with his natural entertaining abilities. When he was 10, Grant and his older brother Brian moved to Tumut with their parents. Their father Clive had obtained engineering work with Visy Pulp and Paper and mother Martine works in the fruit industry. The learning continued in his new land. As a teenager, Grant was determined to ride a unicycle, mastering the difficult art after weeks of dogged persistence. During his early school years, he was given the lead in a school play, with his teacher convinced he was the only child who could fit the role. He graduated from Tumut High in 2016, known for his creativity and emerging skills as a videographer. Grant’s training for the choir in the Schools Spectacular, held annually in Sydney, led to singing and acting in local productions and in Wagga Wagga, including lead roles in Life in the Spotlight and Legally Blonde. “I’ve always enjoyed performing and being the class clown,” he laughs. “It’s a difficult thing to pursue and I’m unsure where singing may take me.” Inspired by Aussie heart-throb Hugh Jackman – “the complete all-rounder who can act, sing and dance so effortlessly” - Grant is learning a few smart moves on the dance floor, keen to develop this side of his repertoire. “The entertainment game can be fickle at the best of times, but after finishing my mechanical apprenticeship with Snowy Hydro it’s definitely something I’d like to sink my teeth into,” he says from the family home. Surrounded by fabulous country views, Grant doesn’t have his head in a cloud. That’s reserved for his fleet of modern drones, which in the past few years have captured weddings, musical events, council briefs and the stunning countryside in different seasons. Then there’s the other side. “In Tumut it’s all but impossible to gain muchneeded experience in front of the camera without

studying full time at university. It’s a great, diverse town but I’d love to see more opportunities for young people to express themselves creatively,” he says. Which is why he started his own video production company, Hardwick & Co Productions, in early 2018. “I love documenting events and capturing emotion,” he says. “My constant companion is my drone, which offers a brilliant new perspective in capturing Tumut’s landscape in all its glory.” Working with two Canon 80D cameras means he can leave one on a tripod for his time lapse sequences. “I love my job and the opportunity to be self sufficient and not rely on my folks for handouts,” he says, like a true young pro. “With determination and perseverance Grant faces life head on,” chips in his grandmother and biggest fan, Shirley Hardwick. “Photography and flying drones filled him with wonderful challenges so his videography was born. Dream Big was the theme of the last Schools Spectacular – what more is there to say?” she asks with a grin. Point taken. CWL


ABOVE: Grant Hardwick is a young man determined to make his mark - in front of and behind the camera.



INTRIGUE One of the best tourist sites in the region is the jaw-dropping Yarrangobilly Caves, formed in a belt of limestone around 435 million years ago.

The unique underworld environment of Yarrangobilly Caves is within Northern Kosciuszko National Park, just off the Snowy Mountains Highway between Tumut and Cooma. Venture underground on a guided tour and visit the spectacular Jersey or Jillabenan caves, both with impressive displays of intricate cave formations. The Jersey Cave was discovered by Mr and Mrs Marshall. The cave was named after the Earl of Jersey, who also officially opened it in 1892. This cave boasts a beautiful variety of cave formations. The Jillabenan Cave was discovered in 1910, arguably by Leo Hoad who was caves caretaker from 1919 to 1946. Leo had followed his father into caves management, and Leo’s son, Bruce, later became the caves caretaker.


The stone gates at the entrance to the valley commemorate Leo’s contribution to the caves. If you prefer to visit a cave at your own pace, then South Glory is the cave for you. Interpretive information boards and automated feature lights allow the unique experience of self guiding, so you can take your time and enjoy all this cave has to offer with its lofty chambers and stunning white calcite. One of the first white people to enter South Glory Cave was stockman John Bowman, who discovered the entrance in 1834 while said to be sheltering from a storm. The caves remained isolated until 1860 when 10,000 miners rushed to Kiandra in search of gold. Many more caves were discovered, and today more than 400 cave entrances are known.

Caves were becoming popular tourist destinations within the colony, with the Wombeyan Caves opened to the public in 1865 and the famous Jenolan Caves two years later. Yarrangobilly also has plenty to offer above ground, with the thermal pool a unique geothermal feature of the caves. At a constant 27 degrees, the water is always warm, rising from a depth of 760m below the surface and flows at a rate of approximately 76000 litres per hour. Reports indicate that from as early as 1877 visitors have been taking the plunge. It’s quite the experience in the middle of winter with snow on the ground! Make sure you’ve packed enough energy to get you through the 700-metre uphill climb back to the carpark or a more pleasant, but longer, river walk. You may even spot a platypus or rakali – the Australian water rat with its white-tipped tail.

Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E If you want to linger a little longer you can book into Yarrangobilly Caves House, the accommodation quarters built in 1901 and 1917 or eco-friendly Lyrebird Cottage. In 2007 Caves House was re-opened to the public. The 1901 section is divided into two wings with one wing accommodating six people and the other, eight people. With the connecting door unlocked the 1901 section can accommodate up to 14 people. Each restored wing offers self-contained accommodation, including a fully equipped kitchen, dining/family room, verandah and outdoor barbecue area. The 1917 section has 11 rooms, the majority of which are en suite rooms, and is similar to Jenolan Caves House as they were designed by the same government architect. As you sit on the verandah enjoying the views and watching the kangaroos eat the grass, it is a great place to reflect on the caves’ long history, particularly the association with our first people. The Aboriginal people are said to have been in the valley some 21,000 years ago. Yarrangobilly is Wolgalu country. The annual Bogong moth migration attracted people from hundreds of kilometres away for feasting and ceremony. Before you start exploring, stop into the Visitor Centre to buy cave tickets, book a tour, obtain information, snacks or a memento. CWL Images: Murray Vanderveer

For more information and tour times contact Yarrangobilly Caves Visitors Centre on (02) 6454 9597 between 9am and 5pm daily. The caves are open all year round, except Christmas Day.

FACING PAGE: The jaw-dropping Yarrangobilly Caves are a premier destination for visitors and locals. LEFT: The Glory Arch; A dip in the thermal pool is recommended after exploring the caves.

Caves House

Yarrangobilly Caves

Photo: (Murray Vanderveer/OEH)

Immerse yourself in the underground wonderland that is Yarrangobilly Caves. Enjoy a BBQ lunch in the picnic area or if you are after a refreshing dip head to the thermal pool for a bushwalk and swim. For those with a sense of adventure be sure to try our Adventure Caving. If learning through interactive play, sounds exciting be sure to book your children into our Nature Play activities.

Visitor Centre

Phone: 02 6454 9597

Yarrangobilly Caves Entrance Road, off Snowy Mountains Highway, Yarrangobilly Caves NSW 2720


Adventure from a new perspective We live in a magnificent country. And while we may be biased, we believe Australia is the most picturesque, unique and beautiful nation in the world. The vast expanse of our nation is calling to be explored, discovered and adventured upon, but we often forget that some of the most amazing places to traverse are right on our doorstep. Not only do we want to help you discover those Aussie treasures that are tucked away and hard to reach, we want you to adventure through, over and around the

mountains, plains, forests and waterways in your own backyard! We’re calling on the adventurers, the travellers, and the explorers. The curious, the fun-loving, and those hungry for more. More experiences, more knowledge and more adventure; join us on a Truenorth Helicopters tour, and let us show you how incredible this country we call home really can be. No matter what you love about this part of the region, there’s a tour for you. There’s one for the foodies and the wine-lovers,

P: 1300 145 407 Int: +61 428 534 573 E

and for those who can’t get enough of the mountains. Explore Tumut, Tumbarumba and the Snowy Mountain Valleys, during a flight onboard of our state-of-the-art helicopters you’ll see the great outdoors from a brand new perspective. Wherever you want to go, whatever you want to see, Truenorth’s unique brand of adventure tourism will take you there. Contact our team to discuss your next big adventure or visit our website for a full itinerary and package available.


Incorporating a modern design into one of Tumut’s oldest homes has proved a big winner for proud owners Ian and Judy Gordon.


When Ian and Judy Gordon bought The Monarch in 2007, they knew they were investing in part of the town’s rich history. “For many years I drove past the home, when the Tumut Bridge was open, to our new house out of town,” Judy says. “It always looked lovely as the old couple who previously owned it planted beautiful primulas every year. “I always feel sad when we lose a lovely Tumut heritage home or property to modernisation, never thinking one day I’d have the chance to save a property.” Having built a stunning home with fabulous views outside Tumut, the Gordons well might have shelved any future building projects. That was until they saw the auction sign standing in the front garden and started thinking of an up-market holiday destination.


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They enlisted a house designer from Wagga Wagga and designed an extension to enhance what was already there.

Being in the main street and across the road from a lovely park and wonderful river walks, they figured it might prove a drawcard for passing tourists. They enlisted a house designer from Wagga Wagga and designed an extension to enhance what was already there. They couldn’t change the front of the heritage-listed building but were keen to introduce light into the rear. “We did a lot of restoration work on the front, as the bay window was nearly collapsing,” Judy says. “We enlisted a company from Bendigo to redo the rendering on the chimneys and the bay window in lime render, which is an art form on its own. “We also replaced the roof and front verandah. The outside colour scheme is the original colours of the house, researched by a very helpful Louise Halsey.” Inside, all walls and ceilings were redone and original fireplaces kept. The old kitchen had a fireplace and fuel stove that couldn’t be incorporated into the new rear design. They did, however, restore the mantle shelf, which takes pride of place over the new stove in the revamped kitchen. While the 12-month restoration took place, Judy went on the hunt for furniture and antiques to enhance the building’s interior. Their local builder, David Doon, won the 2009 NSW Builders Award for his efforts while Robyn McClintoff from Country Interiors of Cootamundra helped with the selection of soft furnishings and colour schemes. > FACING PAGE: The Monarch bathed in soft, evening light with the All Saints’ Anglican Church in the background; the church was finished in 1886 and the home is even older, as evidenced by this century-old hand-coloured photograph. ABOVE: Ian and Judy’s daughter, Kylie Rushton, manages The Monarch; the living rooms are refreshing and bright thanks to the ceiling extension; plenty of room to unwind and relax; the historic building holds many secrets.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut

The history of the house is scant. The Gordons believe it was built towards the river end of town in about 1860.

The history of the house is scant. The Gordons believe it was built towards the river end of town in about 1860. “In those early days it was home for the local constable and his family. One room, now the en suite, had a substantial grill on the window, which we believe was the gaol or a strongroom for gold being transported from Kiandra,” Judy says. “We’ve also been told the builders who constructed the nearby Anglican Church lived in the house while doing this but we can’t verify this information.” Since The Monarch opened its doors a decade ago, hundreds of guests have appreciated the luxurious getaway. “Over the years we’ve received incredible, positive feedback. Our aim was to make our visitors feel like they were in their own home and we certainly achieved that.” The Gordons contemplated living in The Monarch when their garden became too much but it never happened. By retiring to Berry they ensured others could enjoy staying in one of Tumut’s most beautiful homes with a 21st century touch. CWL

ABOVE: The modern kitchen, decorations, intimate bedrooms and kitchen table have all been carefully thought out.



Welcome to The Monarch STAY, RELAX, ENJOY

Spoil yourself with luxury accommodation in the heart of Tumut. This stunning property has undergone a complete renovation inside and outside. As soon as you arrive you will notice an incredible sense of light and space, while the rich character of the house remains. A short stroll takes you to shops, restaurants, parks and the picturesque Tumut River. All the fun and adventure of the ski fields is only a one-hour drive. Superior accommodation for a romantic retreat, reunion with family or friends or a sanctuary from business commitments.

12 WYNYARD STREET, TUMUT NSW / M. 0429 020 888

T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut

“When you get a life-threatening illness, it makes you think about what’s important. You definitely change your attitudes and priorities,” Bruce Giles tells me as we enter his beautiful country home perched in the mountains. By the time Bruce was 30 he’d purchased a Toyworld franchise in Tumut and was settling down to a lifetime in retail. Nine months later, after rarely being sick in his life, he was diagnosed with PSC (primary sclerosing cholangitis), a condition where the immune system attacks the liver. “It’s a short-straw problem, no known cause,” wife Robyn says. With two young daughters, a hefty mortgage and a brand-new business to attend to, it was a dire case of sink or swim. Bruce gave up alcohol and radically changed his eating habits to a wholesome “plain” diet. A new exercise regime was essential to his recovery. After an accident while skiing at Smiggin Holes, Bruce’s physiotherapist advised him to swim in an unheated pool in the dead of winter or take up cycling. Bruce chose the latter. It didn’t take long to catch the cycling bug. As his fitness increased so too did the distances. Within a few years he was pedalling up and down the mountains every few days, clocking up hundreds of kilometres each week. Needing a challenge, Bruce joined Audax Australia Cycling Club, a not-for-profit national cycling organisation specialising in non-competitive long-distance rides from 50km to 1200km. “The challenge of Audax is not found in racing but by pushing your own boundaries and experiencing great personal achievements,” he says. “Audax enables riders of any ability to set and achieve riding goals with other like-minded cyclists.” Bruce’s first event was 200km on a mountain bike. Since then he has completed

wheels of

FORTUNE Bruce Giles’s passion for cycling is matched by his gratitude for life.


about 80 events. Soon approaching his 62nd birthday, this very fit individual shows no sign of slowing down. “The best I’ve achieved was 600km in 30 hours and 20 minutes, including sleep and rests,” he says with a grin. I ask how that made him feel. “In one word, tired. Very tired. You put your body through hell and go through a world of punishment.” Over the years he advanced from touring to road racing, spending a decade with the Cootamundra Race Club, riding scratch, before joining the Tolland Cycle Club. In his shed Bruce keeps two racing bikes, a track racing bike (fixed wheel, no gears), two mountain bikes and a hybrid for recreational riding. The last racing bike he sold had just under 100,000 clicks on it. “Road racing is a dangerous sport. It’s as simple as that,” Bruce says. “You have to expect a fall every couple of years, no matter how careful you are. “I’ve certainly had my share of crashes and been forced off the road at least once. You have to ride defensively, like motorbike riders. There are always the idiots who overtake too close or pass in silly places.” In the Riverina it’s mostly handicap racing but Bruce was already handicapped by his medication, which lowered his red cell count and affected his oxygen and muscles. By the time he was 52, Bruce’s liver had deteriorated so badly he stopped competitive racing. In 2013 he was referred to the transplant unit at Sydney’s RPA Hospital. “My heart and lungs were in great nick but my liver was shot. If I didn’t find a liver donor my days were numbered,” he says. Just when things couldn’t get much worse he developed liver cancer, something quite common in liver failure. “It’s jaw dropping to be told you have cancer. I was sleeping 18 hours a day and getting tired after walking 100 metres. My liver had reached the point of no return.”

A new life

Thankfully, Bruce was given a new liver and a new shot at life. The operation was successful with no rejection issues. He was discharged from hospital 13 days later and back pedalling within three months. In 2016, two years after his life-saving transplant, he competed in the Australian Transplant Games. In his first competition in seven years, he clinched two silvers in the 50-60 age division and was invited to compete in the World Transplant Games the following year. Robyn has been his staunchest supporter. She couldn’t hold back the tears as she watched her husband collect his gold and silver medals in Malaga, Spain. “Seeing him compete on the world stage after all he’d been through was an intensely

“The generosity of donor families during the loss of a loved one can never be repaid.” emotional experience,” she concedes. “I was so proud of his achievements, all made possible by the Australian Transplant Register and Donate Life campaigns.” “The generosity of donor families during the loss of a loved one can never be repaid,” Bruce adds quietly. Bruce has just returned from the 2018 Australian Transplant Games on the Gold Coast, coming home with another four medals. The competitive spirit is still there. From their slice of paradise, a 180-acre farm where they run about 50 Angus cows, there’s plenty of time to reminisce about how life has panned out. The indomitable pair grew up a few miles from each other in the Batlow area – Robyn on a potato and cattle farm while Bruce’s family had an orchard. They met at a youth club dance and will soon be gearing up for their 40th wedding anniversary. While Robyn has learnt to handle living with Bruce’s illness, the tables have turned. On their annual snow skiing holiday at Mount Hotham in Victoria, Robyn broke her femur after nearly 40 years without incident. Bruce is forever ready to assist. After all the emotional spirals he’s endured, Bruce has come to understand the importance of family. He and Robyn have two daughters: Melinda Stanford in the UK

and Dr Carla Giles, a research scientist in Launceston. “Dying slowly is no fun at all. When my time eventually comes, I pray it will be fast. Having said that, the chance to be around my three favourite girls makes me eternally thankful.” In early 2018, the couple retired from Toyworld. Having survived the annual Christmas explosion for 31 years, they are now giving back to the community. Bruce has joined Rotary and is currently planning a major bicycle touring event – the Snowy Valley Cycle Challenge to be staged on March 24, 2019. Many things have changed after his life-saving operation and Bruce is eternally grateful for each new day. He says there are about 1400 people on the organ waiting list at any one time. Only about two thirds will receive the gift of life. Register to become a donor today at CWL

ABOVE: Bruce and Robyn Giles have learnt to appreciate every day of life. FACING PAGE: Bruce has a lot of time to reflect on his lucky outcome during regular cycling trips.


a team you can

RELY ON At Elders Tumut, you’ll find the same old-fashioned personalised service the company has been famous for since 1839.

Elders Tumut manager Rob Stubbs is a trusted local, raised with his two sisters on “Kildare”. By his mid 20s he had his Stock and Station Agents licence, gaining six years’ experience in Tumut under Col Lucock before taking over the business. After about eight years, he joined forces with Gundagai’s Abb McAllister and Jim Saunderson, trading as MSS. Two years ago, they merged with Elders. At the busy office you’ll see merchandise manager Jeff Kelleher, livestock sales manager Chris Annetts, as well as Jo Crowe, Rebecca Reeves and Hannah Speers. Dave Crooks runs the Adelong branch in the main street. “In this high rainfall area (between 28-32 inches) we run predominantly British bred cattle, with Angus over 80 per cent dominant but you will still find graziers who have stuck by their trusty Herefords,” Rob says.


“We have two major store sales a year in the saleyards at Tumut and Adelong, and regular breeder sales in April and August, featuring big lines of weaners, cows and calves.” The 50th annual sale was conducted in 2018, a tribute to the loyalty of long-standing clients. The Elders team sells cattle in Wagga Wagga on Mondays and sheep on Thursdays. “Like most of NSW we’ve had a rather dry time but, as you can see, we hold up better than most parts of the state. At the same time, I’ve never seen cattle prices stand up so well, considering the particularly dry season,” Rob says. Rob is proud of his children and grandchildren who have built their lives and careers in the local area, and enjoys a cold beer with his mates when not in the saleyards, visiting clients or running the busy office.

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After many years in the livestock business, he enjoys sharing his knowledge of the district and the latest marketing trends. Jeff enjoys breeding and training greyhounds and has a passion for racing and spending time with his young family, while Chris, a Gundagai lad and the longest serving staff member, loves his fishing and golf. Rebecca loves camping and enjoying the beautiful scenery the Snowy Valleys and alpine regions have to offer. Originally from Running Stream, Bec joined the team in 2017 and has proven a great asset and a friendly face to clients. Jo is a dedicated member of the Tumut Show Society (well known for her award-winning cake and jam entries) and local Stockman’s Challenge/Campdraft. She also enjoys working on her parents’ Brungle property with her daughters. Having undergone training within Elders for livestock production advice, Jo is the go-to girl for all your drench and vaccination questions. Hannah looks after the administration tasks for the branch as well as the wider Riverina area within Elders. She enjoys camping with friends, watching and assisting with the administration of the Adelong Donkeys Cricket Club, as well contributing to the community as a director of the Bendigo Community Bank. Dave is a committed member of the local SES and is your floodwatch man when the water flows! He enjoys watching all kinds of sport, especially when his kids are playing. The Elders team recently coordinated an online art auction and farmers dinner, raising $16,000 for #BuyABale through collaboration between Elders, Bendigo Community Bank and Visy. The relatively young team in Tumut has a long-term commitment to the farmers of the district and the community as a whole, meaning you can rely on Elders Tumut to be with you into the farming future. CWL

FACING PAGE: Elders store manager Rob Stubbs with team members Jeff Kelleher, Jo Crowe and Chris Annetts. TOP: Selling store cattle at the Tumut saleyards; Rob Stubbs is a Tumut local ready to assist with all livestock inquiries. MIDDLE: Jo Crowe looks after the merchandise; livestock sales manager Chris Annetts has been with Elders 13 years; Hannah Speers is the office administration guru while Rebecca Reeves helps with merchandise; merchandise manager Jeff Kelleher runs a tight shop. BOTTOM: The Elders selling team in action; some of the many rural products stored in the shed.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut


There’s a feeling you could actually be staying in a boutique suite in a little European village when visiting Harriet House in Tumut.



While a major refurbishment is still under way, the newly renovated rooms of Harriet House are themed by a Scandinavian design style, characterised by simplicity, minimalism, functionality and freshness in its black and white tones. And, with the picturesque river outlook from the balconies of the rooms, as well as the building originally constructed in the 1970s featuring large arches, an architectural feature perhaps also reminiscent of historic Roman architecture, and little touches of European décor throughout the motel, and a swimming pool, it is certainly becoming a country accommodation offering with a difference. “Whilst we really want to maintain our quality three-anda-half-star rating, we are using really different furniture and homewares in the interiors for the transformation, so it doesn’t fit that ‘cookie-cutter’ style that a lot of country motels have,” sisters Kim Crawford and Susan Withers say. “The rooms are all slightly different and are decorated with items we like. There are various inclusions like marble bedside tables, soft furnishings, prints and artworks we’ve collected from our travels overseas. We have prints in one of the rooms that we purchased whilst we were visiting Copenhagen. We really fell in love with the building with its arches and the beautiful views, which showcases our beautiful township perfectly as well.” It was six months ago that Kim and Susan decided to embark on the business venture together, which is in the heart of the Tumut township, close to shops and all amenities, after Kim owned a cake shop for many years and Susan worked in a pharmacy. “We are Tumut locals and we love it here. Driving around with the green, lush mountainous landscape, it’s just lovely, and it’s in such a great location close to the snow, Blowering Dam, hiking tracks and with its beautiful river,” Kim says. “We thought of doing something together for a long time, and when this opportunity came up we thought we could really bring a different experience to this country motel business, and so the transformation began.” It’s not only just been the design of the 19 rooms (including large apartment, two-bedroom suites, family offerings and double rooms) that are in the process of being redecorated, Harriet House was chosen as the new name, and it has a lovely local connection. “Harriet was the name of our great grandmother who grew up on the Tumut Plains so it’s lovely to be able to maintain that link with our local district as well,” Susan explains. CWL Words: Rosie O’Keeffe Images: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE: Simplicity, functionality and freshness define the style at Harriet House.

ELDERS TUMUT & ADELONG Licenced Stock & Station Real Estate Agents and Auctioneers For all of your livestock and merchandise needs Contact Tumut Office Adelong Office Rob Stubbs Chris Annetts 154 Adelong Rd Tumut 2720

02 6981 3100 02 6941 3100 0417 478 886 0428 667 938 75 Tumut St Adelong 2729


Servicing Tumut and the surrounding districts since 1959 Whether its a local trip or across the country, Goode’s Coaches can help: > Join a tour > Charter a bus > School buses

25 Boundary Street TUMUT 2720 Phone (02) 6947 2636 TUMUT CWL 55

all ABOARD! Passengers are in safe hands when they travel with Goode’s Coaches of Tumut.

Now in its 59th year, the family-owned Goode’s Coaches has a solid reputation for professional quality-driven service, reliability and value for money. School bus transport, charter trips and organised tours are the keystones of the business established by Edward Goode as a Tumut to Wagga Wagga passenger and freight service. A pioneer of Central Australian touring, Eddie built the business with his wife Barbara, who also took students to school for more than 40 years. Today the Goode’s Coaches fleet includes a 14 school bus service, two modern coaches and mini buses. The family also owns and operates local travel firm Helloworld, specialising in fully escorted overseas tours and extended Australia-wide touring


as well as weekend trips to Sydney and Melbourne for shows and special events. With a keen interest in vehicles, Eddie left school early and worked as a grocer at Weedon’s and later in spare parts at Nancarrow’s before moving into bus and freight transport. He accumulated school bus runs, expanded into tour and charter work and at one stage also operated trucks and a service station. Eddie and Barbara encouraged their children Jimmy, Anthony, Margaret and Debbie to become involved in the business, knowing that when they retired Goode’s Coaches would be in capable hands. Both boys drive in addition to Anthony overseeing business operations while Jimmy has the responsibility for fleet servicing and mechanical repairs.

“Goode’s Coaches is involved in extensive charter work for schools, sporting groups and community organisations.”

Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

Margaret continues to manage Helloworld. Debbie worked in the Goode’s Coaches office for many years before retiring. “Mum and Dad have taken a step back from the business but are still very involved behind the scenes,” Anthony says. “Systems are in place to ensure everything runs smoothly and Jimmy does a fantastic job keeping all our vehicles in good condition. “Stringent compliance regulations are in place and fleet vehicles are inspected by Roads and Maritime Services every six months. “Our school bus services branch out in every direction from Tumut. Each day hundreds of students are taken to local schools including McAuley Catholic College, Tumut High, Tumut Public School, Franklin Public, Gadara School, Adelong Public and St Joseph’s Adelong. “Goode’s Coaches is involved in extensive charter work for schools, sporting groups and community organisations. “Most people in the Tumut area have travelled with us and many regular faces take advantage of weekend and extended tours.” The family travel company has served Tumut and the region for more than 30 years and offers customers cruising, coach touring, personalised

escorted holidays, tailor-made itineraries, domestic and international air and rail tickets, travel insurance, foreign currency, cash passport cards and luggage and travel products. Safaris to Central Australia have been an integral part of Goode’s Coaches since 1974. “Our family has worked hard to build solid relationships within the community,” Anthony says. “We are proud of our reputation for reliability and service.” CWL Words: Heather Crosby Images: Zenio Lapka

FACING PAGE: A family affair, Jimmy, Anthony, Eddie and Barb Goode. ABOVE: Anthony and Virginia Goode are proud of their children, William, James and Georgia; Goode’s Coaches depot in Boundary Street, Tumut.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut


Franklin Public School students are supported, nurtured and extended.


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

Established in 1976 with the motto Together We Learn, Franklin Public School in Tumut was named in honour of Miles Franklin, who grew up in the area. The renowned writer and feminist is regarded as a hero, and to celebrate student success the Miles Franklin Literacy Award is presented each year. Principal Carmel Stuckey is proud of the school’s rich curriculum and strong connections with the community. “We are a well-equipped and resourced school with lovely gardens and great sporting facilities,” she says. “Our canteen promotes healthy food and the breakfast program receives wonderful support from the community. “Happy and healthy children have the best learning outcomes and we are pleased to have a chaplain and school nurse who provide another layer of assistance for students.” Franklin Public receives funding through the Early Action for Success program to support teachers and help students in the foundation years reach their full potential. Great results are achieved through this program, which is now growing across the school. The program monitors and supports students with their learning needs, developing gifted learners in literacy and mathematics and in areas including sport and the arts. The school has a music teacher and band. The choir was recently selected to be part of a NSW choral festival at the Sydney Opera House. Franklin Public School prides itself on participating in community events, ranging from Anzac commemorations to festivals and street parades. “We have fantastic, dedicated staff who work long hours above and beyond what they should be doing,” Carmel says. “Families are encouraged to be involved in all school activities. Everything we do is aimed at bringing out the very best in every student. A number of children have specific learning needs. We ensure individual education is tailored for them to reach their full potential. Everyone is supported, nurtured and extended.” Live performances and excursions to Canberra, Sydney and Victoria are a regular feature at the school and students in Year 5 and 6 look forward to the annual sport and recreation camp.

A buddy system helps Kindergarten students settle into the school routine, with the assistance of Year 6 students. Technology is a major focus and learning sessions are held for robotics and coding. Students in Year 5 and 6 have their own allocated Chromebook to use in the classroom and the school is working towards obtaining computer devices for all Stage 2 students. A new outdoor Learnscape is being developed and includes a bush tucker garden and a sensory path. Each class has its own garden to grow produce for the canteen and classroom cooking sessions. A School as Community Centre located in the school grounds enhances the early learning and wellbeing of children. “Aboriginal culture is strong within our school and we have a really good relationship with the local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group,” Carmel says. “Elders support students with their reading and maths and play formal roles in assemblies. “Community sport allows children to participate in sessions at the golf and bowling club, tennis club, yoga studio and CrossFit at one of the gyms. “Children from Kindergarten to Year 2 are involved in weekly tennis lessons fully funded by the Ken Rosewall Foundation.” Franklin Public School students are taught to be proud of their school uniforms and follow Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) values of safety, achievement and respect. With Miles Franklin as a role model, each student is encouraged to launch a brilliant career. CWL Words: Heather Crosby Images: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Billie Crampton; William Jamieson and Travis Crampton; Isabella McGrath, Colton Newland and Billie Crampton; Matthew Ferguson, Preston Loneragan, Nate Cobden and Kian Knight; Harry Hargreaves and Deazel King; Hobie Baker, Chloe Weir and Parker Loneragan. FACING PAGE, TOP:The students and staff are immensely proud of the supportive learning environment found at Franklin Public School. FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Tyson King, Alliena Roddy and William Jamieson; Julius Percival; Sophie Jones, Sophie Gilchrist and Vicky Doon; Jaylee Byrne and Nate Withers; Laughton Pinney, Travis Crampton and Cameron Back; Kane Godewin and Dakota Oxenbridge.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

A LOVELY BUNCH Natasha Proos has a dream job surrounded by gorgeous blooms in a lovingly restored heritage building in the heart of Tumut.

Former registered nurse Natasha Proos started working in floristry seven years ago and opened Coach House Flowers in her home town in 2016. She loves working with beautiful foliage and fragrant flowers in the town’s historically significant former coach house. The landmark building features exposed timber beams, barn doors and cobblestone flooring. Natasha has decorated the premises with family treasures, antique furniture and old world vases. Her unique floral creations are teamed with lovely ribbons and string, bespoke letterpress cards and vintage music wrapping paper. When the business started to grow, Natasha employed good childhood friend and florist Jodi James, who works three days a week. “We like our one-of-a-kind bouquets and arrangements to look like wonderful gifts,” she says. “We dislike the traditional cardboard boxes favoured by many florists. It is so much nicer to use beautiful pots, woven baskets and vintage vases.” Natasha never tires of working with flowers and even dreams about them. “I believe in their restorative qualities and ability to heal, comfort, bring happiness and convey a message. “Flowers provide a focal point in any setting and enhance working and home environments.” Natasha is dedicated to using the freshest, premium quality flowers and sources the majority of her stock seasonally and locally to reduce her environmental footprint and support Tumut district flower growers. She adores blue and white blooms teamed with special foliage, including smoke bush and copper beech, with its bronze and hot pink stripes. Arrangements, bouquets and posies are individually designed and composed based on personal consultations with clients. Orders can be made in person or over the phone and deliveries are made in Tumut, Adelong, Talbingo, Batlow and Tumbarumba.

“Individuality is important and we don’t like to repeat the same designs,” Natasha says. “Classical styles can be lovely but we enjoy creating flowers in ways that are both beautiful and quirky. “Our arrangements are always a little bit different and that makes each one special.” Natasha and Jodi are busy throughout the year crafting flowers for weddings, fundraising balls, race meetings, community and family events and special occasions such as Christmas, Anzac Day, Remembrance Day, Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. “Flowers are very much in fashion at the moment and many women are wearing them in their hair and on their handbags and purses. Corsages and corsage pins are very popular,” Natasha says. “I consider myself fortunate to be living and working in my home town close to my large family. “It is funny how things change. When I finished Year 12 and went away to Sydney for university I thought I would never come back to Tumut. “But there is something very special about this place and its people.” CWL Words: Heather Crosby Images: Roslyn Clare Photogrpahy

Coach House Flowers is in shop 23/95 Wynyard Street, Tumut. Natasha can be contacted by phone (02) 6947 4298 or email Her creative designs can be viewed on social media and at

FACING PAGE: Natasha Proos adores her creative role at Coach House Flowers, Tumut.

Original, Contemporary and Bespoke Fresh Flowers created lovingly by our passionate team! Open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

Shop 23/95 Wynyard St ‘The Connection’ Tumut TUMUT CWL 61

creative OUTLET Kerrie Bellette and Co exude a passion for hair and artistic flair.


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

From the carefully considered placement of recycled pieces of tiles and glass in her colourful mosaics that adorn the walls of her expansive studio and salon space, to delicately running strands through her comb as she prepares the perfect up-style, artist and hairdresser Kerrie Bellette oozes creativity. She runs the unique hub The Art of Hair and Mosaic for Tumut locals with hairdresser Kate Alchin, A Touch of Rust wire creator Leanne Cribb, and nail artist Natasha Jeffery. “I opened the business in January as a dualpurpose space to allow the girls to pamper clients while they create their magic, or customers can create their own magic in one of our special art classes,” Kerrie says. Kerrie is so passionate about hairdressing, using quality products and giving advice on maintaining a colour or style, she’s become known as the “healthy hairdresser”. “It’s important for me to use good quality products. We are currently using Australian-made brand De Lorenzo, which is a vegan-friendly product, and everyone gets a lesson on hair care too, because maximising your hair cut or colour and getting a real shine is only going to be as good as how well someone looks after their hair at home,” Kerrie says. And with various disused china plates, tiles and other glassware, as well as wire sourced from nearby farms to recycle and repurpose into beautiful rustic topiary trees and other garden features, and beautiful mosaics on pots, mirror frames and tables, both Kerrie and wire artist Leanne Cribb are certainly passionate about creating environmentally friendly works of art. It was over a decade ago that Kerrie developed a passion for mosaics, and Leanne has been doing wirework for 12 years. Both have started to run workshops and create one-of-a-kind designs by order. There are always a lot of giggles and chatter in the studio as all four women and locals enjoy having a chat. Kate, the other hairdresser, was actually trained by Kerrie as an apprentice, so they have known each other for many years.

Fully qualified nail technician Natasha has over 10 years’ experience in the industry, thrives on following the latest trends and products and specialises in shellac and acrylic nail services. “We just love being around people and making them feel better, whether that’s through a new style for their hair, a new nail colour, or a new wire sculpture or mosaic they can showcase in their home or garden,” Kerrie says. CWL Words: Rosie O’Keeffe Images: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE: Clockwise from top: Nail artist Natasha Jeffery, A Touch of Rust wire creator Leanne Cribb; local children experience the joy of design and creativity in a workshop; eye-catching works of art using mixed media. FACING PAGE: Artist and hairdresser Kerrie Bellette is proud of the unique hub at The Art of Hair and Mosaic; stunning creations on display.

HAIR • All aspects • DeLorenzo products NAILS • Acrylic • Shellac • Nail Art MOSAIC & WIRE • Workshops • Classes • Art pieces by order

143 WYNYARD ST, TUMUT M. 0437 078 371


A STYLISH venture Inside Out Homestore houses an impressive range of kitchenware for all cooks, from novices to professionals, as well as the latest in homewares and decorator items.

With some of the most top rating lifestyle and reality television programs showcasing the latest trends in home cooking and sophisticated interior décor, it’s sparked an interest to present these quality interiors and plate up gourmet dishes in our own homes. Inside Out Homestore Tumut owners Bruce and Virginia Robinson established their business in 2001 after several years spent in cafes, restaurants and motels in Canberra, Cootamundra and Tumut, before owning a country gifts and homewares store and a cafe in Tumut, and now this enterprise. “We have evolved through the years to provide products customers in the local area really want and we found there was a strong demand for quality cookware, tableware and

décor. We’re passionate and knowledgeable about cooking. We both hold qualifications in commercial cookery, we’re foodies, so it’s easy talking and I like to really interact with customers face-to-face to support them in the process whether they’re a home cook or professional chef. We feel that’s a value in our business. Some even visit just to get advice on what to cook for their next special dinner!” Virginia says. Bruce says the item he uses the most in the kitchen is a French Chasseur enamel casserole dish, perfect for preparing a variety of dishes on the stove top or in the oven, like risottos, curries and roasts. There has been a great increase in the popularity and interest of eco-friendly cookware products and Inside Out stocks a large range including Australian made. “We are proud to maintain our independence because that’s our edge. It enables us to stock products that are unique and have a point of difference.” Virginia also has a passion and qualifications in interior design and both regularly travel to Sydney, Melbourne and overseas to keep up to date with new trends and styles. “It’s interesting how surprised people get at the items we do sell, from country style to contemporary,” Virginia says. “One of our large distinctive wall prints featured on The Block this year and our customers were quite surprised that we would have something here in our country store that has been featured nationally, however the

“It’s interesting how surprised people get at the items we do sell, from country style to contemporary.” suppliers can often overlap and we are indicating our interest months in advance. “We have such a large range – from bakeware and utensils, to cushions, throws, realistic everlasting plants and flowers, rugs and mirrors, and a baby/nursery corner. We like to keep a theme through the store with our displays, throwing in some eclectic furniture pieces like hall tables, table lamps and various décor items. “We also supply a lot of commercial cookware and utensils to hospitality businesses and for educational facilities in the local area and have advised them with their new fit-outs. We are very communityminded, we really do love the region.” CWL Words: Rosie O’Keeffe Images: Zenio Lapka

LEFT: Inside Out Homestore exudes style and class. ABOVE: Virginia and Bruce Robinson are the passionate owners of Inside Out Homestore, Tumut.

Kitchenware Homewares Cookware Decor 83 Wynyard Street Tumut Phone 6947 9000


For people who love to cook, create and decorate


the club

For more than 87 years the Tumut Bowling and Recreation Club, now known as Club Tumut, has played a significant role as a sporting and social hub.

Friendly Club Tumut staff are experienced in function organisation and look forward to providing assistance with floor plan and menu ideas to ensure events are a great success. Facilities include a mobile stage, public address and stereo systems and picturesque greens and gardens for photographs. Clubhouse amenities include an outdoor barbecue area, coffee shop, TAB, Keno, kids’ area and courtesy bus. CWL Words: Heather Crosby Images: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE: Club Tumut Chief Executive Officer Jarrad Rossiter is proud of his organisation’s achievements.

• 3 Bowling Greens • Entertainment • Functions • Restaurant & Bistro • 3 Bowling Greens • Entertainment • Keno • TAB • Functions • Restaurant & Bistro • Courtesy Bus • Keno • TAB24-30 Richmond St Tumut MAP REF: E-3 • Courtesy Bus • Kids’ Corner P: 6947 2358 Phone: 6947 2358 • Kid’s Corner

eat drink play enjoy



The club was founded in July 1931 by residents eager to foster lawn bowls and tennis. The first committee applied for a parcel of Crown lease land adjoining Stockwell Park and successfully gained the support of Tumut Shire Council. Proceeds from the sale of the town hall paid for the construction of three tennis courts and a bowling green. The complex was officially opened in 1932. Four years later, a clubhouse was built on the present Club Tumut site. In 1953, tennis enthusiasts established their own clubhouse and courts, leaving the bowling club with the original clubhouse and room to develop an additional green. A third bowling green was constructed in 1972. The club flourished over the years and proceedings to amalgamate with Tumut District RSL Club started in September 2016. The official memorandum of understanding was signed in May 2017. Anzac spirit and RSL core values continue to be upheld and promoted as part of the RSL and Service Clubs’ Association. Major renovations were completed in November 2018. Club Tumut Chief Executive Officer Jarrad Rossiter is proud of his organisation’s achievements and its position as a popular venue for locals and visitors. “Our principal objective is to foster and promote the spirit of lawn bowls, hold competitions and conduct a licensed social club,” he says. “We encourage active bowling membership of all age groups, including junior bowlers, sponsor major senior and junior sporting bodies, and host functions and fundraisers for locals and organisations in need. “We are not just a bowling club, but a club for the wider community. “Assistance through community donations, sponsorship and in-kind support has totalled more than $60,000 on average during the past 10 years.” The club offers monthly entertainment and weekly promotions and raffles. A selection of Australian and Asian cuisine is offered at the Falling Leaf Restaurant and Bistro, open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday. The spacious bar area features local wines and Australian and imported beers. Well-equipped club function facilities cater for seminars, weddings, balls and major events. An upstairs room offering full amenities and bar facilities seats up to 70 guests in comfort. The downstairs dining and function room accommodates larger groups of up to 180 people.

on the rise

For sister act Jane Dean and Maureen Cook, owning and running two Tumut bakeries is about so much more than simply earning a crust. Almost nine years ago, Tumut-born sisters Jane Dean and Maureen Cook embarked on a new business, purchasing what is now Pie in the Sky Bakery in the main street. “We started with a small shop and after a couple of years we undertook major renovations and extended the space, which includes a larger indoor seating area as well as al fresco dining on the verandahs,” Maureen says. Jane had previous retail and hospitality experience, which was a great asset to the fledgling business, and three years ago the sisters acquired another bakery, Born and Bread Bakery, also in Tumut. Jane and Maureen have now teamed up with their brother, Patrick, who manages the bakers. Eight senior staff and 12 junior team members are employed at the shops. At Tumut’s Pie in the Sky Bakery, customers enjoy starting their day with a


Ned Kelly breakfast pie, bacon and egg roll or poached eggs, bacon, avocado on sourdough accompanied by a smooth espresso, or enjoy a morning tea with a decadent mocha nun with a cappuccino or a speciality tea. The lunchtime menu is extensive with a variety of traditional pies from steak and mushroom to chicken, to the popular chunky beef to steak and kidney. The bakery also serves a range of sausage rolls and vegetable pasties and a selection of sandwiches, rolls, wraps and toasted sandwiches, salad plates and fresh fruit salad. The bakers can also create beautiful celebration cakes and corporate catering is available. Besides the traditional breads and rolls, Born and Bread Bakery produces speciality breads including sourdough, Turkish, focaccia, rye and pull-aparts. Savoury and sweet scrolls and logs, finger buns and fruit buns are popular, and the

bakery has a selection of pies and freshly made sandwiches, rolls, wraps and toasted sandwiches and soups in the winter months. “Tumut has an enviable location being at the northern end of the Snowy Mountains and only half an hour from the Hume Highway, so we are not only grateful for the local support we receive, but visitors as well,” Jane says. “Winter and summer sports are very popular in the area and we are proud to sponsor and support local charities, schools and sporting teams. “Tumut is a very generous and supportive community and we just love being part of that community.” CWL Words: Rosie O’Keeffe Images: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE: The team at Pie in the Sky Stephen Dean, Alicia Wilson, Jane Dean, Debbie Smith, Maureen Cook and Lana Turner.

Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

along for the

RIDE Michelle Rossiter’s Ground Up Tumut is a bike lover’s paradise.

The Tumut region is a hive of activity all year round. Long acclaimed for being a gateway to the snowfields, its picturesque trails are perfect for mountain bike riding, and its fishing spots are legendary. And, now there’s a store boasting a large range of bikes, scooters, roller skates, Garmin and Go Pro gear, and water sports equipment including jet skis and water skis for local and visiting enthusiasts. It was just over a year ago that Michelle Rossiter decided to take her love of the great outdoors one step further and open the doors to her business, Ground Up Tumut, after many years working in the hospitality industry in cafes. “I have teenage boys who now really enjoy the outdoors, especially riding scooters and mountain biking,” Michelle says. “And I grew up enjoying bike riding. My family had horses, but I always loved bikes, and now it’s something that with my husband as well, we can all do together. In an area like Tumut, where we see so many locals and tourists with an interest in these outdoor activities, we thought there was a niche market opportunity. “It’s one of those shops that is not specifically for any age group. We supply children’s and balance bikes for toddlers, right through to E-bikes, and many brands like Trek and GT. We have specialised knowledge of everything we sell, so we can offer advice to beginners and more elite in the fields, and we cater to various budgets.” Michelle says the team at Ground Up are always being informed of new products so they can service, maintain and repair their products for customers. “We are seeing better braking and gearing systems on the bikes, and there are so many variances in water skiing now, with recreational and acrobatic skiing and wakeboarding as well.” With a recent resurgence in cycling, Michelle has organised a

weekly women’s group to venture on an early morning bike ride past the Tumut River Junction, violet farm and lush parklands. There are more rides planned for teenagers, mountain bikers and other specialised groups. CWL Words: Rosie O’Keeffe Images: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE: Michelle Rossiter owner of Ground Up Tumut with partner Jarrad Rossiter.


celebrate A stately home with a chequered history has undergone a renaissance in the picturesque town of Tumut.

IN STYLE Brooklyn on Fitzroy was constructed in 1876 by Frederick Kindred, a man of vision and foresight purported to have played a role in the development of the Snowy Mountains HydroElectric Scheme. The stonemason and engineer created a substantial residence of grand proportions on a large parcel of land on what was then the outskirts of the town. The elegant and sophisticated building featured soaring ceilings, spacious rooms, a grand foyer and magnificent staircase. As the decades passed, the land around the building was subdivided and sold off. The two-storey brick landmark has played a significant role in social and community events and is now a function and conference centre. Set on a 1770-metre-square block overlooking Bulla Park and the Tumut River, the sympathetically renovated and extended building includes beautiful landscaped gardens, a coffee shop, wine bar area, commercial kitchen, and function rooms suitable for large and small events. Five upstairs bedrooms are available for B&B accommodation. The property has had a range of uses over 143 years. It became known as The Hatchery when a poultry enterprise was developed on the site. The business is understood to have failed four years later. The residence is reported to have been a maternal health facility, a restaurant and a private home. At one stage it was divided into four flats. Paul and Donna Booby bought Brooklyn on Fitzroy three years ago and undertook works to revitalise the building. The long-time residents have confidence in their home town and wanted to do something to increase visitation and boost local business. “We raised our children here and I have been a business owner for 20 years,” Donna says. “Tumut is a picturesque area with many lovely attractions. It is an ideal location for conferences, corporate events, weddings, parties, reunions, family celebrations and weekends away.”


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

Brooklyn on Fitzroy is on the main thoroughfare in the town and only 400 metres from the heart of the CBD. It includes a licensed bar and indoor and outdoor function areas. “People booking an event have the option of utilising our large commercial kitchen or making a selection from our list of preferred caterers,” Donna says. “Brooklyn on Fitzroy is patronised by locals and visitors. The coffee shop is popular and the wine bar offers tasting plates on Friday nights. “It’s a wonderful location for weddings with plenty of room for every aspect of the celebration. “Bridal parties are able to get ready in the upstairs bedrooms before a ceremony is held in the gardens or residence. Receptions are able to be held indoors or outdoors. “We offer plenty of carparking and the attractive grounds are perfect for photographs.” Donna and Paul are working on a range of new ideas, including promoting the venue as a location for writing, painting and drawing workshops. “We want to encourage more people to visit Tumut,” Donna says. “Buying Brooklyn on Fitzroy is taking us on a wonderful journey.” CWL Words: Heather Crosby Images: Zenio Lapka

FACING PAGE:An imposing staircase makes a statement at Brooklyn on Fitzroy. ABOVE: Clockwise from top: Street view of Brooklyn on Fitzroy; luxurious B&B suites await the guest; owner Donna Booby; beautiful landscaped outdoor area; guest suites provide for relaxation; the red door entry to the grand building.

Historic heritage building located in beautiful Tumut available for accommodation and function hire. 10-12 FITZROY ST, TUMUT NSW • DONNA BOOBY 0428 990 733


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

my picture-perfect world Robyn MacRae has always been firmly focused on the beauty of her surrounds.

I can’t remember a moment when photography hasn’t been a part of my life. Some of my earliest memories include playing with old cameras given to me by my grandfather and uncle, a photographer in the RAAF. I held and explored these cameras for hours when other girls and boys were hosting tea parties and making mud pies! I was intrigued by light and colour and spent most of my spare time drawing, writing and taking photographs. My father was the proud owner of a Polaroid land camera and I can recollect the feeling of waiting for those images to develop in front of your eyes. As a teenager I spent hours in the darkroom perfecting exposures and techniques, and the smell of developer and fixer was constantly on my hands. Although I used photography as one of my creative outlets, I pursued a career as a graphic designer and art director. I spent the next 20 years in the media, jumping from blue chip advertising agencies to magazines and finally newspapers with my first digital camera in hand! You might say that ink runs through my veins. There have been a couple of times over the years that I have put down the camera for a short time but I’m always drawn back. I feel that it is really my story-telling tool and I feel compelled to create images. You might say that it’s almost a calling. Many people ask about my favourite images that I’ve shot but to me it would be like choosing between my children. Some days I appreciate the feelings associated with some images and other days a different shot will bring me joy. It changes every day. When I moved to Tumut I spent some time working on The Tumut and Adelong Times, completing the full circle. I loved the fact that it was a community-based newspaper and was still owned by a local family. One might think that after working in large media corporations I had nothing more to learn but I learned a lot from working there. I learned about community and belonging and the strength of small communities to face challenges and adversity together. This is one of the things I love about living in rural NSW.

In a pivotal moment, I decided to give up the media to become a teacher. Teaching has given me an opportunity to work with young people and build positive outcomes for students. In 2013 I developed “The Shoot Project”, a project to provide creative outlets, improve self-esteem and community involvement of youth at risk. I applied for a Churchill Fellowship to investigate how my idea could be developed to not only benefit my community but also reach marginalised and disadvantaged youth across Australia. I have continued to develop the program and deliver it through the TAFE NSW Youth Engagement Strategy to students across the Riverina and through local councils in Tumut, Adelong and Tumbarumba. Currently my time is divided between teaching, commissioned work and personal projects. I continue to shoot local images and I’m passionate about sharing this beautiful landscape that I’m lucky enough to call home. I love new technology and embrace it with vigour, although I fear I’m a little addicted to Instagram! I also love hosting and mentoring photographers and I’ve been known to jump in cars at the drop of a hat to share my secret local locations! I really do feel privileged to live here and share the natural beauty of both the landscape and the local people in my photographic work. My goals in the future include publishing some of the images and stories of regional Australia and heading further afield into NSW with “The Shoot Project” to inspire some of the next generation of young photographers. CWL Words: Robyn MacRae

FACING PAGE: Photographer Robyn MacRae’s evocative images capture simple, honest themes with beautiful lighting and composition. ABOVE: Robyn and her dog Mowgli take a break from working on images.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut

country escape Elm Cottage has what it takes to turn your visit into a fabulously refreshing getaway.


For a long time, David and Deborah Sheldon had a dream to provide the ultimate regional holiday. From crystal clear river views that you can imagine printed on a picture-perfect postcard, toasting marshmallows around campfires, enjoying the native wildlife and feeding Mavis and Mildred the cows, to having a hit of cricket or playing volleyball, their 62-acre property now provides a perfect rural retreat. “It was in 1998 that we originally developed a business plan for a tourism enterprise like Elm Cottage, and the one thing we needed was water, because water is such a magnet, it’s gold (for visitors),” tree changers David and Deborah explain. David admits he’s always had a passion for tourism, actually having established Australia’s first tri-weekly tourist newspaper focusing on Airlie Beach and surrounds when he moved to Queensland after growing up in Canberra. After being at the helm for some time, he sold that venture and spent a short period in Townsville, also in the media industry, before he and his wife decided to explore another regional tourism venture in the late 1990s. “We spent the next five years searching for a block of land and we stumbled across Elm Cottage here in Tumut, which was overstocked and drought ravaged, but we saw potential and we built it all from the ground up, starting off with two recycled cottages and expanding from there to include features such as disabled access, carer’s quarters and additional meeting spaces. “We also estimate that we have planted more than 4000 trees on the property through Landcare’s regeneration programs and we are currently introducing the Tumut grevillea plant, and investigating alternative energy cycles and solar power.” Now, the business has achieved several international and national tourism awards and received countless positive reviews – its popularity evident in the large number of repeat visitors with 65 per cent of the bookings now made by those who have already stayed before, with the average stay lasting for more than five nights. There are five unique self-cater cottages to rent for a luxury country escape, each positioned 70 metres from the next for an unobtrusive stay for guests, and all have a private balcony and beautiful décor that reflects their chosen native Australiana names – Yellow Box, Rivers Edge, River Gum, Blue Gum and Red Gum. “We have not only been able to provide stylish country cottages for various visiting groups, but we have been able to entice kids off their technological devices and we’ve put family conversations and interactions back on the agenda during their holidays,” David enthuses. “I was formerly the chair of the Australian Regional Tourism network too, so I really have an insight into how important the tourism industry is to regional areas in Australia. David says they’ve enjoyed making new friendships too and some families they’ve seen grow from school children to young adults.

“We’ve had guests stay who are celebrating a honeymoon, family and sporting club reunions, groups of friends having a rural retreat, fishing enthusiasts, and wine lovers. We are also more than happy to organise ultra-light flights over the scenic mountain regions, horse rides along the nearby trails and we can arrange local produce hampers to enjoy.” CWL Words: Rosie O’Keeffe Images: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE: A comfortable self-contained cottage; luxury, peace and convenience await the guests.

Elm Cottage

Where generations meet

Luxury Tumut Accommodation | Pet Friendly River frontage | Fishing | Swimming Bird-Watching | Bushwalking | Tranquility Campfires | BBQs | Photography | Native wildlife (platypus, wombats, echidnas, and kangaroos)

Mesmerising in its tranquillity Phone. 02 6947 5818 Little River Road Tumut NSW 2720


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut


There’s been a changing of the guard at Tumut PRDnationwide but the quality service remains.

After more than a quarter of a century in real estate, Lorraine Wysman is transitioning into retirement, happy in the knowledge her business is in safe hands with new owners Jed and Lauren Masters. Lorraine came to Tumut as a primary school teacher and became involved in real estate in the late 1980s. She bought the Tumut PRDnationwide franchise 25 years ago and worked hard to achieve success while giving back to the community through Rotary and the Tumut Regional Chamber of Commerce. After acquiring Tumut Real Estate two years ago, Lorraine doubled her property management portfolio and increased her staff to six.


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

An approach by Jed and Lauren to buy the business was a surprise and also a great opportunity. “Real estate is changing as an industry and is becoming far more technology focused,” Lorraine says. “Jed and Lauren are young and enthusiastic and will work with the existing PRD team to take the business to even greater heights. “I am in good health and look forward to having more time to relax and spend time with my family. After running to a tight schedule for so many years it will be great to be able to put my watch away.” Lorraine will be staying in Tumut and will support the new owners “in every possible way”. Jed and Lauren took over the business on December 12 and are thrilled to be back in their home town. Jed spent 10 years in the hospitality industry managing hotels before entering real estate in Brisbane. “I thoroughly enjoy dealing with people,” he says. “Real estate offers something new and challenging every day and is very rewarding on many levels. “I feel grateful to have been trusted by so many people to sell their most valuable assets.

“Lauren and I see a great future in Tumut and are pleased to be able to offer our young family the wonderful country lifestyle we enjoyed as children.” The changing of the guard at PRDnationwide is matched with exciting developments in the Tumut area, including the expansive Snowy Hydro 2.0 project, proposed funding for hospital developments, the ongoing success of the Visy pulp and paper mill and continued discussions about the upgrade of the Brindabella Road linking Tumut and Canberra. Jed and Lauren will maintain Lorraine’s commitment to Tumut and the surrounding towns of Batlow, Adelong and Talbingo. “PRD stands for property, research and development,” Lorraine says. “The business belongs to a franchise with a strong presence in the Riverina and is also a member of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, which sets high ethical standards. “We have the capability to offer the very best information on all aspects of real estate. The friendly and capable team at PRDnationwide Tumut have more than 27 years’ combined experience in property management. “They are highly professional and dedicated to customer service.” CWL Words: Heather Crosby Images: Zenio Lapka


FACING PAGE: New PRDnationwide owners Lauren and Jed Masters with their children, Freya and Jake.; Tumut PRDnationwide team Sonia Roodt, Bernadette Tipping, Cooryana Ackroyd, Jennifer Edwards and Joanne Richards.

4 BEDS / 2 BATH / 2 CAR

Tumut’s Leading Property Management Team As a business owner, I am very proud to have a team that are all actively involved in various community groups and organisations throughout the local area.

SALES / AUCTION / PROPERTY MANAGEMENT / RURAL / COMMERCIAL Sales Agent / Licensee: Jed Masters M. 0417 274 977 E.

137-139 Herbert Street, Tumut A rural experience within three minutes of Tumut’s CBD. This energy efficient award winning home is ideal for the growing family or the buyer seeking peace and privacy. An impressive home located on 1.542ha (3.8 acres). Including 4 spacious bedrooms, the main with ensuite, formal living areas, rumpus room and open plan kitchen, meals and family room - a floor plan to suit your lifestyle. The verandahs are positioned to allow sun drenched rooms in Winter and protection through Summer.

2/81-85 Wynyard Street, Tumut NSW 2720 P. 02 6947 1722 M. 0417 274 977 E. TUMUT CWL 75

the people’s pub The grand old Oriental Hotel is one of Tumut’s most iconic and best-loved buildings.

Oriental TUM

Hotel UT NSW

Accommodation Craft beers on tap Pretty Parrot Distilling tasting room Local produce Open 7 days lunch & dinner Small and large groups catered for

48 Fitzroy Street, Tumut NSW \ 02 6947 1627


The Oriental Hotel, the oldest pub in town, was established back in 1850 in the middle of a gold rush. Back then it was the Queens Alms, and a name change came in the early 1900s. Today it is a popular place to enjoy a cold beverage – either inside or out. Patrons can enjoy a few drinks in the extensive beer garden out the back or watch the world go by out the front. The dining room is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. The smoked or baked local trout, beef and seasonal produce are to die for. Budget accommodation is available with nine rooms upstairs, traditionally popular with motorcyclists. Running the pub is a big family affair for the Webb family, fifth generation in the district. David McDougall and wife Ellen Webb teamed up with Gerard and Tanya Webb to buy the freehold licence in 2012, at a time when closure looked imminent. There are four other hotels in town but none boast a cellar door to showcase products from their new distillery in Albury. The new cellar door and tasting room downstairs enables guests to sample and purchase their Pretty Parrot spirit and liquor range. Along with the liquors, the Oriental serves a large range of award-winning craft beers on tap, including Bridge Road Brewery, from Beechworth, and the Thirsty Crow, from Wagga Wagga. Throw in some invigorating apple ciders from Batlow, karaoke on Saturday nights and the best cocktail range in town and you have a recipe for a great night out at the Oriental. CWL ABOVE: David McDougall, Ellen Webb, Tanya Webb and long-standing employee Kim Dean invite locals and visitors to drop in for a cleansing ale at the Oriental Hotel; the Oriental’s big horse reflects the pub’s long association with the local rodeo and pony clubs.

Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E


When it comes to the latest in beauty treatments, Catherine French has her finger on the pulse. Living and working in a country area is no barrier to being at the forefront of the changing face of the beauty industry. That’s the word from Catherine French, who launched Catherine Ann’s Beauty Salon in the heart of Tumut’s central business district in 1994. She was only 19 at the time and had always dreamed of running her own business. “I loved every aspect of Business Studies at school and achieved HSC results in the top 10% of the state,” Catherine says. “After training as a beauty therapist, I never looked back. On a personal level, the rewards have been tremendous.” Continuing education has been an essential part of Catherine’s success. She embraces the latest technologically advanced procedures and treatments to help clients glow with confidence, health and happiness. “Developments in the beauty industry have resulted in the evolution of medi-salons, achieving great results for clients with minimal downtime,” she says. “Nutrition, exercise and mental wellbeing are an important part of looking and feeling good and people have become much more savvy about product ingredients and leading industry techniques.” Catherine and her professional staff offer a wide range of treatments, including express and specialised facials, microdermabrasion, relaxation massage, spray tanning and bronzing, manicures, pedicures, waxing, gel and acrylic nails, hand, foot and body treatments, eyelash extensions, eyelash tinting and perming, skin needling, semi-permanent make-up, special occasion make-up and indulgence and wedding packages. The salon receives regular visits from an IPL laser specialist, injectables doctor and cosmetic tattooist. “Progressive beauty therapy businesses are more like a clinic and treatments are advancing all the time,” Catherine says. “It is important to keep up to date with what is happening so that clients have an ultimate salon experience with longterm results. “The beauty industry has an amazing power to influence how customers feel about themselves. “Wellness is very important and we are all the face of our individual marketing campaigns. “It is essential to feed and nourish ourselves internally to look good on the outside.” The salon welcomes clients of all ages and walks of life from Tumut and surrounding towns. An increasing number of men come in for regular treatments. “Our clients appreciate the personal connection they have built with us and it is lovely to get to know them as a friend,” she says. Catherine and her staff enjoy seeing the positive improvements beauty treatments can achieve and are committed to staying abreast of trends and technologies. Specialised education and training underpins everything they do. CWL

ABOVE: Kaitlyn Bond, Aleesha Salon and Catherine French.

Specialising in advanced facials Microdermabrasion | Waxing Massage | Gel/acrylic/shellac manicures & pedicures | Spa treatments | Make-up | Eyelash tinting & lifting | Henna eyebrows Visiting Specialists | Cosmetic Injectables Doctor | IPL Laser Technician & Cosmetic Tattooist

Catherine Ann’s Beauty Therapy SHOP 2, 65 WYNYARD ST TUMUT 2720 PH. 02 6947 4437

Words: Heather Crosby Images: Zenio Lapka


WELL connected The Connection is a story about people, especially those from far-flung lands who have made Tumut and district their home.

In the very heart of town, the Connection has been a labour of love for enterprising farmers Gary and Hansie Armour for almost 30 years. “The reason Gary and I continued developing the complex, despite huge challenges and hurdles, is because we strongly believe in the local community and its ability to overcome challenges,” Hansie says. “That’s why we keep going. Yes, it’s an investment and needs to show a return, but it needs to be done in an affordable and inviting manner.” The Armours have never taken a backward step in seeing their ambitious dream come to fruition. “I guess we can thank the Snowy Hydro Scheme for our vibrant and mixed community,” Hansie says. “With a huge influx of European families after the war, we adopted multiculturalism before it even became a fashionable, politically correct term. “Everybody got along and we’re still very harmonious. That’s why we called it the Tumut Connection – a community living space that’s simple, comfortable and relaxing. This proud and energetic woman, now in her early 70s, thinks nothing of making the 240km round trip to Tumut several times each week. Gary, a sixth-generation wool man from “Tekooti”, Yass, has always been up for a challenge, like the time they purchased a property in the Gilmore Valley, near Tumut, back in the 1980s to complement their wool enterprise. On this land they established the first stone fruit orchard in the district. Initially they were selling their produce to Wagga Wagga and Flemington markets before deciding to give retail a try, purchasing a grocery shop in Wynyard Street (now Service One), which their children named Farmer Armour’s Fruit and Veg. A few years later they bought Mac’s Footwear next door, which became Abbey Footwear. The shoe business has been performing well for over 110 years with


Hansie only the third owner. After 25 years behind the counter, she agrees there is no business like shoe business. She might have been quite happy with her lot were it not for the condition of her backyard. “There were no shops, just long grass, old cool rooms, dilapidated sheds and tonnes of rubbish,” she explains, in

between serving a customer. “It was the early 1990s and I saw great potential. You could call it a vision,” she laughs. Before long they were renovating, and they never stopped. Over the years they did most of the physical labour including concreting, bricklaying, paving, fitting windows and doors, plastering and painting.

The old Bedrock stores, operated by JJ Learmont Snr in the late 1800s (before building the Montreal Theatre and JJ Learmont’s Haberdashery for his two sons), were next on the list. “During the Snowy Mountains Authority years, upstairs had been a gambling den and then a brothel. When I purchased it, upstairs was the meeting place for the Tumut Revivalist Church,” Hansie says. One of their biggest challenges was building a public toilet block with a coffee shop, The Terrace, above it. Gary did all the cladding and created all the balustrades and metal fretwork along walkways and balconies. “We couldn’t find any timber tradesmen in the region for the windows. The local tradesmen wouldn’t build wooden window frames and advised us strongly not to do it. So we went to the Rocks in Sydney and I showed Gary the style of windows I liked,” Hansie says. “We went home and Gary harvested Stringy Bark from our Yallakool property, milled it with a Lucas Mill and with help from a neighbour built all the window frames before sourcing a leadlight maker to finish the job.” When a husband and wife doctor team were looking for premises, they renovated the downstairs of the Russell Street building to function as a medical practice, which in time won a Best Medical Practice award. All buildings and building materials were recycled one way or another. Even those materials not recycled on-site found a home back on the farm with another use. The Connection grew gradually as the Armours adapted to new circumstances, opportunities, barriers and obstacles. Hansie couldn’t easily access marketing and business card services, so opened and ran a Colour Copy shop called Copy Edition when colour copying was a new concept in the early 1990s. Today there are 18 tenants in the complex, including established businesses like Peter Brown Insurance Broker, Zac Zacharia Optometrist, Abbey Footwear, Service One and the National Bank. Health services expanded to include two pathology services, radiology, optometrist, mental health, and most recently IDEAS and an NDIS agency. From wool growing to orcharding then retail to developer and builder, the Armours saw no limits to diversification. With 2000 square metres of commercial space, the Connection has developed into a vibrant retail hub. It’s also a great place to catch up, thanks to the determination of an enterprising country couple who refused to give up. CWL

“I guess we can thank the Snowy Hydro Scheme for our vibrant and mixed community.” FACING PAGE: The Connection has been a labour of love for enterprising farmers Gary and Hansie Armour for almost 30 years. ABOVE: Right in the heart of town, the Connection brings people together in a very clever way; Hansie has proved to be a woman who gets things done; Gary tackled much of the building work, including the magnificent windows of Abbey Footwear.


connecting people and place TUMUT CWL 79

T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut

MIGHTY FLY Geoff Naylor became hooked on fly fishing at a young age and there is no sign of his enthusiasm abating.


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

“When you are searching for fish and find one, be observant and make the first cast count.” That’s the advice of expert fly fisherman Geoff Naylor, who has been dangling the line for well over 50 years. His introduction to fly fishing started at age 12 while hunting worms with his father. “Trout started rising but I couldn’t catch them,” he admits. A determined lad, Geoff became an avid library user, reading how to catch trout on a fly in the streams around Bathurst and Oberon. By the time he was 15 he tried his hand at tying flies professionally but ended up devoting 40 years of his life to teaching. By the early 1980s he was posted to Tumut, raising two young daughters in one of the town’s oldest homes at the top of Wynyard Street. “When it was built 150 years ago, it was the only home on the hill,” Geoff says. For a long time it was the Tweedy residence before falling into a derelict state. Today it’s where Geoff lives with his dogs, surrounded by all the things he loves. Photographs and trophy trout adorn the walls of the lounge room. There’s a nice shot of him on the snowfields. He is a regular at Selwyn, where he takes to the slopes when the fish aren’t biting. Out in the converted old stables Geoff takes time out to paint Australian landscapes, drawing on the striking autumn scenery and beautiful locations he has visited for inspiration. His oils were featured in an exhibition – his first in 18 years – with the Young Society of Artists in February. Not far from his easel sits all the paraphernalia required to make fish flies, which get Geoff reeling in the secrets of a good catch. “The Tumut River is the channel for the irrigation water to the Riverina,” he says. “It’s high most of the year but big fish can be found along the edges and backwaters if you work it. “There’s a lot of fishing pressure on the river but if you are careful you can find some. The local fish stocking group works hard to keep up numbers but it’s an uphill battle. “It’s a limited resource. Fish take time to grow so ‘limit your bag, don’t bag your limit’ and there will be enough to go around. Take them all and there will be none left, which would be a crying shame.” In autumn the river can be low, giving greater access for fly fishing. Of course, there are plenty of other places to fish such as the Blue Water Hole, Goobraganda, Talbingo and Blowering Dam. “It’s not always about the fly fishing but the moment of being on the water,” he says. “Just seeing a platypus is reward in itself.” Over the course of a year Geoff sees quite a few, often in the middle of the day. “Sometimes they come up so close I can almost put my hand on them. They give a quick wink and disappear.”

New opportunities In 1995 Geoff stumbled upon a fisherman casting a line at Providence and discovered he was a member of the Australian Fly Fishing Team. “I thought if he could do it then so could I. There were no comps in NSW at the time so I started FFNSW to give myself and other fly fishermen a chance to represent their country. Little did I know where this would lead me.” Since 2008 Geoff has competed with the finest anglers in the world at “Commonwealths” in New Zealand, Scotland, Wales (where he was captain), Canada and recently Northern Ireland, where he finished a creditable 14th, the best of the Aussie contingent. “We also have the ‘Oceanias’ every two years against the Kiwis. I only have one international gold medal but the sport has taken me to some magical fishing spots throughout the world in spots most of us can only dream of. “I’ve been dropped by sea plane to fish for salmon in remote parts of Alaska and dropped in by helicopter in New Zealand where they leave us for days. “Over the years I’ve dropped a line with former governors general, prime ministers (Malcolm Fraser) and quite a few celebrities (including Russell Crowe) for some healthy R&R,” he grins. “The Tumut rivers and streams have helped me develop the skills to take me on this most amazing journey.” CWL FACING PAGE: Geoff Naylor is the keenest, if not the most experienced, fly fisherman in town. ABOBE: Patience and an understanding of fish behaviour come naturally to Geoff; landing a tasty lunch; when he’s not casting a line, Geoff retreats to the former stables, since converted into a rambling two-storey “Man Cave” and gallery. In this world he paints and makes fly ties.



and pleasant TO THE UNTRAINED EYE, THE HISTORIC GOLD MINING TOWN OF ADELONG RESEMBLES A PLACE WHERE TIME STANDS STILL. The tree-lined main street is lined with shops sporting quaint verandah facades. The two pubs look unchanged since the 1940s. The locals still stop and chat on the main street as people do in a country town with a population of less than 1000. It was a different scene 160 years ago when the bustling town was home to 20,000 miners, including thousands of Chinese. Through the 1860s and 1870s, Adelong boomed with mines and batteries (to crush the reef gold) opening up along the valley. The mines had names like Donkey Hill, The Challenger, Lady Mary, Long Tunnel, Great Victoria and Gibraltar. Today, Adelong’s appeal lies in the beauty of its main street, the pleasant walk beside Adelong Creek and the remnants of the goldmining era at the nearby Adelong Falls Reserve. They have largely survived the ravages of time and, thanks to good management and a lot of hard work, have become the town’s premier tourism destination. There is a delightful historic walk around town, which passes most of the interesting and National Trust-listed buildings. The Adelong Alive Museum has a collection of historic photographs and a lovingly created model of the Adelong Falls gold crushing mill, the Reefer Battery. It is an ideal starting point for anyone wanting to understand the boom industry that drove the town’s economy from the 1860s until the outbreak of WW1. By that stage, declining gold yields and a strong desire by miners to serve on the European battlefields spelt the end of gold mining in the district. The pastoral industry became the principal activity, as it is today. Recent times have seen a boom in tourism thanks to the natural beauty, rich gold mining history and laid-back appeal of the town. It’s well worth a visit to Adelong to remind yourselves that there are alternatives to the rapid pace of life so evident in much larger cities. CWL ABOVE: The Adelong Alive Museum was opened in 2000. Museum secretary Margaret Bentley loves sharing the area’s rich history; Adelong’s main street; the Royal Hotel is a grand old country pub; Adelong Services and Citizens Club; Beaufort House; Hotel Adelong, serving cold ones since 1936.


Adelong T O W N F E A T U R E


we belong Adelong locals Bob and Helen Isaac know exactly what it means to belong.

Plenty of people are confused about the concept of what is a true, bona fide “local”. Just how long does one have to reside in a town before these simple words can be truthfully uttered? The word is defined as a person or thing belonging to a specific town or area. That being the case, Bob Isaac, 86, is definitely an Adelong local. A local identity, a former businessman in town and a bloke who lives life to the full. His father came to town in 1933 to take over the stock and station agency. Bob’s grandmother ran the “middle pub” from 1936 until the war, before moving down to the “bottom pub”, now Beaufort House. Growing up as a town kid, Bob well remembers the old characters like Harry Connors the saddler and Paddy Corcoran the blacksmith. Then there was the “brutal” dentist, the grandma at the Greek cafe who made the best chocolate milkshakes, the men delivering the meat and mail on horseback. Growing up in the agency business and later owning the saleyards for nearly 50 years, Bob was on a first name basis with most of the local agents and graziers. “On Sunday mornings during the 1940s we used to pump up the footies at the garage and kick them up and down the main street before the big game. It was a dirt road in those days. Despite the war being on and being cold as blazes, we knew how to make our own fun.” Meanwhile, a young lady from Austinmer, a beach suburb near Wollongong, was keen to head back to teaching after an extended overseas holiday. Her heart sank when she learned the Department of Education was sending her to Adelong, population 1200. “I didn’t even know where it was,” laughs Bob’s wife Helen, better known as Helsie. “I arrived in 1966 in the middle of a terrible heat wave. Dogs were barking in the main street and there wasn’t a soul in sight.” Planning to stay for 12 months, Helsie boarded with an older lady, Mrs Prowse, who on one particularly fine morning, sent her to Bob for travel directions.

“Adelong’s real strength can be seen in the character of those living here.” “I’ll take you there, if you like!” were the very first words uttered by Bob to the young woman he would marry and raise five children with. They’re still together 50 years later, although the kids have scattered to France, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney. Bob has always been a grass-roots cattleman and still runs about 240 head. With 50 years of breeding behind him, he was chuffed to exhibit the best pen of steers at the 2013 autumn weaner sales. For decades Bob helped conduct the fortnightly cattle sales with their agency, JD Isaac & Co. The special weaner sales in the 1980s saw record yardings of up to 4000 Herefords knocked down in a single day. “They were great days and even better nights when the agents and their clients mixed freely at the pub where all the trophies were handed out,” Bob says. “Adelong’s real strength can be seen in the character of those living here. There’s little or no class distinction and we all help each other.”

Each morning the Isaacs go for their regular 3km walk around the town, never knowing who they may bump into. After chatting to all and sundry they hop back in the car for a short drive up the hill to their magnificent home at “Boot Hill”, named after the cemetery sitting bang in the middle of their property. Bob selected the block in 1966, before getting married. “A long time ago we used to muster this country on horseback and I always thought one day it would make a great family home.” Today it’s a great place for the children and 12 grandchildren to come home to. They’re very proud of their progeny, including two sons who learnt to play rugby at Joeys before playing for Australian schoolboys, Under 21s and the Australian Sevens. These fun-loving senior citizens love being part of Adelong and are definitely proud to call themselves true-blue locals. CWL ABOVE: Bob and Helen Isaac, “Boot Hill”, Adelong, love the country life.


T O W N F E A T U R E Adelong


Adelong T O W N F E A T U R E

RICH IN This Adelong attraction presents visitors with a golden opportunity to learn about and reflect on the area’s past.

The award-winning Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins, just out from Adelong and 20 kilometres from Tumut, attract some 30,000 visitors a year. The interpretive area provides a comprehensive history of the Heritage-listed site from the accessible viewing platform near the lower car park. You can take an hour-long walk down to Adelong Creek and the ruins, with informative signposts describing the scene from 1852, when gold was first discovered. The remarkable stone ruins are all that remain of the ingenious reefer ore crushing mill built by Scotsmen David Wilson and William Ritchie. This mill processed ore from Adelong miners and the wider district until its closure in 1914. Conservation coordinator of the Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins Louise Halsey knows the site inside out. “The gold processing was similar to many mills, however as it was located on the hillside. Gravity was cleverly used to move the ore through the mill. What is unique is that we still have the ruins, which help us interpret how the site was used to process the gold bearing ore,” she explains. “There is no doubt this is one of the most significant sites relating to the NSW gold booms of the 1800s and early 20th century.”

During the hour-long tour CWL takes with Louise and her dog Peanut, it’s evident this active 73-year-old is genuinely interested in sharing the site with others. “With the help of local historians and the Adelong Alive museum, we’ve learnt to appreciate Adelong’s place in Australia’s gold story. Records indicate five tonnes of gold were sent to the Sydney mint from the reefer ore crushing mill, with an estimated 25 tonnes extracted from the area.” Louise conducts tours, coordinates the conservation work and helps with school programs and university student field trips. “The sound of water and being surrounded by the heritage ruins seems to affect people. They gain a new appreciation of what thousands of miners went through 170 years ago,” Louise says. At the time of writing, Louise is a finalist in Rotary’s NSW Inspirational Women of the Year rural section. She was made a Churchill Fellow in 1999 to study community-based heritage conservation. “In my 12 years here, one of my greatest joys is seeing local kids and their dogs swimming in the creek and enjoying the environment,” she says. “Congratulations must go the Tumut Shire, now Snowy Valleys, Council for their care as trustees of the Heritage-listed site. And the best thing is that it’s all free.” CWL

“There is no doubt this is one of the most significant sites relating to the NSW gold booms of the 1800s and early 20th century.”

ABOVE: The stone ruins remain from the gold mining days; the reefer battery in snow, c 1900; the bubbly Louise Halsey and her faithful hound Peanut make a formidable team. FACING PAGE: Adelong Falls are a popular tourist destination; the gold mill ruins stand as a silent reminder of the halcyon gold days.


“You are here to shine in your own wonderful way, sharing your smile in the best way you can, and remembering all the while that a little light somewhere makes a brighter light everywhere.” Douglas Pagels


meaningful Jessica Wrobel is leaving no stone unturned in her exploration of the meaning of life. Jessica Wrobel has always chosen the road less travelled, determined to do the hard yards to fulfil her dreams. Her taxidermy, hope for mankind and strong beliefs have shaped her into a formidable woman – the black sheep in a family of black sheep. Everything around her has a connection. Especially her late father, a Jewish Holocaust survivor. “I’ve always had strong insight and intuition, ever since I was a small child, seen and not heard. I was familiar with the concepts of life, death and spirituality from a young age,” she tells me over a cup of tea, which soon progresses to champagne. “With eternal sadness burnt into my soul I found solace with animals,” she tells me.


Jessica is so animated, candidly honest and refreshing in her thoughts, it’s hard keeping up with the conversation. This is clearly a woman fuelled by passion for life. At first she was nursing injured animals. Then, aged 19, she reincarnated a baby possum, having learnt taxidermy skills the “Victorian-era style” at the Australian Museum. “I was drawn to it. I thought I could be a voice for the animals.” For a long time she specialised in whimsical creations (kittens with doves’ wings, mice tucked up in bed) while preserving family pets like cats, dogs and birds. Before long she was bringing home road kill - possums, owls, galahs, bats, even the odd feral cat.

Adelong T O W N F E A T U R E

“Sometimes I question my fascination with making dead animals look alive. I’ve always been an animal lover and in my early days hated eating meat,” she says as she shows me through the colourful home she shares with children Rowan, 14, and Ruby, 11. Becoming a taxidermist was an unusual career path for a young woman who studied, “for too many years”, at a prestigious private girls’ school. It’s all about capturing the specimen’s soul and spirit. Thanks to her natural affinity with animals, Jessica says she can catch the “spark of life” of a dead animal and preserve a magical blueprint that’s passed. Her home is full of animals, both living and dead. The dead ones hang in most rooms while the live ones recuperate from injury in large bird cages out the back. The single mum is now in her early 50s with more projects than ever, including a major renovation of her antique shop and Airbnb accommodation in downtown Adelong. Jessica has always been determined once she sets her mind to something. “At times I’ve felt like a pioneer woman – the going can get pretty damn tough,” she admits. “But I’m a tradie at heart and that keeps me going every time I get knocked down.” Her tenacity, like most things, comes from her late father. Fred was always at home on the sea, where he could face life’s challenges head on, as he’d always done. He built boats, raced and was an avid and respected art collector until his death at 90. It also gave him time to reflect on the events of 1940, when his family were forcibly removed to the Lodz Ghetto in conquered Poland. Fred worked as a slave labourer in a munitions factory, surviving thanks to his ability to sketch portraits of the guards in exchange for food morsels. His parents, grandparents and two brothers were not so fortunate. “My father taught me the strength of keeping your head together and being tough mentally, physically and emotionally in order to survive. He taught me how to make maximum out of minimum and the ability to go alone,” Jessica says. “Dad was a complex, driven, creative man and against all odds became successful in all his endeavours. His soul was never the same after the annihilation of his family by the Nazis and the horrendous events endured at the camps. Perhaps he taught me how to make broken beautiful.” When young and blessed with Amy Winehouse looks, she worked as a model before getting behind the camera and photographing rock bands and semi-clad musicians. This led to a number of risqué solo exhibitions in Sydney and New Orleans, where a fivenight trip was extended to nearly three years. By her late 20s she was combining her taxidermy with sculpting, painting and photography, leading to a short stint with ABC TV and brief appearances in arthouse films. Time spent as a funeral director cemented her strong views on life. “I could look at the deceased and tell if they were loved and loving. Their personality imprint can be recognised by some after they’ve passed. The whole experience fired home the connection between life and death.” Three years ago, after the death of her father, Jessica began working with adults with disabilities, imparting her skills in a wide-ranging creative manner including art, poetry, singing, writing, sculpting and even modelling. “The whole purpose is to touch their hearts, to give them peace and joy. It’s a job that brings great satisfaction. Those with dementia speak in memories and riddles that are significant, profound and beautiful. I love helping care for their souls, helping them find joy and contentment through art and time sharing.” So, what inspires her? “Nature, art, the environment, water, the rivers of life, birds, dogs, my children. The ethereal threads of life. Helping others. Abstract humour and laughing in the face of my adversities. The magic of life, death and the in-between.”

“My father taught me the strength of keeping your head together and being tough mentally, physically and emotionally in order to survive.”

Jessica is her own free spirit and doesn’t miss the wild days of her youth. “Sanity is precious and guarded. It must be nurtured,” she says with a smile. Perhaps this explains why she finds contentment scrounging around the undergrowth of her backyard looking for insects to feed her sick birds. “It’s the simple things in life that give the maximum joy. Creativity is how I breathe, live and evolve and how I rise above adversity. Alone I roam, daring to be true to myself, even if it makes me stand out and apart.” It’s no wonder her surname means “little sparrow”. CWL ABOVE: Jessica loves all animals, especially her dogs Zed and Oggy; the naked possum fiddles an eternal last tune; in her 1980s commercial modelling days. FACING PAGE: Jessica leads a happy and healthy life among her animals - both living and dead. Her right hand rests on a pickling jar, complete with turtle, snake, lizard and fish - all in the process of mummification. Image: Jimmy de Wall.



Adelong T O W N F E A T U R E


DIVERSIFY The Roche family has farmed in the Adelong district since the 1850s and knows a thing or two about change.

During the gold rush days, the Roche family owned the local pub. When all the precious metal had dried up they bought all the Chinese mining leases and paid the tenacious Chinese workers to clear the land. The late Terry Roche was born and raised on “Rochedale”, the original Roche property, before buying the neighbouring 1000-acre property “Moorallie” after his marriage to Helen in 1969. An orchard was planted in 1984 and for many years Helen attended Sydney’s farmers market in Pyrmont, driving down in their maxi van twice weekly with three tonnes of fresh fruit in the back. One of her three children, Lach, began his involvement with the orchard from age 15, during school holidays from Riverview, Sydney. He went on to complete a Horticulture degree at UWS, Hawkesbury. Lach has keen memories of the markets at North Sydney, Fox Studios and Kiama, and days when there were 20 pickers at a time on the farm. All that changed five years ago when he and wife Belinda decided to knock down the orchard and build up their Murray Grey/ Charolais cross herd and prime lamb enterprises. The land is well suited to cattle production and the family have been breeding them since first moving into the lush landscape. For some time, Terry and his brother ran a 1500 breeding cow herd. As a way to diversify farm income, the Roches spruced up the old workers cottage and advertised on Airbnb. Within an hour they had their first booking. Now Moorallie Cottage is booked most of the year by guests travelling between Sydney and Melbourne looking for a unique and affordable country experience. With a young family to support, Lach and Belinda invested in a similar-sized neighbouring farm called “Tracton”. With some tidy renovations the enchanting old homestead is now a comfortable and spacious “home away from home” that sleeps up to eight. Their very first guest arrived while Belinda was giving birth to their first child Cody. Recently they added Campbell to their young family. One day Lach hopes to give the dilapidated dairy, beautifully located on top of the hill, a major facelift. When complete, it promises to be yet another special place to take time out and simply enjoy the space. The pristine Adelong Creek runs through both properties with an abundance of trout. Some of the farm dams have been stocked with native fish for keen anglers. Nature lovers don’t have to walk far to spot a kangaroo, the occasional echidna or even one of the resident platypuses in the creek. Intertwined with their farmstay accommodation is Phenwick Labradors, which Helen has successfully operated for the past four decades. She and Belinda offer top quality, country bred dogs for showing and breeding or as great family pets or companions for the elderly.

All have been vaccinated at six weeks of age, micro-chipped and vet checked. With some of the best bloodlines in Australia, the labradors are carefully selected for genetics, structure, conformation and most important of all, temperament. “Recently we made the bold move to introduce a new breed of fox red labrador bitches from Latvia to join our family of breeding bitches,” Helen says. “Staying at Moorallie Cottage or Tracton Homestead is the perfect way to come and meet our girls and puppies and see the environment in which they are born, raised and thrive.” Only five minutes’ drive from the centre of Adelong, both accommodation options provide the perfect escape for a little peace and tranquillity. And you get see to see a working farm in action. “Our farm stays are perfect for a family holiday, a weekend away or a couples retreat. It is a great place to escape, relax and unwind,” Belinda says. “Naturally, we welcome the four-legged members of your family.” This is one extended family that knows change is inevitable and has learnt to embrace it. CWL Images: Shot by Jake and Carol Young

ABOVE: Belinda and Lach Roche with sons Campbell and Cody. FACING PAGE: Belinda takes the dogs for an early morning walk; Helen has been breeding labradors for four decades; cute puppies; pristine countryside; Tracton homestead.


the genuine


Adelong characters Nevvy and Lesley Clarke appear to have found true contentment.

Tough as nails stockman Neville “Nevvy” Clarke is a man of few words. With his battered Akubra and lanky gait, it’s easy to see he’s spent a lifetime in the saddle. Up in the hills of Adelong, at the very end of a long and winding road, he shares a modest but warm old country home with wife Lesley, surrounded by their beloved dogs and horses. “He’s generally quietly spoken unless he’s trying to get a point across,” laughs Lesley, who cooks and cleans at the Batlow Hospital a few days each week. Sometimes they will go all day without saying a word to each other. “By saying nothing I rarely get into strife with the cook,” Nevvy says. This old-school bushman has no time for modern gadgets or the computer age. His little flip phone is seldom charged and turning on a laptop is out of the question. The modern world has completely passed him by. The well-matched pair are happy in their own company with their eight horses, terriers (for Lesley) and working dogs – all keen, lean and ready to work, like their master. Nevvy has always admired the constitution of the modern thoroughbred and enjoys a regular punt on the nags. If you don’t get excited about the form of Winx, he says, you need to check your pulse. “They don’t breed champions like her every day.” The same could be said for this enduring old timer. There are a few faded photographs on the wall depicting his long connection with rodeo. For more years than he cares to remember, he rode anything with four legs, from bullocks and bulls, to bareback and buckjumpers. For a time he was a renowned pick-up rider. He was still making the odd appearance in his 50s, after most had well and truly hung up their spurs. Over the years he’s tested his mettle in endurance riding, finishing the Quilty on several occasions. In 1971 he was first home in the Canberra to Tumut endurance race, clocking in five hours and 47 minutes on a horse called Brown. Retirement is not a word in his vocabulary. “Not as long as I can still get on a bloody horse,” he laughs. “Horses are my life. I always say to the young fellas, you can’t ride until you’ve had at least 10 good busters.” Nevvy has had his share of falls but always climbs back on. In campdrafting circles he is still a highly respected competitor, having saddled up at local events for over half a century. “Campdrafting is a challenging contest between horse, rider and beast. Both you and your horse have to be switched on if you’re hoping to do any good,” he says. Only a year short of his 80th birthday, Nevvy still competes in the local campdrafting and family penning competitions in Tumut, Adelong, Adaminaby, Brungle and Gundagai. He loves the camaraderie as much as the horsemanship on display.


One of the hardest things he’s ever had to do, he insists, was swapping his trusty Akubra for a hard hat during competition. “It was hard getting used to it but at least they’ve been proven to save lives.” His succession of battered old Akubras has seen plenty of action over the years. “A good hat is like a pair of jeans or your boots. The moment they start getting comfortable they’ve almost worn out.” Not so Nevvy. He just keeps keeping on, turning up at campdrafting events and forever optimistic it might be his lucky day. Along the way he’s won a few and earned a few placings – a mighty fine effort for a bloke half blind in one eye and three times the age of some competitors. “There’s a few old blokes still having a go. Some of them hold their age pretty well so I can’t even say I’m the oldest.” He’s proven age doesn’t come into it and having a go is all that matters. This old-school, straight-as-a-post identity is still a dependable worker for local graziers used to his legendary skills in the saddle.

“Campdrafting is a challenging contest between horse, rider and beast.”

Adelong T O W N F E A T U R E

Born and raised around Gundagai, his father was the proverbial jack of all trades and master of none. He toiled in market gardens and pulled corn, with a team of draught horses to haul logs. Sometimes he’d work in a cafe to earn a few bob but was most at home sitting in a saddle tending to the cattle. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Nevvy, the second oldest of six and already tall and lanky, was never the school type, preferring to ditch the books and make a quid. His fist job was milking the cow and feeding the chooks at the local Star Hotel. By 14, he was driving a horse and cart, helping to walk sheep up to the high country leases for summer grazing. “I was only a kid but it was easy falling in love with the country,” Nevvy explains over tea and scones prepared by Lesley. For almost 30 years the bushman honed his skills in the high country around Adaminaby, working as stockman, drover and tour guide. “I worked for many different men, taking sheep up past Talbingo and cattle through Broken Cart to Long Plain,” he remembers. “As a young bloke I spent most of my summers in the high country. It was a hive of activity with plenty of other stockmen, drovers and fencing contractors making a fair living.” Nevvy met his finer half at the Reynella Homestead Holiday Resort, where he was taking paying guests from all over the world on five-day mountain riding safaris. Over time he fell in love with

the young cook. She may have been 21 years younger but they shared much in common. Besides, Nevvy never acted his age. They’re still together 30 years later and with no kids to worry about, live a peaceful, meaningful life in wide, open spaces. “We’d go stir crazy living in a house in town,” Lesley admits. “We love our animals too much.” The long afternoon shadow is starting to go down and I look towards Nevvy for an inspiring final quote. “Never give up,” he offers. “If I had my life all over again I wouldn’t change a thing. You don’t need a big bank balance to be rich in happiness and find contentment. I’m fortunate to have my wife as my best mate and the horses to keep me going.” The Clarke Arena in Adelong is named in honour of the pair’s contribution to the district, particularly in horse circles. It serves as a constant reminder of the high esteem in which the tight-knit Adelong district holds for this colourful and enduring stockman and the strong woman by his side. CWL

FACING PAGE: Nevvy Clarke riding hard in a 1980s campdraft. ABOVE: Nevvy is a trusted and true old bushman; in the kitchen with wife and best mate Lesley; a good hat, a handful of ribbons and a few old black and whites of days gone by adorn the lounge room wall.


Adelong Valley Farm Stays

Tracton Homestead and Moorallie Cottage • Home of Phenwick Labradors

The perfect place to escape, relax and unwind Our unique self-contained accommodation is perfectly located in the heart of the beautiful Adelong Valley. We offer a delightful cottage and generous homestead set amongst rolling countryside, abundant natural beauty and breathtaking scenery. All you need for an escape to the country.

P. (02) 6946 4494 / M. 0414 463 504

Phenwick Labradors Specialising in Fox Red Labradors, Phenwick Labradors are top quality country bred dogs with 40 years of breeding experience and can offer you a quality dog whether you want to show, breed or have an excellent top quality pet or companion.

Batlow T O W N F E A T U R E



BATLOW IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL APPLE TOWN. Perched in the rolling hills between Tumut and Tumbarumba, Batlow is surrounded by a patchwork of orchards. The town’s landmark “Big Apple”, on private land just out of town, stands testament to the apple, cherries and stone fruit orchards that have been vital to the town’s prosperity for more than 150 years. The Wiradjuri people lived in the area for thousands of years before Hamilton Hume and William Hovell became the first Europeans to explore the area in 1854, en route to Port Phillip. Gold was discovered at the same time, with a small settlement at Reedy Creek used as a supply point and service centre for the mining area.

In the meantime, a Mr Batlow surveyed a townsite nearby. After the gold deposits were exhausted, farmers found the high altitude (775 metres above sea level) and huge 50-inch rainfall suitable for apple production. The mining supply point was moved and the current township established around 1855. Reedy Flat Post Office opened in 1873 and was renamed Batlow in 1889. Fruit trees and timber became the main income source and in 1910 the town was gazetted. In 1922, the first cool stores in NSW were constructed in the town, before the railway came out from Tumut, adding vital new links with Sydney and beyond. The district supplied troops with dehydrated fruit and vegetables during WW2.

The Batlow Fruit Co-operative, trading since 1922 and now the Batlow Fruit Co, is one of the major employers in town. Many Land Army Girls were stationed in and around Batlow during the war and a sizeable collection of memorabilia is held at the Historical Society Museum. Today Batlow is an agricultural town offering services and facilities to the surrounding area, with local producers diversifying into cherries, nuts, honey and eucalyptus oil products. Take a walk through the Sugar Pine plantation, enjoy a lazy afternoon at the Apple Blossom Festival and CiderFest or explore the enchanting surrounds of Batlow. This town has you covered! CWL



apples Cider and vinegar production have added a new layer to Ralph and Judy Wilson’s apple orchard. Long-time apple producers Ralph and Judy Wilson were once content growing fruit from their Wilgro Orchard in Batlow. In recent years they started experimenting with vinegar on the farm. Ralph believes vinegar is one of the best preventive medicines of all time, known to be very kind to your stomach. The vinegar is available from their roadside stall and also sold to health food shops. Fuelled by their initial success, their next foray was into apple cider production, which has now increased to 6000 litres a year. The cider is made direct from the apple juice with no additives, while the natural yeast in the apples ferments the fruit sugar into alcohol. Wilgro Cider is marketed almost exclusively through their roadside cellar door and a few select local restaurants, and business is expanding. The Wilsons, high school sweethearts and married for 45 years, have been producing apples, cherries and berries on their 42ha property since 1986. The picturesque block is 820 metres above sea level – similar to places like Orange, Oberon and Stanthorpe – with nine hectares of apples and two hectares of cherries grown on rich, volcanic soil.


Batlow T O W N F E A T U R E Rachel says that picking the apples is the “relief” part of the apple’s long journey. “My favourite time is seeing the trees blossom and watching the fruit develop,” she says. “We plant a tree, manipulate its growth and harvest the bounty a few years later. It is immensely rewarding.” Judy manages the store, having spent most of her working life as a teacher in and around Batlow, while Ralph and Rachel tend to the orchard. “The apple industry in Batlow has declined over the past few years,” Ralph laments. “We’re probably producing a third of what we produced 20 years ago, thanks to high production costs, particularly labour, and the emergence of supermarkets.” Ralph knows what he’s talking about, having travelled extensively throughout Australia and a good part of the world through his involvement with various industry bodies. “Before we were growing apples, perfectly good apples but with a minor blemish, which went to the juicer for one-tenth of our normal return. “We had to make the enterprise more profitable and it’s worked. The vinegar and cider are a value-adding proposition for our apples. It’s definitely changed our business.” Both Ralph and Judy enjoy living in the beautiful Batlow district and the healthy lifestyle of living and working on Wilgro Orchards. They have a keen interest in the industry and believe small businesses like theirs are the backbone of the nation. Ralph has taught at TAFE and been asked to lecture at Charles Sturt University but his real passion is growing fruit with his favourite girls in one of the most fertile and scenic locations in Australia. CWL “This season is shaping up to be one of the best,” Ralph says as he strolls through the immaculately maintained trees, covered by huge nets to prevent hail damage. “It can snow several times each year but it doesn’t affect us. Apples produce better in the colder climates and need winter chill, and Batlow has one of the highest winter chills in Australia.” CWL visited in spring, and the trees were all flowering. “Both the cherries and apples are looking good. We’ll pick the cherries early in the season and the apples much later.” Despite a great 52-inch rainfall, Ralph says they still only get two really good seasons out of five. In those poorer seasons they sell enough from their roadside stall to make ends meet.


After finishing school, Ralph wanted to study vet science but with four siblings it wasn’t a viable option. Instead, he worked on local farms and attended Wagga Wagga Ag College, graduating with a Diploma of Agriculture in 1972. With his fees and accommodation paid for, the deal was that he’d work for Mountain Maid Co-op, a cannery in Batlow. It proved a fortuitous move and Ralph revelled in his job as a field officer, recommending the latest varieties to the local fruit and vegetable growers. “In 1979 the growers could see the co-op was going under, so we merged with Letona (then in Leeton) and most of the debt was erased. Within a few years Letona and Mountain Maid both closed their doors. “The co-op employed nearly half the workers in Batlow and its closure sent a giant economic ripple through the town.” The apple growers banded together and formed a new co-op, specifically for apples and pears. These days Batlow Fruit is a modern, progressive company with 60 to 70 employees who store, pack and market the fruit on behalf of growers. In 2017, Wilgro produced 500 tonnes of apples, including the Pink Lady, Royal and Alvina Gala, Granny Smith and Kanzi varieties. With their daughters in Dubbo and Sydney, Ralph and Judy are fortunate to have Rachel Gavin on the team. After 15 years on the job, she is almost like family, bringing youth, enthusiasm and experience to the business.

FACING PAGE: Ralph Wilson and loyal worker Rachel Gavin are constantly checking the health of the apple trees; Ralph, Judy and Rachel with some of their fine cider and vinegar drops. LEFT: Harvesting the apples; it can often snow.

Mountain grown - Famous for Flavour

Our cellar door and roadside stall is open most of the year, except late Winter. Traditional hand crafted Apple Cider is made at our orchard from our apples. Apples | Cherries | Cider | Vinegars Berries | Nuts | Pies | Juices & more 4065-4066 Batlow Road, Batlow NSW 2730


serenity now

“Relax, revive and refresh” is the perfect catchcry for Batlow’s Brindabella Farmstay.

Brindabella Farmstay boasts glorious views of the Brindabella Ranges, and owner Anne Hallard offers a holiday like no other, especially for city guests who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a well-maintained garden, acres of space and unfettered freedom. “My favourite part of the homestead is the front verandah, with commanding views toward the mountains,” Anne says. “I never tire of a landscape that provides such a soothing, tranquil view of the world. The ever-changing light and sumptuous sunrises – all the while accompanied by the varied and busy birdlife.” Anne says her concept was to create the farmstay and glamping (glamorous camping) for others to enjoy on their own terms. “If I can’t personally be there to enjoy Brindabella I want others to do so,” she says. “It’s a co-operative idea that links back to the vision shared by my grandfather and father before me – to bring about a notion of sharing the bountiful beauty the farm and district affords.” The modern, spacious four-bedroom house is exceptional, highlighted by tasteful furnishings and all the creature comforts of home. Views from every bedroom encourage mornings in bed with a cup of tea while reading your favourite book. In summer the sensational sunsets are to be appreciated while enjoying an aperitif on the verandah, perhaps while preparing a gourmet barbecue. As a third-generation Batlow resident, Anne has the love and understanding of rural life flowing through her veins. In 1939 her grandfather, Major Hugh Reginald Hallard DSO, was appointed assistant manager of the Batlow Packing House Co-Op Limited, a position he held until 1948. After serving his country in WW2, Anne’s father, Hugh Charles


Hallard, became a timber cutter before buying a 300-acre property and becoming a significant shareholder and contributor of the co-op. “I had an idyllic farm upbringing, admiring the dedication and hard work my parents put into making the apple, pear and cherry orchard one of the finest in the district,” she says. “When I was young, farm succession planning rarely extended to daughters. When my parents sold their property in 1980 and retired to Sydney I made it a long-term goal to one day return to Batlow.” As a young girl growing up in Batlow’s rolling hills, Anne had been inspired by the incredible views, the rich, bountiful countryside, the distinct seasons and variety of things to do.

Batlow T O W N F E A T U R E

“I spent many hours exploring surrounding playgrounds like the Yarrangobilly Caves and thermal pool, Adelong Falls and goldmining ruins and the enchanting Sugar Pine Forest.” For sport she water-skied on Blowering Dam, took to the slopes on the Kiandra ski fields and swam in the Bogong and Paddy River Falls. “It struck me that we enjoyed a very unique part of this beautiful country – one that very few people seemed to know about. This cemented my determination to one day return with a tourism idea.” Anne kept strong ties with the friends she had grown up with. When they heard she was looking to buy a property, they kept her informed of market movement. In 2005 she heard an 80-acre farm known as “Quondong” had hit the market. “This farm had been a paddock I rode my pony Priscilla through as a young girl,” Anne recalls. It had been transformed by Sydney couple Beth and John Mainwaring into a productive, well-managed blueberry farm. The cedar homestead was expertly built to capture the uninterrupted views towards the Blowering Dam rocks in the foreground to the Brindabella Ranges in the far distance, maximising cool breezes in summer and sunshine warmth in winter. The place ticked all the boxes. Anne envisaged the homestead as the perfect retreat for large family gatherings, weddings and special celebrations. The shed, where berries were once sold on-farm, lent itself to “glamping” accommodation with bathroom, lounge and kitchen alongside the two permanent South African-made safari tents. For those who enjoy getting in touch with nature, you can stay in the comfortable tents and wake up to the most glorious view of mother nature. “Glamping is a relatively new concept in Australia, but I was fortunate to have ABC rural reporter Michael Cavanagh and his wife as my very first guests,” Anne says. Having travelled and glamped in various countries around the world, they were in no doubt it would take off in Australia, particularly at Brindabella Farmstay. “The idea around my glamping is that families can experience the joys of camping and being on a working farm with their children. The great thing is you don’t have to worry about bringing your own equipment or sharing the campground with others,” Anne explains. “They can pull up, enjoy a meal in the camp kitchen with all modern amenities, relax around the campfire, sleep in comfortable beds made with quality linen, enjoy the comforts of a hot shower all the while being mesmerised by the scenery.” Anne’s latest business venture to be launched in 2019 is Brindabella Tours, specifically designed to share her passion and intimate knowledge of the area with guests. This business is segmented around speciality interests such as landscape painting/drawing, bushwalking, mountain bike riding, forest bathing and mindfulness, Indigenous learning experiences, and apple, berry, vineyard and truffle farm tours. The tours will be intertwined within the Batlow Writers Festival, Batlow CiderFest, Tumbarumba TumbaFest and the Tumut Festival of the Falling Leaf for those wanting to experience the area’s bountiful eco tourism along with the emerging food and cool wine trail. In the meantime, do yourself a favour and take time out at Brindabella. It’s good for the soul and will re-energise you like never before. CWL

FACING PAGE: The inspiring view from the balcony and all the bedrooms; the huge master bedroom. ABOVE: Couples and families love “glamping” in the comfortable tents; Brindabella Farmstay is the brainchild of owner Anne Hallard.

relax | revive | refresh

A unique farmstay experience in famous Batlow Apple Country Experience traditional country accommodation whilst enjoying privacy and luxury in either the 4 bedroom cedar homestead surrounded by an established, well maintained garden or in the 2 safari tents accompanied by sophisticated glamping amenities. Enjoy the tranquility and scenery of the 80-acre

working farm conveniently located on the Snowy Valleys Way between the picturesque townships of Batlow and Tumut. Guests are provided with an idyllic getaway to immerse their senses, enjoy the four seasons or participate in forest bathing while taking in the crisp mountain air.

Phone Anne on 0438 604 416 | 4388 Batlow Rd, Batlow NSW 2730



T O W N F E A T U R E Batlow

THE CIDERFEST RULES At the core of Batlow’s CiderFest are fabulous community spirit and extraordinary natural assets.

In the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, Batlow enjoys fresh mountain air, spectacular scenery and the occasional dusting of snow. The area enjoys perfect conditions for growing Australia’s best-known apples – the ones that make great cider! Event organisers harvested these assets to create the Batlow CiderFest, held on the third Saturday of May each year. The event has grown into a regional flagship event that attracts thousands of visitors. Fabulous autumn weather, enthusiastic volunteers, “excidered” attendees, and the “Wacky Apple Tarts” in colourful costumes will put a smile on everyone’s face. Chairs, tables and about 80 stalls decorate a street closed to traffic. Two stages, with varied performances from poetry to rock, and some street theatre will keep you entertained. In this big street party, cider lovers can savour Batlow’s unique, home-grown range of boutique ciders and compare them with local craft brews and cold-climate wines. Quality cuisine from around the globe will keep your taste buds wanting to try more, while top quality merchandise from a variety of stalls will provide that purchase you’ve been looking for. On Friday, the day before, you might like to enrol in a Taste and Learn session where experienced craft cider makers will guide you through the world of hand-made ciders. You might also like to attend a Living Foods or Holistic Health seminar or workshop. There will even be an art exhibition in the recently refurbished Literary Institute that will stay open throughout the weekend. The more adventurous can take in some fly fishing or just enjoy the many walks and attractions in the region. Stay that extra day or two, sleep in and lunch in the local club, hotel, nearby wineries and cafes. So, pencil in a trip to Batlow for May 18, 2019. It’s about half way between Sydney and Melbourne and only a few hours from Canberra. You will love the area so much you’ll want to return for the Apple Blossom Festival, staged on the third Saturday of October, to celebrate spring and the start of the apple season. For full details of what’s on offer, accommodation and transport, visit Accommodation books out early so don’t miss out! CWL Main image: Peter McDade


Amber Murray, Wagga Wagga, face paints young Annabelle Smith.

Ciara Proud, 5, meets a friendly alpaca.

Councillor Margaret Isselmann, 2018 Blossom Festival president Lisa Roberts, groundsman Scott Baron, MC Col Agate and Indigenous elder Kevin Stokes.

Jeff and Sarah Kynaston with daughter Kate, Bees ‘n’ Berries, Batlow.

Fireman Chris Cooper with a 1932 Dennis firetruck.

Batlow T O W N F E A T U R E

THE PLOT THICKENS Batlow’s Sulari Gentill took up writing as a hobby and made it a way of life.

Highly acclaimed author Sulari Gentill has 12 novels under her belt and her lucky 13th was due for release in February 2019. Having clinched the Ned Kelly Award for best crime novel with her latest offering, Crossing the Lines, she is already preparing for an American tour later this year. In the meantime, however, it’s business as usual at the delightful Batlow home she shares with her husband, two kids, two cats, three dogs, a handful of miniature horses and a bunch of chickens. Here in the high country she feels elevated, inspired and happy. It’s the perfect space to lose herself in creative writing. Over a relaxing cuppa on the sunny verandah, it soon becomes apparent her journey to full-time fiction writer is every bit as compelling as the complex characters portrayed in her novels. Born in Sri Lanka and learning to speak English in central Africa, Sulari enjoyed an unconventional upbringing. “When my father first applied to come to this country, the White Australia policy was still in effect, so my family went to Zambia for five years to wait it out. We reapplied for immigration in the late 1970s after the policy had been completely dismantled.” As we talk I can’t help but feel there is something refreshingly normal about this award-winning author. She grows French black truffles, loves her animals and paints – but only well enough to know she should write, preferably in bed and in her pyjamas! “I do the bulk of my writing sitting in bed with the TV on,” she admits with a grin. “I tend to watch old BBC crime shows like Inspector Morse and Midsummer Murders. “I actually feel very comfortable writing in pyjamas. After spending years in corporate suits, it’s great to relax and not be sitting at a desk, waiting for inspiration.”

As an afterthought she says that writing, for her at least, is similar to dreaming – and that’s also done in bed! Sulari concedes she never set out to be a writer. Initially she planned to study Astrophysics at ANU but switched to Law, only to abandon her legal career to churn out books instead of contracts. “After years of corporate contracts, I realised I just wanted to tell stories. Perhaps a legal career is a natural precursor to writing fiction.” During those long years of study at ANU, Canberra, Sulari met the man she’d one day marry. Michael Blenkins is the deputy principal at Tumbarumba High, father to Edmund, 17, and Atticus,13, and the first person on the planet to view any of her manuscripts. He is the true historian in the family with a level of expertise in the extreme NSW political movements of the 1930s, which, not surprisingly, happens to be the backdrop of her Rowland Sinclair Mysteries. “In the series, Rowland, the main character, is an artist. While I’m writing Rowland, I’ll paint to channel him and see the world through his eyes. When I’m stuck for words I’ll tackle a portrait – just as he does in the books. It helps me hear his voice,” Sulari says. In the early days no one was sure if writing would ever pay the bills. “My husband thinks of my books as negatively geared properties – one day they will make some money. In the beginning you carry the loss,” she laughs. “It’s definitely an all or nothing profession.” In 2011 Sulari was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for the Best First Book in Australia and the South Pacific Region. “I was so enchanted with storytelling that I gave up the notion of financial security and wound up my practice as a lawyer. I served instead on a number of public boards, which freed up my time to write,” she says. “Then, in a moment I’ll always remember as one of pure joy, hysterical giddy excitement and overwhelming relief, Pantera Press made an offer on A Few Right Thinking Men, the first book of the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries.” Now most of her time is devoted to researching and writing. Sulari is a one-draft writer who doesn’t plot and therefore has no idea what will transpire in her books from one day to the next. “It’s like going on one almighty adventure with all your characters,” she says. Sulari admits it’s been “a wild and glorious eight years filled with the competing madness of both my real and imaginary worlds”. “I’ve met many extraordinary people, made some wonderful friends, earned a readership and, I hope, honed my craft. And I remain hopelessly in love with the craft of writing.” One of the great benefits of being a writer, she says, is meeting fellow writers. “Often after reading a book, I’m surprised and intrigued on meeting its author. I think I fall into the trap of imagining the author as one of the characters in his or her work. Once I get to know the writer, however, their book seems to become a part of them rather than the other way around.” Having been a serial hobbyist, Sulari has tried her hand at many things. “I’d do something new for six months, master it and then move on.” It might be welding, painting, sculpture, quilting or ceramic doll making. If pushed she can even pregnancy test a cow! “As soon as I became bored it was time for something new. I came to writing in exactly the same manner. It was a hobby I expected to be as short-lived as the others. But it caught my imagination like nothing else and felt as natural as breathing. The notion of stopping was unthinkable,” she says. “My head has always been crammed with undiscovered places and imaginary people who tell me their stories. I instinctively knew I’d meandered onto the right path.” CWL ABOVE: As for legal jobs, Sulari says she could still draft a contract but you might find it has a plot...and perhaps a twist or two.


T O W N F E A T U R E Batlow

mighty fine


The Sugar Pine Walk is one of the region’s best kept secrets.

About half a kilometre from the BatlowTumbarumba Road at Laurel Hill, the 500-metre walk is a “must-see” attraction. The enormous sugar pines – the largest and tallest of all pines – were planted on a 2.4ha site in 1928. Ninety years later the canopy of the towering pines meet overhead while every footfall is softened by a carpet of pine needles.


This natural cathedral is breath-taking in all seasons but has an extra magic when covered with snow. Sugar pine is native to the west coast of America, including the famed Yosemite National Park. It has been suggested that in a natural forest some specimens may grow as old as 800 years.

Interpretive signage on this impressive pine stand is provided by the Forestry Corporation, which manages over 200,000ha of plantation forest in NSW. Sugar Pine Walk is worth a visit any time of the year, preferably early morning or late afternoon to take advantage of the filtered light. CWL Images: Peter McDade

Batlow T O W N F E A T U R E


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumut River

TAKE ME TO THE RIVER Nestled in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, on the fork of Tumut River and Nimbo Creek, sits one of the most beautiful regional destinations in NSW. At the northern end of Kosciuszko National Park between Gundagai and Tumut, Nimbo Fork Lodge has long been a cherished favourite among fishermen. With new ownership, the lodge has evolved into the perfect romantic escape, special family celebration or corporate group getaway. The six private cottages all come with sensational views over the river, with a further six beautifully designed and furnished suites in the main lodge. They are so comfortable you won’t want to leave! Each room has its own en suite, television and minibar with tea and coffee. Guests are spoiled with a cheeseboard on arrival, ensuring a great start to the Nimbo Fork experience. In winter months, enjoy fireside drinks in the lounge before dining in the bespoke restaurant


where Adam, your personal chef, creates seasonal menus from local and sustainable produce. Offering some of the country’s best ingredients and fresh produce from the neighbouring Riverina district, the fine-dining restaurant promises an experience your tastebuds will never forget. From daily country-style breakfasts to delicious lunch options (group bookings only) with the seasonal specialties, you’ll savour Nimbo Fork’s farm-to-plate culinary delights. Surrounded by spectacular landscapes, the lodge offers a combination of natural raw beauty and unbridled luxury. If you’re off on an adventure to explore the picturesque surrounds, gourmet picnic baskets are available with a hand-picked assortment of local treats.


Tumut River T O W N F E A T U R E

Fancy a tipple? The wine list has been carefully curated by industry professionals. General manager Matt Mangan offers something for everyone, including a select variety from premium local producers like Nick Spencer Wines, Freeman Wines, Nick O’Leary and Calabria Family Wines. Josh and Sophie Walsh, who run White Top Venues, met Nimbo Fork owners Chris and Maureen Fehon in 2017 and began hosting marquee weddings on the river banks. A year later, after 14 wonderful years at the lodge, it was time for the Fehons to start winding down. After many long discussions, Josh and Sophie joined forces with business partners Alex and Tom Heggaton to purchase the venue and 100 acres of land.

The Fehons’ legacy is on show, having built the lodgings in beautiful heritage-style timber. Maureen’s eye for interior design is reflected in each and every room. While they enjoyed a steady flow of business mainly through their connections in the fly-fishing community, the new owners are netting a much broader market. They overhauled the marketing strategy and website, expanded the dining facilities and added a provedore and massage facilities in the space of a few months. If you love trout fishing in the true Australian bush, while enjoying the fine luxury of an intimate, boutique resort, then a getaway to this hidden gem is in order. CWL

ABOVE: Nimbo Fork before sunrise; river views; plenty of room to relax; modern bedrooms with all the luxury you’d expect. FACING PAGE: The interior of Nimbo Fork Lodge is tastefully furnished with no expense spared.

Nestled in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains, on the fork of Tumut River and Nimbo Creek – perfect for a romantic escape, a special family celebration or a corporate group getaway. We offer six private cottages as well as six suites in our main lodge and a fine dining restaurant. Nimbo Fork Lodge is a flawless combination of natural raw beauty, luxury and tradition that guarantees a truly memorable experience.




accepted Sue Bulger is living a richly rewarding life by embracing opportunities and overcoming obstacles.

“If I had a bit of a philosophy about life I’d say don’t make excuses. That’s what I try to tell myself. Don’t make excuses because you’re telling yourself not to do something which you probably can.” These are the simple but inspiring words of Sue Bulger, the proud Wiradjuri woman who grew up with 10 siblings on Brungle Mission and ended up as Tumut mayor in 2015, for eight months prior to the amalgamation. For the past three years she has been the CEO of the BrungleTumut Local Aboriginal Land Council and she’s never forgotten where she came from. “There were four houses on the mission surrounded by lots of little huts. We used to climb through a fence and walk over the hill to school,” she says with a grin. “I remember the house had a separate kitchen, a big room with an open fireplace. The fireplace was so big we all sat there when we were cold. The rest of the house had bedrooms and a lounge room but no bathroom. We used to have a big tub beside the fire and an outside toilet.” Her first impression of Brungle was of a huge area with lots of families. Sue remembers a few fights but says generally it was one big, happy community. “I was the eldest girl in the family and looked after the young ones while Mum was always sewing ripped clothes or ironing, washing and cooking,” she says. “We used to wrap up the washing in a big sheet and take it to the Nimbo Creek to clean it. We’d have a swim or go exploring and come home after the washing had dried on the grass or hanging in the trees.”

“I hope the younger people will develop a greater respect for those that came before us. People had a hard life but they made the most of it.”

For fun she played rounders with her family, using a broom handle and tennis ball. In the early 1960s her family moved into a railway house at Gilmore. Her father worked as a stockman at Red Hill station before devoting 33 years to the railways. Sue had no idea what life had in store for her after moving to Tumut during her formative high school years. She thought she might try speech therapy with children but, without the marks, opted for primary school teaching. “I want every child to get an education,” she says passionately. “I want them to know they will be selling themselves short if they don’t stay at school. A decent education opens doors. “I hope the younger people will develop a greater respect for those that came before us. People had a hard life but they made the most of it. Some of the young ones think they have it hard today but they don’t. “Perhaps they haven’t realised the opportunities awaiting them. They could easily take those up and be happy, or at least have a good life.” Sue admits she is constantly surprised by her achievements. “Sometimes I get cranky with people who call me up-town! I feel like saying I had the same dirt-poor start that you had!” After many years of casual relief teaching, Sue is attending Charles Sturt University, along with three of her sisters, hoping to earn a graduate certificate in Wiradjuri language, culture and heritage. Her dream is to converse with family and community members in their local tongue. Recently she attended a weaving workshop at the Brungle Yarning Circle, launched this year during NAIDOC week with her great niece Jada. “The yarning circle is an area for elders to sit and talk to each other, the young people and the community at large. There is an area for dancing, a big fire pit and shaded area. We all love it.” Sue’s best mate and partner Rod O’Connell, a Maori who became an Australian citizen, has been by her side for nearly 30 years. He has watched proudly as Sue continues to inspire all women, regardless of age, rank or colour. CWL

FACING PAGE: Sue Bulger is an inspiration to her family and local community.


Brungle T O W N F E A T U R E


T O W N F E A T U R E Talbingo

welcome to


TOURISM IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF TALBINGO, THE TINY TOWN THAT SITS 410 METRES ABOVE SEA LEVEL ON THE EDGE OF THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS. The construction town was one of many camps established by the Snowy Mountains Authority, built in the 1960s at the same time as the Tumut 3 power station. The original village was flooded under Jounama Pondage in 1968 to make way for the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme. The old Talbingo comprised a hotel, service station, a few holiday cabins and the


Talbingo station homestead, where author Miles Franklin was born. Few people who experienced the original valley in childhood ever forgot it. Miles Franklin, in Childhood in Brindabella, writes of Talbingo: “No other spot has ever replaced the hold on my affections or imagination of my birthplace, nor are any other incidents so clearly and tenderly etched in my memory as those connected with it.�

Many families stop by every summer for water skiing on Talbingo or Blowering Dam or bushwalking and exploring Kosciuszko National Park. In winter, Talbingo becomes a hub for those visiting Selwyn Snowfields. CWL

ABOVE: Plenty of Talbingo homes have expansive water views.

Talbingo T O W N F E A T U R E


SEASONS Talbingo Tourist Park is just the spot for a scenic stay in the Snowy.

Talbingo, on the shores of Jounama Pondage amid stunning mountain scenery, is renowned as the perfect centre for water sports enthusiasts. And right at the heart of the action is Talbingo Tourist Park, offering options for all budgets – from apartments, to cabins, to powered and unpowered sites for those visitors towing their own motorhome. “We see a variety of people here, from fishing groups and clubs, to bushwalkers, family groups headed to the snow or for water skiing activities, car and motorbike clubs. It’s such a beautiful quiet area and

so close to so many attractions,” Talbingo Tourist Park owner James Smith says. Five years ago, James and wife Diane embarked on a new adventure and took over the business, after he had been working for several years as a truck driver. “The fact that we have visitors throughout all four seasons was a big attraction for us. We had been based in Wagga, but I wanted to be home with our three children more, so this was a venture the family could all do together,” James says. “It’s been a great way to meet people from all walks of life, too.”

Along with accommodation, the site has a swimming pool, children’s play area, covered barbecue areas, a recently refurbished camp kitchen and TV room, and plenty of other conveniences are available such as linen and snow chain hire. “The features of caravans are becoming really impressive now and they feel homelier, so we are seeing a lot more families bringing their own accommodation in that regard.” James says being so close to Mount Selwyn means snow season is particularly popular for visitors, as well as the traditional January summer holiday period. “We are also fortunate the water here provides the ideal location for water skiing, swimming or canoeing, and to have crystal clear mountain streams that are home to many species of fish for keen anglers to throw in a line,” James says. He also adds that his own children enjoy the outdoor activities and nearby attractions. “It has been a great move for the kids. It’s a great community we live in and I think the whole town is becoming busier and more popular as a place to visit. I think the reach of the internet and word-of-mouth has certainly assisted in gaining bigger tourist numbers. “One of the main attractions of the Talbingo area is the large dam for the generation of hydro-power and part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme – the top of its impressive wall offers a beautiful view over the domineering pipelines to the waterways below. “We are lucky to get such great weather during all four seasons too. It’s definitely a beautiful part of the world.” CWL Article: Rosie O’Keeffe Photography: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE: Owners of the Talbingo Tourist Caravan Park, James and Diane Smith with their children, Daniel, Josh and Tegan.

Talbingo Tourist Caravan Park is nestled in the foothills of The Snowy Mountains. Sitting on the edge of Kosciuszko National Park with views of Jounama Pond.

Experience the Beauty of Talbingo

45 Whitty Street Talbingo NSW 2720 • P. 02 6949 5239 •

Accommodation ranging from 2 bedroom brick apartments to ensuite cabins, powered and unpowered sites. Visit Buddong Falls, Yarrangobilly Caves, Mt Selwyn and Long Plain Rd, Boating on Talbingo Dam or Blowering Dam, both within 10mins.

Talbingo Tourist Caravan Park


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba


Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E



T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba

getting to know TUMBARUMBA Visitors to Tumbarumba usually make their first port of call the Visitor Information Centre, a historic building that doubles as the town’s museum.

Tumbarumba Historical Society volunteers Ron and Catherine Frew help out in the museum and the town archives in the library. The former teachers have lived in town for about 35 years and written numerous books and publications, including the wonderful pictorial of life in the old days, simply called Tumbarumba. It depicts the modern history of the town starting with its settlement in 1859 by miners, stockmen, timber getters and farmers after the discovery of gold. Post war, the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro scheme saw a huge influx of migrants to the mountains in a 25-year project from 1949 to 1974. With the gold long gone and the Snowy Mountain Hydro scheme completed, the township is now home to a tight-knit community of about 2500 people. Today the alpine landscape is dotted with pine plantations, vibrant cattle and sheep grazing enterprises and vineyards producing the now famous cool-climate wines.


The Historical Society recently commemorated the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the Southern Cloud plane wreckage in 1958. Tom Sonter, a young carpenter, was inadvertently thrown into the spotlight after stumbling across it while photographing mountain scenery. It had been a long 27-year wait to find answers, the plane having disappeared in the rugged mountains in 1931. It was Australia’s first big civil airline disaster, costing the lives of its pilot, copilot and all six passengers. A dinner and trek to the crash site brought together descendants of those lost. They shared personal stories of the effect of the disaster on their families. “We have photographs and artefacts from the crash site here in the museum along with a scaled model of the plane. We even have poignant letters the pilot wrote to a young Victorian school boy months before the disaster,” Ron says. If not for the tragedy, changes made to aviation meteorology, communications and safety equipment would not have occurred when they did.

The Historical Society recently commemorated the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the Southern Cloud plane wreckage in 1958.

Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

Ron points out a significant museum artefact, a huge bowl made from the burl of a tree and used by the First People as a baby minder or possibly for tanning skins. “It’s listed as an item of national significance in the Riverina. It’s probably unique in Australia, serving as a very special link between settler and Aboriginal history.” Gold mining helped shape the town. “Alluvial gold was mined here from 1855 through to the 1930s, which meant shifting through lots of dirt for only small amounts of gold. To reach deeper deposits the wash needed to be lifted,” he explains.

“Tumbarumba miner George Heinecke patented a much improved hydraulic jet elevator for this purpose, which revolutionised alluvial mining throughout the world.” All here in Tumbarumba, a town that likes getting things done. That’s why the Rail Trail from Tumbarumba to Rosewood will prove a major tourist attraction when completed at the end of 2019. “You will be able to walk or cycle along a 22km route full of history, which will be documented with display boards along the route,” Ron says. For these and countless other stories, a visit to the bustling information centre and museum is a must for all visitors. CWL

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: In 1958 a young Tom Sonter discovered the wreckage of the Southern Cloud in dense bushland, decades after it mysteriously disappeared; historians and authors Ron and Catherine Frew with some of their publications; Kylie Bradley and Lottie Tuilau are the friendly faces from the Tumbarumba Visitors Centre; Charles Gayland in 2012 with his timber watermill - one of the many artefacts on display in the museum; the “Mundaroo Coolamon”, a huge timber bowl used by the local Aborigines. FACING PAGE: The Tumbarumba Information Centre and Museum.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba

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Albury Street in 1908. Images kindly supplied by the Tumbarumba Historical Society.

Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

A TOWN WITH TEAM SPIRIT What this town lacks in size, it makes up for in historical interest and community co-operation.


view to a

THRILL Tumbarumba is blessed with natural assets that are all the more beautiful against the white hot backdrop of the Snowy Mountains.


Tumut T O W N F E A T U R E

A picturesque scene from the Southern Cloud Lookout, Tooma, across the Maragle Valley towards the distant majestic Snowy Mountains. Image: Peter McDade TUMUT CWL 115

“History is often seen as belonging to the rich and famous but in the end history is really about the everyday lives of ordinary people.”


women One of Tumbarumba’s favourite tourist stops is the Pioneer Women’s Hut at the Glenroy Heritage Reserve.


Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

A short drive from town on the former nine-hole golf course, the Pioneer Women’s Hut was opened in 1985 with recycled buildings from the old Mannus Correctional Centre. Built to reflect the herculean efforts of women on the land in those challenging early days of the colony, the hut is one of the jewels in the crown of local tourism. The Glenroy Cottage Crafts shop, in the golf club’s former clubhouse, is the starting point of the tour. After shopping for an attractive gift you can sit down for an invigorating cup of tea and biscuit before the exploration begins. Run by a lively group of volunteers as a community organisation, this glimpse of the past draws the community together. “We felt that the role of our pioneer women hadn’t been fully recognised in our rural history,” volunteer Anne Thoroughgood says. “Our Pioneer Women’s Hut portrays the invaluable contribution these women made to the community.” Cleverly themed, it reflects the ingenuity of mothers and wives in finding solutions to the myriad challenges they faced on a day-to-day basis. A short stroll leads to the Heritage Quilt Museum and The Gift of Thrift exhibition, opened in 2011. Believed to be the only purpose-built quilt museum in the country, it features some 60 quilts dating back to the late 1800s, with about a third displayed at any one time. While admiring their beauty and age, it’s hard not to think of the tenacity displayed by our early sewers, knitters and darners. The rooms bring back recollections of family history and appreciation of the hardships they endured. “The accessibility and provenance of the diverse collection adds to its reputation,” Anne says. “The exhibition displays a tangible reminder of the way our pioneering women re-used every piece of cloth. Nothing was ever wasted.” Other points of interest include the old machinery shed full of historic farm implements, telephone exchange and history room. Professor Donald Horne, in The Intelligent Tourist, cites the hut as the most innovative small museum in Australia. Come and decide for yourself. CWL

For more information check out:

FACING PAGE: Women were the true pioneers of the pastoral industry and goldfields. Their lives were marked by success and failure, tragedy, loneliness and above all, hard work. The Pioneer Women’s Hut is a glowing legacy to their endurance. ABOVE: Volunteer Neil Christie, 84, loves showing visitors around; Pauline Clothier, Mary O’Donoghue, Yvonne Albert, Heather Hubbert and Anne Thoroughgood prepare sandwiches for a coach load of visitors; the museum is well laid out; some of the quilts in the Heritage Quilt Room; the entire family helped out at harvest; Toohey McAuliffe and family depict Tumbarumba life in 1950; Canadian Wives “Friendship Club,” Sydney, 1945; pioneering days on the farm.


“You don’t take a photograph, you make a photograph.” Ansell Adams

in his

element Painter and photographer Peter McDade doesn’t have to look far to find inspiration for his work.

Gifted Tumbarumba artist Peter McDade excels at capturing nature’s most glorious moments on camera before recreating them on canvas through an entirely different medium. His skills with the paintbrush are as striking as the local landscapes captured on his Olympus and Panasonic digital cameras. Since retiring, Peter now devotes more time developing his artistic passion. “This region has so many inspiring locations,” he says. “With the changing seasons, there’s never any shortage of photo and painting opportunities. It’s a wonderful place to retire, surrounded by alpine country, forests, valleys and the most beautiful lakes.” Although Peter lived most of his life in Sydney, being a business analyst with PMG, Telecom and Telstra meant covering large tracts of country NSW. Over the years he discovered some magic places, forever dreaming of finding his own patch of paradise, which he eventually did in a beautiful spot on the edge of Tumbarumba. It’s a long way from his Scottish heritage. Peter emigrated to Australia with his family at age seven. A few years later, Peter found himself back in Glasgow. His first job, as a ticket and show card writer for a local department store, earned him enough money to return to the sunny country and reunite with his sister and mother. This time it was for good.

LEFT: Tumbarumba photographer Peter McDade loves capturing the colours of each season. FACING PAGE: Blueberry bushes in autumn colours; mist, snow and eucalypts; sunset on Mannus Lake; Paddy’s Falls; Tumbarumba “creekscape”.




Peter has come a long way from his early days of experimenting with his father’s Box Brownie. Part of the enjoyment is seeing his colourful images brought to life on the computer screen. “I love to browse galleries when I’m out and about travelling,” he says. “When I see beautiful light I look for strong composition and it all goes from there.” Since moving to Tumbarumba, this quietly spoken artist has become involved with community education. A few years ago he started


a camera club, which has always attracted about 20 enthusiastic members. He also volunteers at Artists on Parade at the local art studio. When he’s not creating magnificent artworks, Peter enjoys time with his seven (combined) children, 15 grandchildren and one greatgrandchild. His next big project is creating a joint exhibition of his paintings and photographs. If the images on these pages are any indication, it will be a definite show stopper. CWL

ABOVE: Sunset on Graham and Carol Grant’s vineyard; entrance to Lochinvar Forest Park; Peter is also an accomplished painter.

Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

delightful & delicious Tumbarumba Motel has just the right ingredients for the perfect stay. Nestled among three hectares of lush gardens, and further afield, the expansive vineyards, pastures and natural bushland that surrounds the township of Tumbarumba, is a motel and restaurant showcasing fresh local produce. The Tumbarumba region is one of the newest wine regions in NSW, and with its delectable truffles, chestnuts, blueberries, olive oil, raspberries, beef and lamb, it certainly boasts some of the most renowned cool-climate foods in Australia. The Elms Restaurant team at Tumbarumba Motel carefully considers its menu to reflect seasonal produce – including its signature barbeque duck spring roll, which has been a popular menu inclusion for 15 years. “We smoke the ducks and roast them before we peel the flesh off and then they are all hand rolled and the rich flavours match perfectly with one of the local pinot noirs we have on our wine list,” owner Robyn Jones says. “We originally established the restaurant for those travelling throughout the region so they could experience our regional produce, but with so many local food and wines on our menu, locals dine here regularly. “If something originates from outside the region it doesn’t sell as well. The demand for local produce is really consumer driven and people have a real appreciation for our dishes that do have links to the region. “It’s actually funny, my dad had a massive vegetable garden, which provided the restaurant with home grown and organic vegetables. One year he produced 200 pumpkins, so we got really creative with dishes we could use pumpkins in, and our beef dishes and apple and blueberry crumble always prove popular.”

It was 25 years ago that after studying at food school in Sydney and then travelling and working in the industry for several years overseas and managing guest houses in Wollongong, Robyn and her husband Chris, an electrician (and affectionately known as head of maintenance at the motel), returned to Tumbarumba with their young family and a plan to develop and boost the quality accommodation offered in the township Robyn had grown up in. Now, the motel has 31 stylish suites, welcoming many guests from the various outlying industries, and has hosted weddings, birthday parties and special dinners. Robyn is now also turning her attention to training young people to cook professionally. “Our head chef was raised in Tumbarumba and completed an apprenticeship here,

wanting to extend her skills. We have now trained 15 apprentices in commercial cookery since we returned and I have started the philosophy that the more people we train the better the quality of food and service will be here,” Robyn says. “Our greatest asset is our staff and with the uniqueness of the environment we’re in, we’ve had some hilarious things happen. There are certainly times when we think we should have been doing a rerun of Fawlty Towers. It’s a bit too close to the truth sometimes with the funny and weird things that go on, but at the end of the day it’s all about teamwork.” CWL Words: Rosie O’Keeffe Images: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE: Chris and Robyn Jones provide a warm welcome at the Tumbarumba Motel.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba


beloved COUNTRY Tumbarumba cattle graziers Roger and Janet Anderson have always stuck by their Poll Hereford cows. When you see them grazing nonchalantly in the hilly paddocks you’ll understand why.

With a reliable 36 inch rainfall (900mm) and good soils, “Burra” is highly productive beef cattle country. The Andersons run a predominantly Poll Hereford herd, crossed with Shorthorn, Charolais and Angus bulls, with yearlings typically sold to feedlotters. “It’s also good Merino country with plenty of prime cross-bred lambs coming out of the district,” Roger says. “They used to bring sheep up here from Narrandera for summer grazing in the 1880s until the rabbits arrived and basically ate the place out.” Roger says the family have been breeding Herefords since the 1930s, after they closed the dairy and got out of the Milking Shorthorns. “We love the Herefords for their productivity, docile nature and easy handling in the paddock and yards,” Roger says. “Another bonus is that we can source quality commercial bulls from reliable, honest studs.” The Andersons have lived there for 30 years but the family have been farming in the district since 1924. Their son Nicholas works in Melbourne in the financial game while daughter Felicity Middleton runs a farm nearby with her agronomist husband Sandy.

The historic homestead was built in stages. The oldest part of the home dates back to 1860, with major extensions during the Federation period at the turn of the 20th century. It’s the size of a small motel, with three sides and long sweeping verandahs. The Andersons had never counted the rooms but a quick tally shows there are 18. Initially comprising 23,000 acres, the property had its own dairy, blacksmiths shop, old store and bookkeeper’s office and a very old 12-stand woolshed – all of which are still standing. The historic woolshed was one of only a handful in Australia powered by water, gravity-fed 12 miles from nearby Paddy’s River. Extensive gold mining took place at Burra Creek, a good stone’s throw from the homestead. The old homestead has witnessed plenty of history over its 160 years. No doubt Roger’s upcoming 70th birthday will be another memorable event for the Anderson family. CWL ABOVE: Poll Herefords thrive in the local conditions. FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: An aerial shot of “Burra” in the 1960s; Roger Anderson with a Rumble & Sons wool press; the homestead’s dining room is ready for another family get together; the hallway provides an indication of the immense size of the homestead; Roger in the historic woolshed; the Andersons in their lounge room.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba


ORDER The timber industry in the Snowy Valleys is big business.

Recent economic studies reveal that nearly half of the employment in the Snowy Valleys is in the timber industry or directly reliant on it. As stewardship and fire manager for the Forestry Corporation of NSW, Snowy Region, Charlie Taylor has seen it from every angle since his university days 30 years ago. He is one of about 70 staff, including 20 in the Tumut office and 50 working in the field, depending on the time of year. There’s no peak period in this industry – the timber harvesting never stops. A fire can decimate years of hard work overnight. “In summer we run a seven-day-a-week surveillance and fire response crews. The idea is to get in early and stamp out any fires before they take off,” he says.


Charlie says there are always new challenges to be faced. No two days are the same. The nursery, located at nearby Blowering, raises up to eight million pine seedlings each year. The seedlings are sown in October and dispatched to local forests as well as Bathurst, Oberon and Bombala areas during the winter months. Forestry Corp planted about 3.3 million seedlings on about 3000ha of Snowy country last winter. In total there’s about 127,000ha of radiata pine forest – 63 per cent on State Forest and the rest on private lands. Timber processing plants using the wood include various sawmills (Hyne, Tumbarumba; AKD, Tumut; and BRG Plywood Mill, Wagga Wagga) and paper mills (Visy in Tumut and Norke Skog in Albury) with a combined capacity of about two million tonnes per year.

Forestry Corp planted about 3.3 million seedlings on about 3000ha of Snowy country last winter.

Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

In the blood

Hauling all these logs from forest to factory is left to individual logging contractors, who produce up to 500 tonnes of timber each day with their Tiger Cat harvesters. Some trees weigh up to four or five tonnes, taking 30 years to reach maturity. At any one time in the Tumut/Tumbarumba area there are about 25 timber harvesting systems (harvester and log forwarder) in operation, with 80 log trucks performing one or two shifts every day. General manager for G & J Groves, Andrew Groves, has been involved with the industry for more than 40 years, his family business one of about 10 forestry contractors in the region. The business started in 1957 and was fully dedicated to logging by 1960 when the plantations first began to be harvested. “My forebears were farming in the Blowering Valley, which they vacated at the start of the Snowy Mountains Scheme,” he says. “We went into trucking and supplying materials for construction of the scheme. When that finished we turned our attention to forestry.” It’s a while ago now but Andrew still remembers the days when Clydesdales were key components of the operation. “I was only about eight or nine when I was given time off school to help move horses from one logging spot to the next. I guess it was an early version of work experience.” Times have changed. The introduction of chainsaws in the 1960s and the Swedish mechanical harvesters 20 years later revolutionised the industry. Andrew’s brother-in-law, Michael Clancy, is responsible for equipment financing, including tree harvesters, which cost seven figures. “Would you give your keys to a $1.13 million Ferrari to just anybody,” he says. “All our operators are specially trained, trade qualified and been through forestry accreditation. Safety and planning are paramount.” The men deal with a changing environment every day. “We have to deal with the rain, snow and frosts. Basically, we’re like farmers, dealing with nature and always reliant on water, “ Andrew says. Today the business employs 32 staff including son Andrew Jnr, a fourth-generation logging man. The wheels keep turning 52 weeks of the year. “If managed properly, our sustainable industry can go on infinitum.” CWL

ABOVE: One of the three million seedlings planted each year; Forestry Corp’s Charlie Taylor; trucks work around the clock in hail or snow. Image: Peter McDade. LEFT: Andrew Groves and Michael Clancy watch as a specially designed semi loads up with timber. FACING PAGE: Work never stops in the timber-covered hills around Tumut.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba

yield of

DREAMS Tom and Judy Robertson are growing a business with a difference.

Tom Robertson is a farmer who thrives on change. He has been a grain grower in central Queensland and established a family vineyard near Gundagai. Now Tom and his wife Judy are the proud owners of a chestnut grove at Tumbarumba. Their picturesque 63ha property “Mortat”, Willigobung, is between Batlow and Tumbarumba. It is the perfect spot for Alpine Chestnuts and Truffles, their latest enterprise. The industrious pair have built a chestnut grove of 1500 perfectly spaced trees. The trees are harvested when the nuts fall in April with a selfpropelled chestnut harvester imported from Italy. Last season they produced about 30 tonnes and are hoping to crack the 40-tonne mark in 2019. Chestnuts are absolutely delicious roasted, grilled or barbecued throughout winter and have a unique taste and texture. They are also well known for their health benefits, being glutenfree, a good source of low GI carbohydrates and low in saturated fat. They contain folate, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants.


“We wholesale to fruit markets in capital cities,” Tom says. It pays to have patience with this particular crop. “The trees can take up to 10 years before they provide a viable yield. Yield increases about 25 per cent each year thereafter. At full maturity the trees should produce about 50kg each.” Tom and Judy are in a 1000mm rainfall zone and the chestnut grove is supplemented with irrigation. The truffles are another boutique interest that have captured Tom and Judy’s imagination, with 600 truffle trees including English Oaks and Holly Oaks. Yields are variable and production is all still a bit of a mystery. They are enjoying the enterprise and they say it has been a fun and interesting journey. Among the highlights of the year are the truffle hunts from late June to the end of August. “We have a lady come with her truffle dogs, who have a good nose and lots of energy. The truffles are sold to local restaurants and regional cities,” Tom says. CWL Images: Tom Mirkovic

Chestnuts are absolutely delicious roasted, grilled or barbecued throughout winter.

ABOVE: The trees in autumn; chestnuts ready for market; dogs hunting for truffle; Tom and Judy Robertson are excited with how things are progressing in their new rural enterprises.

T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba


OF HYNE Hyne Timber is one of the largest, privately owned timber manufacturers in Australia, dating back six generations to 1882.

Hyne Timber purchased the Tumbarumba mill in 2001. After a $180 million investment, the mill was fully operational in 2004. Today it’s a high-tech, world-class manufacturing operation, processing enough timber every single day to stretch from Tumbarumba to Melbourne. The timber is sourced from locally grown, harvested and replanted softwood plantations, certified by Responsible Wood, the Australian Standard for timber sustainability. “It’s renewable, recyclable, waste efficient, biodegradable, non-toxic and locks carbon away,” strategic relations manager Katie Fowden says. “These environmental credentials secure our future and help to protect our environment for future generations.” Customers range from those buying high-quality structural framing products, such as frame and truss manufacturers, to those purchasing sawdust, shavings and chip by-product, such as Visy Pulp and Paper Mill in Tumut. The company also exports over 2500 shipping containers of timber each year from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane ports to countries like China. Some of that timber makes its way back to Australia in the form of furniture, like bed frames.


Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

Tumbarumba is one of the valued communities receiving dedicated support through sponsorships and donations. All this feeds jobs both directly and indirectly. There are about 200 employees at the Tumbarumba site and almost 200 trucks rolling in each day. “There is a hugely diverse workforce and career opportunities within the timber industry,” Katie says. “As automation and technology increases, so too do the highly skilled employment opportunities from research and development, to scientists, engineers, human resources, communications and marketing.” The NSW timber products industry directly employs 20,533 people with total industry sales in NSW worth more than $7 billion. Hyne Timber was established in Queensland in 1882 and remains privately owned to this day. Throughout all those years, the company has maintained a focus on supporting the communities in which it operates. Tumbarumba is one of the valued communities receiving dedicated support through sponsorships and donations. Hyne Timber proudly supports the annual Tumbafest, arguably the most significant event in the Tumbarumba calendar, which showcases local businesses and their produce to thousands of visitors. The company also contributes to a range of local charities and organisations, including educational facilities/initiatives, sporting and recreational organisations and the annual Tumbarumba Show. In addition to company sponsorships and donations, the Hyne Community Trust makes significant contributions to capital projects in the region since its establishment in 2007. Recipients of support from the trust include the Rotary Club, the RSL, the Men’s Shed and, more recently, a significant contribution to the new Pump Track providing additional recreational opportunities for all ages, free of charge. The trust has also been a major contributor to the Carcoola Children’s Centre, funding an extension to accommodate younger children and a new room to accommodate Tumboosh, the only before and after school care for the community. CWL RIGHT FROM TOP: Advanced automation; all the softwood is sourced from local plantations; training co-ordinator Sam Montignie with site support manager Peter Kelly; process controllers Kim Shoemark and Stephanie Buckley. FACING PAGE: Hyne Timber, Tumbarumba.

Do it right. Do it with Hyne. Hyne Timber’s T2 Blue termite resistant framing is natural, renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, non-toxic and locks carbon away. In fact, an average house lot of T2 Blue framing removes over 7.5 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere. For more information, visit


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba

ABOVE: Author and painter Catherine Frew with one of her recent artworks. LEFT: Chantelle Bruton enjoyed her first class at the Wenoma Studio. RIGHT: Local artist and art teacher MaryAnn Marshall with her winning exhibit from the recent competition featuring mountains.

ABOVE: Professional artist Phil Ryan pictured with his magnificent 2012 creation Weddin Mountains Ironbarks 2, which hangs in the gallery. “Australian landscape art is saturated with depictions of smooth-barked gum trees. Ironbark eucalypts are rarely depicted,” he says. “Ironbarks are aptly named because the bark colours resemble iron oxide ore and the timer is nearly as strong as iron. Red kino veins ‘bleed’ from the bark and blood is iron rich. “Partial 3D features are produced by having multiple MDF sheets, which are cut and carved to enhance perspective, form and texture.” RIGHT: Artist Bob Gay with his Boobook Owl. He has been painting since the group started, all the while making new friends on his artistic journey.


ABOVE: Sue Mann, known for her recent and highly successful Fiddly Stitches exhibition, with one of her fine detailed handstitched textile artworks. Sue came to Tumbarumba in the early 1970s as a primary school teacher. These days she lives on a farm, having let go her heritage rose business to concentrate on sewing. “The gallery is so supportive of my efforts and the artist community is wonderful,” she says.

Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E


ON PARADE Wenoma Studio represents all that’s good about community and creativity.

Living in a small community has its benefits. In 2006 local artist MaryAnn Marshall placed a $15 ad in the local paper calling for art lovers to unite into an art group. Twelve turned up, including Colleen Guest, who admitted she wasn’t an artist but believed she had a vision for a gallery. The group was formed and the artists painted in a garage before Colleen purchased the former electrical repair shop in the heart of the main street. With some serious thinking and a competent set of builders to execute her plans, she transformed the building into a bold, practical and spacious community gallery. Today it boasts a gallery out the front, a great gift shop in the middle and a large studio room out the back for regular art classes and workshops.

The Wenoma Studio is now home to 48 members, ranging in age from 30 to 83 years, who love painting in the bright and airy conditions. After a decade, the studio continues attracting members from as far as Wagga Wagga and Canberra. There are very few commercial galleries available for artists to showcase their work. This gallery is unique in that it offers exhibition opportunities for both professional and amateur artists. “It all works thanks to Colleen’s foresight and the contribution of our members from the not-for-profit co-operative,” MaryAnn says. In recent times, Wenoma Studio has expanded its community activities to include Life-Long Learner groups, exercise and yoga classes and a bridge club.

There’s even a grand piano in the corner for intimate musical performances. Crowd funding raised the necessary money by charging $88 for each piano key – and there are 88 – along with a small grant from the old Tumbarumba shire. The grand piano brings talented performers from the Riverina Conservatorium and touring musicians. MaryAnn’s art classes and weekend workshops are fun, educational and a good way to meet new people. CWL

For more information, contact:


POSITIVE VIBES Real estate agent Julie Giddings-McDonnell believes Tumbarumba is an ideal place to live, work and invest.

Julie Giddings-McDonnell of PRDnationwide Tumbarumba has a wealth of knowledge about the real estate industry. She has achieved results-driven success for more than 23 years and prides herself on delivering superior, personal service tailored to best meet the needs of individual clients who are valued and never taken for granted. With knowledge and experience in marketing and selling any type of property, Julie strives to achieve the best possible outcomes for clients. She describes the close-knit community of Tumbarumba as an ideal place to live, work and invest. “People are drawn to the beautiful scenery of the region, the cool climate and the friendly welcoming people,” Julie says. “The town has good schools, shopping and business services, medical facilities and recreation opportunities. “It is easy to access the major centres of Wagga Wagga, Albury and Canberra and the town has a great local government-run community transport network.


Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

“Our location on the western edge of the Snowy Mountains makes Tumbarumba a convenient base for visiting the snowfields, and a number of ski enthusiasts are looking to buy weekenders. “Housing prices are very affordable and people seeking to relocate from a metropolitan area can buy a really nice home for less than $300,000 and have plenty of money left over for travelling and other expenses. “An investment property purchased for less than $200,000 will rent for more than $200 a week. “We manage more than 170 properties that pretty much run at 100 per cent occupancy.” Julie rates Tumbarumba as a popular destination for all age groups, particularly people looking to start a business, and young retirees. A significant number of locals who travel further afield to study and work return to the town when they start a family to provide their children with the benefits of a relaxed country environment. “Tumbarumba has a low crime rate and people look out for each other,” Julie says. “That friendliness and care is a real benefit, especially when retirees are keen to do a significant amount of travelling. “Advances in technology allow people to work remotely and quite a number of professional people now divide their time between their home office in Tumbarumba and business offices in Sydney or Canberra.” Julie grew up in Tumut and lived and worked in Gundagai before moving to Tumbarumba. Formerly a wool classer, she worked with Mike Kingwill in his Gundagai stock and station agency before moving into real estate sales. “Mike and I opened an agency in the main street of Tumbarumba in 2004,” Julie says. “I purchased the business outright in 2006.”

Julie has recently overseen the refurbishment of the agency premises. She is well supported by proficient staff members, including sales agent Marney Pertzel, sales and business development officer Tamikah Hoffman, property manager Jemma Lorrimer and Sharon Goldspink in reception and administration. Julie’s community involvement includes serving as a board member of Tumbarumba Community Bank, a committee member of the Tumbarumba Chamber of Commerce and as president and secretary of the Rotary Club of Tumbarumba. She has been actively involved in youth-related activities and was a councillor on Tumbarumba Shire Council prior to amalgamation. “I am passionate about my wonderful, friendly and growing community,” she says. “Sharing its attributes is something I get to do every day.” CWL FACING PAGE: Tumbarumba offers the ideal lifestyle for raising a family or those looking for rest and relaxation - an abundance of possibilities in a blossoming community town. ABOVE: PRDnationwide shopfront in Tumbarumba.

Whether you are buying, selling or leasing you will find our staff loyal, trusting and dedicated

PROPERTY SALES Residential / Lifestyle Rural / Commercial

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT Residential / Commercial Storage / Rural

Servicing – Tumbarumba, Batlow, Khancoban, Rosewood, Jingellic, Tooma and Laurel Hill. We are an all female team with over 40yrs combined experience. All our agents are local with strong ties to the Tumbarumba region.

Julie Giddings

Marney Pertzel

Tamikah Hoffman

Jemma Lorimer

Sharon Goldspik

20 The Parade Tumbarumba P. 02 6948 2182 M. 0429 482 733 (After hours – Julie) E.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba

living the dream

Combining an upmarket cafe with an in-house cinema has proven a rare but winning combination at popular Tumbarumba eatery Nest Cinema Cafe Books. Not many cafes come with a theatre but The Nest has always enjoyed a quirky reputation for being that little bit different. Located in the town’s former Masonic Lodge just off the main street, the cafe is run by charming host Laura Fraumeni, who threw away a secure banking career nine years ago to chase her dreams in hospitality. With 12 fun-loving staff, she’s created a warm and inviting space for lovers of fine food and good company. Book lovers will enjoy checking out the small selection of coffee table books and novels for sale while foodies can choose from a range of locally made preserves, picnic supplies and fresh produce. You can chill inside or out, sipping on a latte while eyeing off freshly baked muffins and the latest tantalising creations from the open kitchen. The cinema experience is small and intimate with a matinee movie screened each day, usually at either 11am or 2pm, depending on demand, and on Friday and Saturday evenings. “The great thing about our cinema is that it’s a dine-in experience,” Laura says. “You can have a three-course dinner, your favourite pizza and glass of wine or simply coffee and cake – all from the comfort of an individual recliner. “We try and mix up the movie range with new releases and adventure films. A foreign film is screened in August with matching food from the country we’re watching.” With its own stage and light show, the cinema also doubles as a comfortable cabaret-style venue for touring musicians. Laura loves creating a place for people to get together, share ideas and form new connections.


Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

Realising a vision After her parents bought the Laurel Hill Berry Farm in 2000, Laura quickly fell in love with the mountain, snow and forest environment. During one visit home she was surprised to see the cafe still vacant, a full year after the doors had closed. At the time she’d been thinking about buying a house in Sydney but soaring prices had forced a major rethink. “It was always a dream to run a cafe but I had no plans to do so until I saw this place sitting empty. I could see its great potential,” she says. “All I knew was that I loved good food and people. And I knew this building, with a bit of tweaking, would be the perfect conduit for tying it all together.” Looking back on that life-changing decision brings a smile to her face. “Just do it” is her motto. “Life is too short to not follow your dreams.” In the intervening years Laura and husband Justin, who runs a landscape gardener and demolition business, have taken the cafe to new heights. The backyard, a former weedy paddock, has been transformed into landscaped garden beds that grow fresh produce for the cafe. They juggle their busy careers around the lives of their three gorgeous children, Frank, Lois and Victor. Thankfully they live in the same street, meaning Laura can drop in for regular visits. The Nest has always been about sharing community experiences, like the markets they kicked off after opening. “They are not the biggest markets but it’s a great social event, very personal and local. It really reflects the town we live in. On the lawns, shaded by silver birch trees, we have cyclists drinking coffee, visitors discovering locally made goods and little kids buzzing about it. We love it,” Laura says. “By collaborating with others it’s a win-win for ourselves, the makers and growers.” Laura admits that with big screen TVs and coffee-making machines at home, she needs to make every Nest experience a pleasant one. She does this by sharing her favourite things – books, coffee, movies, fresh food and produce, purposeful gifts and local wines – all under the one roof. “I feel very blessed. It’s been a lot of hard work getting to this stage but I’ve had a lot of help and support from family and the community. We all know how strong small country communities can be and Tumbarumba is no exception.” CWL

ABOVE: The Nest is always inviting; Jess Jarvis with daughter Jacqueline, 4, and her Tumbarumba free range eggs; Tatjana Crealy with daughter Loreena, 6, from Simply Natural Home, Mannus; Brian Fitzpatrick, Waratah Australis, is one of the leading waratah growers in the country. FACING PAGE: Chef Hannah Munday (centre) surrounded by Laura Fraumeni, Arcadia Stevens, Sue Fraumeni and Sienna Jeffress; Laura always has something to tantalise the tastebuds; Victor, Frank and Lois help Mum in the garden; Sue Fraumeni makes coffee for waitress Sienna Jeffress.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba


Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

The Man from Snowy River

rides again! The Boggy Creek Show is a fair dinkum Aussie outback experience.

The coach travellers are milling around the campfire waiting for further instructions from a clearly flustered hostess. Jo O’Brien can’t find the boss, the star of the show, and the Boggy Creek Show is due to kick off any minute. “Perhaps we’d better give him a good old-fashioned coo-ee,” she suggests, as the crowd takes up the unusual challenge. “Not loud enough, he can’t hear us. Go again,” she urges. Right on cue, Tumbarumba’s own Man from Snowy River magically appears over the range, quietly pushing a mob of young Angus bulls in our direction. The stirring soundtrack of the movie wafts through the gentle morning breeze, highlighting our star’s arrival. There’s no question Tim O’Brien looks the part in this quintessential Australian scene, which could easily have been a scene from 100 years ago. Clad in a Driza-Bone and trusty Akubra, this mountain man has everything down pat – from pack horse, saddlebags and quartpot down to his stock whip and dogs.

“G’day everyone,” he yells from his horse. “Be with you all in a jiff,” he waves as he disappears into the Boggy Creek barn. The bemused audience make their way to the purpose-built amphitheatre for the highly acclaimed show. The rustic seating accommodates 150, with excellent views of the stage and majestic Kosciuszko National Park in the background. Tim built everything himself and has come a long way since starting with a couple of hay bales and small gift shop. For the next two hours Tim guides the crowd through a fastpaced show that is both informative and engaging. Many a time he and his menagerie of highly disciplined farm animals leave the crowd in stitches. > ABOVE: Tim O’Brien has a natural flair for training farm animals. FACING PAGE: Jo and Tim love sharing their country life with visitors from throughout Australia and beyond; Tim is an expert whip-cracker (image: Peter McDade); horses and dogs play a vital role on the farm; bringing in the bulls is a prelude to the Boggy Creek Show.


Tim’s expertise with farmyard animals is all self-taught. He could ride as soon as he could walk. Horse and working dog demonstrations, whip cracking, yarn spinning, sheep shearing, mules and goats, this show has the lot, and then some. The funny thing is that Tim isn’t acting. He’s the real McCoy, a modern Snowy River cattleman keeping the skills of the old bushmen alive. After the show, Tim and Jo greet their guests individually over a hot cuppa. Yes, he has mustered the high country – at 1200 metres, some of the highest cattle country in NSW – and camped out in huts with a few good horses and his trusted kelpies. The questions keep coming. Yes, he has worked on remote stations in the Top End and has been shearing on and off for nearly 30 years. No, he wasn’t in rodeo but you may have seen him at the Snowy River Stockman’s Challenge, where he reached the finals on six occasions with different horses. Yes, he choreographed and produced the re-enactment of The Man from Snowy River at the Corryong Festival for four years, has been a campdrafter and played polocrosse. Once the satisfied group have departed in their coach, Tim and Jo get together to discuss the performance, crowd and their posse of performing animals. After the show’s stars are fed and watered, it’s time for Tim to start his real day, tending to Angus sale bulls, planning travelling shows and horse clinics and contract mustering. After hundreds of shows, the pair have got it down pat. The thing is, animals are unpredictable, meaning no two shows are ever the same. Tim’s expertise with farmyard animals is all self-taught. He could ride as soon as he could walk and by the age of seven was helping his father, four brothers and two sisters muster on their cattle property in the Tumbarumba hills. An office job was never on the cards for this laid-back country man with an affinity for horses. For 25 years Tim plied his trade in the Bago State Forest, mustering 1600 head over 400 square kilometres each May, June and July. These days it is no longer viable but the experience has never left him. “Dad bought Boggy Creek back in 1970 and we purchased it from the family about 15 years ago,” he explains. They kicked off the shows immediately, improving each year. If you haven’t taken in the Boggy Creek Show you are missing a fair-dinkum, 100 per cent Aussie outback experience. It’s something that has to be seen to be truly appreciated. And the company and countryside are equally awe-inspiring. Naturally, their only child, teenage daughter Harriet, shares an unbreakable bond with horses. When our leading stockman gets too old chasing his beloved show animals around the arena, don’t be surprised if the next Man from Snowy River is actually a woman! CWL

A unique award winning Australian experience Boggy Creek Shows are an entertaining and educational 2hr performance showcasing Australia’s mountain cattleman’s heritage and farming life, past and present.

55 Boggy Creek Rd Tumbarumba NSW M. 0428 488 273


ABOVE: Even the family goat plays a starring role; Boggy Creek is a must-see family experience; Tim and Jo serve a traditional cuppa and mingle after the show.

Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

the hills are


The little town of Tumbarumba, nestled in the western foothills of the Snowy Mountains, throws quite a party on the last weekend of February each year.

Tumbafest, showcasing the region’s best food, wine and market craft stalls and offering top-quality entertainment, turned 22 this year. Each year about 4000 people attend the weekend event on the relaxing and shady banks of gently flowing Tumbarumba Creek. Tumbafest has a long history of attracting quality main stage entertainment, with recent headliners Russell Morris, Leo Sayer, Frankie J. Holden and Wendy Matthews satisfying the crowds with their popular tunes. Initially conceived to showcase the region’s exceptional cool-climate wines, Tumbafest boasts a local wine tent, featuring a huge range of Tumbarumba wines for tasting and purchase. The 2019 event featured the Costa Cooking Demonstration Tent with “The Black Olive”, aka Mark Olive, Australia’s most celebrated and renowned Indigenous chef. Mark was on hand to tantalise tastebuds with quality local produce, matched with the best of the region’s wines. The 2019 line-up featured headliner Darren Middleton, former Powderfinger lead guitarist and songwriter, gracing the stage on Saturday and UK British Blues Award winner Bex Marshall headlining Blues Sunday. The main stage featured a wide variety of local and regional talent. “The event also featured markets, a food alley, wine courtyard and kids’ entertainment – there really is something for everyone at the Bendigo Bank Tumbafest,” event coordinator Karly Fynn says. The festival injects an estimated $1 million into the local economy each year, with a focus on quality music, fine food and wine. CWL

For more information visit:




Cathy Gairn was not born into the wine industry but she certainly feels right at home there.

For a woman who had not tasted wine until she was in her 40s, Cathy Gairn has come a long way in the wine industry. From her base in the hills of Tumbarumba, she now produces some of the best cool-climate wines in the country. Courabyra is one of about 20 vineyards in the district, which is renowned for its high-quality sparkling and table wines. “It’s a high risk, high reward region, requiring good site selection and various growing techniques to minimise the extremes of nature,” Cathy says. Her interest in horticulture goes back to her Melbourne childhood where, as the third eldest of 11 children, she spent time in her grandfather’s garden, planting vegetables and helping with the rose pruning. In the mid 1970s she worked in a Dutch indoor rose farm, soaking up the cut flower business. On a trip through France, Cathy visited her first vineyard. “My initial thought was ‘Who in their right mind would want to grow grapes?’,” she laughs. “France is the greatest wine region in the world but being a non-drinker, there was little interest. My heart lay with flowers.” On her arrival home, Cathy was inspired to take up horticulture studies at the Victorian College of Agriculture and Horticulture in Melbourne. By that time, she’d met Brian Gairn, a lover of fitness and cycling, at the local gym. They shared much in common, each with a daughter born only two days apart. In 1983 they were driving from Melbourne to Newcastle for a holiday, stopping along the way in Tumbarumba to visit friends. By the time they reached the coast they had already made up their mind to make a fresh start in the mountains.


Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

Soon they were ensconced in a little country shack surrounded by picture postcard views, paying $40 a week for the privilege. Having fallen in love with the countryside and fresh mountain air, they bought a 30-acre block to grow flowers and commercial strawberries. Then came the house, two more daughters, Carmen and Sophie, and the forever growing garden. Everything you see today was planted by Cathy. In 1992 they were approached by the Department of Ag to grow grapes for Southcorp (previously Penfolds) with a contract from BRL Hardy Wines. From 20 acres of vines they were soon producing 85 tonnes a year, mostly sparkling Chardonnays, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Six years later, the Gairns nearly lost the entire grape crop to frost and the decision was made to go one step further and diversify into wine making. “We started out very small but are now producing 3000 cases each year,” Cathy says. “In the scheme of things, we are not big producers but we’re very proud of what we have achieved, with dozens of awards, medals and trophies to prove we’re heading in the right direction.” When it came to releasing their wines, Cathy believed it had to reflect the environment they came from. The area has a rich Aboriginal heritage and Courabyra means “pleasant place, family gathering”. The logo represents a family gathering, with Cathy being the centre surrounded by her 10 siblings. It was only natural their home would become a meeting place, especially during harvest when family flock from near and far. “My brother Stephen runs the original vineyard in the district once belonging to Penfolds. He has called it Revee Estate, French for “living the dream”. It really feels like home now that my mother and six siblings have moved up from Melbourne,” Cathy says. There’s always plenty of news to share. In 2013, the Courabyra 805 was awarded the country’s best sparkling wine at the Australian Sparkling Wine Show in Melbourne. The following year, hot on the heels of their success, the Gairns opened a purpose-built cellar door featuring magnificent tables built from railway sleepers. It has developed into a popular wedding venue for those who enjoy glorious, uninterrupted views, immaculate gardens and award-winning wines. “Our wines have taken us to some amazing places,” Cathy says. “In 2014 we travelled to Italy to represent Australia at the world’s largest trade fare in Verona. We’ve met some wonderful people along the way. I’ve sat next to the NSW Premier for dinner and dined at Government House, where our wines were consumed by VIPs.” Over the next few years Cathy plans a major expansion of her cellar door along with exciting new plans for an amphitheatre for outdoor concerts. They’ve also partnered with True North Helicopters to conduct tours from the winery. Brian is still involved with the gym in town he runs with Carmen while Cathy enjoys a regular tipple as her wines and flowers continue to flourish in the crisp mountain air. “We are open five days from Thursday through to Monday from 11am till 5pm. Please call ahead so we can save your place. We love to cater for special occasions and functions, so call us to organise your next important event.” CWL ABOVE: Cathy Gairn with her Courabyra 805, judged the country’s best sparkling wine in 2013; a visit can result in an intimate fireside experience or a large celebration. FACING PAGE: Courabyra Wines thrive in the cool climate; Cathy checking her grapes.



805 COURABYRA RD TUMBARUMBA • M. 0429 482 462



by George! Writer and former Tumbarumba mayor George Martin knows a thing or two about most things.

“Tumbarumba came to notice the moment Hume and Hovell camped nine kilometres from town. They could see the snow in the mountains,” Tumbarumba identity George Martin genially informs me within minutes of our scheduled meeting at the local cafe. “Hume went back to Yass and no doubt told all his fellow graziers after church about the abundant green pastures to be found up here. The first cattle herds came across the mountains in 1836. They didn’t stay long before moving to better pasture in the Riverina. The next big thing was gold, which saw thousands of miners flock from Beechworth in Victoria to the new diggings in the 1850s. “The gold escort went out each week, heading to the mint in Sydney,” he continues, barely pausing for breath. “And that mob from Beechworth stayed. After the rush they kicked off the timber industry and swung into farming.” I’ve just had a short history lesson of the town – the word according to George. “And I’ll give you that for starters,” he adds abruptly. At age 77, George Martin has a sharp wit and inquiring mind. The former mayor knows most of the local identities and takes great joy in pointing them out. “Some families have been here forever,” he says, gesticulating to a nearby table. “And there, that bloke,” he says, pointing to an Indigenous man, “well his family have been here 40,000 years.” I nod my head trying to take it all in. “Because so many of the original pioneers stayed, it makes us that little bit different to other communities,” he says, sipping his coffee. “The droughts here are never as long or severe as elsewhere in NSW.” Born in Wagga Wagga, a few months before the Japanese attacked the US fleet in Pearl Harbour, George has an opinion of everything and anything. He’s also a well-read historian. Soon we’re talking about America’s role in WW2, which leads to a discussion about atomic bombs and the Korean War. “It was that war that boosted the price of Australian wool,” George says. “There were hundreds of thousands of soldiers needing woollen overcoats. In 1952 the price of wool was a pound for a pound, or roughly $2.50 a kilo - in real time it’s more than we get now, 66 years later. Always quick on the maths, George says in those days wages were a pound a week, meaning you could make a comfortable living raising 100 sheep. As a young man he spent six years at the ANU in Canberra, studying, among other things, History, Geography, Politics and Economics. The biggest learning curve, he insists, was analysing human relationships, which led to a government job as a geographer. “Physical geography is about rivers and streams but economic geography is about understanding people and why they do what they do,” he explains.


A regular user of the internet, George spends hours each day following world events. It helps with his writing, something that comes almost naturally. As a young man he edited the school magazine, The Canberran, and later The Woroni - “the message stick” - at university. In 1985 George published the history of Tumbarumba, Survivors and Dreamers, a book he recently stumbled across in an antique shop carrying a $155 price tag. He still writes a weekly column for The Tumbarumba Times, as he has done for 40 years, covering local news including the new $30 million hospital, the country music festival or topics he just wants to write about. He has an opinion on everything, including growing old. As a journalist and former Tumbarumba mayor (for 11 years) with a passion for politics, it’s only natural George has shaken the hand with a few high and mighty, from former prime ministers Gorton, Menzies and Whitlam (“I’ve been to his house”), to Hawke, Keating and Howard. He is full of anecdotes, facts and figures, history, names and stories. “It was always my dream to write a book but I fear I’ve left it too late,” he sighs. It’s become obvious I no longer need to ask questions as George navigates the conversation. “The biggest change in my lifetime has been the development of infrastructure. When I was a boy the roads were all gravel. I rode a horse four miles to school each day, while others rode a bike or walked. “Mum always worried if I wasn’t home by 4.30,” he says, as though it were yesterday. “The old days weren’t as tough as they make out. People didn’t have much but they shared, be it at a tennis get-together, a picnic or a sporting event like the cricket or footy. Sport was the culture in those days. “It was all pretty basic but it brought the community together.” George is on a roll. “Shift work is another thing that’s changed. Today we’ve got 400 truck drivers because the mill works around the clock. Then there are the 174 inmates and 70 staff that run Mannus Correctional Centre, the gem in the crown of the NSW Correctional Service.” Despite his walking stick and advancing arthritis, George is gregarious, full of life and loves sharing his never-ending stories. “The government gave me the 2002 Centenary Medal for outstanding community service,” he beams. “Not just ordinary service but outstanding,” he points out, raising his finger to prove the point. With three children and six grandkids, he’s never short of an audience. They are all brilliant, he insists. His son Dan looks after his vineyard and cattle, another, Al, helped create one of the first drones at the ANU many years ago. His daughter Penny works with troubled youth.

Tumbarumba T O W N F E A T U R E

“I love the aesthetics of this place. There’s a stream running through it, mountains in the background and a community that sticks like glue. What else do you want?” Having been a cattleman all his life, he’s lived through a few lean times, like the 1974 cattle recession. “The more cattle you had, the quicker you went broke. I had a herd of 1400 head, mostly Herefords, that were practically worthless,” he says, shaking his head in disbelief. “You would send a truckload of cattle to the saleyards but they barely covered the freight charges.” George still runs a small herd on a small farm minutes from town he shares with partner Marilyn. It’s a mixed herd including a few Scottish Highlanders. “The colour doesn’t make a scrap of difference to the quality of the meat. It’s just fashion and marketing.” George has tried his hand at local politics, grape growing and breeding anything with four legs, including raising deer. What gives him the greatest buzz is continuing his role, albeit a small one, with the local paper.

“People keep reading newspapers for two reasons: either good stories about their family or bad stories about their neighbours and relatives,” he laughs, as we finish our all-too-brief, wide-ranging conversation. “I love the aesthetics of this place,” he tells me, looking down the main street. “There’s a stream running through it, mountains in the background and a community that sticks like glue. What else do you want?” As he shuffles away, looking distinguished in his Harris Tweed jacket and cap, I can’t help but feel that I’ve just met one of nature’s true gentlemen and a local legend to boot. CWL

ABOVE: Colourful local identity George Martin has never stopped asking questions.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tumbarumba

HOMES away from


Visitors to Tumbarumba wanting a peaceful night without paying a fortune for the privilege should consider Tumba Cottages.

Malcolm and MaryAnn Marshall ran the town’s caravan park for 17 years. Their son Peter and wife Ria, both passionate about mountain biking, are developing new mountain bike trails with the Cycle Tumbarumba club. “We could see that there was demand for a different style of accommodation from holidaymakers, families and visiting professionals,” MaryAnn says. This gave the Marshalls an opportunity to formulate a new marketing strategy featuring four self-standing guest houses under the Tumba Cottages umbrella. All are different yet share the common thread of being fully self-contained, privately owned and maintained to the highest standards. The Marshalls have Alexander Cottage with plenty of privacy, space and comfort. Set on a rise in a rambling cottage garden, it overlooks the showgrounds and is only a short walk from all activities and shops. Peter and Ria own The Breakaway, even closer to town but on the other side. The Magenta is a beautiful new set-up owned by Jorg and Emma Ernst, located a stone’s throw from Alexander Cottage in Mate Street. The older-style Acacia belongs to Francis Cullen. It’s another peaceful setting where you will find all the creature comforts of home. All are within walking distance of town and are proving popular with couples, families and larger groups visiting Tumbarumba. CWL


“We could see that there was demand for a different style of accommodation from holidaymakers, families and visiting professionals.”

ABOVE: Tumba Cottages owners Emma Ernst (Magenta), Malcolm and MaryAnn Marshall (Alexander House) and Ria and Peter Marshall (The Breakaway); Alexander Cottage boasts plenty of room; the interior of the Magenta.


Tumba Cottages and Magenta Cottage are unique memorable self-contained cottages with all the comforts of home, right in the centre of Tumbarumba. All cottages are pet friendly and have configurations to suit most family groups and couples.



Contact Ria 0439 947 351

Contact Emma 0429 654 734 bookings@


Rosewood T O W N F E A T U R E

Volunteers on the gate Les Everett, Tony Crozier and Doug Burness.

An aerial shot depicts the hundreds of campers that make the annual trek to Rosewood. Image: Glenn Brasier.

the BIG gig The Country Roundup Music Festival is the highlight of the small community of Rosewood, just up the track from Tumbarumba.

Popular bush balladeer Tom Maxwell is still touring across Australia.

Brian Letton was one of the headline acts at the festival.

The voice of ABC Riverina, Grant Luhrs, was the MC for the weekend.

Nyngan’s Roydon Donohue enjoys his second visit.

Rosewood committee members Mark Sefton, Cheryl Portors, Les Doughty, Heather Seffon and Fred Weule.

Artist co-ordinator Alisa Smith with much-loved poet Ray Essery.

Despite the odd downpour, the 10th anniversary Country Roundup Music Festival was one of the best, with special guest artists Brian Letton, Tom Maxwell, Roydon Donohue, the Lindsay Waddington Show, Cheryl Lethlean, Jenny Brosnan, Geoff Evans and John and Christine Smith. Brian Letton has been performing for over 30 years with 27 albums under his belt, while Tom Maxwell constantly tours the country and admits Rosewood is one of the friendliest festivals around. He performed at the inaugural festival and wasn’t going to miss the 10th anniversary show. Poets Ray Essery and Freda Harvey ensured breakfast each morning was a great affair. “The rain has freshened everything up and we have 376 vans on the ground – it’s a big thing for a little village,” organiser Cheryl Portors says. “We have about 800 people each day, mostly grey nomads, some of whom camp here for a week. It’s a very friendly festival with an old-time dance on the old tennis courts and a huge campfire every night in the tractor shed.” The club is the hub of the Rosewood community. The festival is the biggest fundraiser of the year and helps keep the club operating. The committee of nine is already planning for the 2019 event, scheduled for October 23 to 27, with feature artists Howie Bros Show, Justin Standley, Rob Breese, Bill Bedford, Christina George, Paul Costa, Rosanna Ruddick & Double Trouble and poets Gary Fogarty and Freda Harvey. CWL


let it

SNOW Cabramurra is one of the highest towns in Australia, established in 1954 as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Scheme. In 1974 the town shifted 500m to a better sheltered position, leaving the original site as the lookout. The original houses were either demolished or relocated to Talbingo, Adaminaby and Jindabyne. The new accommodation units were built with Besser blocks to a design specifically tailored to the environment. Long steep roofs allow snow to slide off and the interiors are designed around a central heater. All power and phone lines are underground. Today Cabramurra is a “company town”, being the place of residence for a handful of workers in the nearby power stations. In winter, the town is generally covered by snow for months at a time. The town’s downhill ski run was the first to install lighting for night-time use. These images from Tumbarumba photographer Peter McDade bring to life the winter feel of Cabramurra. CWL


Donning its winter cloak, Cabramurra is a vision in white.

Cabramurra T O W N F E A T U R E


T O W N F E A T U R E Tooma


DELIGHTS The Tooma Valley, between Tumbarumba and Khancoban, is a beautiful spot to stop and marvel at the magnificent landscape.

Before you descend into the valley, check out the Southern Cloud Memorial scenic lookout. Minutes later you’ll find yourself in Tooma, home to an old church, Brigham House (formerly the store) and the 140-yearold Tooma Inn, where local farmers have gathered for generations. Close to snowfields and majestic rivers, the watering hole is well known for its country hospitality and popular bistro,


enjoying strong patronage from locals and year-round passing tourists. Next to the pub is Brigham House, now offering boutique accommodation for those wanting time out in this stunning part of the world. CWL CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Tooma breaks out into colour each autumn; the rolling hills; Tooma Inn publican Rob McClung has enjoyed a relaxed country lifestyle for six years. Main image: Peter McDade.

Tooma T O W N F E A T U R E

Murray Williams sampling a refreshing local brew.

Wine tastings from local vineyards Excelsior Peak (Julia Cullen), Johansen Wines (Tom & Hella Southwell), Obsession Wines (Adrian Bryant).

Emma Moss of the Kombi Cafe serves up great coffee.

The Rossi sisters: Danny, MaryAnn and Sally.

market value

Designer homewares, pearl jewellery, children’s fashion, cool-climate wines, locally made organic ice cream and plump, juicy, locally grown strawberries were among the offerings at the annual Three Bridges @ Tooma boutique markets.

Well Read Books were very popular.

Lower level by the creek.

In just its second year, the market, which is staged against the idyllic backdrop of the Tooma village on the banks of Tumbarumba Creek, has established a reputation for unique quality goods and a fun day for the entire family. Conceived as an event for the district that did not involve hay or horses, the formula appears to be an absolute winner. There were 49 stall holders and an estimated crowd of 2000 at the 2018 event. The market is held on the first Saturday of November. CWL Words: Jeff Sheather Images: Peter McDade

Folk acoustic sound by Kat & Clint.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tooma


Tooma T O W N F E A T U R E

treasured connection Jeff Sheather couldn’t resist bringing Brigham House back into the family fold.

The beautifully appointed Brigham House in the picturesque Tooma Valley is the perfect spot to unwind in a very special part of the world. Brigham House guests can stay in one of four immaculately kept rooms: The Tank Suite, The Attic Suite, Rest Central or The Cooks Room, all with free wi-fi and an all-inclusive continental breakfast. “Depending on the season, we regularly complement the offering with locally grown produce as a treat for our guests,” urbane co-owner Jeff Sheather says. The rear garden offers a magical place to unwind with a drink come late afternoon. Relax on the verandah and watch the abundant local birdlife. “We have a large fully equipped kitchen where guests are welcome to prepare their meals. Or they can have a relaxing barbecue on the rear deck with an outdoor setting for 10,” Jeff says. If you don’t feel like cooking, you can pop next door to the Tooma Inn, where counter meals are offered for lunch and dinner. Jeff has always had a soft spot for Brigham House, having grown up on a farm only a few miles away. During one of his many trips “home” in Easter 2016, local farmer and good friend Rob Cox suggested they buy the former general store and turn it into a guest house as a joint business venture. After 36 years as an interior designer in Sydney, it was an opportunity too good to miss. “We chopped down the trees out the front that had been sitting there for decades,” Jeff says. “Even the locals were surprised by the new look, revealing a beautiful old building dating back to 1879.”

Jeff has fond memories as a child when Brigham House was a store and important stopover for local farming families and newly arrived soldier settlers. It was the hub of the district and, more significantly, run by his grandparents in the 1950s and ’60s. Over the years the building has seen many changes, the most notable occurring in the early 1990s when it was extensively remodelled to become Possums Restaurant and general store. A legacy of that time are the enormous “telephone poles” stretching up to the ceiling in the new extension. It is these very alterations that now make the building an ideal country guest house. “When I bought it, my friends questioned my sanity,” the confirmed bachelor laughs. “It had been empty for years and there was practically nothing in the building except a strong family connection. “Having lived in Sydney for so long, it was great to finally come home to unwind in the most quintessential Australian bush setting. Occasionally I pine for the ocean and hustle and bustle of city life and but not for long. “Having that historic link with the building, I am delighted to again have it back in the family fold. It’s very special sharing the house, its history and the delights of the district with my guests.” CWL FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Brigham House is a popular stay in Tooma; for many years the historic building was a store; the rooms are well-presented; the inviting foyer; the front garden in full bloom; owner Jeff Sheather loves being “home”.

BRIGHAM HOUSE Historic Country Guest House

Stunning Scenery • Bush Walking • Skiing • Fishing Relaxing stopovers all in the magnificent Tooma Valley 19 Possum Point Road Tooma NSW Phone. 02 69484173


T O W N F E A T U R E Tooma



Damien and Sue Fraumeni’s garden has thrived over time under their tender loving care. 152 CWL TOOMA

Tooma T O W N F E A T U R E

Beginning with good ideas and a humble budget, the couple has created a very pretty garden that beautifully complements the delightfully restored cottage.

Damien and Sue Fraumeni purchased “Ellerslie” a 1912 cottage nestled in the scenic countryside at Tooma 18 years ago. Deciding on this property didn’t take long – the position and charm of the cottage is idyllic, with outlooks across adjoining farmland making the property seem larger than its 8.09-hectare (20-acre) size. A picturesque view across the gently undulating valley towards a pair of hills known locally as “the sisters” was an added bonus. Perhaps the only disadvantages were the lack of mature trees in the tangled overgrown garden, and a cottage much in need of renovation. A handful of trees including a large pin oak (Quercus palustris), a Liquidambar, a white cedar (Melia azedarach), broad crowned golden ash (Fraxinus ‘Aurea’) and a very pretty pink rambling rose made up the tally of worthwhile garden specimens. On a positive note, this almost blank canvas gave Sue the opportunity to exercise

her love of design and styling. Beginning with good ideas and a humble budget, the couple has created a very pretty garden that beautifully complements the delightfully restored cottage. Damien is a fencing contractor and very handy when it comes to building and construction. Over 18 years, the couple has made almost every structure in the 7000-square-metre garden including gabion baskets, paving, arbours and stacked rock walls. Together, they are now turning their hands to garden art, making wire and metal sculptures that are displayed throughout the garden and sold at local artisan markets. > FACING PAGE: The picturesque cottage and garden. ABOVE: A stone retaining wall creates a level change between garden and entry pathway; Sue Fraumeni; gardens brimming with texture and colour.



Tooma T O W N F E A T U R E

Members of their local book club share a love of gardening, so they often exchange cuttings or dig up plants that are well suited to the local climate.

Plantings began with a gift of a few agapanthus, which have multiplied and been divided over the years, spreading this hardy summer flowering plant in rows and clumps throughout the garden. Many cuttings and divided plants gifted from friends have flourished under Sue’s care. Members of their local book club share a love of gardening, so they often exchange cuttings or dig up plants that are well suited to the local climate. Sue now enjoys these thriving plants as constant reminders of shared friendship and a joy of gardening. Sue’s chosen colour palette outdoors is soft pastels, whites, with touches of grey foliage and the occasional burst of burgundy flower or foliage for contrast. The garden colours tone perfectly with the grey painted cottage and its pretty pink front door and white trim. Front and centre, the very appealing circular garden is crammed full with flowering perennials including cat mint (Nepeta) , valerian (Centranthus ruber), Snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum), self sown columbines (Aquilegia) and unusual purple flowering honeywort (Cerinthe major). A cutting grown from the original pink rambling rose takes pride of place in spring and is teamed with romantic David Austin roses. The holy grail of cool-climate gardens - peony roses - bloom in late spring. A row of frothy pale-pink ‘Ioensis’ crab apple trees begin blooming in early spring and, as they finish, other ornamental trees in the garden continue the pretty display with flowers or lush spring foliage. Crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia) extend the colourful show well into summer. Autumn sees the garden’s hues change again in the deciduous trees’ foliage colour before falling in winter. A striking cerise-pink flowering hawthorn (Crataegus) is a spring highlight close to the house. Another circular bed features rich burgundy foliaged Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’ as a focal point, bordered by salvias and black mondo grass. Nearby, a burgundyleaf crab apple tree (Malus ‘Ioensis Rubra’) adds a pop of colour with deep pink flowers followed by claret foliage. The side verandah is swathed with elegant pink ‘Pierre De Ronsard’ climbing roses and complemented by a flower border filled with white roses, forget-me-nots, lavender and agapanthus. An elegant silver birch tree softens the corner of the cottage. A large timber and stone based arbour constructed beside the house is densely covered, accommodating the mature pink rambling rose together with mauve Wisteria for a high impact spring display. >

FACING PAGE: The welcoming front verandah; a pair of stone gabions and mop-top Robinia; burgundy foliaged Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’; swathes of ‘Pierre De Ronsard’ roses among the pastel plantings; pretty ‘Ioensis’ crab apple trees; grey toned plantings and the contrasting red of a telephone booth. RIGHT FROM TOP: Circular garden bed crammed with flowers near a stunning cerise hawthorn; newer garden beds and views across the valley to the hills; the original rambling pink rose joins wisteria to adorn a timber and stone arbour.


T O W N F E A T U R E Tooma

Sue gains inspiration from visiting open gardens and travelling to see Victorian gardens just across the border.

Beside the carport and galvanised shed, grey-toned plantings including grey-leafed Westringea pick up the silvery tones of a local Eucalypt species. This area features native plants – a haven for the local birdlife that frequent the garden. Punctuated by tall narrow spires of green pencil pines (Cupressus sempervirens), there’s a quirky addition of a red telephone booth that adds a sense of fun to this area. In a circular bed behind the cottage, a predominantly white garden displays a stand of silver birch trees under-planted with white aquilegia, white bearded iris, lamb’s ears, white hollyhocks and a cute white dovecote. Working with the gently sloping block and following the lie of the land, Sue and Damien have created areas with different levels using stone retaining walls. A ha-ha wall gives the garden an infinity edge appearing to blend into the distance towards the “sisters” hills, lush dairy pasture and silos. A mature golden ash tree is the focal point of a raised shaded area, with crushed granite paving, seating and sculpture, softened by dense under-plantings of shade-loving hellebores and a low hedge of white may bush (Spiraea). A practical herb and raised vegetable garden provides plentiful supplies for the kitchen. Newer gardens to the west of the house show Sue’s growing confidence in knowledge and plant selection with an interesting blend of colours and foliage textures. Signature burgundy foliage includes specimens of Acer ‘Crimson King’, which will mature into magnificent trees. Hedges divide this area including the shimmery leaved Pittosporum ‘James Stirling’, exhibiting vigorous growth in response to the rich soil. Mount Kosciuszko is in the vicinity, though the elevation here in this scenic valley is a mere 300 metres, keeping the temperatures three to four degrees warmer than nearby locations. “We are lucky the soil is good, nice and loamy,” Sue says. The addition of composted sheep manure and lucerne mulch improves soil fertility. A nearby creek provides good access to water, making for enviable gardening conditions. Sue gains inspiration from visiting open gardens and travelling to see Victorian gardens just across the border. “If I’m not at work in nearby Tumbarumba, I’m happy to spend all day outdoors tending to the garden. As the garden matures it is easier to maintain. A good trim here and there keeps things looking good.” Sue and Damien’s Tooma garden was among those open in spring 2018 for Tumbarumba Tastebuds. CWL Words: Elizabeth Swane Images: Robert Bruce

RIGHT FROM TOP: Generously filled garden beds and trees thrive under Sue and Damien’s care; a white dovecote adds charm among silver birch trees and pretty perennials; hardy photinia hedge provides spring flowers and red tipped foliage; early spring flowers of ‘Ioensis’ crab apple.


Tooma T O W N F E A T U R E

a taste sensation Tumbarumba Tastebuds is a festival weekend that combines open gardens, cellar doors, markets, music, great food events and more.

The foothills of the Australian Alps provide the perfect backdrop for touring the Tumbarumba Tastebuds venues, with spectacular views of Mount Kosciuszko ever present. Visitors can take a relaxed stroll around the great range of gardens and view the garden sculpture competition and flower show. Vineyards are open for a tasting of cool-climate wines along with tapas or a more filling lunch. With six cellar doors to experience, you’re sure to find your preferred taste. There are artisan markets, live music and several gourmet food events over the weekend, and if there’s time, there are opportunities to visit the Pioneer Women’s Hut, Boggy Creek Show or view the garden art and photography display. The 2018 event was a great success and saw 500 people from as far afield as the south coast and Griffith visit some or all of the 10 properties. The variety of gardens was amazing. Large estates, romantic cottage gardens, water saving and permaculture gardens were open to the public and all monies raised were donated to various local charities. Food, flowers and wine are always a fantastic fusion, with stunning scenery to complement the drive. Tumbarumba Tastebuds will again be held on October 26 and 27, 2019. For more information call Tumbarumba Visitors Centre on (02) 6948 3333 or event co-ordinator Linda Blencowe on 0438 703 401. CWL

Owner of Earth and Soul and Magenta Cottage, Emma Ernst second from left, with Heidi Ernst, Penelope Kerslake, MaryAnn Marshall and Patricia Haley.

June Gray, owner of open garden Burraleigh, Tumbarumba, with good friend June Bassula.

Words: Linda and Rob Blencowe Images: Elizabeth Tickle

Proud of their garden The Point, Tooma, are Rachel and David Daniel.

Enjoying Ellerslie were Naida Illes, Jill Fraumeni, Jenny Reid and Anne Turner, all from Sydney.

Owners of open garden Rose Hill, Tumbarumba, Doug and Coral Shore with their grandchildren Brandon and Heidi.

Damian and Sue Fraumeni opened up their beautiful cottage garden, Ellerslie, Tooma, to the garden lovers.

Linda and Rob Blencowe welcomed many visitors to their permaculture garden, Rob Lyn Lee.

Owners of Ash House, Tumbarumba, Heath and Susan McElnea with Karen Farrell.

Coolamon visitors Margaret Seymour and Dorothy Allen enjoyed the open gardens and the flower show.

At Rob Lyn Lee, Judy Maginnity and Margaret Greenhalgh, both from Tumbarumba.


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Festivals & Events Take a look at what’s on offer in the beautiful Yass Valley and schedule a visit to coincide with one of our fabulous annual events. Best of the Canberra region 160 CWL

March , April & May

Year Round

Yass Show March / April

Yass Community Market 1st & 3rd of month, 10am - 1pm Sat

Harvest Festival April

Wine, Women & Song May

St Augustine’s Hall and grounds, Meehan St, Yass

September & October Turning Wave September

Murrumbateman Moving Feast October

Sculpture in the Paddock Sept / Oct

Murrumbateman Field Days October

Tulip Top Gardens Sept / Oct

Gundaroo Music Festival October

Murrumbateman Village Markets 2nd & 4th of month, 9am - 1pm Sat Recreation Grounds, Barton Hwy, Murrumbateman

November Classic Yass Hills of Hall Spring Wine Festival Yass Rodeo Bowning Country Fair

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CWL 161

one true love The story of Tom and Audrey Volkofsky is one of undying love and devotion.

Broadened by work and etched with time, Tom Volkofsky’s hand taps a black and white photo. “I fell in love with this girl; that girl there. She was 17.” From a moment frozen in time, the young woman’s eyes speak kindness, determination and strength. Still admiring the image, Tom adds: “She was simply vivacious.” A busy daily schedule makes Tom Volkofsky a difficult man to tie down. Apologetically, he has asked to shift our interview to a later appointment. His concern is always for wife Audrey; she might be disappointed if they were to miss their routine morning visit to Dubbo’s Orana Mall for a coffee and doughnut. It is during these daily visits to the mall that Tom has handed out some 50,000 printed copies of his words of inspiration and comfort. Despite Audrey’s degenerative health condition, Tom believes that together they are still of service. Today, Tom has taken some time out, to reflect on a life that he considers most beautiful. In the summer of 1950, a young Tom had much on his mind. He was considering a life of ministry and had set about undertaking training to do so. But a chance meeting at a church youth meet-up would tip his life in another direction. Coming from a property between Cobar and Bourke, Tom quickly noticed a young country girl who was spirited and who had an interest in animals and farming.

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“I thought she’d be a girl that I’d like to get to know. She seemed ideal for my lifestyle.” Piled into the back of a ute for the long trip home, Tom mustered the courage to ask Audrey if she would mind if he wrote to her. Soon, letters turned into visiting Audrey at her family’s farm in Nyngan. “There was 251km of dirt road between us, but it was worth it.” Returning home from National Service, aged 21, Tom visited Audrey at her parents’ farm and asked for her hand in marriage. One year later, in April 1955, the couple married at the Methodist church in Dubbo. “It was a beautiful dress.” Tom reflects. “Everything was just as it should be. I just loved her so much.” Returning to Tom’s family farm after, Tom recalls how lovely it was that his family had built him and his new wife a little home on the property. But as his father was long from retirement and with his brother working the farm also, it wasn’t too long before Tom felt that he and Audrey needed to make their own way. Relocating an old shearers quarters, Tom built a new home on some land in Nyngan and the couple commenced their life farming Merinos. “So many good memories. Audrey holding up the walls while I’m tacking them into position; always together.”

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Tom and Audrey made a fantastic and inseparable team on their Nyngan farm, “Booralee”.

Tom and Audrey made a fantastic and inseparable team on their Nyngan farm, “Booralee”. “I was never one to go off with other men on my own. We did everything together. I wanted to be with her.” The young couple leapt into community life. Audrey was a member of the CWA while Tom was a part of the Graziers Association, eventually becoming chairman of the local branch and at one stage president of the Show Society. Audrey was a show steward in the needlework section for many years, also entering her amazing cooking into the show’s baking section. Holding her numerous ribbons, Tom reads: “Most successful in the pavilion, most successful cooking section, most successful preserve section – these are just her champion ribbons. I’ve seen her put 44 entries in and come back with 42 first prizes. She was just marvellous like that. If Audrey picked something up and put it together, it just fell together right.” Tom and Audrey felt strongly about improving the lives of youth, and both taught scripture at a local school. In 1971, when the drought gripped their farm and wool prices fell, Tom spied a job in The Land newspaper for the assistant director of Dalma Children’s home in Carlingford, and it seemed a natural fit. Moving their family to Sydney, Audrey secured work in the home’s nursery and though she loved the babies, she pined for a return to the country. After a year, the pair moved their family back to their Nyngan farm. Audrey got her heavy vehicle driver’s licence and together she and Tom would share the driving, taking their cattle between Booralee and a leased property in Walcha. Later, the couple would drive their cattle all the way up to Texas in Queensland. “That’s a long way to take cattle on a juice run when feed was low, but we did it together. We could drive miles without speaking, we didn’t need to. We had an understanding. Two had become one.”

However, the drought still meant that additional income was needed. In 1973, the couple moved to Dubbo where Tom sold machinery and Audrey worked as an office manager. For the next five years, the couple continued working in Dubbo, all the while building up cattle stock at Booralee. It was also during that time that Audrey would subsidise the education of 12 boys living in a children’s home in India. When she had a small windfall of $4000, she spent it buying six buffalos to provide milk to all the children at the home. “Things like this have made our lives enjoyable,” Tom says. The couple thrived on creating new adventures for themselves and their three children, Rueleen, Jenelle and Rowan. So, in 1982, when a vacant block in the main street of Nyngan became available, Tom set about reinventing himself, yet again. Building a butcher’s shop for himself, Booralee Butchery, and an attached coffee shop for Audrey, The Haven Coffee Lounge, Tom was able to sell meat supplied by their own farm, and Audrey was able to combine her love of cooking and people. “She made the best scones in the world! And if someone wanted a steak, she’d just open the door between the coffee shop and butchery and call, ‘Tom, T-Bone please!’” The coffee shop also meant that Audrey had a space to hold twice weekly youth nights. Each Tuesday and Thursday night, Audrey would invite the children, to whom she taught scripture, to come to her coffee shop for fun, games and a meal. But eventually, the popularity of the event outgrew the space that the coffee shop provided. >

FACING PAGE: Tom and Audrey in their youth. ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Audrey and Tom dressed for a special occasion; Audrey loved tending the livestock; Tom and Audrey’s wedding day in April 1955; in later years; Audrey always enjoyed farm life.

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Buying and restoring an old pool room next to the Council Chambers, Tom and Audrey commenced building a youth drop-in centre. “Helping and encouraging people was always in our minds throughout our life, and we had a full life. I can tell you that!” In 1999, Tom and Audrey sold up everything and moved to a smaller farm in Gilgandra. Now in a better rainfall area, the couple continued with Angus cattle, also adding Brahmans to the mix, just because Audrey liked their colours. It was a significant life change but like all things, the pair embraced and welcomed it together. However, the following year would bring even greater change. It was a change that nobody could have predicted, nor prepared for. Fighting emotion, Tom recalls the night that he first became a stranger. One evening, Tom stood up from the kitchen table and announced that it was probably time for bed. Reaching the bedroom door, Audrey stopped and turned to him. Recognising a shift in her demeanour, Tom asked, “What’s the trouble, Audrey?” “You can’t come in here with me! I don’t know who you are!” “But I am your husband, Tom.” “You’re not my husband. I’ve never seen you before in my life!” Recognising that his wife was genuinely upset, Tom agreed. “OK, you go ahead, and I’ll sit in the chair out here. I’ll be alright.” At 3am, Tom was woken by a very concerned Audrey standing over him, “Tom, darling. Why on earth are you out here? Come to bed!” Audrey was soon diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, a form of dementia that shares symptoms with both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Those with Lewy Body Dementia often have a fluctuating mental state; lucid one moment, confused, disoriented and even hallucinating at other times. As Tom and Audrey’s farm was surrounded by bush, Audrey’s changeable mental state had become a genuine concern. “We might be OK for part of the day but I might go to answer the phone or to shower, and when I’d come back, she would be gone. It would be in the middle of summer and I’d be driving around madly trying to find her.” One day, Tom found Audrey wandering along the roadside. She stated she was going to see her cousin. Trying to placate her, Tom offered to drive her to him. But Audrey refused to get into the car and threatened Tom with the police. Eventually, Tom called the police and they took her to the hospital. When Tom reached the hospital, the staff asked Audrey, “Do you know this man?”

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“Yes. He’s my husband, Tom,” Audrey replied. “Tom darling, please take me home.” Finally, in 2002, Tom had to make the difficult decision to place Audrey in care and the couple sold up and moved to Dubbo. “When it first happened, I cried and cried. Eventually, I took it from a Christian standpoint. Paul once wrote, ‘I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.’ You just have to make the best of your situation.” Converting his tears to writing, Tom learnt how to use the computer to put down some facts that had made him and Audrey happy in life. Now, some 400 newsletters later, Tom writes once a week and has handed out around 50,000 copies in Dubbo’s Orana Mall over the past six years. Tom also now has a blog, and this is followed by citizens in 19 countries. Tom has always taken the responsibility of caring for his wife very seriously since her entry into the nursing home. Spending most of his day tending to Audrey’s needs, Tom would arrive at the care facility early and not leave until late. His diligence did not go unnoticed by nursing staff. One day Tom witnessed a supervisor trying to find a substitute staff member. Turning to Tom she quipped, “Why don’t you become a nurse, Tom? You’re always here!” “That’s it!” Tom thought. Never one to shy away from a new adventure, in 2007 Tom completed a certificate in Home and Community Care, followed by certificate III and IV in Aged Care, in 2008. For the next five years, Tom worked as a casual at Orana Garden Aged Care. “People retire at age 65. I can assure you, you get a lot more out of life if you don’t!” Eventually, casual workers were phased out and the timing worked in nicely as Audrey needed more and more help. Tom’s commitment to “my girl”, as he calls her, is unfailing. Starting his day at 5.30am, Tom tends to Audrey’s every need from breakfast through to tea, including bathing, dressing, moisturising, sleep routine, outings to Orana Mall, other medical requirements and finally bed. He then sits by her bed writing his blog or newsletter for an hour and a half, before quenching her thirst and moisturising one final time. Finally, Tom turns his wife onto her other side before leaving for home at 8.30pm. “It’s a full day but isn’t it good!” he smiles. At age 83, people have often tried to encourage Tom to take a break and allow others to care for Audrey for a few days. Shocked by the suggestion, Tom is quick to reject any such thought. “I can’t do that. I’ve got to look after this girl myself because I know best how to look after her.” As Tom touches her face lovingly, he continues, “To me, that’s a beautiful face. She belongs to me.” When asked the secret to a happy loving life, Tom quotes: “‘All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer.’ Don’t be critical. Look for the good in others.” But it’s Tom’s final thoughts on love that are perhaps what makes Tom and Audrey’s life story different. Theirs is truly a love story and no illness, not even death, will ever put it asunder. “You see I fell in love with this girl at 17. Living with her, enjoying all the things we’ve done together, and we did everything together, she is now very much a part of me. I just love her. It’s such a joy to look after her. And I couldn’t not. When you get married you say your vows ‘In sickness and in health, until death do us part.’ That’s only the formalities. I’ve grown to love her so much. I believe she loves me too.” Smiling, Tom turns to his wife, “Well, she stayed with me anyway!” POST SCRIPT: Audrey died peacefully on January 5, 2018, while Tom was adjusting her pillows. She is greatly missed but is still in the hearts and minds of many people. Together, with Tom, until her last minute. CWL Words: Catherine Player Images: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE: Tom found it a joy to care for Audrey in the nursing home.

Malmet is a leading Australian manufacturer of Washer Disinfectors, Blanket and Fluid Warming Cabinets, Drying Cabinets and Accessories. We have been manufacturing hospital and aged care equipment since 1969, and supply hospitals and nursing homes throughout Australia and overseas through a comprehensive network of distributors and agents. Malmet is a company belonging to the Celi Group of Companies, a privately owned and operated Australian family business. All Malmet products are manufactured in Leeton, NSW an ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certified site.


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A Presbyterian Co-educational Day and Boarding College Pre-K to Year 12

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Yanco Agricultural High School Yanco Agricultural High School is a co-educational Residential High School specialising in Agriculture from Years 7 to 12 fulltime and weekly boarding. This unique educational institution provides a broad, well balanced education. The school has 280 hectares, including 180ha of intensive irrigation and dry land agriculture, as well as 60ha of natural bushland boarded by the Murrumbidgee River.

The school has a White Suffolk Sheep Stud and Shorthorn and Limousin Cattle Studs, which focus on breeding highperforming, commercially relevant animals and utilise technologies such as Electronic Identification, Genomics and Artificial Insemination to educate students on Sheep and Cattle Production and Marketing.

For further information or to arrange a school tour please contact Yanco Agricultural High School Euroley Road YANCO NSW 2703 P: 02 6951 1500 E: W:

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Annual On-Property Bull Sale 50 Bulls First Friday of September • Grass-Fed • Top Performance • Industry Leading Sires Free delivery in NSW & to Goondiwindi Emerald Hill via Gunnedah NSW Peter McArthur 0427 431 521 Find us on Facebook or visit our website:

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A U T U M N regional achiever

& upward ONWARD

Jillian Kilby is exactly who she seems to be – smart, driven and passionate about regional Australia.

A civil engineer who holds Masters qualifications in business and public policy, Jillian Kilby’s strong work ethic and expert skills have garnered national and international attention. Awards and achievements include the 2006 Sydney Royal Easter Showgirl, 2010 Engineers Australia Young Professional of the Year, Sydney University Young Alumni of the Year and 2018 NSW/ACT Rural Woman of the Year. Born in Dubbo, Jillian was raised north-east of Coonamble on a 4047-hectare (10,000-acre) cropping and grazing property with Angus cattle and Merino sheep. She recalls being a “high energy middle child” with one boot on her foot and the other in her hand, determined not to be left behind by her father. After completing her secondary education at Loreto Normanhurst, Jillian decided to further her studies with the intention of becoming a businesswoman. “I went through the university admissions guide and crossed off every course I didn’t want to do,” she says. “The only things left were engineering and architecture. I chose engineering because I would be more employable in a regional area in the future. Within the first six months at the University of Sydney, I knew I had made the right choice.” After graduating, Jillian worked with wonderful mentors who helped her establish a business. When love took her to a 20,234-hectare (50,000-acre) farm west of Walgett, she provided civil engineering and project management services to local government and founded an infrastructure advisory company.

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Within four years she was working with every council west of the Blue Mountains and north of Wagga Wagga, in an area covering about 70 per cent of the state. “We were looking at roads, water and sewerage projects on a regional rather than council by council approach,” Jillian says. “While working on a project with 54 councils, I realised decisions were being made behind closed doors in Macquarie Street in Sydney that I was not a part of because I was boots on the ground in regional NSW. “I started to question my ability to scale the business from the farm and decided to head in a new direction.” Jillian applied for a Monash Award and received scholarship funding to study internationally. She was accepted into Stanford, a private educational institution in California, ranked among the top universities in the world. Arriving in 2013, Jillian undertook a dual degree in business and public policy. Three years later, she started an infrastructure advisory company in the United States. “It is important to do more than just study,” she says. “You can’t be just a set of books walking around – real-life experience is important. “I partnered with some companies in America, consulted in the technology industry, and worked on some really interesting projects including a $70 billion high speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco. “I never took my finger off the pulse in Australia and came back for 10 weeks each year to work on a number of projects.” >

“I never took my finger off the pulse in Australia and came back for 10 weeks each year to work on a number of projects.”

FACING PAGE: Jillian Kilby is an ambitious young businesswoman with a bright future.

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“From the beginning of my career, I understood that reputation is your biggest asset and repeat business is king.”

LEFT AND BELOW: Jillian enjoys basing her business in Dubbo.

In 2017 Jillian spent a significant portion of the year in Australia. Now based in Dubbo, she continues to do business in America with technology allowing her to work remotely and video call into meetings. Her main focus is Australia where she is working with joint organisations of councils looking at how infrastructure is delivered at a regional level. “My farming background has given me an affinity with rural people,” Jillian says. “I am inspired to do my best for regional areas – that is one of the reasons I spent so much time flying back to Australia when I was studying and working in America. “I am prepared to put in long hours and strive to be recognised as someone who is motivated and doing their best. “From the beginning of my career, I understood that reputation is your biggest asset and repeat business is king. “I really love relating with and helping people and enjoy operating at a regional level. I come home after a day of meetings with more energy than when I left the house. “On a personal level, I believe there are no wrong choices in life. A decision is made and, if you are not happy, you make another decision. “It is all part of your journey, part of the chapter in the book you are writing. There is no point dwelling on regret.” Despite prolonged dry conditions, Jillian believes it is an exciting time to live and work in rural Australia. She regards the $4 billion earmarked for regional NSW from the sale of Snowy Hydro 2.0 as a windfall for the bush. “Government commitments have been made to spend significant amounts of money outside Sydney,” Jillian says. “There are many deserving projects in rural areas and it is important for funding to be directed to infrastructure that is generational.” CWL Words: Heather Crosby Images: Zenio Lapka

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Lucknow Skin Shop and Boot Barn is a family run business

spanning four generations. We have a 45 year history of manufacturing sheepskin boots and two generations of wool classers - so we’re not just your average retailer, we know sheepskin inside out.

At Lucknow Skin Shop and Boot Barn we stock Thomas Cook and Wrangler Clothing for all ages, Moda Immagine ladies fashion and RM Williams Stockyard. We have a wide range of boots and leather accessories for the colts and fillies too, in all the latest styles and colours to keep you looking great.

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Regional Insurance Brokers specialise in providing general insurance products to small and medium businesses and farms throughout Central West NSW and beyond.

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Contact Luke 0429 909 399 50 Talbragar Street, Dubbo • CWL 171

Everything you need, at very competitive prices! Fencing Supplies • Farm Chemicals Drenches • Stock Feeds • Troughs Feeders • Stock Handling Equipment Shearing Supplies • Vaccines Pasture Seeds • Soil Testing Services Pet Care Products • Safety Wear Water Tanks • Concrete Products Cement • Poly Pipe • Lubricants Garden Supplies • Fertilizers • Tools Spraying Equipment • Harvest Products


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Enthusiasm, planning and country ingenuity combine with a touch of whimsy to make Jodie and Jane Costello’s Rustic Maze and Country Garden in Monteagle well worth a visit.

On a meandering road between Young and Grenfell and with the historic landmark Iandra Castle close by, The Rustic Maze at Monteagle offers something to interest visitors of all ages. The garden and maze are flanked by 730 hectares of working farmland. ‘Lower Coolegong’ produces crops of canola and wheat and also runs a mob of Dorper sheep. It has been in the same family since the 1850s and the garden and maze surround the circa 1910 homestead.

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Developing a garden from humble beginnings, Jane and Jodie Costello now share their enthusiasm and sense of fun with visitors of all ages. More than doubling the size of the original house garden, The Rustic Maze has grown from bare bones, extending to 2.5 hectares. Today this beautiful country garden meanders around the charming old house, and is divided into different rooms. There’s a lovely sense of discovery combined with real fun throughout. >

ABOVE: This circular rose garden featuring romantic pink roses is a favourite vista. FACING PAGE: Brightly coloured flowering pig face next to the maze; curved lines of garden beds interspersed with grassy areas create interest; the wide crushed granite entryway is flanked by garden beds and large shade trees; this repurposed windmill commands attention by the fire pit; sculptural elements can be found throughout the garden.

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“Jane is an ideas girl and a planner; it’s all her inspiration,” Jodie says of Jane’s grand plans. The result is very much a team effort as Jodie is happy to do the heavy lifting and digging. His ingenuity and ability for construction is evident throughout the garden, bringing Jane’s creativity to life. Multi-skilled friend and neighbour Andrew Green is often on hand to help out. Historical reminders of bygone generations are seen throughout the garden, including an early windmill that makes a striking feature near the fire pit area. In the maze, Jodie’s mother Marigold’s pushbike, which she used to ride the seven-mile round trip to Tygong School, is featured in one of the dead ends. Drought and awful bore water meant the couple struggled to maintain green space around the house in the early years. They spent years clearing a tangle of overgrown pepper trees, weedy cotoneaster, prickly hawthorn (Crataegus) and rampant potato creeper. Garden beds were laid out using a thick layer of hay, leaving bare pathways dividing the individual beds. Jane and Jodie planted young plants directly through the hay, repeating this method and slowly branching out from the house. “It was trial and error. In hindsight we should have planted shelter belt trees on the western side first,” Jane says. Coming up with a practical solution, they installed a green Colorbond fence to provide shelter, and plantings now almost obscure it from view.

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The soils here are light granite, which were much depleted of nutrients. The addition of loads of thick biscuits of hay, blood and bone and Dynamic Lifter fertiliser has made a huge difference, improving soil quality. Every year Jane and Jodie gather loads of hay using a tipper truck to transport mulch from neighbours whenever time permits to continue their soil improvement program. Jane selects mostly Mediterranean plants that cope well with the hot dry summers and cold winters. Hedging plants include tough grey foliaged Teucrium, silvery Artemisia and Photinia. Mass-planted flowering perennials like valerian, Achillea, freeway (Osteospermum) and seaside (Erigeron) daisies offer colour and are excellent natural ground covers. Succulents are mass planted in the drier areas and don’t mind root competition from neighbouring gums and other trees. They cope well with frost and can be easily multiplied using cuttings. Drip irrigation through some beds makes efficient use of limited water supplies. “My mother was always a gardener. As a teenager I thought it was a pain to mow. Now I enjoy the whole process,” Jane says. Jodie’s grandmother Gladys likely planted the original Kurrajong tree; its seedlings now form an elegant “Kurrajong lane” on the western side of the garden. “This garden began as an interest. Now it’s more of an obsession,” Jane says. “I even miss gardening when we go away on holidays. I’m passionate about our garden and it’s a great way to relieve stress and get plenty of physical activity.” >

“This garden began as an interest. Now it’s more of an obsession. I even miss gardening when we go away on holidays.”

ABOVE: A bird’s eye view of the maze and adjacent geometric colours and patterns of the mosaic garden. FACING PAGE: A shady seating area; the Kurrajong lane; the café was constructed using recycled materials; heat loving flowering shrubs and perennials are selected to suit the climate; the intricate mosaic garden features contrasting colours and textures of ground cover plants and gravel and includes a colourful ground based puzzle; this chess set is bordered by screen planting.

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The home’s central hallway opens onto the gorgeous vista of a rose garden mass planted with delicious ‘Seduction’ roses and an archway smothered with romantic pink ‘Pierre De Ronsard’ climbing roses. It’s a favourite view, Jane says. Jane had always loved garden mazes, but was reluctant to attempt to grow and maintain a living maze here in their tough climate. Her creative design is loosely based on the maze at Hampton Court in the UK. Completed in 2016, The Rustic Maze was constructed using over 800 sheets of old corrugated roofing iron. Dating back to the 1890s, some sheets came from neighbouring shearing sheds, and many were sourced in Bendigo and Ballarat in Victoria. All the sheets were cut to size then erected like a huge fence to form the walls of the maze. Eleven dead ends throughout the maze feature farm relics including kitchen ware from the shearer’s quarters, old rabbit traps, a wood stove, a tin bath tub and signs made using old wool bale stencils from local properties. The viewing platform in the maze’s centre offers 360 degree views of the surrounding farmland and the distant Weddin Mountains. Adjacent to the maze is the Mosaic Garden, which is bordered by a low silvery grey Teucrium hedge. This intricate garden features perfectly level, geometrical squares of tightly planted, low textural foliage and contrasting white gravel. There are also two colourful ground-based puzzles for visitors to solve. A central horizontal hawthorn will eventually form an umbrella-like canopy over a seating area. To the west of the maze are Jane’s newest projects: a “deck of cards garden” featuring hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds with plans for a central masterpiece metal sculpture. Jane is trialling suitable hedging tube stock for planting out in autumn. Behind the maze, an intricate labyrinth garden has been laid out using purple-flowered winter or Algerian Iris (Iris unguicularis), all of which were propagated from just one clump over several years. This fun-loving family enjoys their sports and games and happily shares these with garden visitors. There’s an in-ground trampoline, boules, 10-pin bowling, chess, hopscotch and a number of ground-based puzzles to solve throughout the garden. The sense of fun and discovery continues with the whimsical Alice in Wonderland themed garden featuring red and white roses, a mirrored mantle and the croquet lawn is overlooked by a pair of pink flamingoes. On the western edge of the garden a large grove of Silver Birch (Betula pendula ‘ Alba’) trees are growing well since planting from tube stock in 2015. The grove is under-planted with a ground cover of Chinese star jasmine, which will create a massed green carpet in time. Following the meandering pathway, you will come across a huge peppercorn tree, an ideal shaded resting spot.

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The café, garden and maze are a destination for visitors, tourists and groups. The flat layout enables disabled access to many areas and the maze is very appealing to kids of all ages. Clear open skies suit night sky photography courses, and there are regular garden talks and workshops. Not to be missed are excellent coffee and delicious home-baked cakes and slices or a hearty lunch. Towards the end of our visit, I enjoyed a shaded seat by the Kurrajong lane, with a myriad of birds flitting around as the sun lowered in the sky. Jodie and Jane have created a wonderful spot to reflect on their achievements. Jane says it’s one of their favourite ways to end the day … although I doubt there’s much sitting about and they sometimes garden at night with the aid of head torches too! CWL

This fun-loving family enjoys their sports and games and happily shares these with garden visitors.

Words: Elizabeth Swane Images: Robert Bruce

‘The Rustic Maze and Country Garden’ opens to visitors most Sundays during spring and autumn (and at other times by appointment). Check the website at or phone 0429 834 217 for directions and information.

ABOVE: ‘Seduction’ roses bloom reliably from top to bottom and don’t require fussy pruning to keep them in great shape; pathways encourage discovery and there’s plenty of seating throughout the garden to rest awhile.

Jeremy Pearce, Gundagai E:

Servicing your outdoor living needs

Offering the full range of residential and commercial landscape services – paving, turfing, planting, irrigation, retaining wall and deck construction, and garden maintenance.

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GUNDAGAI Discover what it means to escape...



Gundagai Visitors Information Centre 249 Sheridan Street, Gundagai Ph: 69440250


visit to plan your stay


Cootamundra Visitors Information Centre Located in the Cootamundra Heritage Centre, Railway Complex, Hovell Street Cootamundra Ph: 0269402190

Cathy Hamilton Artworks Pencil Artist



Made from Marine Grade Stainless Steel COOTAMUNDRA, NSW          

Cootamundra, NSW Phone: 0418 246 080 Email:


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A U T U M N story name


AT FIRST INSPECTION When you know you’ve found the one it’s a magical moment. And that is exactly what happened when Tricia Walker came across White Birch Cottage in Orange.

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“I knew it was the one right away. I walked in and bought it in five minutes. I was looking for ages but once I’ve decided that’s it. It had everything I wanted, it just needed a lot of paint and some tweaks here and there.” When you enter into the beautiful heritage property you’re greeted with the intricately detailed millwork, expansive ceilings and hardwood floorboards. An iron and glass chandelier hangs from the ceiling and a mirror perched above the side table replicates and complements the sophisticated old world charm of the skirting. A glimmer of sunlight beckons you down the hall and as you pass the four bedrooms, you arrive in the open-plan kitchen and living area, which also extends to a large deck and garden, featuring mature trees. When asked about the inspiration for the style of the property, Trish says: “I just decided to do black, white, timber and bring in the colour with greenery. Keeping it basic, it’s always easier to change it later. I wanted to make it sophisticated, but also casual. To make it feel like home, but not stuffy like you can’t touch anything.” Originally from New Zealand, Trish moved to Australia in her 20s. She made the move to Gunnedah where she and husband Rob raised their two girls, now all grown up and having babies of their own. Rob worked away from home as a livestock buyer and Trish owned and operated an interiors business for 18 years – an experience that certainly helped when it came to designing and decorating White Birch Cottage. The house has beautiful bones but Trish says “there were a lot of weird colours”, as there can be in older homes. So, with a paint brush and bucket, the house was set upon to bring it into the 21st century. Much of the renovation was cosmetic – new taps, paint and tiles. However, the one room that was totally transformed was the second bathroom. Previously used as a spare bedroom, the room was completely gutted and refitted as a beautiful country-style bathroom. The bathroom features many new elements, such as the marble tiles, a freestanding marble and timber vanity and a birdcage timber pendant. Luckily, some of the beautiful original features were maintained, such as the pressed tin ceiling. The kitchen was another of the transformations. “The kitchen was very yellow and the splashback had these hideous brown mosaics. They were replaced with white subways and the cupboards were painted. I also had the island installed. There was a huge gap before that didn’t make any sense and the island was the perfect fit.” As the paint dried and the builder was sent on his way, it was time for the “fun” part of revitalising the beautiful old house, beginning with the buying and the styling, which self-confessed retail addict Trish loved. “My first purchase was from Eclectic, so the theme in here (the kitchen) just revolved around that,” says Trish of the Hamptons-style storage shelf that sits in the kitchen. >

FACING PAGE: View from the front entrance of White Birch Cottage, leading down to the inside-out living area and kitchen. RIGHT, FROM TOP: Street appeal. The facade of the property, painted in heritage colours and the once overgrown garden lovingly restored; the master bedroom fireplace. Now for show only, the mantel has been beautifully styled with greenery and decor; the kitchen bookshelf that started it all. This was the first purchase for the house and dictated the style throughout.

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White Birch Cottage


quiet streets of Orange.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Even the hallway leading to the second bathroom and laundry hasn’t been neglected; once an additional bedroom, now transformed into a country luxe bathroom; the laundry complete with functional storage; the master bedroom with twin headdresses; the blue room, with cushions and artwork carrying this moody theme; feminine and soft with touches of blush; the singles room, complete with white feathers. FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Every wall is adorned with beautifully hand selected artworks; to the left of a fireplace, an artisan benchseat and a romantic courtyard; the backyard includes a large entertaining deck; inside-out living at its best; the styling doesn’t stop on the inside, and for year round enjoyment, a shadesail.

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The bedrooms have also been beautifully decorated. As Trish says, “I like luxury when I’m sleeping.” The three main bedrooms feature large buttoned headboards, upholstered in beautiful, simple fabrics. The style, colour and pattern have then been injected through decorative cushions and textured linen. Each room has been styled with a particular theme in mind. The main bedroom, which boasts a king-size bed, features a mainly white palette, layered with various textured elements. The second bedroom shows that feminine flair with a soft blush throw resting on the end of the bed and a central cushion with a knotted flower detail sitting front and centre. The third bedroom carries the theme of moody blues, from the throw at the end of the bed, to the cushions, to the artwork that proudly hangs above the bed. The fourth and final bedroom carries a character all of its own. The only room not to have a full-size bed, this playful and masculine bedroom features two singles. The beds match, with each sharing the moody linen, the plaid throw and four-square leather cushion. Keeping with the playful theme of the room, the wall has been decorated with paper leaves, which cast shadows on the wall and the skyglass that sits on the side table ready for little explorers to find treasures. White Birch Cottage truly is a gem in the quiet streets of Orange. It is the perfect spot for visitors requiring a home-away-from-home with a sense of style and a relaxed and casual vibe. In a few simple words, WBC is luxuriously appointed, private, secluded and indulgent. CWL Words and images : Christine Ghrayche, One X One Interiors

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NARELLAN POOLS WESTERN PLAINS YOUR ONE STOP SHOP Locally operated since 1989 Large range of great shapes and sizes of fibreglass inground swimming pools and spas. Fully installed or kit options.

Homewares to Inspire

Gifts from the Heart


Molly’s Place



A lifestyle store to arouse your senses. Visit Molly’s Place to experience everything it has to offer. 98 Talbragar Street, Dubbo • 6884 8991

Wednesday & Friday: 9am-4ish • Thursday: 9am-7ish • Saturday: 9am-12ish

SERVICING: Monday- Friday 9am-5pm Saturday 9am-12pm 70 Victoria Street, Dubbo

Dubbo, Narromine, Mudgee, Nyngan, Lightning Ridge, Bourke, Cobar and surrounding areas


02 6884 3117

Crampton’s bring the store to your door For almost 30 years we’ve offered a free measure and quote service with our home service van. Call us today to have one of our consultants arrange an appointment within your home FREE of charge. Servicing Dubbo and the Western area. Or call in and visit our showroom and friendly sales team.

62 Hawthorn St, Dubbo | Tel: 02 6882 8911 186 CWL

P R E S S Coffee Roasters, Cafe & Events 33 Bultje Street, Dubbo NSW 2830 (02) 6885 0621 Mon - Fri 7:30am to 4pm Sat 8am to 4pm Sun 8am to 4pm

Clothing & Accessories

Providing a personal and enjoyable fashion experience through great range and service, at affordable prices.

132 SHERIDAN ST, GUNDAGAI Ph: (02) 6944 4002 Mon-Fri: 10am-5:30pm Sat: 9:30am-12:30pm CWL 187

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home & style A U T U M N

someone needs a

RUG... Style your home from the floor up.

The autumnal season is most often a welcome change. The mercury doesn’t rise quite as high and we look for ways to bring warmth into our homes. A new season is a great time to add fresh elements to your space. However, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin or what piece of decor to invest in when looking for maximum impact. We spoke to interior designers Katrina and Millie of The Design Paddock to get their take on where to start. Simply start from the ground up by adding a bit of luxury to your floor with a gorgeous rug. “A lot of people underestimate the impression a rug can give to a space; they are an important element of decoration.” The pair are always on the lookout for beautiful rugs that meet a certain set of criteria. “As designers we are committed to sourcing and curating finishes and furnishings that are of a high quality.” In addition to quality, the products must also be a strong match for the homes and lifestyle of the Central West. Katrina and Millie are loving the newest range of rugs from Dash & Albert. Born and bred in classic east coast American style, Dash & Albert brings an authentic piece of this iconic look to Australia. Millie and Katrina favour starting with a rug when beginning a new interior styling project. A wonderful way to add a layer of comfort and warmth to your home, a rug has the ability to anchor and frame your room while setting the tone for the entire look of the space. The Design Paddock believes “the right rug should add movement, colour and softness in addition to feeling lovely underfoot”. But can a rug be all these things as well as practical? More than just beautiful, the latest range of PET rugs from Dash & Albert is also hardwearing, versatile, eco friendly, pet friendly and child friendly. This rug collection is truly suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. They are made from recycled plastic bottles, but don’t let that put you off – their softness and feel rival wool. This rug defines low maintenance. When the time comes for a bit of refreshing, simply bring the rug outside, give it a scrub and literally spray it down with the garden hose. Once dry it will be as good as new.

Millie and Katrina favour starting with a rug when beginning a new interior styling project. But what if you aren’t starting from scratch and choosing a rug to fit your existing decor seems like a monumental task, you aren’t alone. Katrina and Millie have seen it before. “One concept we find clients struggle with is successfully carrying a cohesive style throughout their home.” Luckily, Dash & Albert has simplified the decision making process for you by creating rugs that are cleverly designed to be layered and feel at home in a variety of interior styles. These rugs will work seamlessly with the current Hamptons and Scandinavian trends, suiting homes from country to coast with timeless appeal. A rug of this nature can easily become the binding agent between all the rooms in your home. The latest collection of PET indoor/outdoor rugs from Dash & Albert includes timeless stripes and subtle geometric patterns. Available in a rainbow of colours from the softest of greys to pops of pink and blue, they are poised to coexist gorgeously with a modern neutral palette or be the jumping off point for splashes of colour. Katrina and Millie have recently joined the creative stronghold at 4 Doors Up in Jugiong with their new Design Paddock studio space. Visit to explore the range, find stockists or shop from the comfort of your home. Be sure to visit Dash & Albert’s Australian home on instagram @wintonhouseaustralia for a visual feast to inspire the decorator in you. CWL Words: Jennifer Harden

ABOVE, FROM TOP: Bunny Williams Elizabeth Navy Indoor/ Outdoor PET rug; Blue Heron Indoor/Outdoor PET runner installed on staircase; Rolled Rug stack of various Indoor/Outdoor PET rugs. FACING PAGE: Dash & Albert Blue Awning Indoor/Outdoor PET rug, ideal for under dining tables as accidental spills are easy to clean.

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At Choices Flooring we know that good interior decorating starts

from the floor up

Choices Flooring by Brights 61 George Street, Bathurst (next to Dan Murphy’s) 6331 4866

fish river roasters Roasters of premium coffee from around the world. We roast in small batches so we can deliver to you fresh and fast. Same day dispatch for online orders received before 3pm. Our philosophy is simple: Source the best coffee beans and roast each variety to bring out their best flavours and aroma. Our coffee has won 22 awards since 2010, including at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show and the National Golden Bean Competition. Fish River Roasters provides speciality coffee from around the world to cafes and restaurants in the Central West, Blue Mountains and around Australia. Our award winning coffee is supported by barista training and espresso machine repairs and maintenance. We would like to thank the cafes and restaurants that stock our coffee and the coffee drinkers of the region for their support. 67 corporation avenue bathurst nsw 2795 02 6331 7171

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Honey Mustard DRESSING Rosie’s Honey Mustard Dressing is more than just a dressing Gluten and preservative free, handmade with all natural ingredients. 100% Australian owned and made.

0427 418 861 Warren, NSW 192 CWL

Perfect with fish, red meats, chicken, green salad and as a marinade. Order online today

Whip an ordinary meal into an extraordinary taste sensation

ARCADIA CROOKWELL Our unique business brings to you multiple shops all contained in a beautifully restored building in the centre of Crookwell

Antiques and collectables, ladies clothing and jewellery, baby clothing, alpaca products, handmade candles, soaps and chocolates, organic teas, Italian ceramics, giftwares & homewares.

77 Goulburn St Crookwell 2583 Open: Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri: 10am-4pm Sat, Sun: 10am-3pm 0407 254 954 •

Hand-crafted earthenware from Deruta, the home of beautiful Italian ceramics

Beautiful, genuine Italian ceramics to enhance your home or gift to someone special Online store: Shop: Arcadia, 77 Goulburn Street, Crookwell, NSW CWL 193

Elizabeth McKay The Capertee Valley’s Elizabeth McKay is turning natural fibres into intriguing wearable artworks through her Capertee Inspirations business.

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meet the maker

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business. Spending most of my life on the land has enabled me to nurture an appreciation of nature and land forms. Moving permanently to the Capertee Valley has provided the perfect environment to explore creativity. My business, Capertee Inspirations, began as a personal quest to explore my creativity. It has evolved into a business because of my commitment to give back in some way; to share with a wider audience the beauty and serenity of this amazing landscape. This is expressed through various textile forms; felt and fabric, creating clothing, framed pieces and instillations.

When and how did your love of handmade craft begin?

My mother was a home dressmaker so making things was just a part of life. In the 1980s and ’90s I dabbled in patchwork and became quite serious about making bobbin lace. I love the idea of keeping old crafts alive and its connection with history. I particularly remember the moment when I learned to make a piece of lace called Little Fir Trees, which was on the christening robe of Charles I. I have a passion for costume and the history of costume. Since 2012 I have experimented with using natural fibre, mainly creating jackets from purchased fabric and making clothing in felt. This is embellished with embroidery, beading and texture to create one-off pieces.

How did you go about learning your craft? Felting started

with some brief notes and a little research on the internet. Then I just started. And I think this is what you need to do – just find your own way. There have been moments of joy and wonder and some spectacular disasters. I have only attended two felting workshops to increase my skills base and incorporate it into my creative works.

What have been your steepest learning curves? Marketing. How to promote my work and how to engage the people that appreciate and want your product.

What have been some highlights? The magic moment when

a piece of limp, wet wool or alpaca transforms into a thing of incredible beauty. Thankfully, this happens quite often. Other highlights have been my exhibitions at Number 47 Gallery, Rylstone. It is gratifying to see the result of your labour and passion in an environment that displays the beauty of the fibre to the full.

What do you believe your craft (and handmade in general) brings to your wider community? There are two

main aspects. Spreading the skills: By sharing your work with other creative/crafty people they gain new ideas and insights to apply to their work. Building community activity: Exhibitions and markets help to create a sustainable community supporting local business. Handmade also creates a focus for community and visitors alike. I think that there is nothing more engaging than a quality market.

Where can people find out more, or source your products? My website,,

showcases a number of current works. Find me on Facebook. I regularly attend the Rylstone Community Markets held on the third Sunday of the month. I had a stall at the Australian National Field Days at Orange (2018) and plan on attending the Millthorpe Markets in April 2019. For more information or to arrange an appointment to view my work email me on or phone me on 0427 889 610.

What is the best advice you could give someone who is thinking about pursuing handmade? The two Ps: Passion and Persistence. And JUST START.


Images: Zenio Lapka

FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Elizabeth holds some Merino berets and wears a shawl collar of hand dyed Merino; a mixed fibre sleeveless jacket with silk embellishments highlighted with beading; detail of the hand beaded sleeve and neckline of a short pure wool jacket; hand-made felted brooches and decorations; full length cashmere and wool overcoat featuring asymmetrical collar. Collar, pockets and hemline have organic trails of wool and silk hand-made cording. ABOVE FROM LEFT: Alpaca, hemp and Merino are used to create a sleeveless jacket; flamboyant pieces to add to a coat, collar or beret; Elizabeth wears a hand knitted asymmetrical cape and is holding a framed picture featuring vintage Berber jewelry on a felted background.

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Handmade colourful canvas swings for little ones.

CLASSIC KIDS’ LEATHER BOOTS AND LOAFERS Fast delivery to all areas & free shipping for orders over $100.

For 6 months – 18kgs

T: 0408 254 325

69 Goulburn Street Crookwell, NSW (02) 4832 2319

1300 043 000

Unique country style gifts, homewares, accessories & clothing

STOCKIST FOR Clothing: Authur Ave, Country Designs, Eb & Ive, Elm, Imagine, Isle of Mine, LTB Jeans, The Eighth Letter, Wish. Handbags & Wallets: Black Caviar, Dusky Robin, Henkberg. Accessories & Gifts: Myrtle & Moss, Oozoo Watches, Random Harvest, TH Luxury Scented Candles, Vetroemetallo & Zoda Jewellery. STOCKIST FOR Homewares: Coast to Coast, Clothing: Betty Basics, Elm, Fate, LTB Jeans, Sass, Wish. Billie Shoes. Handbags & Wallets: Black Caviar, Journie, Pratten, Status Anxiety, 00Z00 watches. Perfect Pieces.

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Stocking brands including Najo Sterling Silver Jewellery, YAYA & Very Very Ladies Clothing, Love Henry, Seedling Kids’ Craft, B Box, Alimrose Designs, NanaHuchy, Toshi, Crabtree & Evelyn, Ted Baker, ECOYA Candles, and many more. 85 MAITLAND STREET, NARRABRI 02 6792 1363

PROUDLY STOCKING MULBERRY THREADS CO. Crafted from the finest fabric, these organic bamboo sheets are the ultimate sleep companion. A 400 thread count sateen weave bamboo creates a smooth, luxurious texture for a softer feel. • BREATHABLE • HYPOALLERGENIC • NATURALLY ANTIBACTERIAL • THERMAL REGULATING • RENEWABLE RESOURCE • GREAT FOR SENSITIVE SKIN

111 MAITLAND ST, NARRABRI (02) 6792 5255

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travel A U T U M N

behold SITES TO

While a trip to Jordan cannot be complete without a visit to the ancient city of Petra, there are many extraordinary and unique experiences to be had in this romantic and arid land.

Jordan is a friendly country: an oasis of peace in a troubled part of the world. Its people are among the most welcoming we have encountered. Immigration officers offered warm smiles and strangers in the street would call out, “Welcome to Jordan!” At one historic site in the capital of Amman, a young girl approached us as her parents watched, approvingly, and offered to share her hot tea and food with us. After a few days exploring Amman, we hired a car and drove south; a self-drive trip is a safe and authentic way of experiencing this country.


An early start on a cold morning gave us the ancient city of Petra almost to ourselves. There were only a few camel handlers on the job offering rides, and the stall owners had not yet opened shop. Every aspect of this Wonder of the World was more glorious and awe inspiring than anticipated, from the undulating pink and gold rock of The Siq to the sudden, immediate splendour of The Treasury.

With only a one-day pass, we did not tarry, as there was the steep, stepped walk to get to The Monastery. The effort was worth it. Upon reaching the top, we climbed a big rock and sat, resting and looking. We cracked open a banana each, grateful for the healthy bodies that enabled us to make this once in a lifetime hike, and marvelled at the age and magnificence of the facia carved into rock before us. Waiting for the sun to creep around and warm the façade of the monastery, the scale of what stood before us was overwhelming and sublime. It looked so close, but as we watched more and more people approach the carved rock and pose for a picture, they became tiny and inconsequential against this edifice. >

ABOVE: Contemplating life while looking at The Monastery, Petra. FACING PAGE: First glimpse of The Treasury, Petra. CWL 199

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Our desert adventures began with an all-day jeep tour through the wadi, made famous to those of us in the west by T.E. Lawrence and the David Lean film Lawrence of Arabia. The landscape in this part of Jordan was vastly different to Petra further north. Wadi Rum looked like a movie set, and there was no sense of scale whatsoever; a bizarre sense of vast and intimate in one sweeping look. The Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp is nestled against a massive honeycomb rock formation, providing both shelter from the desert winds and the perfect sunset viewing platform. From this rock we were as gods perched atop Olympus watching the small creatures below go about their business – in this case, the trucks and camels making their patterns in the sand as they entered and exited the camp; the sweeping, curving tyre tracks a contrast to the ant-like higgledy-piggledy footprints of the departing camels. Our camp for the night was a small community of black woollen tents that sat above the ground, like shaggy walled caravans. Sleeping arrangements were firm camp beds with thick, heavy blankets that pinned us down and kept us warm. Dinner was cooked in a pit oven; a 44-gallon drum buried lengthways in the ground that contained a three-tier rack, like a gigantic stand for high tea, only it was filled with roasted vegetables and pieces of chicken. They also provided a freshly made delicious array of salads, rice, bread, potato vegetable bake and hummus. The evening plans for some guests were to sit around the fire well into the night and smoke shisha, continuing the fantasy of life as a Bedouin. But we sought our bed in preparation for a 5am rise for our balloon ride. We had made the most of the fire pit before dinner, savouring the sweet, unique scent of burning olive tree wood; a sensory delight.

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“The silent and apparently aimless f loating through the morning light evoked a warm sense of peace and contentment.” BALLOON RIDE OVER WADI RUM

With our pockets full of the camp chef’s special labneh and honey sandwiches, we were driven pre-dawn to the balloon take-off point. This was not our first balloon flight; our previous adventures were in Bagan in Myanmar and the Loire Valley in France. Special landscapes explored in this manner provide unforgettable experiences, and such was our flight over the desert of Wadi Rum. The rock formations emerged out of the sea of sand, like arid islands dotting an oceanic alternate universe. The silent and apparently aimless floating through the morning light evoked a warm sense of peace and contentment. In the care of such an experienced and talented pilot, any fear was removed from even the most trepidatious of passengers. All too soon we began our descent, disappointed that our adventure was ending, only to discover the pilot was teasing us as he let loose the noisy flame and we ascended once more, passengers cheering like children. When it was time to land, it was smooth, gentle and silent. Landing a balloon in the desert with few obstacles must surely provide the opportunity for a perfect connection with the earth again – taking as long as you want with no animals, buildings or cars nearby to crash into. After climbing out of the basket, we savoured the hot sweet tea and biscuits provided and watched as the team packed the gear into the trucks. The drive back to the visitor centre was quiet and reflective. Thoughts of precious opportunities and grateful musings of our place in the world seemed to be on the minds of most. CWL Words: Nicole Bonfield Images: John Baltaks

where is it?

Jordan is an Arab country on the east bank of the River Jordan bordering Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria, population 9.702 million.

how to get there

Flights depart from Sydney several times daily with Etihad, Qatar, Emirates, Qantas and Virgin Australia (there are no direct flights).

what to eat

Due to its geographical location in the Levant, Jordan

has culinary influences from the Middle East, Persia, North Africa and the Mediterranean. Must-try dishes include: falafel, moutabel, hummus, labneh, galayet, manakish, mansaf and zaarb.

what to do

Petra is a must, but also consider the Roman ruins of Jerash, the Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, Feynon Eco-Lodge, Dana Nature Reserve, sleeping in a Bedouin Camp (we stayed with wadirumbedouincamp com).

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Our pilot concentrating on the job at hand; dawn breaking over Wadi Rum; testing the jets for the balloon flight; a rock formation looking remarkably like Australia. FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: The desert of Wadi Rum, Jordan; up close and personal with a friendly camel; Wadi Rum Bedouin Camp, Jordan.

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32 years of teaching experience CLASSES IN: BALLET • TAP • JAZZ CONTEMPORARY • HIGHLAND • GYMNASTICS Students prepared for tap exams, eisteddfods, local performances and end of year concerts. Studios in Cootamundra, Young and Temora. The Pilates Studio – Cootamundra & Young Fully qualified pilates teacher with Polestar Pilates, a nationally recognised, government accredited and internationally renowned pilates method. Contact Christine on 0427 782 954 | Find us on Facebook: Christine Wishart Dance Studios or The Pilates Studio Cootamundra & Young


264 COMUR STREET YASS NSW 2582 02 6226 1158

Modern 4 star accommodation with the well-known EWE’N ME restaurant on site. Stylish and updated rooms with kitchenettes/microwaves. Spacious family rooms, two-bedroom suites, fully self-contained cottage and spa suites. Free Foxtel & internet, pool, BBQ area and guest laundry. Great location 400 metres to Yass CBD. Thunderbird Motel offers 24 hour check in. The Ewe ‘n Me delivers a relaxed and modern dining experience. Best locally sourced produce, fully licensed and seating up to 70 people, the Ewe n’ Me is the perfect venue for a quiet dinner or a celebration with family and friends.

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Wholesome food from the heart...for the heart... at the heart of our community. Planted Cootamundra is a wholefoods cafe specialising in local, organic and seasonal food. We value the health and well-being of our customers. All our products and meals are house-made using the freshest ingredients we can source. Locals love to gather at our feasting dinners. Diners are seated around our long table and served three set courses paired with amazing local wines. Over our beautiful share platters, friendships are formed. Feasting dinners are by booking on 6942 4744. Why not call in for a specialty coffee, a wonderful meal or even just a chat. We look forward to welcoming you to our place. Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm Saturday: 8am - 2pm 29 Wallendoon Street

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A U T U M N country getaway

Judy Hay and Peter Smart are partners in life and in business, with their quaint Church House B&B in Gundagai, once a Methodist Church in the 1930s. “I always wanted to turn the church into a B&B one day, and now it has been running for 12 years,” Judy says. The three bedrooms are all queen-sized with en suite bathrooms and TVs so that guests can relax in solitude and take their own time to go exploring. And it wouldn’t be a B&B without breakfast. A cooked breakfast made by Judy and Peter is on offer. Alternatively, guests can have a continental breakfast, or cook their own in the large kitchen. The B&B has been rated among the world’s best for customer satisfaction, after receiving a rating of 9.9 on Hotels Combined. Nestled on a one-acre block overlooking the Murrumbidgee River flats, it’s only a short walk to Gundagai’s town centre, which has recently been upgraded. Many who stay here say it’s a perfect place to stop over while making a leisurely trip between Sydney and Melbourne, or across from Canberra to stay for a weekend. And while Gundagai is well known for the famous Dog on the Tuckerbox, there is a beautiful 18-hole golf course, designed by Judy’s brother Gerard Power, which is within walking distance of the B&B. Visitors can check out the old wooden bridges, restored railway station, museum, and Rusconi’s Marble Masterpiece. There is also the life-sized Yarri and Jacky Jacky, who were two Aboriginal men who saved many during the 1852 floods. There is the option to book out the whole B&B for a more private weekend getaway. Judy is no stranger to the business scene in Gundagai, where she used to have a shop called The Art of Grace, named after her parents Arthur and Grace. “But we always loved the idea of a B&B, and being next door to us, it was just a great idea,” Judy says. Her extensive knowledge of Gundagai and family history makes her the best unofficial tour guide during your stay. Peter does the gardening at Church House, where he maintains the cottage-inspired gardens. He’s also handy when it comes to helping out indoors too, where he helps with ironing sheets and cleaning on weekends. Head to the website, or give Judy and Peter a call on 0409 441 455 to book your special getaway. CWL Words: Annabelle Amos Images: Zenio Lapka

ABOVE RIGHT: Judy Hay Ioves welcoming guests to the Church House B&B. RIGHT: Attention to detail and luxurious comforts make for a memorable stay for guests.

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SERVICE Travellers will find Gundagai’s Church House B&B to be the answer to their prayers.

Modern Australian Menu Great steaks, Club classics, functions available Coffee shop open all day Quality, barista made coffee Locally roasted beans from “Art of Espresso” Cakes, slices, housemade scones Embellish also caters outside of the Club for weddings and celebrations


9:30am – 9:30pm

Club Lunches

12:00pm – 2:00pm


5:30pm – 9:00pm

Gundagai District Services Club 254 Sheridan St, Gundagai NSW 2722 Phone: 6944 1719 | 0419 478 508 Email:

– BUTCHER ROBERTS – Established in 1946, we offer an eclectic mix of garden products, plants and pots, BBQs and outdoor settings, giftware and homewares, plus a unique collection of 19th Century photographs from the Gabriel gallery.

MONDAY – FRIDAY 9:00am – 5:00pm


9:00am – 12:00pm

177 Sheridan Street, Gundagai (02) 6944 1722


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RIGHT at home Maree and Brian Johnson have not looked back since moving into their Bathurst retirement village.

Match making mothers had the right recipe for romance when they paired Maree and Brian Johnson. Married for 45 years, and now enjoying retirement at Bathurst, the couple have fond memories of their first date. “Our mothers were friends who worked together at North Richmond,” Maree recalls. “I was 17 and Brian was 19 and we had never met. I was keen to go to a local old-time dance and our mothers decided it would be a good idea for us to go to the dance together. “The outing was a success and we continued to enjoy each other’s company for several years before we got engaged and married.” The couple lived at Richmond for 26 years and had two sons. Brian was busy as a truck driver and Maree worked for Australian Queen Bee Exporters, a company that sent live bees and containers of honey overseas.

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A move to the Central West eventuated when the export company relocated from Londonderry to Blayney. The Johnsons settled into country life at Blayney and Maree managed the newly constructed Australian Queen Bee Exporters factory. Brian continued to work in the transport industry. Fifteen years later they moved to the nearby village of Barry. “We had a lovely home and a large garden and planned on staying there forever,” Maree says. “Things changed five years later when we both became unwell. We realised our house and garden were too big for us to maintain. “We needed to downsize into something more manageable and decided to go to an open day at the new Oak Tree Retirement Village in Bathurst. “We walked in the gate, absolutely loved it and put a deposit on a unit straight away. We put our house on the market and it sold in the first week!

“We needed to downsize into something more manageable and decided to go to an open day at the new Oak Tree Retirement Village in Bathurst.”

lifestyle A U T U M N

“Oak Tree were very helpful and allowed us to live at their Orange retirement village until our unit was ready at Bathurst.” Maree and Brian enjoy being part of the Oak Tree community and welcome the maintenance-free lifestyle that allows them to live independently with like-minded neighbours. Their stylish air-conditioned unit has two queen bedrooms with generous built-in wardrobes, a large bathroom with a walk-in shower, separate powder room, spacious living and dining area, full-sized kitchen with quality appliances, laundry, storage cupboards, garage and a lovely al fresco entertaining space. Although gardening and home maintenance are included in the full-service Oak Tree structure, Maree and Brian were keen to establish their own front and back gardens. “We love pottering around outside and know that the gardener is available if we need assistance,” they say.

“The gardener often asks if we need any help and it is good to know that he is there to lend a hand with the heavy digging. “Oak Tree Bathurst is a very friendly place and the facilities include a bowling green and village centre. We enjoy regular social activities, entertainment and outings, the companionship of new friends and the security and peace of mind of living in a gated community. “The village is located in a very central position close to shops, medical services and recreational facilities. The hospital is just oneand-a-half streets away.” Maree and Brian enjoy the cool climate at Bathurst and feel very settled at Oak Tree. “We still head away for holidays but to be honest we really prefer to be at home,” Maree says. “Everything we want is right here.” To find out more about Oak Tree Retirement Village, call 1300 367 155. CWL Words: Heather Crosby

ABOVE: Oak Tree Retirement Village Bathurst; Maree and Brian Johnson at their house in Richmond; Maree and Brian’s wedding day in 1973 at St Matthew’s Catholic Church Windsor, NSW. FACING PAGE: Enjoying life. Maree and Brian at Oak Tree Retirement Village, Bathurst.

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DUBBO The Grapevine Cafe has great coffee and great food. We offer an indoor or outdoor dining experience with full table service. Situated in a beautiful heritage listed building with a spacious courtyard.

144 Brisbane Street Dubbo NSW 2830 Phone: (02) 6884 7354 OPEN 7 DAYS 208 CWL

“Come up to Oberon for some fresh air”

Billabong Cottage Oberon Trout Fishing and Farm Holiday

Phone: 6336 5144 Mobile: 0427 365 144 Email: Website: Your Hosts: Tim and Fran Charge

Our qualified staff offer professional and friendly health advice. We have a wide range of in-store services and products including: • • • • • •

Sleep apnoea equipment • Gorgeous giftware Home medication review • Makeup & skincare brands Meds checks including Revlon, Natio, Flu vaccination service Nude by Nature, Sukin, French fragrance Dr LeWinn’s, Kora Organics Leather wallets & handbags • The Beauty Room 127 Maitland Street, Narrabri NSW 2390 P: 02 6792 2105 CWL 209

saving face

Showing signs of facial ageing is not necessarily a fait accompli, according to Professional Skin Solutions.

As the effects of another hot, dry summer linger on our landscape we can appreciate that, for many of us, living and working in Australian conditions has left a lasting impact on our skin health. We can quite literally look in the mirror and see the damaging effects of our unique climate written on our faces. While we have seen some great awareness campaigns aimed at protecting our skin, for some these messages arrived after we had spent years outdoors with minimal sun protection, getting repeatedly sunburnt, or actively seeking that great tan. Those years have taken their toll on our general skin condition, and can be particularly noticeable with premature signs of facial ageing. Research results recently published in the Australian Journal of Dermatology show Australian women are self-reporting signs of facial ageing earlier than our North American counterparts. Of the 1472 women from Australia, Canada, UK and USA who participated in the study, Australian women reported more severe signs of facial ageing than other women, and reported these up to 20 years earlier than their USA counterparts. These findings help to guide our responses to skin health. At Professional Skin Solutions we aim to be preventative with quality sunscreen cream, skin conditioning treatments and home skin care, and to be responsive with nourishing photo-rejuvenation treatments and therapies. If you are noticing signs of facial ageing, such as loss of volume, sagging and skin wrinkling,

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our range of treatments and at-home skin care could be just what you’re looking for to boost your skin health. Our HydraFacial ™ is a natural choice for skin rejuvenation, with the latest in skin resurfacing technology using hydradermabrasion techniques to cleanse, exfoliate, peel, extract impurities, hydrate and protect the skin in one treatment. Our HydraFacial™ stimulates new cell growth in a similar yet gentler way to microdermabrasion, with no downtime required. If you suffer pigmentation and vascular lesions such as dyschromia, solar lentigo, mottled pigmentation and melisma, our medical-grade IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Icon Max G technology can reduce these presentations, and with no downtime this safe and reliable treatment proves very popular. To improve skin texture and tone, and to promote natural production of collagen to add volume to your skin we use Fractional Emerge 1410nm medical-grade equipment and laser technology. Our textural correction treatments are non-invasive with minimal downtime after treatment, making them an ideal choice for busy people. Call today and make an appointment with us at Professional Skin Solutions. Your initial assessment appointment is free and we will work with you to develop a treatment regime that helps your skin reach optimum health. CWL Words: Karyn Taylor, Indigo Events and Marketing Services Images: Jane Dempster

While we have seen some great awareness campaigns aimed at protecting our skin, for some these messages arrived after we had spent years outdoors with minimal sun protection. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: HydraFacial - nourishing the skin; glowing skin, confident smile; Icon Max G IPL technology treating skin pigmentation; Fractional Emerge improving skin tone.

WE CARE ABOUT YOUR EYECARE Our commitment to providing the highest standard of eyecare is reflected in our eye examinations which focus on eye health and the detection of eye diseases, as well as vision assessment. World class technology is used to assist in the diagnosis and management of eye

conditions and diseases such as glaucoma, macular-degeneration, diabetes and cataract. We stock a wide range of designer optical frames and sunglasses for adults and children.

DUBBO 02 6884 4077

3/47-59 Wingewarra Street, Dubbo 2830

WELLINGTON 02 6845 3453

4 Nanima Crescent, Wellington 2820

COBAR 02 6836 4077

39 Marshall Street, Cobar 2835

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a step in the right

DIRECTION When people hear of a hip or knee replacement, thoughts turn to major operations and a life of disability to follow.

Only last week, a gentleman came to see me rather depressed that his aspiration to drive around Australia in his retirement would not be fulfilled because he had been told that he needed a hip replacement for his severe arthritis. After a long chat, he was reassured to learn that he should be able to do that and much more . . . and do so without the pain that he is in now. He walked out a lot happier. So, where are we with joint replacements today and how do we measure their success? How safe is this operation and what kind of function can be expected after a successful joint replacement? These are all questions that go through the mind of a patient with arthritis. You will be pleased to know that joint replacement surgery, particularly hip and knee replacements, are some of the most successful achievements of modern medicine. In fact, hip replacements have been dubbed the “operation of the century” because of their success rate while knee replacements are not far behind. Modern designs, with improvements in biomaterials and design evolution, in combination with enhanced methods, such as minimally invasive techniques, aim to make joint replacement a gentler procedure, reducing the overall insult of surgery to the body and improve longevity of the implants. Results are derived from published literature worldwide, of which our very own Australian joint replacement registry is an international benchmark of reliable information. While success rates are high, one must also not trivialise the procedure. It is major surgery and, like all major surgery, there are risks associated

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with the operation. The risk profile may vary from person to person and is usually assessed by the treating surgeon or anaesthetist. For the vast majority of patients, the risk is minimal and successful outcome is the expected norm. Of course, the operation is only a consideration when simple measures are no longer effective and symptoms associated with arthritis are intrusive in one’s day to day life. When performed for the right reason and time in the right patient, both hip and knee replacements are positively life changing and people often say “I don’t know why I waited so long”.

Joint replacement surgery, particularly hip and knee replacements, are some of the most successful achievements of modern medicine.


• Modern joint replacements are expected to last over two decades. • They allow a return to an active lifestyle. • While overall recovery may take a long time, functional recovery is quick thanks to innovative methods. Patients are up walking within a few hours of their procedure, often with an aid, and back to day to day tasks within weeks. • With successful hip and knee replacements, a return to activities such as bush walking, swimming, cycling, rowing, bowling, even some gentle doubles tennis and skiing are all realistic expectations. • Complications are an exception, not the norm. • There is no upper or lower age limit, provided anaesthetic fitness. In younger patients, longevity concerns make a joint replacement less desirable but one has to consider the patient and treat individual situations on their merit. Words: Dr Sol Qurashi

Dr Sol Qurashi is a leading hip and knee surgeon based in Sydney. He is the pioneer of micro invasive hip replacement surgery in the country and specialises in enhanced recovery methods for knee and hip replacements.

XERO Gold Partner

Unit 12/36 Darling Street Dubbo, NSW 2830 Phone: 02 6885 5594 E:

Combining the knowledge of your business with our expertise – growing your small business or farming operation is our passion.

Australian Brain Coaching Change your thinking and your behaviours Would you like to achieve any of the following? Build confidence, Find purpose, Improve sleep, Conquer fear, Quit smoking, Control anxieties, Reduce cravings, Overcome phobias – contact the number below: Helen Dugdale | 0417 064 507

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photo courtesy of The Irrigator

Design • Supply • Install • Maintain

rigator Irrigator

to courtesy of The Irrigator

Water management is changing in Australia. Think Water is a leading irrigation pumping solutions business that knows that now – more than ever – every dro

Design Design •• Supply Supply •• Install Install •• Maintain Maintain • Agriculture/Horticulture

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Water management is changing in Australia. Think Water is a leading irrigation and Water management is changing in Australia. Think Water is a leading and • irrigation Domestic Water Supply • Sewage Treatment pumping solutions business that knows that now – more than ever – every drop counts. pumping solutions business that knows that now – more than ever –•every drop counts. Commercial Turf • Pasture •• Agriculture/Horticulture •• Bores Agriculture/Horticulture Bores • Grey Water Systems • Domestic Irrigation •• Domestic Supply •• Sewage Treatment Water management is changing Water is a leading irrigation and (02)•Think 6953 5500 DomesticWater Water Supply Sewage Treatmentin Australia. (02) 6953 5500 Drip Systems • Pump Systems •• Commercial •• Pasture pumping solutions business that knows that – more CommercialTurf Turf Pasture 14 now Wamoon Avethan ever – every drop counts. 14 Wamoon Ave •• Grey •• Domestic GreyWater WaterSystems Systems Domestic Irrigation Irrigation• Bores LEETON • Agriculture/Horticulture LEETON •• Drip Systems • Pump Drip Systems • Pump Systems Systems

Design • Supply • Install • Maintain

• • • • Domestic Water Supply • Sewage Treatment Commercial Turf water. Drop • Pasture We on in We know know water. Drop on in Grey Water Systems • Domestic Irrigation Drip Systems • Pump Systems

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We know water. Drop on in

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14 Wamoon Ave LEETON

14 Wamoon LEETON

Mick’s Bakehouse LEETON, NSW

• Award winning pies & fresh baked bread • Continental cakes & biscuits • Sandwiches, wraps & salads • Fantastic coffees & fresh juice bar • Eat in or takeaway, friendly service • Catering available 56 Pine Avenue, Leeton (02) 6953 2212 OPEN 7 DAYS!

crate café Indulge in the ambience

Fine Fusion Cafe Food and Dimatina Coffee 108 Pine Ave, Leeton (02) 6953 7798 Open: Monday-Friday 6am-4pm

Saturday 7am-2pm

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Back row: Cr Paul Smith, Elizabeth Tickle, Mayor Cr Paul Maytom, Cr Tony Reneker, Director Corporate and Community Craig Bennett, Glenn Morris, Elijah Ingram, Carol Weston, Deputy Mayor Cr George Weston, Rosemary Arena. Front row: Alex Tickle, Julie Maytom, Diane Reneker, Cr Tracey Morris, General Manager Jackie Kruger, Cr Sandra Nardi.

Central West Lifestyle in collaboration with Leeton Shire Council officially launched the 114-page Leeton feature at the beautiful Leeton Roxy Theatre on Saturday, November 17. Around 90 invited guests revelled in the pleasure of seeing the gems of their local community up in lights on the big screen. The evening’s proceedings were emceed by Leeton Council General Manager Jackie Kruger, while guests enjoyed delicious canapes served by Vanessa and Eric Pages and their staff, from Pages on Pine, Leeton. Leeton Shire Council Mayor Paul Maytom said: “Feature publications such as this don’t happen without the contribution of many people. Firstly, I would like to thank all of our local businesses that made the choice to advertise in this publication, showcasing all that Leeton has to offer. “I would also like to thank Elizabeth and Alex Tickle and their team from Central West Lifestyle for the dedication that they have shown to ensure Leeton is portrayed as the welcoming and inclusive community that it is. “I would like to thank the staff and volunteers from Council’s Communications and Marketing team who worked tirelessly with the editor and visiting feature writer to ensure rich and full coverage of our great shire and its personalities. This high-quality magazine has a wonderful look and feel to it and it has also allowed me to take the time to reflect on what makes Leeton so very special to so many of us.” Vigorous sales of the magazine followed the launch, not only in Leeton but right across the state. CWL Words: Brent Lawrence, Leeton Council Manager Communications and Marketing Images: Zenio Lapka and Sue Meikle

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The stunning Roxy Community Theatre lit up for the launch.

Cr Tracey Morris, Diane Reneker, Natalie Mazzon, Sue Gavel and Anne Celi.

events A U T U M N

Anne and Ted Celi with daughter Natalie Mazzon.

Monica Armanini with Vanessa Pages.

Communications and Marketing Manager Brent Lawrence, Visitor Services Officer Kathy McMahon with Leeton Mayor Cr Paul Maytom.

Janine Norman and Brad Booth.

Rocci and Maria di Salvatore with David Benn.

Crystal Sanders, Gloria Altin with Lisa O’Brien.

Michael and Tina Nardi with Kylie Smith.

Tony and Diane Reneker, Jody Rudd and Glenn Morris.

John and Megan Martin.

Don Graham, Ted Celi, Frank Mercuri and Pat Curry.

Tracey and Jody Rudd.

Elijah Ingram and his father, William Ingram with Deputy Mayor Cr George Weston.

Susie and Mark Rowe.

Barry Kirkup with Alex and Elizabeth Tickle.

Margaret Atkin with Jean O’Donnell.

Libby and Brian Bailey.

Margaret Sands with Warwick and Caroline Deane.

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Pagès on Pine restaurant & grill Open for dinner Wednesday – Saturday from 6pm Lunch on Friday from 12pm | Fully licensed 119 Pine Ave LEETON NSW (02) 6953 7300


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Skip the queue with ‘Skip App’ to order your coffee

‘Art of Espresso’ coffee Wholesome home-style cooking All day breakfasts Homemade cakes & daily specials Catering for functions up to 50 people 121 Pine Avenue, Leeton

(02) 6953 4528

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Marlie Oakley and Michael Oakley, Kingsvale, Thomas Edwards, Nubba, Emily Lawrie and Amelie Lawrie, Milvale, with Harry Edwards from Nubba.

BURRANGONG PICNIC RACES Burrangong The Burrangong Picnic Races were held on October 6, celebrating 130 years since establishment. A beautiful spring day saw the crowd of over 1500 stream through the gates, from all local communities and coming from as far as Sydney. Everyone enjoyed a great day of family fun at the races with face painting, Mr Whippy and show rides entertaining the kids. Fashions on the Field was hotly contested. Prizes worth more than $3000 were spread over the five categories. The Delta Agribusiness & Incitec Pivot Burrangong Picnic Cup was taken out by Attilius, trained by Paul Theobold and ridden by Michael Gray. Michael was also presented with the first annual Samara Johnson Memorial Prize to the winning rider by the Johnson family and Samara’s partner Gary Kirkup. The races will be held on October 12 this year (always the first Saturday after the long weekend). CWL Words: Tom Wills Images: Jen Harden

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Lucy Jones, Sharon Norton, Maree Bush, Bec Jones and Sharon Corcoran, all from Young.

Damian Shaw, David Kirkwood and Dan Murphy, all from Sydney, Tim McGrath, Boorowa, and Geoff Considine, Sydney.

Jennie Clavin, Tom Price and Lauren Slater, all from Sydney. Jennie and Lauren were the judges of Fashions on the Field.

events A U T U M N

Amanda and Hugh McAlister, Young, with Katy and Bill Dunlop, Orange.

Denis Manion, Boorowa, and Bill Daly, Young.

Amelia Withers, Tura Beach, Rowan Daley, Young, and Hazell Johnston, Coonabarabran.

Trista Schofield with Karen Ower and Samantha Apps, all from Young.

Lachlan, Amanda, Zara and Rohan Caldwell, Young.

Emma Cahill, Megan Hennock and Jade Wishtaker, all from Young.

Manqoba Mazibuko, Young, Angus Patrick, Gulargambone, and Will Clark-Dickson, Oman Ama.

Julie Langlands and Kiralee Ciccarelli, both from Young.

Emily O’Brien and Olivia Maher, Crookwell, with Maddi Pearsall, Boorowa, and Tia Spencer, Binalong.

Brooke and Ben Hurth-Gye, Young.

Will Moncrieff, Emily Rozyn, Thomas Webb and Rhys Staff, all from Young.

Roseann Seery, Bec Woods, Cameron Woods and Tammy Terry, all from Young.

Ali Malcolm, Fitzroy Falls, with Cobie Sheehan, Goulburn.

Bec Dawe, Tahnee Neal and Cassie Parkinson, all from Young.

Melissa Prescott, Cowra, with Jamie Harden, Young.

David Butt with Bridgett Hughes, both from Wagga Wagga.

Ash Brewer, Leesa Scanes and Alison Jones, all from Yass. CWL 221

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130th Boorowa Show 1 – 2 MARCH

Marsden Street, Boorowa Narelle Nixon 0427 070 341

Mudgee Show & Rodeo 1 – 2 MARCH

Mudgee Showground Allison Beer 0412 815 827

Charity Shield – Dragons v Rabbitohs 2 MARCH

Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium, Mudgee Mid-Western Regional Council events team (02) 6378 2850

Orange Running Festival 2 – 3 MARCH

Bloomfield/Gosling Creek area Orange Richard 0438 459 802

Wellington Vintage Fair & Swap Meet 2 – 3 MARCH

Wellington Showground & main street, Wellington Viv Wellington 0416 075 124 Facebook: Wellington Vintage Fair & Swap Meet

Temora Rural Museum Annual Live Exhibition 9 MARCH

Temora Rural Museum, Bundawarrah Centre Bill Speirs (02) 69 801 224, 0428 771 291

International Women’s Day 10 MARCH

Boorowa Ex-Services Club auditorium Janene Hurley (02) 6385 1330

Carnival of Cups, Young Harness Racing Club 10 MARCH

Young Paceway & Showground, Murringo Road, Young Stuart Maxwell (02) 6382 1235, 0419 426 916

Lithgow Agricultural Show 15 – 16 MARCH

Tony Luchetti Showground, Lithgow (02) 6353 1775

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1 – 2 March, Boorowa Show

Check out the area’s fine wool Merino and British Breed sheep, stud cattle, horse events, championship dogs and more.

30 March, Lambing Flat Chinese Festival, Young

A twilight event with dragon and lion dancing, sunset lantern parade, International food, music, art, history with a multicultural theme.

Cowra Community Markets

Mudgee Region Food & Drink Trail

Cowra Showground Kaye Chapman 0473 346 046

Various locations, Mudgee (02) 6372 1020

16 MARCH, 20 APRIL, 18 MAY

Oberon Heritage & Collectors Fair 16 – 17 MARCH

Oberon Showground, Ross Street, Oberon Alice Perrott 0427 358 126

6th Annual Truck & Tractor Show 17 MARCH

Murrumburrah Showground, Murrumburrah Kevin Sharp (02) 6386 5136

Titan Macquarie Mud Run 23 MARCH

River Precinct from Ollie Robins Oval to Regand Park, Dubbo Rod Fardell 0439 845 513

23 – 24 MARCH

Gateway 2 Garden, 5km or 10km Run 24 MARCH

Mayfield Garden, 530 Mayfield Road, Oberon Jo (02) 6336 3131

Lambing Flat Chinese Festival 30 MARCH

Boorowa Street, Young Melanie Ford (02) 6382 3394

18th Annual Oberon Swap Meet 31 MARCH

Oberon Show Grounds, Ross Street, Oberon Emma Whalan 0408 698 987

Jugiong Writers Festival

Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge

Jugiong Village Freda Nicholls 0428 448 225

Mt Canobolas Orange

23 – 24 MARCH

JetBlack 24 Hour 23 – 24 MARCH

Rydal Juliane Wisata 0416 737 972


Newcrest Cycle Challenge 31 MARCH

Orange & surrounds

Orange FOOD Week 5 – 14 APRIL

Orange & surrounding districts

events S U M M E R

The End Festival 12 – 14 APRIL

Hill End National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) events team

Aircraft Showcase Weekend – All Serviceable Aircraft 13 – 14 APRIL

Temora Aviation Museum Peter Harper (02) 6977 4088

Mayfield Autumn Festival 13 – 28 APRIL

Mayfield Garden, 530 Mayfield Road, Oberon Mayfield Garden (02) 6336 3131

25 – 31 May, Mudgee Hot Air Ballooning Festival

Look up, and you’ll be treated to a colourful spectacle like no other.

Gairloch Garden

13 – 28 APRIL (open by appointment)

27 Blenheim Avenue, Oberon Gairloch Garden 0427 070 956

Lake Burrendong Fishing Classic 19 – 22 APRIL

Lake Burrendong State Park, Wellington Matt Hansen (02) 6846 7435

Hartwood Campfires & Country Music 19 – 21 APRIL

Hartwood, 40km north of Coolah 0456 780 824

Coonabarabran Bunny Bazaar

Temora v8 Super Boats Day/Night

John Street CBD, Coonabarabran Eva Brocklehurst (02) 6843 4491

Lake Centenary, Goldfields Way, Temora 0416 067 057


Orange Camel Races 21 APRIL

Towac Park Raceway Orange


27 – 28 APRIL

Tony Luchetti Showground, Barton Street, Lithgow Macgregor Ross 0459 687 837

Mudgee Bike Muster

Abba Festival

Australian Rural Education Centre (AREC), Mudgee Mark 0410 33 5050

Berryman Oval, Trundle 0439 474 809

Man from Ironbark Festival

Boorowa Amateur Picnic Races

Molong Street, Stuart Town Marcus Hanney 0417 467 459

Boorowa Showground Elizabeth Daly 0403 374 890

19 – 21 APRIL


3 – 4 MAY




10 – 12 MAY

Blast Furnace Park plus other locations in Lithgow Lithgow Tourism 1300 760 276

Orange Show 11 – 12 MAY

Orange Showground, Leeds Parade, Orange Facebook: Orange Show Society

Waste 2 Art Community Art Competition & Exhibition 15 – 18 MAY

Oberon Community Centre, Fleming Street, Oberon Community Services Team (02) 6329 8100

NRL Premiership – St George Illawarra Dragons v Newcastle Knights 19 MAY

Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium, Mudgee Mid-Western Regional Council events team (02) 6378 2850

Mudgee Hot Air Ballooning Festival 25 – 31 MAY 27– 28 April, Ironfest, Lithgow

The annual event attracts artists, blacksmiths, street performers, musicians and more from across the country.

3– 4 May, ABBA Festival, Trundle

Join in all the Abba-inspired fun with loads of entertainment, food vendors, market stalls, dancing and more.

Various locations Mudgee region (02) 4990 9242

Do you have an event that you would like included in our magazine? EMAIL: Compiled by Heather Crosby

All events are subject to change and we recommend contacting the organisers to confirm details.

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Barkala Farm - Home of Pilliga Pottery & Blue Wren Cafe. Family friendly farm stay, pottery art gallery & workshop, with camping available

Open 7 days ph:02 6842 2239 /PilligaPottery, Coonabarabran, 23km north, turn off Newell Hwy


Stop for a coffee or stay for the night.


Gilgandra Shire is a friendly, vibrant and welcoming community, filled with friendly locals proud of its history and positive about its future.


The Southern gateway to the Warrumbungle National Park, Gilgandra boasts the Speedway, country races, iconic pubs and the Coo-ee Heritage Centre.


Gilgandra, a charming country town, has speciality shops, bakeries, IGA, Target Country and a plaza where you can sit down and take it all in.


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A U T U M N weddings

flora adorer

Catherine McAlpine’s lifelong enthusiasm for beautiful gardens sparked an interest in floristry, marking the beginning of Farm to Floral.

The opportunity to study floristry came after Catherine McAlpine’s children had all left school. Finding a course that accommodated her isolated location presented difficulties, as most courses only offered weekly classes in urban centres. A month-long course at the Judith Blacklock Flower School in Knightsbridge, London, seemed the perfect solution. Not only did it teach Catherine basic floristry skills, but it also offered a once-in-a-lifetime experience; a fabulous combination of travel, new skills and people. The opportunity to put these new skills into practice came not long after Catherine’s return home, at the wedding of her eldest son. “I had the great privilege of creating the florals for the marquee, including a massive 2m hanging floral ring,” she says. Her business then started to grow through word of mouth, largely through her cousin and her catering business, Jo Robson Catering. Catherine has predominantly done weddings around Cowra and Boorowa, with several a little closer to home at Narromine and Warren. “To create something special for such a happy and significant life event gives me a ridiculous amount of pleasure. I love working with brides to find an aesthetic that is both individual and beautiful,” she says.

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Catherine and her husband Grant live in the Marra Creek district, and Catherine draws a lot of her inspiration from the native plants that can be found on the property. “Some of the foliage is from home, but the Sydney Markets are where I source the bulk of my flowers. The logistics of refrigerated transport from the markets are very difficult, and I have been looking into the possibility of accessing my product from more local or regional suppliers and growers.” A lot of Catherine’s support comes from her family, who encouraged her to follow her dream of becoming a florist. “My daughter Emily is the backbone of my weddings and events. She has a background in design, and has her own design studio in Melbourne, so she is an invaluable sounding board, chief offsider and gopher.” In addition, Catherine’s husband and their three sons, Will, Alex and James, are indispensable when it comes to practical solutions for the mechanics and installation of her creations. If you’re interested in seeing more of Catherine’s creations visit the website: www. or contact her via email at CWL Words: Annabelle Amos

A lot of Catherine’s support comes from her family, who encouraged her to follow her dream of becoming a florist.

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Catherine McAlpine and her daughter Emily enjoy creating stunning florals; colour and foliage make a unique statement; Catherine’s son Alex provides assistance with the installion of her beautiful hanging creations.

Farm to Floral specialises in beautiful flowers for weddings and events. Visit us online to find out more. @farmtofloral

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A U T U M N weddings

SEWELL + WHITE Gemma Sewell and Josh White were married at Waldara Farm, Edith, on January 13, 2018.

Family and friends numbering 120 witnessed the couple marry in front of the venue’s gazebo. The reception followed at the rustic function barn, with food provided by Redpepper Catering, Hazelbrook. Guests enjoyed dancing to live band Tommy Gun throughout the night. Gemma’s dress was by Bathurst dressmaker Leanne Hamilton Couture. Signature Floral Designs, Bathurst, created the bouquets, with the added touch of greenery from Gemma’s family property at Cooma. Josh and Gemma honeymooned for two weeks at Karon Beach, Thailand, and have settled into married life in Bathurst. Photographer: Light City Creative

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ABOVE: Zoe Lynch, Netasha Pearse, Claire Zollinger, Tegan Koch, Ellen Sewell, Gemma and Josh White, Jason Conn, Matthew Farley, Jake White, William Townsend and Mitchell Highett.

Winter issue SPRING 2015

NARRANDERRA Available June 2019

Subscribe to experience the magazine in print or online:




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A U T U M N weddings

WOOD + ANDERSON Rochelle Wood and Ben Anderson were married at St Mary of the Presentation Catholic Church, Mudgee, on February 3, 2018.

The reception followed at The Vinegrove, where 100 guests from Australia and New Zealand enjoyed catering by Mudgee Made and wine by local winegrower Logan Wines. Rochelle’s sister, Rebecca Young, flew from Canada to be by her side as her bridesmaid. Ben’s best man on the day was Alex Noad, of Dubbo.

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The couple enjoyed a honeymoon road trip through the USA and have settled back onto their property near Crookwell. Photographer: Feather & Birch Wedding Co.

ABOVE: Alex Noad, Rochelle and Ben Anderson and Rebecca Young.

“Angullong has perhaps Orange’s best value range...” Huon Hooke Visit our cellar door in the historic bluestone stables in Millthorpe for tasting and sales. Cnr. Park & Victoria Streets, Millthorpe. Ph: 02 6366 3444 OPEN 7 DAYS 11am to 5pm

Circa 1929. Allow yourself to be transported to another place. A place where time stands still. A place where you are made to feel special from the moment you step through the front doors. Circa 1929. A peaceful retreat where our focus is on you. A place like no other.

109 Fitzmaurice St, Wagga Wagga 02 6925 9312

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A U T U M N weddings

MAY + BUCKLEY Sam Buckley and Helen May were married at Sam’s family property “Napali”, Nyngan, on April 28, 2018.

Helen and Sam were married by Dubbo celebrant Sue Curley in front of 200 guests. The reception was held in the cotton fields, where guests were served margaritas, followed by a Mexican feast prepared by Nyngan caterer The Cocky’s Wife. Fresh roses were supplied by Flowers Here of Dubbo. The newly married couple spent a week in Thailand before Sam returned to Nyngan to finish the cotton harvest and Helen returned to work in Sydney. Photographer: Barefoot & Bearded

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159 Maitland St, arrabri NSW 2390



PH: (02) 6885 3500


Specialising in: IPL (Intense Pulse Light) • Microdermabrasion • LED Light Therapy Lash Extension/Lash Lifting • Gel & Shellac Manicures/Pedicures • Waxing • Massage Spa Treatment • Make-Up • Ear & Nose Piercing • Holistic Health Coaching Performance-Based Facials using ASAP Skincare Products

1/159 Maitland St, NarrabriPhone: 02 6792 2663 Ph: 02 6792 2663

Find us on Facebook: NuYu Day Spa and Beauty CWL 235

A U T U M N weddings

GLEESON + DARLINGTON Rachel Gleeson and Charlie Darlington were married at St Mary of the Presentation Catholic Church, Mudgee, on September 29, 2018.

The reception was held at Blue Wren, Mudgee, where 140 guests enjoyed music by professional recording artist Sarah Head. The Meadow Floral Design, Dubbo, was responsible for the bouquets on the day. Local Mudgee businesses Cheveux Studio and Therapy by Krystal were used for hair and make-up respectively. The bride and groom spent five weeks honeymooning around Europe and have now made their home in Dubbo. Photographer: Margan Photography

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Featuring 50 iconic stories, hand-selected from editions 1-18 of Central West Lifestyle.


A premium coffee table book of 212 pages, great value at $14.95.

From CWL stockists and online:

Featuring 50 iconic stories, hand-selected from editions 1-18 of Central West Lifestyle. A premium coffee table book of 212 pages, great value at $14.95.


AVAILABLE NOW From CWL stockists and online:


Corner of Brisbane and Wingewarra Streets Dubbo NSW 2830 Phone: 02 6882 4411 Fax: 026881 8062


CWL 237

Our Advertisers AUTUMN 2019 We encourage our readers to support our advertisers. The magazine could not exist without them, and their loyalty shows their commitment to the rural communities of NSW.


Lucknow, Molong & Crookwell 6365 5437


Adelong, 6946 4494


Darlington Point, 0412 060 342

ANGULLONG WINES Panuara, 6366 4300


Crookwell, 0407 254 954



Narrabri, 0417 064 507


Coonabarabran, 6842 2239



Oberon, 6336 5144

BILLENBAH ON THE BIDGEE Euroley, 6959 6279



Bathurst, 6331 4866 store/bathurst


Cootamundra, 0427 782 954

CHURCH HOUSE B&B Gundagai, 6944 1455

CIRCA 1929

Wagga Wagga, 6925 9312


Tumut, 69472358

COACH HOUSE FLOWERS Tumut, 6947 4298



FORBES SHIRE COUNCIL Forbes, 6852 4155



Ganmain, 6927 6401

Dubbo, 6884 8991


Narrabri, 6792 2105



Dubbo, 6882 1011


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Bathurst, 0439 731 889


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NEST CINEMA CAFÉ BOOKS Tumbarumba, 6948 2950


Killimicat, 6944 9099



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BLOOMS ON MAITLAND Narrabri, 6792 2755

BOB BERRY REAL ESTATE Dubbo, 6882 6822


Tumbarumba, 6948 8273


Batlow, 0438 604 416


Tooma, 6948 4173

BROOKLYN ON FITZROY Tumut, 6947 1937


Rockley, 6337 9279


Gulargambone, 0428 438 253


Gundagai, 6944 1722


Yass, 6226 1277

CATHERINE’S BEAUTY SALON Tumut 6947 4437 catherineannsbeautytherapy.



Dubbo, 6885 2254 & Orange, 6361 4442

Temora, 6977 4122


DUBBO RSL CLUB Dubbo, 6882 4411


Forbes, 6851 4000



Bathurst, 0428 953 925

Warren, 6824 2055


ROYAL BUBS N TOTS Dubbo, 6882 9565



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Blayney, 6368 3534



Gundagai, 0414 911 790



South Eastern Section, 9941 8850


Tumut, 6947 9000


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Bathurst, 6332 4447


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Gilgandra, 6817 8800


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Tumut, 6947 2528

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Cootamundra, 6942 4619


Leeton, 6953 2212

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Tumut, 6947 4909


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Cootamundra, 1300 130 172

Tumbarumba 6948 2462


Gunnedah, 0427 431 521 Tumut, 6947 1627

Grenfell, 6343 8288


Leeton, 6953 7300

Dubbo, 6882 5362


Murrumbateman, 6227 5827

SLEEPY JAYS BABY SWINGS Gulargambone, 0408 254 325


Cootamundra, 6942 1028

SNOWY VALLEYS COUNCIL Tumut, 6947 7025 Tumbarumba, 6948 3333





Crookwell, 0414 860 034

Narrabri & Sydney, 0419 269 328

Young, 1800 219 496


Gundagai, 6944 4002

Parkes, 6862 2296

Leeton, 6953 4528




Oberon, 6336 1101

Tumut, 6981 3100 tumut

Leeton, 6953 4100

Parkes, 6862 6000






Leeton, 6953 3500

Cootamundra, 0419 877 307




Girilambone, 0407 780 720

Leeton, 6953 4069




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Leeton, 6953 6481

Sydney, 1300 043 000


Lucknow, 6365 5330

Wellington & Dubbo, 0410 363 429




Tumut, 6947 3911


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Tumbarumba, 6998 3255 Leeton, 6953 7677


Cootamundra, 6942 1131

Adelong, 69464457

Armidale, 6770 1700

Temora, 6977 2433


Bathurst, 6332 1738


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Yass, 6226 1158


Leeton, 6953 2333


Crookwell, 4832 2319


Bathurst, 6332 4044

TOYOTA CENTRAL WEST GROUP Central West, 6882 1511



Tumbarumba, 0407 102 707


Tumbarumba, 6948 2494


TUMUT CONNECTION Tumut, 6227 7254

TUMUT RIVER BREWING Tumut, 61417 201 663


Dubbo, 0412 095 328


Narrabri, 6793 5262


Coonabarabran, 6849 2000


Orange, 6361 1000



Dubbo, 6882 0347


Bathurst, 6332 1565


West Wyalong, 6972 0393



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Tumbarumba, 6948 2182


Leeton, 6953 5500

Tumut, 0437 078 371

Narrabri, 6792 1363

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Leeton, 6953 2191


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Dubbo, 6882 3933

Tumut, 69475818


Canowindra, 0427 936 054



Bathurst, 6333 4702


Talbingo, 6949 5239






Tumut, 0429 020 888


Monteagle, 0429 834 217

Batlow, 0427 491 224


Gunnedah, 6742 6820


Cootamundra, 6942 6336


Yanco, 6951 1500



Yarrangobilly, 6454 9597

St\VE TtiE



DATES 12-14 JULY 2019



Leeton Shire Council is pleased to announce it will be presenting a new regional festival, the Leeton Art Deco Festival, in 2019. To be held in the winter school holidays, this event sits perfectly within the greater Riverina regions events calendar. Why not consider a visit to Leeton, the "Regional Art Deco Capital of Australia". For more information about this exciting event please contact Council's Marketing and Cultural Services Coordinator Suesann Vos on (02) 6953 0922 or email CWL 239

A U T U M N the last word

sweeping success The Tumut Broom Factory is the last original millet broom factory in the country. At one stage there were up to 14 broom factories in the land but only Tumut has continued into the 21st century. Handcrafted millet brooms have been produced the same way since 1946 when the factory was established by the Tumut Rural Co-operative Millet Society with a dozen employees. This number nearly doubled during the 1960s when millet production was at its peak in the district. Broom millet was grown by about 120 local families in the area, producing about 1200 tonnes or 75 per cent of Australia’s millet. After the co-op closed in 1980, Cliff Wortes, who had worked there most of his working life, bought the business with son Geoff and worked there until his retirement. These days it’s run by Geoff and business partner Robert Richards, who continue making brooms the old-fashioned way. Having reached retirement age himself, Geoff has no plans of quitting. “It’s a steady job and you can just poke along,” he says. “Bricklayers do the same thing, day in, day out. It’s good being your own boss and everyone enjoys the feel and smell of the factory.” The pair make about 40 brooms a day in three or four varieties and sizes. Each year they produce about 8000 brooms, which find their way into homes all over Australia. In 33 years, the pair estimate they’ve made several hundred thousand brooms. “My father once told me he had made about one million, so I’ve got a few more to make to catch up,” Geoff laughs. The hand-cut millet was sourced locally until two years ago. “When my father started after the war, millet cost about 70 pounds a tonne. These days we’re getting 80 per cent of our millet from Mexico, costing up to $12,000 a tonne.” Geoff and Rob invite you to drop in to view the broom manufacturing process firsthand and purchase your own millet broom at the end. Parking is available at the front of the factory, conveniently located opposite the Visitors Information Centre. CWL Words and images: Shot by Jake

240 CWL

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Tumut Broom Factory co-owner Geoff Wortes; the finished product (image: Robyn MacRae); the broom factory; Geoff docking the ends of the broom; brooms being stitched, known as stitching the ties.



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LUXURY THAT GOES ANYWHERE Luxury is no longer confined to the city. With CRAWL Control and Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) to conquer the steepest mountains, and Multi-Terrain Select system to navigate the roughest landscapes, the new Prado Kakadu will take you anywhere in luxurious comfort. Escape in style with a refrigerated cooler box, Blu-ray™ Rear Seat Entertainment system and heated and ventilated seats. And when you arrive back home, shake off the mud and admire the sleek new design. Take a test drive today.

Contact your local Central West Dealer for more information. Armstrong Toyota (West Wyalong) 02 6972 2400 Bathurst Toyota 02 6334 2224 Cobar Toyota 02 6836 4007

Cowra Toyota 02 6342 1988

Lean & Bennett (Lithgow) 02 6352 2211

Orange Toyota 02 6362 2988

Dubbo City Toyota 02 6882 1511

Macquarie Toyota (Warren) 02 6847 4266

Parkes Toyota 02 6862 9777

Forbes Toyota 02 6851 1644

Mudgee Toyota 02 6372 1799

Gilgandra Toyota 02 6847 2106

Nyngan Toyota 02 6832 1477

Ron Stubberfield Toyota (Wellington) 02 6845 2522

Profile for Central West Lifestyle Magazine

#24 Central West Lifestyle | Autumn 2019  

#24 Central West Lifestyle | Autumn 2019