#39 Regional Lifestyle | Summer 2022

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Glen Innes & Tenterfield FEATURES


Chamber Music Festival











Service Information Marketing


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CENTRAL WEST LIFESTYLE PTY LTD Trading as Regional Lifestyle Magazine ABN 151 6322 9418


ADDRESS PO BOX 1050 DUBBO NSW 2830 PHONE 0429 441 086 WEBSITE www.lifestylemagazine.net.au FACEBOOK @RegionalLifestyleMagazine INSTAGRAM @RegionalLifestyleMagazine PUBLISHERS, ACCOUNTS & ADVERTISING Elizabeth & Alex Tickle info@lifestylemagazine.net.au EDITOR Elizabeth Tickle editor@lifestylemagazine.net.au CHIEF WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER Jake Lindsay shotbyjake@outlook.com.au ART DIRECTOR Zora Regulic artdirector@lifestylemagazine.net.au

DISTRIBUTION Regional 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, the Monaro, 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.

Regional 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 www.lifestylemagazine.net.au. © Central West Lifestyle Pty Ltd 2022 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 Regional Lifestyle Magazine, the publishers will not be held responsible for omissions, errors or their subsequent effects.

Pegasus Media & Logistics is an environmentally responsible printing company that is committed to helping achieve a sustainable environment. To underscore our commitment to environmental sustainability, Pegasus Media & Logistics 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 Media & Logistics 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 Media & Logistics, offer our clients a guarantee that their printed products are produced by world’s best practice environmental and finest quality standards.



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enterfield Shire is a region of contrasts, T featuring vastly different landscapes, an intriguing history, robust community engagement and a laid-back vibe.


188 H ITTING THE RIGHT NOTE Farming, music, community and family combine harmoniously to fill Frances and Nick Evans’s rich and rewarding life. 196 LODGE’S NEW LIFE Jo Redden’s most recent project has been transforming the former Masonic Lodge in her hometown of Coonabarabran into a stately home.



218 A VISION SPLENDID The result of Steve Cordony and Michael Booth’s dedication and hard work is the gorgeous and muchloved Rosedale Farm in Orange.


Glen Innes & Tenterfield FEATURES


Chamber Music Festival

$15.00 inc GST SUMMER 2022 VOLUME 39 >


ag e s


he tree change trend continues to bring T new citizens to Glen Innes, seeking affordability, the potential for a better lifestyle, and the peace and tranquillity of its stunning rural backdrop.

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202 B RAVE MOVE Sue Curley invites us to reflect on our relationship with courage and to consider how we might show courage today. 214 FINE FIGURES The Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail is an eye-catching collection of over 25 sculptures by renowned artists.














238 LOVE IS IN THE AIR Couples tie the knot in style in our bumper wedding pictorial.


256 FOWL PLAY The Glen Innes Poultry Club Show has to be seen to be believed.


Glenrock Gardens encapsulate the distinct seasons experienced high in the Northern Tablelands. Image: Madeleine Jones


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An area dear to our hearts “The secret to having it all is knowing that you already do.”

Welcome to our 39th edition of Regional Lifestyle, celebrating the best from rural and regional NSW.

Spring 2022

What a fabulous reception the Spring edition received in the communities that were featured, and also right across the state. Take a look in our “Your Letters” section to see how much this edition meant to these beautiful rural communities. It is unbelievable how far these editions were sent via Australia Post, including some copies that reached the Seven News European Bureau Chief, Hugh Whitfeld, based in London. Hugh was brought up in the beautiful town of Bingara, and has memories he clearly relishes.

Summer 2022

This current edition is a deluxe larger edition of 260 pages, showcasing the incredible New England towns of Glen Innes and Tenterfield. We received so much support from these spectacular areas that we needed to add 16 pages to our magazine, making it a one-off 260-page edition. We do hope that this issue can go with you on holidays, and that you can enjoy it whenever you have precious downtime. Like us, you will be transfixed with what is on offer here, from stunning scenery, unique annual events, innovative businesses and an admirable community spirit. I’m sure you’ll be planning your next trip there before you’ve even finished reading edition No.39. On a side note, Glen Innes holds a very special memory for us. We were engaged to be married in 1987, when Alex’s Hereford bull, T-Bar Federal, which he bred, won the prestigious title of Grand Champion Bull at the 1986 Glen Innes Bull Show and Sale. The photograph (right) was taken by a young Jake Lindsay, then photojournalist for The Land newspaper. Another photograph of T-Bar Federal taken by Jake made it to the cover of The Land newspaper. Quite a thrill for us all!

Autumn 2023

The Armidale Council has been extremely proactive in collaborating with Regional Lifestyle. Together we are working on producing 120 pages that will celebrate the offerings of this beautiful area. We have enjoyed researching this educational and cultural hub and have had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful story subjects and business owners. Of significance, this edition will be No.40, and reflects our achievement of 10 glorious years in business. We feel very blessed to have reached this milestone.


FROM TOP: RLM publishers Alex and Elizabeth Tickle today; and as an engaged couple celebrating T-Bar Federal winning the title of Grand Champion Bull at the 1986 Glen Innes Bull Show and Sale.

Thank you, RLM team, local councils, newsagents, business owners, readers and our many supporters for making this possible. Until next time, remember that the greatest illusion is that life should be perfect. Times have been challenging for everyone this year but don’t forget to celebrate all we have. Enjoy a wonderful Christmas with those you hold near and dear.

Warm regards, Elizabeth and Alex

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S U M M E R Jake’s message

STORIES WORTH CELEBRATING Greetings and salutations, dear reader. Welcome to our bumper Christmas issue featuring the historic New England towns of Tenterfield and Glen Innes. Both progressive beauties share a strong history with loads of impressive buildings revealing the stories of their past. At Waterloo Station the owners have done a sterling job preserving the homestead and outlying buildings for future generations. Once you have seen what can be done with the crumbling old shearers’ quarters, you will never again question what is possible. Tenterfield Station, or what’s left of it, is an amazing piece of history we all should know about. I was fortunate to meet the enigmatic owner of the historic homestead (which is being renovated), who shared a few home truths about marrying into a big pastoral family in the late 1950s. Definitely one of the highlights of my visit was travelling out to the small village of Emmaville to check out the fabulous mining museum. While viewing the display on the “Emmaville Express”, I was thrilled to learn that the parents of one of our youngest and greatest sprinters lived in a house virtually next door. Meeting Roy and Edna Wells was a beautiful and touching experience. Within a few months, Roy, a very humble and engaging WW2 Digger, will join a very elite group of centenarians still living at home. Meeting unsung legends of this calibre is the best part of my job and reason enough for me to leave my beloved Man Cave. Making my day even better was experiencing Bens Falls Retreat, one of the most spectacular places I’ve encountered. If you haven’t been there, put it on your bucket list. My heartiest congratulations to Allana Price for her gritty determination in achieving her family’s dream despite some heartbreaking setbacks along the way. Apart from the famous saddler, Tenterfield has loads to offer, including the Tenterfield School of Arts, where Sir Henry Parkes delivered his famous Federation Speech during his train journey from Brisbane to Sydney on the new Main North line. The speech is credited with reigniting the debate that ultimately led to Federation on January 1, 1901. Sadly, Sir Henry never lived to see his oration come to fruition, dying five years before this great country was unified. We have some cracker yarns about colourful Drake grazier Roderick Ramsay and a Tenterfield couple who made international headlines in 1967 following the birth of natural quintuplets. I’ll also take you on a journey to the most glorious lavender farm, a historic home on the edge of Glen Innes, a ridgy-didge chook competition and a couple of captivating art galleries. You’ll even meet a group of women who have remained lifelong friends since their Kindergarten days 70 years ago. To top it off, you will read all about a down-to-earth Scottish farming family who are really going places with their sheep. I’ve always retained fond memories from the 1980s of the

whiteface bull show and sale at Glen Innes when great auctioneers like David Marshall from Dalgety Winchcombe and Tony Dowe from Elders Pastoral were at their peak. The passage of time has seen many of the young blokes I used to knock around with now running major beef operations on their own. It’s also where I first photographed and interviewed the publishers of this magazine – a much younger Elizabeth Tufrey and her fiancé, Alex Tickle, who was feeling rather chuffed after exhibiting the Grand Champion Hereford Bull. One day, before we get too much older, I hope to share their extraordinary story with you. I’ll leave you with a little gem I found on the internet, author unknown. “Every minute someone leaves this world behind. We are all in ‘the line’ without knowing it. We never know how many people are before us. We cannot move to the back of the line, step out of the line or avoid the line. So, while we wait in line, make moments count. “Make priorities. Make the time. Make your gifts known. Make a nobody feel like a somebody. Make your voice heard. Make the small things big. Make someone smile. Make the change. Make peace. Make sure to tell your people they are loved. Make sure to have no regrets. Make sure you are ready.” Till next time I’m looking at you.

Jake Lindsay

ABOVE: I’ve always had a soft spot for Glen Innes, photographing the whiteface bull sales in the mid to late 1980s. It was where I first met the progressive owners of this publication, who had exhibited the champion bull.

“Definitely one of the highlights of my visit was travelling out to the small village of Emmaville to check out the fabulous mining museum.” 8 RLM



meet your team




Publisher, Editor, Advertising

Publisher, Distribution, Advertising

Chief Writer & Photographer



Art Director

Sub-Editor & Proofreader

Writer, Photographer, Social Media


Website Developer, Advertising Designer, Writer

MELISSA DUNKERLEY Advertising Designer

Advertising Designer
















Wedding Writer





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Garden Writer


RLM Accountant







recreating the

Great Australiana Dream At Harkaway Homes, we breathe life back into originality by bringing the best of the past into the present. As proud Designers and Suppliers of iconic Australian homes, we offer nine ranges of Classic Victorian and Early Federation Homes.


S U M M E R feedback

your letters In partnership with the Bingara Business Group, Council recently secured a feature in the Spring issue of Regional Lifestyle Magazine, showcasing the attractions, events, people and spirit of our shire. This initiative has been an exciting opportunity for our community, which has fostered a renewed sense of community pride and signalled to the region that the Gwydir is dynamic, beautiful and that we are open for business. The feedback from the community and visitors since the launch of the publication has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are already seeing increased visitation from travellers whose interest was piqued by the Gwydir feature. Cr John Coulton, Gwydir Shire Mayor

Today I purchased the Spring 2022 edition featuring the Gwydir Council area and Walcha. It is so full of great reads. You really know how to capture the spirit of a place. The readers feel like they are part of the place, page after page. I love shopping in country towns and seldom buy clothes and gifts anywhere else so the ads do matter! Coming from a magazine background, I really understand and appreciate what you do. Great job! Superlative on all counts! Helen Grant, Media and Communications Officer, Glen Innes Severn Council

Regional Lifestyle is a magazine that keeps on giving. This is rare in a world where information is obsolete almost before the ink has dried. Its enduring stories and quality at all levels of production make it a dream product for readers and newsagents. Like a coffee table book, this publication provides months of reading across all demographics. For the newsagent, the most satisfying aspect is the personal support of the staff and customer satisfaction that always exceeds expectations. Truly a unique publication. Rod King, Bingara Newsagency

Always considering myself a country kid, and having begun my own journalism career in the bush, please accept my congratulations on the ongoing success of Regional Lifestyle Magazine. It was a genuine thrill to sit here in London and take a look through the Spring 2022 edition – seeing so many familiar faces and names from Bingara, and looking longingly at the beautiful photos capturing the Gwydir Shire in its current green glory. Thank you for including me in the edition. I remain immensely proud to call Bingara my home town. I hope many of your readers can see why. Hugh Whitfeld, Seven Network Europe Bureau Chief, London

Your amazing magazine captured the essence of our communities, the pride, passion, strength and resilience of our residents, our local businesses and, of course, the natural beauty that abounds in this area. Bingara, Warialda and surrounding villages are all impressive in their own right, but combined, it is remarkable. Thank you, Elizabeth and Alex and your team, for creating such a professional magazine. The photography, the advertising, the stories and, in particular, your genuine interest in showcasing the best of rural and regional NSW, in my opinion, places this publication ahead of all others. I have received very good feedback from businesses and individuals featured, from proud locals and visitors who have picked up a copy to enjoy, and our newsagent reports sales of 337 copies in the first few weeks of being released. In my family alone, copies have circulated to the Newcastle and Port Stephens areas, Wagga Wagga, Sunshine Coast and Darwin! Thank you once again for the wonderful opportunity to be involved. Lenore Kennedy, Dewberry Lane, Bingara Bingara Business Support Group

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T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes


Image: Daniel Hayden, Glen Innes From Above

take a break from the Mayor of Glen Innes Shire The natural beauty and hospitality of Glen Innes and surrounds are a treat for travellers. The Glen Innes Severn Local Government Area is a unique wonderland featuring beautiful national parks, the worldrenowned Australian Standing Stones and the world-class Emmaville Mining Museum. In Glen Innes we have our iconic town tall, which in itself is a tourist site. I cannot tell you how many people stop just to take a photo of this beautiful building every day. Located in the centre of the Northern Tablelands, Glen Innes is known as Celtic Country, with the countryside reminiscent (we are told) of parts of Scotland and England. The annual Celtic Festival is held late April/early May, when the town is filled with pipe bands and kilts as the festival comes alive at the Australian Standing Stones. It’s a bucket-list event not to be missed. The Ngoorabul people are the traditional owners of the Glen Innes Highlands area. During the thousands of years they have lived here, they learnt what every modern local learns to do – acclimatise to highland weather. Being at the crossroads of two major highways, the New England and the Gwydir, Glen Innes is the ideal place for that travel break. Come and visit our beautiful main street, where you can get anything from a great coffee and meal or just grab an ice cream. If you are travelling, visit the township of Glen Innes, the villages of Emmaville, Deepwater, Red Range and Glencoe, and the hamlets of Glen Elgin, Wellingrove, Wytaliba and Dundee, and possibly stop at the local hotels at both Emmaville and Deepwater for a light refreshment and a great pub meal, making your visit a truly country experience. The CBD of Glen Innes is increasingly becoming more active as our area continues to grow. There are many stores and eateries along the main street and a couple of major supermarkets. The New England Highway has a number of motels and caravan parks. A couple of the motels have great restaurants attached to them for some fine dining on your travels.

The Glen Innes Severn Local Government Area is a unique wonderland featuring beautiful national parks, the world-renowned Australian Standing Stones and the world-class Emmaville Mining Museum. For the fisherperson, Murray Cod can be caught in our local river systems. There are some properties where you can pay to catch and release this beautiful fish, and there are a number of dams within a leisurely drive for your aquatic ventures. We also have a number of farm stays in our Local Government Area, where you can sit back and relax in our wonderful climate. Spring and summer are great for those who like the warmer weather, and for those who love the cold, Glen Innes and the surrounding villages can get flurries of snow during winter. Stop for a break and treat yourself to the great hospitality of our town, villages and hamlets. Cr Rob Banham, Mayor, Glen Innes Severn Council


days gone by GLEN INNES

Images provided by the Glen Innes & District Historical Society 16 RLM GLEN INNES

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

assets all round

The Glen Innes Severn LGA possesses a resilient character, born of the combined strength of an interesting history and heritage and an optimism and confidence in the future. There are solid reasons for believing in our future prosperity as the tree change trend continues to bring new citizens to the Northern Tablelands, seeking affordability, the potential for a better lifestyle with a focus on wellbeing, and the peace and tranquillity of our scenic rural backdrop. At any time of the year, the watercolour landscape of the Northern New England has no better showcase than the Glen Innes Severn area. The gently rolling rural countryside is punctuated with hamlets, villages and homesteads, and features iconic stands of mature trees. It is watered by catchments of creeks and high plain rivers at their source, forming a visual treat that is unique and captivating. The soft blues, yellows, greys, pinks and lilacs, and the seasonal autumnal tones are a thing of beauty and add drama to sunrises and sunsets, to frosty mornings and to the clear, sunny, panoramic skies. Our area is the home of acclaimed traditional agriculture, which is the backbone of our economy and boasts the merits of country life, of community spirit and of a welcoming attitude towards newcomers and new ideas. We are the home of surprising examples of world-class industry and innovation. We also possess a quirkiness that supports creativity, individuality and thinking outside the square. The town of Glen Innes sits at the crossroads of the New England and Gwydir highways, located four hours from Brisbane, three hours from the regional centres of Tamworth and Toowoomba and just over an hour from the educational and transport hub of Armidale. It is well serviced

both within and nearby, enjoying self-sufficiency and the sharing of regional resources. One of our great assets is our sense of community. The sheer range of community opportunities means that a multiplicity of interests and preferences can be accommodated and nourished. There are ample avenues for volunteering, for social engagement and for belonging. Visitors to our area can enjoy historic streetscapes featuring heritage architecture, the uniqueness of village life, endless meandering country lanes, beautiful gardens and parklands, and a backdrop of national parks and natural bushland. There are lots of chances to eat, to play and to stay, including boutique country store shopping, cafes featuring local produce and ingenuity, and a plethora of accommodation options in town, in the villages and in the rural landscape. There are many annual attractions that put the Glen Innes area on the map, including the Australian Celtic Festival at the Australian Standing Stones, featured on the pages of this edition. The Glen Innes Pastoral and Agricultural Show, known as “The Royal of the North”, will be held on February 11 and 12, 2023 (gleninnesshow.com) at the historic Glen Innes Showground; the Minerama Fossicking, Gem and Jewellery Show is held in mid-March and includes workshops, market stalls and fossicking trips (minerama.com.au); and the Deepwater Cup Races held at the Deepwater Village Racecourse each January draw a bumper crowd. There are regular markets, popular fetes and unique events such as the Emmaville Sheep Races and the Red Cross Christmas Tree competition at the Glen Innes Town Hall. Come along and enjoy the spoils – it’s the place to be. RLM Images: Glen Innes Shire Council

Visitors to our area can enjoy historic streetscapes featuring heritage architecture, the uniqueness of village life, endless meandering country lanes, beautiful gardens and parklands, and a backdrop of national parks and natural bushland. For more information visit gisc.nsw.gov.au. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: Beautiful cool climate gardens are a feature of the district; at 12 noon every Friday a piper plays in the Town Square area; traditional agriculture forms a backdrop to the highlands landscape; Glen Innes is a vibrant town boasting a heritage streetscape. (Images sourced from Glen Innes Severn Shire Council).


built to last

Glen Innes is home to some handsome architecture, reflecting a steadfast sense of community.


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E



Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

first on the scene While photographer Jayson Sharman might not be related to Jimmy Sharman and his famous boxing troupe, his images certainly pack a punch.

FROM TOP: Passionate photographer and firefighter Jayson Sharman used his trusty Nikon D500 to capture the stunning images on this spread. Being a firie is a Sharman family tradition, as both Jayson and brother Nigel followed father Earl into the service.

Capturing places and special moments isn’t Jayson Sharman’s only passion. He’s one of those dedicated people who runs into a fire when everyone is making a hasty escape. Like his dad, Earl, who served for 48 years with Fire and Rescue NSW, the past 20 years as captain, Jayson gained his stripes in Sydney and has been full-time for 19 years. “Every job is challenging and no two are the same,” he says. “You walk in the door at work and never know what the day will bring. It can vary from traumatic jobs like seeing someone’s home burn or trapped in an accident to installing a smoke alarm in a nursing home, and yes, we do rescue cats from trees. “Either way, I’m doing my best to help people on the worst day of their lives, or preventing it from getting worse – it’s never easy but infinitely satisfying to know we’ve saved lives.” Jayson was stationed at Parramatta Fire Station for many years. He’s now attached to Berkeley Vale Fire and Rescue on the NSW Central Coast, where he lives with partner Stacey, his daughter, Lucy, who is studying Medical Science at the University of Newcastle, and Stacey’s son, Josh. His other daughter, Halle, 16, attends Glen Innes High School and lives with her mum. It provides the perfect opportunity for him to return to his hometown twice a month, an area that inspires some of his best work. “As a landscape photographer, I enjoy the tranquillity of getting out in the bush and capturing special moments. I have explored many parts of the country that I would have never seen had I not had a camera in hand,” Jayson says. He’s always up early, chasing sunrises and equally loves his sunsets, astrophotography (think Milky Way) and stormy weather. When everyone is heading indoors to the warmth, you’ll find Jayson rugged up and hitting the road, searching for dramatic lighting and the next great shot. One of his proudest moments was driving along the New England Highway, near Llangothlin, and seeing his image of the Mother of Ducks Lagoon at Guyra plastered over a giant billboard. “It was a big thrill, and every time I drive past it, it still gives me a buzz knowing it’s there for all to see,” he says. He originally shot landscapes for his enjoyment, but now after 10 years behind the camera, he’s tackled a few weddings, worked for various local government bodies and sold a swag of canvas prints. “It’s nice to know my photos are hanging in someone’s house, being admired by the family and their visitors,” he says. Jayson loves putting images up on social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram), resulting in positive comments and the occasional sale, but it’s more about getting his work out there. “In my role as a firefighter, I’ve managed to utilise my skills as a photographer to get some unique images of incidents and work life,” he says. “They have been used in several individual Fire and Rescue NSW station Facebook pages and I look forward to the day I can take my passion for photography to the next level.” RLM


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes




Like other stone circles scattered throughout the world, the Australian Standing Stones in Glen Innes are shrouded in mystery and wonder. For more than 30 years, the Australian Standing Stones have formed their own traditions, proving the perfect setting for Celtic ceremony and celebration. The stones, some weighing up to 38 tonnes, were erected in 1992 to acknowledge the contributions made by settlers and descendants from the Celtic homelands to our nation’s culture, particularly the Scottish pastoralists and Cornish and Welsh miners. The stones form a calendar, not unlike the stones raised by the agricultural Celtic ancestors to mark the changing of seasons. The unique atmosphere makes it an idyllic setting to stage the Australian Celtic Festival, which celebrates Celtic culture, arts, history, music and dance.


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

Mary, Queen of Scots For many years, former Glen Innes farmer Mary Hollingworth was known far and wide as the smiling face of the Australian Celtic Festival, promoting the event across the mainland and Norfolk Island, Tasmania, Scotland and America. Joining council in 2011 as administrative assistant for the festival, Mary threw herself into the dream job, driving thousands of miles from Brigadoon at Bundanoon to the Maclean Highland Games. “The year I went to Brigadoon I won the tartan challenge, beating 50 entrants with a skirt and shawl made from old ties in front of 20,000 fans,” she says. Mary attended the Aberdeen Highland Games, Wingham Scottish Festival, Clans on the Coast and the Australia Day Celtic Celebrations (under the Sydney Harbour Bridge), always dressed in her favourite Glen Innes tartan.

“I did it in my own time and at my own expense as I was passionate and tireless about promoting our wonderful event in Glen Innes,” she says. “I even stood in the blazing sun for three days at Tamworth’s country music festival, melting in my tartan.” A highlight was flying to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo with the Armidale Pipe Band tour. At the Braemar Games, Mary was within touching distance of Queen Elizabeth II, and at the Cowal Highland Games, she was treated to a Mexican wave of 400 bagpipers who all lifted their kilts in front of the blushing wee lass from Down Under. RLM

The action-packed program includes almost 200 events over four days, including concerts, Gathering of the Clans, pipe and instrumental bands, cultural awards, dance championships, markets, street parade, the Highland Games (strongman competition), poet’s breakfast and much more. The site at Centennial Parklands also houses Crofters Cottage, a replica “taigh dubh” (black house) and their very own Excalibur sword. You will also find the Celtic Family Wall, with stones from Celtic homelands donated by individuals, families, clans and societies. Come and experience Australia’s unique festival in the New England’s spectacular autumn colours. If you can’t make the festival, make sure you at least drop in and see the Australian Standing Stones, a major tourist destination in the Glen Innes Highlands. RLM The next Australian Celtic Festival is set down for May 4 to 7, 2023. FROM TOP: In traditional dress, this resplendent drum major evokes memories of Scotland; Crofter’s Cottage is the perfect place to enjoy the magic of the stones while indulging in barista coffee and a mouth-watering selection of sweet treats at The Stone Cottage Cafe. FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: The Australian Standing Stones beautifully captured in a dusting of snow (Image: Daniel Hayden); the standing stones lit up at night (Image: Jayson Sharman).


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes

The Land of the Beardies History House Museum has grown in size and stature to become one of the great folk museums in Australia.


of intrigue

The Land of the Beardies History House Museum has grown in size and stature to become one of the great folk museums in Australia. The Land of the Beardies History House Museum and Research Centre is located in the old Glen Innes Hospital, where the oldest building dates back to 1877. With a vast collection from the town and district, the museum depicts the history and development of families, businesses, properties, public utilities, churches, industries, schools and much more. In the spacious grounds are numerous examples of early farm machinery. The Glen Innes and District Historical Society Inc. was formed in 1968 and negotiated the lease of the former hospital, which operated until 1956. Lieutenant Colonel Sir Michael Bruxner DSO opened the museum in 1970. Without


initial financial grants or funds, the society was grateful for several substantial donations to assist it in the museum’s establishment. Fifty-two years later, the society can be proud of what the early members and the many subsequent volunteers have achieved. “Today we are the custodians of over 10,000 items on display or in storage, around 63,000 photographs on file and over 300,000 cards recording the history of this area,” volunteer and museum co-ordinator Steve Pearce says. “We receive frequent artefact and document donations to add to our evergrowing collections. All items have a history related to someone, something or somewhere in the local area.”

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

Among the many items of interest is a slab hut built in the 1870s, moved from its original location and re-erected to its exact original design. It sits inside the museum and contains period furniture, kitchen appliances and books from early settlers. The Celtic Room was established to honour the earliest European settlers to the New England region. Predominantly Scottish, they were the first settlers to establish themselves in the area. The Services Memorial Room has photos, maps and articles donated by Glen Innes exservicemen and women. Discover a map of Australia with Japanese writing, taken from Japanese planning to invade, and the story of RAN Sub Lieutenant Ken Briggs, who cut the underwater communication cable from Singapore to Saigon from a midget submarine during WWII. The museum volunteers know many of the more interesting stories relating to the items and are happy to share these with visitors. Over many decades, the Land of the Beardies has forged a high reputation as a respected major regional museum. “We are recording history as it happens and this will be passed on to future generations,” Steve says. RLM The museum is open weekdays from 10am to noon and 1pm to 4pm and weekends from 1pm to 4pm.


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes

a transformative TRIUMPH Reviving historic Waterloo Station was no project for the faint-hearted. Thankfully, Don and Deborah Anderson were up for the battle.

At the turn of the century, Don and Deborah Anderson were on the hunt for a unique property that ticked all the boxes. It had to be historic, with four distinct seasons, running water and a decent rainfall. Having inspected properties from Roma to Tamworth, they found exactly what they were looking for at historic Waterloo Station, about 20 minutes from Glen Innes. Discovered by Alexander Campbell in 1837 and settled by the McIntyres of the Hunter Valley, legend has it that the “prize” was secured by Campbell after a boundary dispute with a neighbour from “Kings Plains”. It came down to a display of fisticuffs to settle the issue – hence the eyecatching name! Once 118,000 acres and spanning 20 miles over both sides of Waterloo Creek, the station was subdivided into dozens of smaller soldier settlement blocks after both world wars. After signing on the dotted


line, Don and Deborah, the fifth owners in almost 180 years, were keen to get a feel for their new abode. It was a harsh introduction to the cold country, with the mercury plunging to minus 15, resulting in burst water pipes everywhere. Water cascaded down from the ceiling as the Andersons began to question the wisdom of their purchase. “Walking into the century-old homestead was a daunting and unforgettable experience,” Deborah recalls. “It had been many years since anyone lived there, and we didn’t know where to start. Broken windows, leaking roof, no heating, no water – the list was endless. I remember sitting in the house on our first night, wondering if this property was even recoverable.” It was their love of the homestead’s history that gave them the sense of purpose and motivation to begin the massive transformation. Having renovated many

homes over the years, Deborah knew the homestead had good bones but would require an enormous outlay of time, vision and money. During the endless renovation and building projects, nearby wind farms were introduced with workers looking for accommodation. Deborah immediately thought of the dilapidated shearers’ quarters, which she felt confident of restoring. It was a massive job, far bigger than anyone could possibly have imagined. Over 18 months, 16 individual quarters were converted into seven lavishly furnished rooms, each with a modern bathroom. At the end of the building, a huge kitchen and dining area was added, complete with a mammoth stone fireplace. It’s become a very chic place to stay for family and special interest groups, as well as for weddings. “Once we started, we just had to finish,” Deborah says.

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

After the rundown shearing shed was brought back to life, they tackled the familyfriendly stockman’s cottage, one-bedroom schoolhouse and the manager’s residence. And it didn’t stop there. With everincreasing confidence, Deborah organised a grain shed from a neighbouring property to be pulled down piece by piece and transported to a tranquil spot on the Wellingrove Creek. The repurposed shed is now a rustic, beautifully appointed, offthe-grid love shack, popular with couples looking for a wilderness getaway. With most of their renovation projects finished, Don and Deborah are taking a wellearned breather as they enjoy living in the western wing of the 22-room homestead. It may be the former servants’ quarters but Deborah has applied her usual magic and transformed it into a cosy living area. The front of the homestead is opened up for visiting family and friends as well as discerning guests wanting the full experience. Whether it’s a cool, crisp, winter morning or a temperate summer’s day, Waterloo Station is sure to provide a memorable experience. The century-old English elm trees stand tall over the beautifully manicured gardens and showcase the very best of New England.


Deborah met her future husband while her brother was studying for a Commerce degree at the Queensland University in Brisbane. Don dropped by on one occasion and found Deborah alone at home. Over dinner at a local restaurant, they discovered lots of mutual interests.

Three years into their marriage, they spent time in Coventry, England and later Chicago, where Don was a visiting professor in Economics. While they easily adapted to the fastpaced city life, they secretly hankered for a more sedate country lifestyle. Keen to try something totally different, they bought a small farm, sight unseen, about an hour from Brisbane. For Deborah it was the start of many renovation projects, all applied with her trademark brand of enthusiasm, determination and endless passion for the task at hand. A few years later they became dairy farmers, milking 70 Holstein Friesian cows each morning before driving to work in the city. Their lives became even more chaotic with the arrival of sons James and Joshua. >

Whether it’s a cool, crisp, winter morning or a temperate summer’s day, Waterloo Station is sure to provide a memorable experience.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The grand Waterloo Station homestead was built in the early 1900s; convivial custodians FROM TOP: sollore henihitatur Deborah andBom Donacestint, Anderson; the majestic solorerumquo blabor dining saestibearis hallway; the historic room;pore the int id qui nam dolorepe voles conserum vendi luxuriously appointed master bedroomquo eos rerit, volut ent dolupta dolendi psumquo makes antounforgettable night for guests; corruptatur aut velest, isquatiur ndiscidi the cosy sitting room has beensincidu the scene nusmany ent prae pos sed get-togethers. of memorable LEFT: Rum acestint, sollore henihitatur solorerumquo blabor saestibearis pore int id


ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The restored shearer’s quarters; lodge room in the shearer’s quarters; one of seven luxury en suite bedrooms; the fully equipped modern kitchen. LEFT, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Glamrustic accommodation at the Waterloo Creek Shack; quaint schoolhouse; the Stockman’s Cottage overlooking the Waterloo Range; the shearing shed; the Creek Shack offers a complete off-grid experience with all the little luxuries including a fireplace; the tranquil creek nearby.


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

When their farm was subdivided into homes and small lifestyle blocks in the early 1980s, the Andersons packed up and became riverside dwellers in Brisbane. With the addition of third son David, it was time to again find some rural land they could call home. A lucerne farm at Boonah provided their boys with a rural upbringing to complement their city lifestyle. By the turn of the century, however, it became a case of get big or get out, sparking a three-year odyssey to find their dream farm. Having sold the lucerne farm in 2002, Don and Deborah finally acquired Waterloo Station. Sitting around the fireplace, they are satisfied with their efforts and looking forward to a quieter future with their family. Their three sons attended university before settling down to married life. David, the last to tie the knot, did so in spectacular fashion earlier this year in the Matheson Uniting Church on the edge of the property, followed by a memorable reception in the shearing shed. Don is particularly proud of the strong Scottish connection to the station. His own grandfather arrived from Scotland

in 1912 before being shipped back to the front during WW1. A generation later, his father became a navigator with Bomber Command in England. One of Don’s proudest moments was escorting his 94-year-old father to the Bomber Command Memorial in Hyde Park, opened by the Queen, 70 years after the war. If Don’s number had come up during the Vietnam draft, he would have been the third generation of Anderson men to serve in the armed forces. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. It’s been more than 40 years since that first innocent dinner in Brisbane, a simple enough gesture that finally led Don and Deborah to the New England and the biggest challenge of their lives. After 20 years of self-funded work – without the benefit of heritage grants – they have all but finished the Herculean task of preserving a small part of the country’s rich pastoral industry for generations to come. The McIntyre, Sinclair, MacTaggart and McDonald families would be justifiably proud to see the stamp the Anderson family has made on Waterloo Station – a property that only a select few have called home. RLM

FROM TOP: The original Waterloo Station residence located near the grounds of the historic homestead; the shearer’s quarters were totally dilapidated before their restoration in 2017; a 1957 image of the old station homestead.

Waterloo Station

Luxury accommodation in the heart of the New England district Northern NSW

“From the moment we drove up the driveway, we knew we had found the perfect spot to spend a couple of days”

Waterloo Station is a delightful place to relax and enjoy the pristine surrounds of a unique historical property.

67 Waterloo Road Matheson NSW 2370

Ph. 02 6733 6702 M. 0439 791923



E. enquiries@waterloo-station.com.au waterloostationnsw.com.au



Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

brave hearts, new country

It’s a long and winding road out to the McIndoe farm near the tiny village of Glencoe, which is about 25km to Glen Innes and a million more to the land of their birth in Scotland. Although finding a true Scotsman can be difficult in these parts, a small clan out at “Strathmore” is quietly going about its business, breeding champion rams instead of the Herefords that made them household names. There’s family patriarch big Bill McIndoe, a former Glasgow lad, and his wife, Irene. While Bill carved out a name as an astute stud breeder, his wife was equally busy with her floral art. Irene has served as both NSW and national president of the Floral Art Society, leading to many overseas trips. On one memorable trip, she was in Pakistan, staying at a Sheraton Hotel when an almighty explosion ripped apart the Marriott Hotel next door. Irene was enjoying breakfast in the dining room when the bomb blew out all the curtains and glass windows. It was a close shave, leading to armed security guards for the next 10 days. These days are thankfully a lot quieter, thanks to the efforts of son Dugald and wife Bec (the daughter of Jim and Poss Hann, of Courallie Hereford fame). The pair met while filling up water buckets in an Ekka cattle shed and now have three daughters: Isla, 13, Kirsty, 12 and Sky, 10. The siblings have grown up with sheep and even have their own stud, KIS White Suffolk stud (named after their initials). Already they have sold a ram to Tasmania and performed well in hoof and hook competitions, giving their dad a run for his money. At the 2022 Guyra Show and Sale, the family exhibited the grand champion pen of lambs and have enjoyed seeing clients win recent hoof and hook championships in Dubbo. “These competitions are most important to us,” Dugald says in his broad Scottish brogue. “It’s really all about producing a functional product while providing a good indication of how we are going.” While not everyone understands his unfamiliar dialect, he’s more than happy to let his rams do the talking. Their annual on-property White Suffolk and Poll Dorset ram sale is held in February,

with a few select sires kept for the Bendigo Elite Show and Sale at the end of August. It’s a long haul down to Victoria but it’s solid family time and just reward after a few months of lambing 1200 ewes, which the family, in farming terms, treats as their annual harvest. As the lambs are being born out in the paddock, lambs and mothers are transferred to individual pens in the shed for 24 hours where they are weighed, ID tagged and checked for overall health before being moved to pasture-improved paddocks. Dugald and Bec couldn’t do it without willing help from their daughters. When not working on their sheep enterprises, there are 400 commercial cattle to keep an eye on. Dugald is competitive by nature and never

afraid to try something new. The humble, fun-loving and hardworking Scot has started a performance composite shedding sheep breed (a meat sheep that doesn’t require shearing) for Queensland and western NSW clients, and has already sold a number of rams to stations near Cunnamulla. It’s been a long journey from Scotland but for the McIndoes, good fortune has always favoured the brave. >

FACING PAGE: Three generations of the McIndoe family work side by side on the family farm – Bill and Irene with son Dugald and wife Bec and children Kirsty, Sky and Isla. ABOVE: Moving to the hilly New England farm and running various sheep studs was a prudent move by the McIndoe family.


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes


Bill McIndoe was raised on the outskirts of Glasgow until after the war, when the family moved onto a farm near the small mining village of Smithston, Patna. Five years later, his 46-year-old father died suddenly from a heart attack, with death duties putting an enormous strain on a family that had lost its breadwinner. When Bill was barely 16, he left school to provide for his mother and three younger siblings. All hands pitched in with the farm work, including the running of 60 Ayrshire stud cattle and 750 Scottish Blackface stud ewes, with the cows housed for up to six months at a time during the miserably cold and wet winters. Within a few years, Bill replaced the dairy cattle with a Hereford stud. In the sheep


department, he invested in a Bluefaced Leicester stud, crossing rams with his own ewes. These highly sought-after mule lambs were then crossed with Suffolk rams to produce prime lambs. While on this roll, he married his Scottish sweetheart, and their union produced two children, Dugald and Eunice. The McIndoe men grew up with grand plans to do something worthwhile with their lives. Dugald left ag college at 17 to learn more about Hereford breeding in Canada, spending quality time with the Jones family in Calgary and winning the prestigious Calgary Stampede stockjudging competition. As the climate proved a tad too cool for his liking, he headed for Australia to explore new opportunities. After an

extensive look around, he arrived back in Scotland in 1986 with big news: he was going to begin a new life Down Under. The family spent many long nights discussing the pros and cons of such a possibility and even took a family trip to see for themselves. It wasn’t long before Bill, Irene and Dugald applied for a business migration. In the meantime, Eunice stuck to her job as personal assistant to the head of BBC Scotland before resigning to join her family on the other side of the world. Prior to leaving, Bill raised a few eyebrows when he became the first Scotsman to be elected chairman of the Hereford Council of Britain, with council meetings held in Herefordshire, the ancestral home of the breed. It was time to move on. In 1988, the family dispersed both studs, with embryos

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

Now after 61 years of marriage, Bill and Irene are enjoying their senior years while taking immense pride and joy with the continued success of their children and grandchildren.

and semen flown to Australia for use once they had settled in. Before flying to Sydney, they joined their Border Collie bitch, and six pups were delivered in the quarantine station. Her airfares cost more than their own but the outlay was worth it. Even today, 34 years later, they are thrilled to know some of their working dogs still carry Scottish genetics.


After visiting nearly 30 properties in four states, the McIndoes were finally drawn to the picturesque property in the renowned Grahams Valley near Glencoe. In 1989, they purchased “Strathmore” at auction, impressed with the soil fertility, rainfall and landscape. Snow fell the day after they moved in. Father and son quickly got to work buying stud Herefords from Victoria, South Australia and NSW, while combining their genetics brought out from Scotland.

As good as the last DROP!

The new mix proved extremely successful. Many championships were awarded to Smithston Herefords at local shows as well as the big three: Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne Royals. The family became the first breeder to exhibit the champion bull and female at the Sydney Royal in the same year. The Glen Innes Whiteface Bull Sale became a focus for Bill to lift declining numbers and become the most successful regional bull sale event on the annual circuit. The family regularly sold up to 20 Hereford bulls before starting their own on-property sale. For a time, Bill was elected chairman. Although the Hereford stud was dispersed during a bumper two-day sale in 2007, their interest in the breed has never waned. Eunice and husband Angus Vivers run their Jindalee Hereford stud near Inverell, with a good smattering of Smithston genes. For the McIndoes, it was time for yet another big change, only this time they

didn’t have to pack their bags. This staunch and tightly woven family have been climbing mountains for three generations, mindful of the risk but forever reaching for the stars. Now after 61 years of marriage, Bill and Irene are enjoying their senior years while taking immense pride and joy with the continued success of their children and grandchildren. While they sometimes miss the heather in the highlands of home, the McIndoes know their move Down Under was the making of this proud Scottish family. RLM

FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Lambing is a busy time of the year; Dugald McIndoe has never shied away from a challenge; this White Suffolk ram sold for $10,000 at the Bendigo Elite Show & Sale; one of their top-priced Hereford bulls was Smithston You Beaut, fetching $47,500 at auction; the McIndoe girls love their lambs.




white suffolks, poll dorsets & composite shedders Dugald & Bec McIndoe Glen Innes, NSW Ph: (02) 6732 3860 E: mcindoe@activ8.net.au www.facebook.com/SmithstonFarms



T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes

connecting to

CULTURE It wasn’t until his 50th year on this earth that Glen Innes artist Lloyd Gawura Hornsby discovered who he was and where he came from.

FROM TOP: Visitors can expect to see the great works of Indigenous artist Lloyd Gawura Hornsby at the Gawura Gallery. FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: Gifted artist Lloyd Gawura Hornsby in front of one of his paintings; Lloyd and Wendy have been an item for almost 60 years.


After Lloyd Gawura Hornsby learned he was a descendant of the NSW South Coast Yuin nation, many questions were finally answered as he began his artistic journey of discovery. “Finding out the true story of my heritage filled in all the gaps and helped me understand why my life turned out the way it did,” Lloyd says. “I began a new search, learning how to mix paints at Griffith University, before graduating four years later with a Bachelor of Contemporary Indigenous Art.” Since then, the 75-year-old has lived the life of a professional artist, university qualified in cultural understanding and art practice. “As an Aboriginal Elder, I see myself as a modern-day man breathing life and relevance back into the ancient stories of the Dreamtime,” he says. “I paint using the traditional dot method to create visual conversations about contemporary Australian life – not to be confused with the Central Desert primitive style many art lovers would be aware of. “I’m more of an urbanised, Indigenous Australian engaged in soulful conversations about history, life, landscape and Dreaming.” The proud Yuin man shares his personal story from the Gawura Gallery he and wife Wendy built on the New England Highway. Opening in 2017, it’s become widely known in Glen Innes as a treat to the eyes and the mouth, with Lloyd’s stunning artworks devoured over delicious morning and/or afternoon teas. Often, visitors get to witness the inspiring artist at work, the icing on the cake for those taking a gallery excursion. No multi-tasker, Lloyd concentrates his efforts on one painting at a time. He usually spends up to a month envisaging the work before committing his thoughts to high-quality canvas. A detailed story lies behind each piece, popular with collectors who pay upwards of $20,000 for his larger works. More affordable limited-edition prints are offered to those who appreciate the artist’s style. “Passing down stories and remembering the culturally significant sites, remedies and traditional activities of a generation long gone are important to the preservation of our Indigenous culture,” he says.

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E


You could say Lloyd’s parents had a whirlwind courtship. His father, Charles, was in the army and travelling through Stanthorpe where his mother, Gladys, lived. Seven days later they became man and wife. By the time Lloyd came along in 1947, there were already three older boys in the family. As his parents had been desperate for a little girl, he was handed over to his maternal grandmother, who lived near Stanthorpe. Five years later, living with Aunty May in Brisbane, he started calling her “Mum” and was swiftly returned to his mother. “Mum always told us we were of Maori descent,” he says. “I learnt much later she did this to protect us – otherwise, with the Stolen Generation policy, we would have all been taken into the system and possibly split up.” Lloyd learnt life lessons early, starting with mushroom hunting and accepting vegetable handouts from sympathetic local farmers. By age eight, he was selling manure from dairy farms to locals needing garden fertiliser. Soon he had a milk and egg run, selling both from the back of an old Vanguard. With this pocket money, the young entrepreneur survived for years on his favourite treats of watermelon and rainbow cake.

Lloyd was forced to leave school at 14 to support his mother, by then an addicted gambler. A sympathetic art teacher at school offered to pay for his books and a year’s tuition so he could attend Brisbane Tech College. In his first real job window dressing at a large department store, Lloyd found there were “far too many bras and girdles” for his liking. For the next 30 years, he worked in the metal industry, eventually buying the plant when the company moved offshore and keeping the local workforce in jobs. >


With him throughout his journey has been Wendy, whom he met when she was just 13. Even then, they realised it was never going to be a “normal” relationship. “In those days no one would talk to him because of his darker skin; he copped a lot of racial abuse,” Wendy says. Lloyd says back in high school, with 34 white girls in the art class, he would have been caned if he tried talking to them. “It was against the law for a white girl to go with an Aboriginal boy unless you had permission from the protector, in this case the government,” Wendy continues. “In general terms, it was absolutely frowned upon. When I was 15, he asked to take me out. My mother inquired as to his race and when she was told he was Maori, and not of Aboriginal or Chinese descent, she gave her blessing.” A few years later, the teenagers decided to get married and buy a block of land, only to be told they couldn’t do so until the block was paid for. Nobody counted on their steely determination. With both working several jobs around the clock, they managed to pay off the block within 16 months, much earlier than the anticipated seven years. When she was 17, Wendy walked down the aisle with her man. Their union was blessed with the arrival of two daughters, Amanda and Raquel, who both live in Brisbane. Next year marks the diamond pair’s 60th anniversary. “He’s the kindest man I’ve ever met,” Wendy says. “We both had difficult childhoods but wanted the same things from life. I’ve always felt he saved my life.” With his eyes fixed on the future, Lloyd’s legacy will never be neglected where his art is concerned.

GAWURA GALLERY Aboriginal and Fine Arts Centre

Internationally Acclaimed Artist

LLOYD GAWURA HORNSBY 9979 New England Hwy, Glen Innes Open Wed to Sat 10am to 4pm or by appointment

04033 830 80 info@gawuragallery.com www.gawuragallery.com

“I make it my job to record this history through my art – diverse as it may be from different parts of Australia, capturing the varied and interrelated stories that make each journey special,” he says. “We have to know our history. We have to acknowledge the complexities of our generation – our status and our connections. “In my art I have shown the positive of the Dreamtime and how it was for the past 60,000 years. I have endeavoured to carry on the age-old tradition of telling Dreamtime and historical stories through my art. “The passing down of stories, our history and life experiences all add up to the richness of my understanding. This knowledge is the basis to all of my artworks.” RLM

FROM TOP: Artist Lloyd Gawura Hornsby and wife Wendy have poured their heart and soul into the gallery; their space features the works of several local artists; Wendy enjoys meeting people from all over the country.


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

Royal achievers For as long as Mary Hollingworth can remember, the Glen Innes Show has been the most exciting event on the family calendar. “The anticipation of the Ferris wheel, show rides, showbags and the pavilion exhibitions always had me coming back for more,” Mary Hollingworth says of the Glen Innes Show. As a young bride living on the land, she received an almost regal summons from the matriarch of Glen Innes Show Ladies’ Auxiliary, Nita Sloman, to assist at the committee show luncheon. “Keen as mustard, I arrived early only to realise I had committed the faux pas of wearing a sleeveless sundress in the committee room,” she laughs. “The day only worsened as I incorrectly sliced the tomatoes and stood in Loerline Fenwicke’s place during the production line of serving lunch.” Thankfully, Mary found a staunch ally in Nita’s niece, Lyn Cregan, who encouraged her to persevere and not be disheartened. For the ensuing 40 years, she’s done just that, serving for a time as auxiliary president and is now chief steward of baking and handicrafts. Through it all, Mary has always been a keen exhibitor, collecting many prizes in needlework and baking, and most successful exhibitor on many occasions. Her dedication to the show has filtered down to her children, Daniel, Charles and Laura, who are especially proud of their late grandfather, Bruce Hollingworth, a committee member for 30 years, serving some of that time as chief cattle steward. Along with Lyn’s father, Jim Sloman, Bruce epitomised the traditions of the show. Both gentlemen were loved and respected by all. “Lyn remained a mentor and attended every Glen Innes Show for about 75 years, along with the Sydney Royal every year after her marriage – possibly a NSW show record,” Mary says proudly of her friend. Attending the show with her grandparents was one of Lyn’s earliest memories. “We’d stay at the pub and watch the circus at night, just down the road from the showground,” Lyn recalls. Her grandfather, Ozzie Sloman, was ringmaster, and her parents, Jim and Beryl, worked tirelessly for the show their entire lives. Lyn worked in the kitchen for decades, providing meals and washing up the hard way, without a dishwasher. Her late husband, Barry Cregan, was a life member and responsible for running the wool section.

Back in the 1950s, Lyn remembers droving cattle from various Dundee properties into the showground for the campdraft. She was only 10 years old and loved the opportunity to wag school for the day. “We used to walk them along the edge of town down Hunter Street, where all the beautiful gardens were located. The housewives would try to hunt the cattle away with their umbrellas,” she laughs. These two hardworking women have led the next generation by example. Julie Cregan (now Donnelly) and her niece, Navanka Fletcher, are former showgirls, as was Mary’s daughter, Laura. Mary’s son, Charles, was an RAS Rural Achiever, while Daniel is a dedicated show volunteer. “I love every second of the show and the wonderful camaraderie that exists among the Ladies’ Auxiliary,” Mary says. “We start at daylight and often don’t finish until midnight, washing dishes with a grin from ear to ear. “For me, the annual show is akin to fairy floss joy and sparkle! It’s the anticipation of creating an exhibit, perhaps a painting, floral arrangement or baking, while catching up with old friends.” Mary says it’s all about the passion, generosity and commitment of willing volunteers to help showcase their local community. Throughout it all, Lyn has been a constant source of wisdom. It was particularly thrilling when she was invited to become a steward at the Sydney Royal Easter Show Arts and Crafts Pavilion in 2010. Her show bucket list seemed complete. Mary was in heaven, immersing herself into every one of the 135 classes and close to 5000 exhibits. “This was a whole new level of incredible exhibits – the absolute pinnacle of show success,” she enthuses. “The key, as always, was having generous volunteers travelling miles to help or deliver an exhibit that may have taken up to 12 months to create.” The awards came in thick and fast. Lyn became a Show Legend in 2017 and in 2022 was acknowledged for her 50 years’ volunteering at the Northern District Exhibit. In 2015, Mary was invited to join the auxiliary committee in Sydney and just when she thought it couldn’t get any better, was named the 2021 RAS Champion, selected from 500 other volunteers across the state.

“We need to contribute to our communities so all of our wonderful social groups and institutions can be enjoyed in the years to come.” “Although the Glen Innes Show and Sydney Royal are 800km apart, their success comes down to a devoted bunch of passionate and willing volunteers who become friends,” Mary says. “It becomes part of the fabric of your life. Together we share the anticipation of whether a particular entry is good enough to score a blue ribbon.” Now known to her five grandchildren as the “Tinker Nanny Granny”, Mary is equally thrilled seeing the next generation come through the gates. “We need to contribute to our communities so all of our wonderful social groups and institutions can be enjoyed in the years to come. If you have learned to believe in the importance of something, you stand up for it. That’s the best way to keep our communities together while working for our children’s future.” Recently, her cherished grandson, Mac, was placed in the under-3 years Decorated Biscuit class and she’s still chasing Lyn’s amazing record. Lyn, Mary and others like them are the glue that holds our country communities together, although there’s no one quite like Mary. RLM ABOVE: Lyn Sloman and Mary Hollingworth have devoted much of their lives to the show community.


brothers’ show OF FORCE

The Lynn family have devoted their lives to supporting one of the biggest annual events on the social calendar – the local show.


Like their late father, Ray, who spent most of his life working for the Glen Innes Show, sons Geoff, John and Phil have carried on the proud tradition, already amassing a combined 143 years of service, and the show’s not over. Having three brothers on the show committee is rare enough, but when each is a life member, it’s an extraordinary achievement. Geoff joined the committee in 1968, followed by John in 1973 and younger brother Phil in 1982. Ray bought the family farm “Geralla” in 1934 at Graham’s Valley. The keen horseman took the boys and their sister, Bron, to Glen Innes Pony Camp and tennis. From 1930, Ray served continuously on the committee for a record 78 years, and was patron until his death in 2008. The presentday show’s two patrons, Dick Hartman and Peter Sloman, have also put in the hard yards for countless decades. Traditionally held in mid-February, the “Royal of the North” is now headed up by president Scott Brown, who says up to 8000 people pass through the gates over the three days each year. For 120 years, Thursdays have been a hive of activity in the old pavilion where locals prepare their best fruit and vegetables, cut flowers, cakes, honey, preserves, produce, jams, wool, art and photography exhibits. The show committee always strives to source a prominent personality to open the show every year. Some of the talent they’ve secured include swimmer Susie O’Neill, footballers Nick Farr-Jones and Andrew (ET) Ettingshausen, gardening guru Don Burke and broadcaster Norman May. The Lynn brothers say Glen Innes has one of the biggest horse shows outside of Sydney. Apart from prime and stud cattle, prime lambs, poultry and caged birds, they’ve seen the introduction of new attractions like the woodchop, post ripping and shearing. The Glen Innes Show was among the first to include a shearing competition into its schedule. Incidentally, Australian shearing champion Daniel McIntyre hails from Glen Innes. For many years, there were 92 on the committee and until a decade ago, the competition was so fierce to get on the committee that a ballot system was used. Today, there are 20 fewer members doing the same job. Like brother John before him, Phil is now chairman of the Glen Innes Showground Trust, while John serves as vice-president. For 20 years, Phil organised the horse trotting races and then started the Gourmet Fiesta, with two large marquees showcasing many local foods and wines. A celebrity chef is engaged each year to present his/her

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

talents to an eager audience over two days. The Gourmet Fiesta has become a major attraction of the show. John runs the Industrial Section, where all the machinery and cars are displayed. It’s a role he’s performed for almost half a century. He is also the go-to mediator with the Showmen’s Guild, a specialised job in itself, and organises the Grand Parade every year. Geoff has been a long-time member of the horse committee and was ringmaster for nine years. Geoff was also president of the show society for three years. These days, he and long-time committee man Peter Sloman arrange the complex organisation of displays in both large showground pavilions. The Lynns are part of the Glen Innes landscape. Phil and wife Bettina are on “Cherry Tree Hill”, Geoff and Christine run “Currawong” near the old family property, while John lives with wife Michelle at “Highfields”, nearby at Furracabad. The Glen Innes Show has a long and proud history dating back to 1869 as one of the first held in the state, relocating to its current site in 1874 when the town was booming after tin was discovered in the district. One of the show committee’s proudest moments was in 1987 when their local winning showgirl, Jane Newsome (nee Houston), went all the way through to win the Sydney Royal Miss Showgirl competition. She maintains strong ties to the event in her role as accountant at Roberts & Morrow, auditing the Show Society’s books. It’s still a big meeting place for the young ones, who always come back home for the annual show. And for the senior set, it’s the best catch-up of the year with old friends. As for the Lynn brothers, they’ll be there with bells on, as they always have been through drought, fire, flood and anything else the elements throw at them. After all, there’s no show without the Lynns. RLM

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The grandstand and buildings of the Glen Innes Show; the show in action (Image: Daniel Hayden, Glen Innes From Above); historic show images; Ron O’Hara with the 1987 Sydney Royal showgirl, Jane Newsome (nee Houston); the Main Pavillion. FACING PAGE: The Lynn brothers, Geoff, Phil and John, work tirelessly to ensure the Glen Innes Show is always a winner.


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes

you can BANK ON IT

After a long day’s drive through the scenic New England countryside, consider depositing yourself and your significant other in The Bank Guesthouse Glen Innes. The bank manager these days is former Tasmanian high school maths and science teacher Phil Budgeon. Originally from the Apple Isle, he spent 40 years there until sunny Queensland beckoned him a little further north. Phil worked at Central Queenland University in Gladstone before progressing to Southern Cross University, Lismore, where he’d obtained a position as numeracy lecturer. It was during his time at Southern Cross that he met his future wife, Yanmei, who was studying business management at that time after completing a TAFE certificate IV. “We started looking for a place of our own a little cooler than Lismore and a lot less expensive and flood-prone,” Phil says. In 2016, they drove down the New England Highway, a trip familiar to Phil, who’d taken that route on regular visits to see his daughter in Victoria and son in Canberra. Driving through Glen Innes, they spotted a “for sale” sign in front of the church and convent. “With a price tag of $1.5M, I thought it was cheap but Phil was mortified,” Yanmei laughs. Months later on the internet, they noticed a historic Glen Innes bank, the Bank of New South Wales, built in 1884, which had been


transformed into a B&B up for sale. Without delay, they booked in for a weekend, impressed by the stylish rooms, central location and engaging warmth of the locals. Leaving the building after their weekend sojourn, the owner made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. For the B&B to be theirs, it would cost less than a one-bedroom coastal unit. Sold! Smiling, they knew this grand old dame promised so much more than a day at the beach. “One of the reasons we bought the building was discussions of a proposed New England Rail Trail, which converts old railway lines into bicycle and walking tracks,” Phil says. “It’s still in the pipeline but we live in hope it will happen.” The pair love bike riding and enjoy this energising pastime all year round. They also like to travel and have made numerous visits to Yanmei’s family in Chengdu, China, a city of more than a million people. Her family have since made it back to Glen Innes to inspect the couple’s new venture, giving it their hearty endorsement. >

FACING PAGE: Phil and Yanmei Budgeon have done a tremendous job of offering visitors a taste of history in their remarkable historic home.

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Boutique Guesthouse in an historic bank building in the cafe precinct of Glen Innes. Featuring free Wifi throughout the property, The 3 Queen bedrooms are complemented with spacious and elegant guest lounge-rooms & dining rooms.

The pair live with Maltese Shih Tzu Dan Dan in the front portion of the lower level of the old building. It was here they married on July 7, 2021 in a simple but moving ceremony. When Phil and Yanmei made the purchase, the building had only one bathroom. The latest count is four, and there’s one more to come. The building was given a fresh coat of paint following a heritage colour scheme, making it a notable landmark in the main street. The ground-floor room offers an en suite, and a further four rooms upstairs mean guests are spoilt for choice. Each room is tastefully decorated and clean as a whistle. A notable feature is the open fire blazing in the dining room for breakfast in the cooler months of the year. It’s the perfect spot to share travel stories over a drink at the end of the day with your knowledgeable hosts, who will advise you of the best local places to visit. Phil and Yanmei love the history of their building and want to share it with others. They have devoted considerable time and energy to make the former bank reflect the 1880s, when the main occupant was the bank manager and their family but with modern touches expected by today’s guests. Yanmei was left to put her own stamp on the areas in need of a woman’s touch and has been the driving force with the garden. Phil’s finer half is a free spirit who loves the B&B they’ve created together almost as much as her champion of a husband who made the bank transaction a huge success. RLM

The property offers a library, study, kitchen and provides complimentary breakfast. Ph. 0404 312 441 320 Grey Street, Glen Innes, NSW 2370

ABOVE: The former Bank of NSW, built in 1884, is one of the grandest buildings in Glen Innes and now a successful guesthouse.


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E



A shed raised by hand in the 1950s on the high street of Glen Innes is an apt location for an artisanal business that’s been quietly flying the flag for the handmade revolution in rural Australia. The Makers Shed in Glen Innes is the creative hub of silversmith Richard Moon and his wordsmith husband Michael Burge. These country-born artisans reinvented their creative careers when they spruced up the simple galvanised-iron hall with contemporary colours and restored its original hoop pine floorboards. Here on the corner of Lang and Grey streets, the couple began selling Richard’s original sterlingsilver jewellery designs and Michael’s books and art in 2018. Sharing handmade skills has been a hallmark of this creative hub since it opened its bright-red doors. Almost half the space is set up to host workshops, primarily Richard’s popular silversmithing classes. Across its first four years, the venue has hosted sessions in lampshade making, writing, visual art, spoon carving and a regular showcase of New England artisans in business. The other half is a light-filled gallery space with exhibitions by regional artists, a shop stocking handmade gifts and homewares, and a bookshop offering

a selection of fiction and non-fiction published by independent Australian small presses. It’s an oasis of creations that have benefitted from the hand of the maker in the process, something Richard and Michael are passionate about. “As artisans, we know the work and passion that goes into handmade products,” Michael says. “That’s why we were determined to give ourselves and other creative businesses the opportunity to sell product on the high street, in a setting where the customer is not baffled about what is locally handmade and what is not. “We’ve been absolutely blown away by the response from locals, New Englanders and visitors from beyond. People are really ‘getting’ the local, handmade message now, especially since we’ve seen supply-chain issues crop up as a result of the pandemic. “We have a very loyal and connected customer base, and they know they’ll always pick up something unique, beautiful, tasty and long-lasting at The Makers Shed.”

The Makers Shed is also the hub of the annual High Country Writers Festival, which features a range of local and visiting authors in conversation, and an annual book award judged by the readers of the High Country Book Club, which meets monthly at the venue. “Visitors are often amazed at the creativity that comes out of country towns,” Michael says. “But we always say ‘don’t be surprised by who is making what out here’. At The Makers Shed, you’ll find true local manufacturing at its finest and most affordable.” RLM

For more information head to themakersshed.org.

FROM TOP: Silversmith Richard Moon; a selection of Richard’s handmade sterling-silver jewellery; handmade lampshades by Casting Light, Dorrigo; ceramic mugs by Anita Stewart; books from The Makers Shed bookshop; a range of preserves made from locally grown produce; The Makers Shed.



QUALITY The Premier Store has been clothing country people for generations, offering quality goods and exemplary customer service. The historic Kwong Sing & Co building in Glen Innes and The Premier Store share a long and colourful history. While The Premier Store was established in the historic Kwong Sing & Co building only eight years ago, a sister store in Inverell dates back to 1867. “We have a slightly different flavour to our Inverell store,” manager Margie Ferris says. “Essentially, the basics are the same but we often select different items from our fashion ranges to give people something different to see in each store. “The Glen Innes store carries a few more country brands, including Wrangler and Pure Western, with both stores carrying a range from Thomas Cook and RM Williams.” Margie says she endeavours to offer brands for a range of budgets without compromising on quality.


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E


“Our business is dressing people for every day,” she says. “We can also help people present themselves appropriately for the big life celebrations such as formals and weddings. It’s particularly rewarding when you’ve helped someone choose clothes to wear to an interview and they return to tell you they got the job.” Customers can choose from a wide range of clothing for men and women, a large hat selection including Akubras, work wear, school clothes and shoes. The Premier Store also supports a wide range of giftware and homewares. “We do a lot of special orders and try and cater for specific requirements, so shoppers aren’t forced to leave town to find what they are looking for,” Margie says. “We also cater for New England Highway travellers, having built a reputation as a store where you can always find something warm to wear, handy for those Queenslanders heading to the cooler southern climates.” It was a very different story in the 1930s when a typical day at the Kwong Sing & Co building saw staff sweeping the front footpath and filling the crockery bowls under the legs of the display tables with water to stop migrating ants. Each morning the calico sheets covering the clothing and dress fabrics were removed and carefully folded. The display windows were cleaned each week and the brass fittings polished. The store offered extended credit to those on the land waiting for livestock to be sold, crops harvested or the arrival of the annual wool cheque before being paid. During the Depression years they bought rabbit skins and tin to provide cash for cash-strapped locals. With their quality of goods and services provided, the business won over many loyal customers. Although the methods are a little different, The Premier Store provides the same quality service a century later. Margie describes it as a traditional country store where people can shop in the one place and walk out with a new hat and shoes and everything in between. The historic building, one of the finest in Glen Innes, is still in the Young family. Patriarch Harvey Young joined his father, Stanley, in the business in the mid 1950s, followed by younger brother Barry many years later. Harvey’s grandfather, Kwan Hong Kee, soon to be known as Percy Sing Young, studied English each night after work at the general store before buying the business in 1911. He added a dressmaking and millinery service along with a dental surgeon. A horse and cart were used for town and district deliveries. Although he still helps with the bookwork, Harvey, now 90, officially retired in 2007. “There’s been many major changes from our early days of selling furniture, food, firearms and fuel to joining major buying groups,” he says. “We’ve gone from hand-written dockets to typewriters and computers. Many old department stores haven’t survived the test of time but we have been a bit lucky.” For lovers of history, the beautiful pressed-tin ceilings are still there to admire, along with a cupboard of memorabilia from longgone shopping days. Margie Ferris and husband David are thrilled their son, Joe, is now a part-owner and integral part of the business. With five staff, including several school students helping after school, The Premier Store is the go-to place for locals and visitors who like to shop in comfort. RLM

FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: The Kwong Sing building as it looks today; as it looked in the early part of the 20th century; the Kwong Sing delivery cart. FROM TOP: The Premier Store manager Margaret Ferris in front of the memorabilia cupboard; store owners Joe and David Ferris; Margaret (centre) with staff members Riley Martin and Donna Doust.


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

a beauty to BEHOLD

Caring for a property of historical significance is a responsibility the new owners of “Rosecroft” don’t take lightly.

Two friends on the school bus could never have imagined how the iconic “Rosecroft” homestead would cement their connection more than half a century later. When Mike and Belinda Norton secured the historic, 50-acre property in 2021, they smiled. Belinda’s bus pal, Nicola Digby, is the granddaughter of the people who built the impressive homestead in 1931 on land originally selected in 1838. In later years, Nicola was the first to realise Mike and Belinda were an item. These weren’t the only connections. The Nortons bought the property from fourth owners and firm family friends Bob and Kerry Crothers, who’d toasted the happy couple at their 1988 wedding. The Crothers spent 31 years on “Rosecroft”, making improvements and further developing the expansive gardens for which the property is renowned. Originally from a farming family in Walcha, Mike is a former business coach and Belinda, a child health nurse and midwife. They spent 25 years in Brisbane raising their daughter Alice Buxton, now an interior designer still living in the Queensland capital, and son Forbes, who works in the UK as a lawyer. For the 12 years leading up to their Glen Innes move, the couple worked on Belinda’s family property, “Tirranna”, near Glencoe, initially brought back by a tragic car accident that claimed the life of her brother, Andrew. “Approaching retirement, we were looking for a house that would complement our family’s furniture,” Belinda says. When “Rosecroft” came up for auction, they made plans to return to Belinda’s hometown of Glen Innes, where her family has lived since the 1840s. They knew the local landmark’s history and endeavoured to make it theirs. With their successful bid the couple moved in five months later, accompanied by Bollinger, an adorable Groodle (Golden Retriever/ Poodle cross). They are still putting their own stamp on the house of their dreams. >

FACING PAGE: The “Rosecroft” homestead is one of the hidden gems of Glen Innes; the homestead blends into the surrounding countryside and is a haven for birds and wildlife. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Mike and Belinda Norton share a combined vision for the property, stylish gates, the pergola; water feature, peacock at large, lavish garden.


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes

The Nortons are relishing the responsibility of caring for a property with such historical significance.

“We enjoy entertaining, and this grand old home has the space to accommodate our furniture in the most befitting surrounds,” Belinda says. A standout feature of the property is the imposing twin rows of Canadian elms, thoughtfully chosen by previous owners. A dam is used to water the extensive gardens, which are a magnet for all manner of wildlife. Walking around the property and glorious gardens is an unforgettable experience, particularly in spring. Scattered throughout are deer statues, an old belltower, magnificent slatebordered pond, the original woolshed, which has been converted into stables, along with the historic gatehouse. Located near the big house, this remnant from the past dates back to early settlement days, its walls lined with horsehair and tarred paper. Mike, 67, is on several committees including the Glen Innes Natural Resources Advisory Committee , a Landcaretype organisation. Seeking ways to become involved in their community, they’re already planning garden parties and other events. The Nortons are relishing the responsibility of caring for a property with such historical significance. “We like to think of ourselves as the latest custodians carrying on the legacy of the Crothers, Digbys and other families before them,” the proud new owners say. RLM

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: An opulent spot to relax; the stairs lead to upstairs bedrooms and various artworks; the formal dining room is used for special occasions; Belinda and Mike love the historic home and have exciting plans for the future.


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

In the heart of the town, Apartments on Grey come with everything you could possibly want. Owner Margie Ferris is a busy woman, managing The Premier Store in Glen Innes, a sister shop to her husband David’s Inverell store. Commuting from Inverell five days a week gives her ample time to spend planning her day while enjoying the scenery along the way. “Travelling across every day can be tiring, and a friend suggested I get a flat in Glen Innes,” she says. The very next day she noticed some undeveloped offices upstairs in the Healey Building, built in 1902 as a home for the former mayor James Healey, remembered for his development of the impressive strip of parkland in the town. Margie didn’t just buy a flat, she bought the whole building! Downstairs was empty but is now leased out to Centacare and Bell Country Homes. A sizeable shed out the back is home to a medical transport business. Since buying the building seven years ago, Margie has totally refurbished upstairs and turned it into two appealing apartments. “I love seeing old things renovated and given a new lease on life,” the astute businesswoman says. “It was quite by accident I got this place and I’m pleased others hadn’t seen its potential,” she says. “When I discovered upstairs had a brick wall down the middle, the concept of the two apartments came to me. As White Rock, the wind farm, was coming to town I figured they’d need some accommodation.” Margie is grateful to local builder Justin Power for the result, which proved to be even better than she’d hoped for. Even though both apartments have kitchen facilities, Margie encourages her guests to support local eateries and business houses. Practising what she preaches, everything was sourced locally for the renovation. Now with the boutique apartments complete, she likes to think she’s helping tourism by offering visitors an opportunity to stay in the town’s beautiful, historic main street. “Hosting visitors to town gives me great joy, and I love providing them with a home away from home,” she says. “I see Glen Innes becoming more and more a happening place, and over the past eight years I’ve seen it evolve and develop an air of optimism. “Young people with business ideas have arrived or returned to the area. There’s a thriving arts scene, and we’re surrounded

STAY IN Travellers seeking quality accommodation in Glen Innes need look no further than Apartments on Grey.


“I see Glen Innes becoming more and more a happening place, and over the past eight years I’ve seen it evolve and develop an air of optimism.” by national parks. I especially love that Glen Innes has the full spectrum of society all mingling in its dynamic main street.” Margie also supports the local art scene, decorating both apartments with borrowed new artworks every six months in return for buying one that hasn’t sold in that time. “It keeps the rooms varied, so that when visitors come again, they can expect to be acquainted with a new artist and their work,” she says.

A stay at the Apartments on Grey is recommended to anyone looking for a secure, stylish and affordable space to unwind and relax after a long day behind the wheel. It’s even better for a few days’ stay for those wanting a base from which to explore the greater region. RLM ABOVE: Convivial host of Apartments on Grey Margie Ferris in one of her comfortable apartments; the rooms are light and airy with every possible comfort.


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes

lure of the


Selling real estate in Glen Innes comes naturally to Deb Smith, who is well aware of the area’s many positive attributes. Introduced to real estate in 2005, Deb Smith has become principal of her own agency, Highlands Real Estate, Glen Innes. Deb was raised on a property, “Kimberley Grange”, 30km south of Tamworth, leaving the farm in 2005 to begin work with Tamworth agency Meers & Shelton, her first foray into real estate. She later joined the team at St George Bank. Later, Deb and husband Craig, a senior custodial officer at Glen Innes Correctional Centre, moved to “Rossmoine”, near Emmaville, where they run sheep and cattle. Their son, Jesse, runs JTS Contracting and Mechanical, while daughter Charlie is studying Physiotherapy at university. After working in local real estate, Deb purchased and rebranded Highlands Real Estate in 2019, just in time for the real estate boom. “We used to be known as a town where retirees come to,” she says. “Now with COVID, most people have learned they can work from anywhere. Instead of just the retirees, we are now attracting a large crosssection of people of all ages. “Newcomers are arriving from the NSW Central Coast, Victoria and Tasmania, and everywhere in between. There’s a strong push with people moving out of the city. They are discovering that Glen Innes and regional NSW have more to offer than they realised.” It’s a 45km daily commute from the farm into town, and Deb finds the trip home a great opportunity to de-stress. Since buying the farm, they’ve endured a few tough years with the drought but now both the farm and real estate are experiencing the best times ever. “Markets constantly go up and down but now it’s a good time for all of us,” she says. Deb admits it’s becoming more difficult to find listings but they’re still coming up as long-term Glen Innes residents realise the potential value of their properties. “There’s great interest in rentals, which have gone from $220 a week before COVID to about $350 a week for a standard threebedroom home,” she says.


“NEWCOMERS ARE ARRIVING FROM THE NSW CENTRAL COAST, VICTORIA AND TASMANIA, AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN.” “Imagine living in a third-storey city unit with a couple of kids during COVID. It’s no wonder they’re seeking a tree change. “When I bought the business, I never anticipated the hardships that would lie ahead – first the drought, followed by fires and then the pandemic. The phones just stopped and I thought ‘what have I done?’ “Yes, it’s turned around but no one could have predicted the enormous chain of events that have impacted our economy over the past few years.” Deb says there’s a whole generation of young people who have only ever known cheap lending rates. “When showing a prospective city buyer they can get a beautiful home in Glen Innes on a huge block for less than

the deposit on a Sydney property, they’re amazed,” she says. Near their Emmaville farm, Deb has sold more than $2 million worth of real estate in the past six months – and that’s just one area in the district they service. She recently sold an old house on 17 acres to two Melbourne lecturers who jumped at the chance of a tree change and a new rural lifestyle. “It’s great here in summer and never gets too hot. It’s a wonderful climate. I just love introducing new people to the charm and beauty of Glen Innes.” RLM ABOVE: Property manager Mel Grennan, business principal Deb Smith and administration officer Cindy Heath are the Highlands Real Estate team.



Specialising in establishing new rural properties, including off grid living.

OVER 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN TRANSFORMING A BARE BLOCK TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR HOMESTEAD! Bell Country Homes can assist with shed and house design, working with you on gaining approvals for your project.

Est. 1868

New England’s leading department stores The Premier Store offers a shopping experience that will transport you back in time. We pride ourselves in upholding old school service values while delivering the latest in popular big name brands across a variety of departments.

Glen Innes 204 Grey St, Glen Innes, NSW 2370 (02) 6732 4686 gi@premierstore.com.au

Inverell 303 Grey Street (PO Box 125), Glen Innes NSW 2370 Leonie 0427 255 825 John 0427 255 824 leonieb@nwhs.com.au


72 Byron Street, Inverell, NSW 2360 (02) 6722 1822 inverell@premierstore.com.au


Housing Industry Association member for over 22 years Wide Span Sheds — Glen Innes Local Agent

Help support our rural communities by shopping through independent businesses.

Buying ∙ Selling ∙ Residential ∙ Commercial Property Management Specialists ∙ Free Market Appraisals 297 Grey Street, Glen Innes NSW 2370 ∙ 02 6732 2799 ∙ 0427 360 517 deb@highlandsre.com.au ∙ www.highlandsre.com.au

Enjoy a quality lifestyle in the heart of the magnificent New England area in Northern NSW GLEN INNES RLM 53


of distinction

John and Leonie Buchan of Bell Country Homes pride themselves on producing well-designed, solar-passive homes that will complement their rural setting and stand the test of time. One of Glen Innes’s best kept secrets is Bell Country Homes. Prior to moving to Glen Innes in 2019, John and Leonie Buchan spent 25 years building homes and sheds in the Inverell area, with a sideline in quality steel sheds. In 2019, in the middle of the drought they chose to slow down the business and relocate to the cooler, and hopefully wetter climes of Glen Innes. “With his Celtic background, John has always loved the cold and we both love granite rocks,” Leonie says. “A small rural property came up just at the right time situated on the headwaters of the Severn River and we just fell in love with it.” It was a bold move, basing their established business in a new town mid-drought, although they’d been building in the district for years. A slow start gave the Buchans a chance to make improvements to their stunning new rural off-grid home, “Jindalee”, at Bald Nob.


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

“It was a slow cook,” Leonie laughs. “It took us two years to finish our dream home, as we only worked on it on free weekends. The best present ever was moving in weeks before Christmas.” Designed to highlight their country views, their home features a highly functional, open-plan living space. Cattle, dams stocked with fish and horses can be seen from huge windows surrounding the home. Just as they were getting stuck into their own home, business took off when they were offered the Widespan Sheds agency for Glen Innes, due to their lengthy track record back in Inverell. “Although our intention had been to just focus on building quality rural homes, the temptation to be involved with one of the biggest and most successful shed businesses in the country was too great,” Leonie says. “We are now platinum agents with Widespan, a position we hadn’t anticipated.” The core of the building business is designing and constructing steelframed homes on rural properties, along with new sheds if required. “Our house frames and trusses come from a company we have been working with for nearly 30 years, Custom Steel Frames of Dubbo,” John says. “The strength and flexibility of steel, along with no white-ant issues in the future is a real winner. The spans can be huge, and they can build in raked ceilings and highlight windows to suit the design.” The pair takes great pride in working with clients to design their new home to suit both site and budget. “A custom-built home does not necessarily mean an expensive home – keeping to your budget is one of the greatest challenges we face,” Leonie says. “The first step is a site meeting with everyone. It may take a couple of visits to find the right spot on the property as you need to allow for orientation, services and access, along with soil type and drainage.” Some people come with a firm idea of what they want built while others need help. A visit to one of John and Leonie’s homes under

construction, or their own pride and joy, is sure to offer endless inspiration. “We use the services of a local draftsman, David Dadley, to start on the design process, usually assisted by my hand-drawn, pencil sketches,” Leonie says. Once a draft plan has been created, a budget estimate is done on the project based on what clients would like to build out of, level of inclusions and their site. From this the project is fine-tuned to a final plan and firm building proposal that covers all inclusions and exclusions. “We specialise in solar-passive rural homes and off-grid living. We live off-grid ourselves and love it,” John says. “We aren’t scared of using different building materials – our own home is clad in a relatively new product Colorbond Steel Sharpline in Matt Monument with timberclad feature walls, which blends beautifully with the woodland setting.” Building a new home is always a challenge and in the Glen Innes district most rural areas have been classified as bushfire zones. This is taken into account when building with Bell Country Homes, along with designing your new home to be comfortable to live in with good orientation, insulation and solar-passive design. “Our building team is small, but experienced. We use local tradesmen wherever we can. Our intention is not to be the biggest builder in the district. Instead, we want to create well-designed rural homes that will be there for the long run,” John says. RLM FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: Experienced builders Leonie and John Buchan have applied their skills to their own home; each Bell Country Home is carefully planned and expertly constructed. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A family home next door was built and designed by the masters; going to the bathroom is always a pleasurable experience at their home; their open-plan kitchen; the bedroom affords views to the countryside.


a school of

Glen Innes Public School provides a contemporary education that embraces heritage, pride, respect and success.


FROM TOP: Teacher Librarian Miss Randall and class 2/3L; artwork created by staff 2021.


Established in 1875, Glen Innes Public School holds an important place in the rich history of the district. The campus includes the former St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, circa 1870, which was added to the school complex in the 1920s. “You can still see the outline of the old church in the infants classroom,” Principal Christine Dorward says. This historical site is now home to a modern and progressive primary school community with a strong focus on supporting the learning journey of every student. With a student population of around 400, it is the largest primary school in the Northern Tablelands. Christine says ensuring equity in availability of experiences is of high priority. Students have opportunities to explore interests and talents across a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular activities. “We provide a good balance, supported by a dedicated staff and with excellent facilities, including great access to technology, extensive grounds and a recently renovated hospitality area.”

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

Glen Innes Public has more than 50 staff in teaching, administration and learning support roles, a team Christine describes as “amazing.” “So much is achieved that wouldn’t be possible without their dedication,” she says. Continuous assessment and application of best practice is reflected in positive learning outcomes, and an environment in which students are encouraged and supported to reach their potential. Visiting tutors from the New England Conservatorium of Music support various interests including a school band, continuing to build momentum in the creative arts at Glen Innes Public School. Sport is popular, and there is a wide range to choose from at all levels. Christine says this is one of the many areas in which the support of families is so important, often enabling children to have the experience of gala days or representative opportunities. Parent involvement is also appreciated through the Parents and Citizens group, which works to support school initiatives. Participation and inclusion underpin a new program of structured activities introduced at recess and lunch times, catering for wide-ranging interests from sports to arts and reading. Christine speaks proudly of the school’s reputation for promoting and supporting student wellbeing through various channels, including access to initiatives through the NSW Education and Health departments. Young leadership is a strong wellbeing focus. “Our student leadership team numbers around 60, and we have a very active Student Representative Council,” Christine says. “Core values of pride, respect and success are incorporated into everything we do. Our Positive Behaviour for Learning program is in action as common language across the school.” A recently formed junior Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG), in collaboration with Glen Innes High School, is part of a close relationship with the local Aboriginal Land Council and AECG. “We are very proud of our junior council members, their leadership and voice,” Christine says.

Around 25 per cent of the student population identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. As part of NAIDOC Week activities, Glen Innes Public students will this year join with others from across the region for a special two-day experience at The Willows Indigenous Protected Area, which has deep cultural and spiritual significance for its traditional owners, the Ngoorabul people. This activity also brings district schools together, and adds to established events including a Combined Schools Assembly in Education Week and participation in the town’s renowned Celtic Festival. As COVID disruptions have eased, the children are again looking forward to other community involvement such as the local show and Junior Red Cross. The school’s wellbeing advocacy proved imperative during COVID lockdowns, with support for families and with learning from home, Christine says. Some students travel long distances to school, and a breakfast program is conducted daily. Glen Innes Public School continues to build on the strong platform of comprehensive public education that has served the community well for more than 150 years. Positive and progressive practices support the development and wellbeing of every student. “We have a beautiful school, with so many opportunities available,” Christine says. RLM Words: Elizabeth Grant

FROM TOP LEFT: Glen Innes Public School Principal Christine Dorward; C Block, classrooms and lunch centre; Class 5E, classroom teacher Mr Marchant; Class 3/4K; Class 5E, classroom teacher Miss Correy and school learning support officer Mrs McElligott; 2022 school leaders; Primary playground; Community Playgroup, Mrs Pritchard; D Block classroom est. 1947.


Actually, there are 11 of them, but unfortunately four couldn’t be there the day RLM dropped by. The laughter never stops whenever these women, who’ve shared a lifetime of ups and downs, get together. Priscilla Young (nee Crotty), Beverley Hodgson (nee Parker), Wendy Thomas (nee Stewart), Sandra Wilson (nee Senz), June Wilson (nee Lane), Beverley Hamilton (nee Shelton) and their much-loved “big sister” Doreen Crotty are the firmest of friends. To mark their own platinum jubilee, the girls returned to their classroom, (a Presbyterian church in a former life), under the supervision of Principal Christine Dorward for a trip down memory lane. While the classroom has somewhat changed since they first set foot inside 70 years ago, their memories remain crystal clear. In their mind’s eyes they see the blackboard on which they practised writing their names, and the timber desks where they sat with straight backs to begin their schooling years. They recall the teachers being “really old” and can still reel off the names of Mrs Wright, Mrs Birrell and Mrs Lake. The Shelton and Parker girls share an extra special bond. Their mothers were born on the same day, in the same year. Like the next generation, they too went through 10 years of school together and called their first-born daughters Beverley. Sandra Wilson reveals her greatgrandparents were married in the old church in 1883, long before it was used for educational rather than biblical purposes. A few of the women recalled arriving at school in the back of a truck. Mostly, they walked, dressed immaculately in their school uniforms, with polished black shoes and white socks, often meeting up with other kids along the way. They each carried a school port, a multipurpose Globite case equipped with a raincoat. After they arrived at school the bell would ring, summoning the scurrying students to assembly. Their names were ticked off at roll call one by one with the traditional greeting of “Good morning, Miss Mellings” directed at the infants headmistress. Later they would sing God Save the Queen in honour of the new monarch who had ascended the throne the same year they started Kindergarten. During arithmetic lessons, all learnt by rote their times tables, which they can still



As the late Queen Elizabeth marked seven decades on the throne, seven girlfriends from Glen Innes are also celebrating a pretty amazing milestone: 70 years since they started Kindergarten together at the local public school.

recite. Back then, using your left hand for writing was seriously frowned upon. At recess, they drank small bottles of flavoured milk, supplied by the government, and for lunch enjoyed a Vegemite sandwich, or if they were lucky, a meat sandwich made with leftovers from last night’s dinner. A piece of fruit from whatever was growing in the backyard was thrown in for good measure. As the girls grew, bicycles became the preferred mode of transport, long before the front of the school became the busy highway it is today. The seven girlfriends all left to join the workforce at 15 or 16 after completing their Intermediate Certificate, typically finding jobs in retail. These days they’re all familiar with modern technology and use their

smartphones and iPads to keep up to date with family movements and each other. Between them they have a combined 533 years, 14 children, 26 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The women intend to make the most of their twilight years. Part of the grand plan is to book into the local nursing home – all together! To have one true friend throughout your life is a blessing. To have this many school pals in your twilight years, and a big sister to boot, is simply priceless. RLM

ABOVE: Priscilla Young, Doreen Crotty, Wendy Thomas, Sandra Wilson, June Wilson, Beverley Hamilton and Beverley Hodgson gather in the classroom where they first met 70 years ago. They are pictured with principal Christine Dorward.


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

easy listening On the airwaves from Tenterfield to nearly Armidale, 2CBD Glen Innes plays a vital role in the community. “We firmly believe our listeners need to be informed with local news and events,” Deepwater and Districts Community FM Radio 2CBD volunteer David Newport says. “The purpose of community radio is to fill a niche while complementing existing media organisations. Prior to community radio it was hard to promote local events.” About 30 volunteers, including 23 presenters, operate the studios and tend to administration, with an estimated 10,000 hours of volunteer time each year. With significant financial help, the station found new premises in the former Baptist church in Church Street, Glen Innes, which required a total refurbishment. “There was a lot more involved than simply moving a few desks and computers,” says David, who remembers the station’s early days in the lounge room of a borrowed building in Deepwater in 1997. “It was a grassroots organic start. We didn’t know much but with strong community support were quick to learn. Today we have state-of-the-art equipment and are on air around the clock, seven days a week.” It’s all about keeping listeners informed and up to date. “While we have a local paper, we are the only media organisation in Glen Innes with a physical presence. Four local community radio stations in Australia have started a newspaper or taken over one about to close. It seems to be a new trend.” With sponsors only given five minutes of airtime every hour, there’s a strong demand for sponsorship. “We’ve really become a voice – not just in Glen Innes but in many small towns throughout the district. As some newspapers struggle, our role becomes increasingly important.” The presenters say they find it very rewarding helping other organisations get their message across. “It means we can get 100 to a function rather than 15 people,” he says. “Many of our presenters are well known and often get

information direct from listeners when they go out for a coffee.” Community radio has many positive benefits, giving listening choice to the community, opportunities for young or disabled people and the chance to develop self-esteem. Through online web services, the station gives an international voice and window into the Glen Innes community, while offering the chance for ex-pat locals to stay in touch. Combining easy-listening music with community information is a proven winning formula. A travelling suitcase enables the station to broadcast live from anywhere. Apart from the studios in the church, the station has a hall out the back for live music, exhibitions and general hire. “It’s very rare to have such a large space that we actually own,” David says. “Life at 2CBD Glen Innes has never been better.” RLM FROM TOP: President Neville Campbell (at desk) surrounded by presenters Paul Wilson, Selwyn Murray, David Newport, David Lewis, David Donnelly, Carolyn Dunn and Jan Lemon; the community radio station is in a renovated church.


London to the bush

A far-sighted city banker, his dynamic lawyer wife and their two daughters have found true happiness in Glen Innes.

Happily married for 20 years, Jono Pinferi and Kate Dance share their rural outlook with daughter 12-year-old Allegra (Leggie to her family and friends) and three-year-old foster child Winnie, who joined them at four months of age, enriching their lives and keeping them very much on their toes. It’s obvious all four are thriving in their new surroundings and reaping the benefits of country living. Local legend holds that their “High Field” farm was originally gifted as a land grant to a former valet of the Duke of Wellington, sometime in the 1840s. Only minutes from town, the home block is also the base for their three dogs, flock of black-faced Suffolk sheep, a few alpacas, a curious goat and Jono’s pride and joy, his Murray Grey herd, running on more than 1000 acres. “High Field” is also where both girls enjoy caring for and riding their three ponies and a retired thoroughbred, Appleby. Standing on the lawn in front of the house, Leggie wastes no time in guiding visitors through the adjoining horse paddock, a myriad of jumps, obstacles and sporting events that she and Pretty Girl spend hours navigating. Leggie is a keen member of the Glen Innes Pony Club and part of their annual Jamboree team that has won the zone competition for the past seven years straight. Winnie is also now looking forward


to taking Taxi to their first week-long Pony Camp in January 2023. From 2003, Jono and Kate spent eight years in the UK, living and working in Nottingham, Glasgow and London. After Allegra’s birth, they ended their overseas secondment and relocated back to Sydney. It didn’t take them long, however, to realise they wanted more out of life than corporate city living. “What we had in Sydney was comfortable but not as fulfilling compared to our own childhoods, and we felt that a move to the bush would be the best option for our small family,” says Kate, who was raised on a highly successful stud cattle farm on Queensland’s Darling Downs. Jono was also heavily invested in agriculture, having spent childhood holidays on his aunt and uncle’s mixed farming enterprise at Yass, before completing his Agricultural Economics degree at Sydney University. His parents had also established a grazing operation at Dunedoo in the early 1990s. He felt the same way about country life. “We wanted our daughter to have memories filled with carefree days of imaginative games, fresh air, understanding the value of productive family work and physical exhaustion,” Kate says. “All these things helped cement our decision to move to the country.”

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

In the beginning

Their search began in areas within easy driving distance of Sydney but there was nothing easy about it. Sitting in Friday afternoon traffic was not the way they wanted to kick-start their weekend. “The dread of the same return trip on Sunday afternoon would hang in the air all weekend, reliving memories of a Sunday night return to boarding school,” Kate says philosophically. A complete tree change was the obvious solution, so they extended their search to Armidale, which worked out perfectly as they could combine house hunting with a visit to Kate’s parents, who owned land at nearby Glen Innes. After a day of inspections, the dedicated trio would return to the warm, welcoming farmhouse for dinner or perhaps enjoy a meal in one of the town’s warm pubs or restaurants. “Right from the start we were heartily welcomed by the locals, greeted with smiles and random conversation as we dined or wandered around town,” Kate says. “Then it hit us. What we were looking for was right in front of us. Glen Innes was going to be our new home. This was the community we were looking for, a township eager to welcome, accept and embrace newcomers.” When they relocated in 2013, there was a need to work very closely with their employers to make a successful transition utilising the available technology. Jono retained his Sydney-based job with National Australia Bank, reducing his daily commute by an hour and 50 minutes. Today, he enjoys his national role with the bank as Head of Deal Structuring and Execution, with easy access to all current technology at the bank’s local branch. Any corporate travelling involves an easy drive to Armidale with connecting direct flights to Sydney and Brisbane. This new arrangement has given him much more time to spend with his three favourite girls and to indulge his passion for cattle breeding. Kate chose not to return to her legal career but found various boards and committees in town keen to use her transferable skills. She also works in a communications role (IT, administration and marketing) at St Joseph’s Primary School.

Family life

It’s a busy life for Kate, who juggles her volunteering with farm responsibilities and, of course, her major role as “mum’s taxi”, ferrying Leggie and Winnie to a host of extracurricular activities. “We were initially concerned that Glen Innes may not have the range of activities available in Sydney but this is definitely not the case,” she says. “Every afternoon is occupied with sporting or cultural activities, including piano and singing lessons, French classes, highland dancing, basketball, tennis and netball training. It’s a quick and easy trip for drop-off and pick-up.” When they did come across any issues, one of the true strengths of rural communities came to the fore: pitching in and having a go. As Leggie was keen to play netball, they discovered one of the open teams was short a few players, so Jono tackled a new sport to replace his rugby days with the Elks. The basketball team was short of referees, giving her father yet another opportunity. “If we were still living in Sydney, I wouldn’t have had a hope of doing any of these things, simply because I would still be stuck on a bus somewhere,” he jokes. “I know these stories sound a little cliched but there is nothing more rewarding as a parent than seeing how well your child grows and develops whilst enjoying activities that you are also facilitating. “An activity like pony club becomes a real family affair where everyone is keen to help. When Leggie started riding, I became vice-president to learn the ropes and support the committee while Kate helped with marketing, photos and in the canteen.”

Leggie, now St Joseph’s energetic school captain, similarly appreciates the importance of giving back to the community by volunteering at Glen Innes Show and charity festive luncheons and other special occasions. Allegra’s love of sewing and cooking saw her win Most Successful Junior Exhibitor for four consecutive years, with cupcakes, biscuits, slices, iced cakes and shortbread her specialties. These skills led to the exciting opportunity of being invited to exhibit her sewing and quilting efforts at the Sydney Royal, where she received three blue ribbons in 2022. At the Glen Innes Show, she also exhibits her prime Frizzle chickens in the poultry competition and provides a veritable menagerie of young animals to populate the animal nursery exhibit, including chicks, ducklings, rabbits, ewes and lambs. Winnie is also there, usually showing off by sitting on Stirrup, the goat. All this is done in between competing in show riding events, show jumping and campdrafting. Kate says country living also allows the family to grow their own fruit and vegetables while educating the next generation about where food comes from. Allegra has become much more aware of the animals that produce the milk, eggs and meat seen at the supermarket. She takes responsibility for their care and understands their contribution. She runs a small poultry flock of chickens and ducks, collecting and selling their eggs, hatching and raising their young and grieving when one is stolen by a wily fox or chicken hawk. It has taught her the true importance and meaning behind the circle of life. She also works towards supporting small business and buying locally. “Our relocation has benefited all of us,” Kate says. “Our children feel the warm embrace of a close-knit community that truly cares for, is interested in, watches over and celebrates their successes. This is the real benefit of tree change. Everywhere we go in town, we can look forward to conversation and community. “These days, city life can often be seen as artificial and synthetic. In the country, we can improve the work/life balance with less travel, more space and unlimited fresh air. We all feel better for it. “You truly get out of life what you put into it. Initially, we had such a steep learning curve, finding out about tractor driving, working dogs, chainsaw safety, fencing, animal husbandry, mechanics, plumbing, plant identification and so much more.” Along the way they learned how to butcher their stock, maintain an orchard and vegetable gardens as well as the ancient arts of fruit preserving and bartering. Kate and Jono have lived in some of the biggest cities in the world but nothing quite beats a family stroll down their long driveway, chased by their dogs, with a view towards their adopted home in Glen Innes. These tree-changers are here to stay. RLM

FACING PAGE: Kate Dance and Jono Pinferi with daughter Allegra. ABOVE: Horses are a vital part of Allegra’s life.


OLD GOLD Rachel Ferrer’s Bourke Street Vintage offers a cornucopia of hand-picked treasures from the past. While most five-year-olds at birthday parties were busy playing games, little Rachel Ferrer had her mind on other matters. Instead of playing outside with her friends, Rachel was inside with the other children’s parents, touring the owners’ beautiful homes and admiring the interior design and furnishings. For Rachel, this was a family trait as most of her childhood was spent treasure hunting with her folks, picking and buying at auctions, clearing sales and garage sales. “Generations of family members on both sides have always loved furniture and antiques,” Rachel says. “Seeking out and buying something cast aside and giving it new life is in my blood.” Although Rachel has spent most of her life in real estate, it was only a matter of time


before she followed in the footsteps of other successful antique dealers and collectors and started finding, restoring and selling furniture pieces. The transformation from selling homes to selling used furniture and bric-a-brac happened after being diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that made full-time work impossible. As a hobby, she began upcycling and chalk painting furniture at her Bourke Street home – hence her business name of Bourke Street Vintage. Posting her finished items on local buy, sell and swap sites, she found they were swooped up within minutes of going online. It was then Rachel realised her hobby had outgrown her dining room and she looked for a small shop in town.

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

Bourke Street Vintage is a true reflection of its owner and a culmination of Rachel’s combined love of homes, furniture and bric-a-brac. Within two months she outgrew this space too and moved to her current address at 148-150 Wentworth Street, Glen Innes three years ago. It has not been the easiest of times to open a new business. She’s had to contend with drought, fires and COVID-19 yet Rachel has managed to make a success story of her eclectic vintage store through growth, diversification and innovation. Bourke Street Vintage is a true reflection of its owner and a culmination of Rachel’s combined love of homes, furniture and brica-brac. She delights in sharing her love of all things beautiful, vintage, antique, cast aside and preloved. The business has a vast range of goodquality second-hand furniture, vintage furniture, antiques, vintage bric-a-brac and new homewares. Rachel seeks out and hand-picks everything in the shop. She has built a strong following, based on her reputation for having unusual quality pieces at reasonable prices. Most pieces are sourced from overseas and from high-end properties within Australia. If you’re looking for something that little bit different that has a story behind it, you can be assured of finding your hidden treasure at Bourke Street Vintage. RLM

FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: Rachel Ferrer from Bourke Street Vintage is as colourful as the new signage outside her business; expect to find the unexpected in the antiques shop. RIGHT: With fresh stock arriving all the time, Bourke Street Vintage is the place to find old wares that will complement any home.

Vintage furniture, vintage bric a brac, secondhand and new homewares. Bourke Street Vintage, you never know what you might find. An eclectic mix of all things unique and antique. Thurs & Fri 9am-5pm Sat 10am- 4pm 148-150 Wentworth Street Glen Innes New South Wales 2370

Sun 10am-2pm Or by appointment


M. 0428 326 644 rachel@bourkestreetvintage.com.au


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

Called to the bar A beautifully preserved piece of Australian history, the Great Central Hotel in Glen Innes, is looking for a new owner.

Originally known as the Telegraph Hotel and later the Fitzgerald, the Great Central Hotel stands on the first town allotment sold in 1854. The initial building was demolished in 1874 to make way for a more substantial watering hole. The sweeping verandahs were added to the imposing two-storey pub in 1907. The hotel prides itself on retaining its original charm, with large, welcoming fireplaces, plush seating and a menu of the highest calibre that won’t break the bank. Since buying the Great Central Hotel in 2015, Julie and Tony Hills have created a unique venue to be shared by the local community and New England Highway travellers. During their time as Glen Innes residents, Julie and Tony were initially looking to invest in the old bank across the road to turn it into a B&B. Instead they chose the pub, drawing on Tony’s 30 years as a chef and Julie’s time as receptionist at the Mater Hospital in Rockhampton. The enterprising couple got to work, beginning with removing the Meade Street side of the original horseshoe-shaped bar, redecorating the room in an art deco theme and launching the Coffee Central Café in 2016. This renovation was in response to the decline of the “traditional” public bar culture of years gone by. Guests say they feel as if they’ve stumbled on a little bit of Parisian café culture with the tables dressed in starched white linen, homemade cakes and pastries, brewed looseleaf teas served out of fine china. Coffee Central won the Glen Innes Business Award for best new small business. It’s open Monday to Saturday for morning tea, lunch,

afternoon tea before closing at 6.30pm. Tony and Julie have also totally renovated the public bar area, now known as The Pipe and Drum Bar to reflect the old English/Irish bar atmosphere, with booth seating, warm timber textures and more traditional paint colours, complemented by a variety of local craft beers on tap. As a salute to the area’s Celtic ties, Julie and Tony installed a bar header featuring the coats of arms of each of the seven celebrated Celtic regions. It also features a stunning stainedglass depiction of the Standing Stones. With 13 rooms available on the first-floor guest accommodation and separate men’s and women’s bathroom facilities, it’s a great place to lay your weary head after a long day’s drive. The rooms are all decked out with comfortable ensemble beds, electric blankets and crisp, white linen. “In a nod to current times we have installed 100 solar panels to the roof in an effort to reduce running costs as well as our carbon footprint,” Tony says. More and more families and couples are enjoying the social experience of staying in a traditional country pub without the noise of poker and gaming machines. Patrons often mingle in the guest lounge and take advantage of the encircling verandah, which overlooks the numerous heritage facades of Grey Street. The restaurant is open for dinner six nights and with four fireplaces, comfortable old Chesterfield lounges and vintage décor, is a popular meeting place for both locals and travellers alike.

The Hills have worked extremely hard along with their wonderful staff to attain award-winning status, as evidenced by their Tripadvisor Awards for Excellence every year since 2017. “When we bought the place, it was a pub with a dining room. Now it’s a hotel in the true European sense of the word, with accommodation, restaurant, bar and awardwinning cafe,” Tony says. Their next project is a hydroponic vegetable farm on their Applethorpe property near Stanthorpe. They have always done things a little differently. Before the pub they sold their Rockhampton home, kissed their combined nine children goodbye and took off in a motorhome pulling a photographic trailer. The pair built a photography business and for years shot weddings, sporting events and families, while writing stories for local publications. “The pub’s been hugely challenging but at the same time very rewarding,” Julie says. “Many people who started off as customers have become friends. The Glen Innes locals have been hugely supportive of two Central Queensland blow-ins.” With COVID-19 and Julie’s declining health, the couple have decided to sell their pride and joy. This beautiful old hotel, once a Cobb & Co staging post, has been tastefully remodelled for the 21st century, ready for new owners to put their own stamp on it. RLM FACING PAGE: The Grand Central has been tastefully renovated by Julie and Tony Hills; Andrew Marchant is responsible for the fabulous meals.



EST. 1874

For an opportunity to own your very own slice of Australian history with four income steams call 0400 921 847. Award winning hotel featuring country style accomodation, fine dining restaurant, bistro, bar, coffee shop & cafe.

313 Grey Street, Glen Innes NSW 2370

G R E AT C E N T R A L H O T E L . C O M . A U


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes

relax and enjoy

For those wanting to unwind and take in the sounds of nature, it would be hard to beat a few nights or more at the Gimardi Gatehouse, Glen Innes.

Located about five minutes from town, the B&B is a modern, self-standing building on 70 glorious acres overlooking town. Adi and husband Jim Ritchie bought the property about 12 years ago when it was just a bare block. Then they built a shed to house the tractor and furniture and lived in a portion of it while Adi created a garden out of a paddock, planting numerous trees and scrubs. Instead of building a contemporary home, they built the gorgeous gatehouse cottage, complete with corrugated iron to blend in with the rural landscape. “Our guests love the peace and quiet and the stunning views,” says Adi, a gracious hostess always up for a cuppa and a yarn. “The sunrises and sunsets need to be seen to be believed and the stars at night take your breath away.” The attention to detail is not missed by guests, who have everything they could possibly need in a place they are unlikely to forget. Along with cereals, fruits and juices for breakfast, guests will find their milk and bread tailored to suit individual tastes. In winter, it is fully insulated and warm as toast. If you are lucky, you might even experience a


bit of winter wonderland, with snow falling for a short period over the past two years. The fire pit and telescope to view the night sky are always popular, especially in the cooler months. The transformation from a bare paddock into a beautiful lawn with stands of trees, including Poplars, Silver Birch, London Planes and Horse Chestnuts, demonstrates how far the Ritchies are prepared to go to make your stay extra special. The dam is a bonus. Once the job was complete, the energetic couple turned their attention to transforming the shed into a magnificent, cosy and highly functional home, which has been affectionately dubbed the “Tin Taj”, after the most famous building in India. Now as modern as any home, with a fireplace taking centre stage in the main living room, it is testament to their foresight and unswerving faith in each other. Adi juggles the Gimardi B&B commitments with a personal development business called Polish Works. “It started out as a school-based course to help our younger citizens with the skills

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

needed to help them conduct themselves both professionally and socially,” Adi says. “The only avenue they had was to go to the city to receive similar training, so the door was opened for me to bring such training to them. It covers numerous aspects like hospitality, retail and very dear to my heart, the Rural Young Women movement, which is connected to our local show.” Next time you are visiting the “Town of the Beardies” think about Gimardi Gatehouse, your ultimate home away from home. It’s a true haven where you can disconnect from the daily grind, unwind and relax in comfort and style. It’s also a great base from which to explore the region – or you can kick back and enjoy the peace and quiet. RLM

FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: Adi and Jim Ritchie relax by the fire in their home near the Gimardi Gatehouse; with its rural outlook, the gatehouse is a great place to kick back and relax in style. FROM TOP: The Gimardi Gatehouse offers all the best in quality accommodation.

Gimardi Guesthouse is a stand alone, two bedroom cottage in the beautiful rural New England countryside. The ultimate oasis to recharge your batteries, unplug from the day to day grind and enjoy exceptional views over the valley and town.

W W W. G I M A R D I . C O M


P H . A D I R I TC H I E 0 4 2 8 4 5 1 3 6 0


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes

STILL GOING STRONG Not many stock and station agents survive 50 years in the business, but Jim Ritchie prides himself on defying the odds.

Jim Ritchie grew up on a Glen Innes farm where his father dealt with giant woolbroking firm Winchcombe Carson on a regular basis. With a few words in the right direction, he left Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, Tamworth, midway through Year 11 to start his working career in the Winchcombe Carson mail room in Sydney on the princely sum of $31.86 per week. Three months later, he started in the fat stock department at the Homebush saleyards. With hair down to his shoulders and trendy side levers, Jim collected his loose coins in an old tin, cashing them in each month in exchange for a decent feed. After being transferred to Dubbo as a junior, he was offered a position as Central West branch staff relief, at the ripe old age of 17. In 1976, he was transferred to his hometown of Glen Innes, where he reconnected with his future wife Adi, a therapeutic radiographer who now manages the delightful Gimardi B&B on their rural property overlooking town. By the time he was 21, Jim was promoted to store manager at the Dalgety Winchcombe Blayney office. Jim married Adi in 1979 before joining Rose McCallum & Co, Scone. By 1989, he had become a partner, with the successful agency renamed McCallum Ritchie & Co. The partnership thrived until 2002, when Jim blacked out while driving and wiped out a bridge. “I was suffering from stress and lucky to walk away in one piece,” he admits. “It was a huge wake-up call.” To reduce the stress load, Jim and Adi sold their share and moved to Armidale, where Jim became livestock manager and auctioneer with Wesfarmers Landmark. In 2004, he took over the rural property job in Glen Innes and has found a good balance between life and work. In recent years, they purchased the massive Landmark building (now Nutrien Harcourts), with a portion rented back to his employers. Jim is currently one of the top 20 salespeople for the firm’s rural property sales in Australia. In the first six months of 2022, the business was involved with more than $100 million in property sales, via local sales and as an introducing agent. “At the moment, demand is phenomenal,” he says. “There’s not a lot of listings. A lot of


IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2022, THE BUSINESS WAS INVOLVED WITH MORE THAN $100 MILLION IN PROPERTY SALES, VIA LOCAL SALES AND AS AN INTRODUCING AGENT. people are enjoying seeing their livestock sell at record prices and are catching up from the expenses of the big drought. For many, selling isn’t an option at this stage and most are holding on.” Jim says the best part of his job is meeting people and being involved with the community. He is a past president of both the Glen Innes Rugby Club and B.I.G (Chamber of Commerce). They have donated the large rear storage shed of their building to Vinnies, who supply furniture to the needy.

With three married sons – Sam, Duncan and Tom – and seven grandchildren, Jim admits life couldn’t get much better. “One young agent once referred to me as an old dinosaur, but this old dinosaur is having the last laugh,” he grins. RLM

ABOVE: Local legend Jim Ritchie is showing no signs of slowing down after 50 years as a stock and station agent.

Glen Innes

Honest appraisals Integrity + knowledge 50 years experience NUTRIEN LIVESTOCK Brad Newsome Ph. 0419 483 958 NUTRIEN WOOL Peter Stewart Ph. 0428 669 316 NUTRIEN HARCOURTS REAL ESTATE Jim Ritchie Ph. 0428 490 108

183 Grey Street, Glen Innes Ph. 0428 490 108 jim.ritchie@nh.com.au



Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

living the dream Even though the classroom and students of the old Furracabad schoolhouse have long since gone, there’s a new teacher in residence – and his family.

Chris Glennan, who teaches maths at Emmaville Central School, and wife Penelope, a paramedic with the NSW Ambulance Service, have bought a beautiful home built in the 1990s on the old schoolhouse site. You’d swear it was an old homestead built 100 years ago, but in reality it’s less than 30 years old and is home to the couple and their three sons, five-year-old Oscar, three-year-old Elliott and Spencer, almost two. The two eldest are little cowboys and most happy when sitting astride their trusty steeds – ride-on tractors they use to explore the family’s four-acre property, “Eastbourne”, with Mum and Dad. You’d be more likely to find a house on acreage like theirs in the Southern Highlands, yet their country investment wasn’t as large as you’d expect for such a magnificent property, proving there’s more bang for your buck in the bush. It’s an easy half-hour commute each day for Chris, born and bred in Glen Innes, who was teaching at the local high school until a few years ago when he was posted to the tiny tin-mining town. Penelope left Sydney 10 years ago for a 12-month contract in Tamworth, her first country posting. In 2012, she was asked to fill in for nine months at Glen Innes – and has never left. “I hadn’t been any further than Tamworth before coming to Glen Innes. Little did I expect Mr Right to live here and invite me out,” she laughs. Chris and Penelope lived in town during their courtship and were married in 2016. Being a paramedic, Penelope is often on call so they couldn’t live too far from town. When this property came up for sale, they jumped at it due to its handy location. “When I’m called in I have to drop everything and get there in a hurry,” she says. “From my doorstep, I can be in town in less than 10 minutes. “Saving lives is a real team effort. We are lucky to have a great team of paramedics and healthcare professionals in Glen Innes. “We spend a lot of time together at all hours of the day and night. I often celebrate Christmas, Easter or birthdays with my colleagues so it’s lucky we all get along. “Many of our Sydney friends have lengthy commutes to work in bumper-to-bumper traffic and think it’s the norm. I get to drive 9km

along a picturesque road every day, often without seeing another car. It’s my daily reminder of how very fortunate we are to live where we live.” Penelope says Glen Innes has been a great place for their boys. “There’s a playgroup every day in town so you can always get out of the house and connect with other mums, a wonderful toy library with many resources and toys for hire and a great library. “During summer you’ll find us at the swimming pool at the kids’ play area.” The sprawling, bright and airy home is a joy to live in and the perfect place to raise a family, with loads of space inside and out for their growing and energetic brood. Meanwhile, her father, Douglas, still lives in the old family home where Penelope grew up. Across the harbour at Manly, her brother Geoff and sister-in-law Ffion are raising their daughters near the beach. There’s an even bigger stretch of water separating Tim, another brother, and his wife Britta, who live in San Diego, California, with their girls. Chris’s family is much closer. His mum, Muriel, lives in Glen Innes, as does his sister, Susan, her husband, Craig, and their children. Relatives from both sides have all been to visit and strongly endorse the couple’s lifestyle choice. “We’re fortunate to have the best of both worlds, with regular trips to Sydney for family catch-ups and other activities,” Penelope says. “Most importantly, the boys experience the ocean, something a lot of country kids miss out on.” Living in Glen Innes and starting a family has enriched the Glennan family’s lives in so many ways. “I would often dream about what I have now, and still pinch myself at times,” Penelope says. “It really is my dream come true to have a loving husband and three happy, healthy children, while following our chosen careers.” RLM

ABOVE: The stunning country abode has become home for the Glennan family. FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Penelope and Chris Glennan with sons Oscar, Elliott and Spencer; the family inside their spacious home; three little bundles of joy; gathering on the lawns in front of their rural retreat.


duty of care Much-loved long-time pharmacist Bill Munro has retired but Timbs continues to have the wellbeing of the Glen Innes community at its heart.


Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

There’s a changing of the guard at Timbs Pharmacy as local identity Bill Munro steps down after more than 50 years as a pharmacist. Born in Tenterfield, Bill was educated at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill, and Sydney University, before serving his first eight years as a pharmacist in Armidale. Bill and wife Moira then moved to Glen Innes in 1980. After 43 years in the one business, he has become one of the town’s true treasures. The corner store has always been a pharmacy. Dodd’s Pharmacy operated there from 1873 to 1924. In 1900, Arthur Dodd moved into new premises on the corner of Grey and Bourke streets. Now known as Timbs Pharmacy, it’s only had three other proprietors: the Grover brothers and Pat Timbs, with whom Bill was in partnership before buying the business in 1998. “When I came here the phone number on the exchange was 16,” Bill grins. “If I wanted to ring a local doctor, for instance, the women on the exchange would know where he was and put me through to that number.” At 74, Bill concedes it’s the right time to hand over the reins after a lifetime of long hours. “You have to be there – it’s not just a nine-to-five job,” he says. “As a pharmacist, I needed to be available out of hours. It really is a calling. Glen Innes is a beautiful country town with genuine, good-hearted people. I’m not leaving town but will miss the daily interaction with my staff.” The humble pharmacist has always enjoyed looking after others but now looks forward to spending more time with Moira, his six children and numerous grandchildren. Retirement will also mean more time to enjoy playing golf at the Glen Innes Golf Club and some travel around Australia.


Glen Innes local Dimity Newsome is excited to be taking over but knows she has impossibly huge shoes to fill as the pharmacy’s fifth owner in 147 years. Like Bill and Pat Timbs before her, she studied at Sydney University, graduating in 2017. Dimity completed a semester studying abroad in Boston, before moving to Queensland. She managed a large pharmacy in Brisbane before returning home in late 2021. Dimity took over ownership of Timbs Pharmacy in mid-2022. Her large team is headed by Angela Landers, who has 30 years of experience in the pharmacy. Many of the 20-odd staff have been working there for between 10 and 20 years. “We have an important role to play within the community, highlighted in the past few years by COVID-19,” Dimity says. “Thankfully, the locals had Bill, one of the hardest-working men in town and certainly one of the most generous, with their best interest in mind.” The Newsome family has called the Glen Innes district home for generations. Dimity’s parents, Brad and Jane, live on a local property while her siblings, Alex and Alison, enjoy regular trips home to the farm. With Dimity now at the helm, Timbs Pharmacy will continue supporting the local community through sponsorships and donations to events and organisations. They also host school-based trainees in Community Pharmacy from Glen Innes High School, as well as working with NSW DET to provide the necessary training and experience. Dimity looks forward to continuing the pharmacy’s splendid reputation in helping to maintain a healthy local community. “Our pharmacy team works with each individual customer to improve their health and wellbeing,” she says. “It’s exciting to be able to help improve the health of Glen Innes locals through a range of pharmacy services such as vaccinations and sleep apnoea consultations. We want to offer as much to our community as we can.” RLM

FACING PAGE: Bill Munro retires after 43 years in the pharmacy. FROM TOP: Bill Munro with Angela Landers and new owner Dimity Newsome; Timbs Pharmacy has played an important role in Glen Innes for a remarkable 147 years..

Timbs Pharmacy is dedicated to helping create a healthy community in Glen Innes.


Vaccinations ◊ Sleep apnoea consultations Webster packs ◊ Natural health options

8:30am–6pm M–F | 9am–12:30pm Sat 240-242 Grey St, Glen Innes PHONE 02 6732 3016 ONLINE www.timbspharmacy.com.au




join the club Glen Innes & District Services Club is the town’s biggest social hub, aptly carrying the slogan “the club that has it all”.

Part of the fabric of Glen Innes community life for close to 70 years, Glen Innes & District Services Club is one of the town’s largest employers with more than 40 staff, including casuals who look after the 3500-strong membership. Affable general manager Pat Lonergan originally came to the club for a threemonth stint and is still there 18 years later. Events and entertainment manager


Bree Simpkins started in 2018 and is now responsible for marketing and advertising, weddings, funerals and other functions. The club offers bingo twice a week, regular raffles and Spin and Win, a members’ promotion where $1000 is given away each night. Then there’s Pat’s Shout on Saturdays for members. “If the chocolate wheel lands on Pat’s Shout, every member in the bar gets a free

beer,” Pat says with a grin. “The wheel is spun four times between 3pm and 5pm and is very popular with members.” Having the largest function centre in town means the club is the only venue that can accommodate up to 500 guests. The auditorium gets a good workout with weddings, regular entertainment and the annual Australian Celtic Music Festival, which draws thousands of visitors to the

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E

town on the first weekend each May. Restaurant manager Aaron Dobbs oversees the service of up to 1000 meals each week to members and guests. He’s excited to welcome international chef Binh Vu and wife Oanh, direct from Vietnam to the Celtic Capital. It’s action stations in the kitchen with the addition of Indian chef Jerry Jose Matthew, accompanied by his wife and son after stints in Oman and Dubai. The club board is led by president Malcolm Baker, and his team of directors, Peter Ross, Damien Boylan, Allan Culbert, John Crowhurst, Chris Wallbridge and Phil Evans. “The RSL sub-branch has an office within the club and we support them in as many ways as possible,” Pat says. The club sponsors most local sporting and community groups and, of course, is the pivotal meeting place on April 25 each year, where free breakfast is provided for all those attending the dawn service, followed by a luncheon for veterans and their families. The modern, well-appointed club you see today is a far cry from its humble beginnings in 1947. The first clubhouse was a simple Nissen hut rented for the princely sum of 10 shillings a week. The club obtained a liquor licence the following year and Tooth & Company provided four firkins (nine-gallon kegs) and 16 five-gallon kegs each month to satisfy the thirst of its 72 members. A permanent home wasn’t found until 1955, when a new complex was built on the corner of Bourke Street and East Avenue (now the Salvation Army citadel). The sparkling new clubhouse and greater availability of merchandise post-war ensured the club went from strength to strength with a significant boost in membership. The introduction of ladies’ nights and additional entertainment and sporting facilities saw numbers continue to rise and by 1963, the new club started to outgrow its home. Two properties on the corner of Grey and Lang streets were purchased in 1965 and construction began on a grand-scale clubhouse. It opened the following year, offering afternoon entertainment and free dinner for the town’s old-age pensioners each quarter. By 1970, 200 pensioners were treated to free dinner and entertainment. In 2007, Glen Innes Golf Club came under the Servies’ umbrella through amalgamation and is not just popular with golfers but also with bridal parties. If you’re among the half of the town’s population who isn’t a member, look what you’re missing – fabulous meals from internationally qualified chefs, regular promotions and entertainment and firstclass service from friendly local staff. RLM

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Bar staff Damon Williams, Keisha Simpkins and Maddi Corrigan; cricket memorabilia; chefs Binh and Oanh Vu with Terry Jose Matthew and restaurant manager Aaron Dobbs; the meals are varied; general manager Pat Lonergan with events and entertainment manager Bree Simpkins. FACING PAGE: The Services Club lives up to its reputation as the club that has it all.


T O W N F E A T U R E Glen Innes

perfect place


Just 10 minutes from New England’s Celtic capital of Glen Innes, Tui Lodge is an eco-friendly, off-the-grid B&B ideal for horse enthusiasts, adventurous families and couples looking for a cosy getaway.

For semi-retired real estate and livestock agents Tony and Diana Corcoran, Tui Lodge is the realisation of a lifelong dream to combine their love of rural lifestyle, animals and people while creating a unique guest experience. Visitors can enjoy exclusive access to the purpose-built B&B designed to capture the beautiful vistas of the surrounding Stonehenge Plain. “The two-bedroom guest house can comfortably accommodate a family of four, couples, or a group of friends seeking an escape from the city for a leisurely long weekend in the country,” Diana says. Complete with a sun-filled, open-plan living area and fully equipped kitchen fitted with the latest appliances and wheelchair accessibility make it the perfect stopover on a long drive. “Every detail has been considered with regards to comfort and exclusivity, so every guest feels at ease,” Diana says. For the caravan and mobile home travellers, Tui Lodge ticks all the boxes, offering multiple 15-amp power access points for guests to simply drive up, plug in and spend the night in their own accommodation. They have access to the new amenities including bathroom, laundry and common areas where they can appreciate dinner and a drink around the fire pit in harmony with nature. Tony has been an agent for 50 years, mostly at Corcoran & Co, with offices in Glen Innes and Guyra. Diana sold houses in town for more than 20 years. Both from the land — Diana from a farm in New Zealand’s North Island and Tony from Canungra in the Gold Coast Hinterland — they’ve truly found their niche. Tony has three daughters from his first marriage and Diana has two sons. They share a son together, Michael, who’s an agent and has recently joined McCulloch Agencies in Tamworth.


The couple’s love of horses is evident with the newly built state-of-the-art, fourbay stable, sand arena and guest access to overnight spelling paddocks. “With horse lovers travelling and competing in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Tamworth and Sydney, we’re hoping to entice that passing trade to sample our hospitality and amenities,” Tony says. Built by Paradigm Homes, Glen Innes, Tui Lodge is a dream destination for animal lovers. Guests can enjoy the company of alpacas, white Saanen goats, black-faced sheep, cattle, geese, guinea fowls and free-roaming chooks. Children are made welcome and have a

range of activities open to them – feeding the animals, catching cray bobs, rowing around the island in the dam or bike riding. As it’s the Corcorans’ home, guests can always rely on their congenial hosts for local knowledge or to assist with arranging a myriad of activities around the district. The very essence of hospitality, Diana and Tony look forward to welcoming likeminded people to their horse haven in the New England Highlands. RLM

FROM TOP: Tony and Diana Corcoran inside their guesthouse; horse lovers need look no further; a comfortable rest is assured.

100 East Pandora Road, Stonehenge NSW 2370 0408 998 102 diana@tuilodge.com.au www.tuilodge.com.au

ADULTS Relax and unwind.

Enjoy a stay in the self contained, modern 2 bedroom lodge (including a complimentary breakfast basket). Tui Lodge offers peaceful surrounds and stunning views of the Stonehenge Plains.

CHILDREN Explore and learn about the farm. Help feed the animals and go cray bobbing.

CARAVANERS Enjoy being off the road.

Socialise around the fire pit. Self-contained travellers welcome.

ANIMAL LOVERS Native wildlife, farm animals and pets too!

Kangaroos, horses, alpacas, goats, cattle, sheep, geese, guinea fowl and chooks.

HORSE ENTHUSIASTS State of the art facilities.


Stables, spelling paddocks and a sand arena.

Opening hours Monday to Friday 5am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday Closed +61 2 6732 1108 176 Bourke St, Glen Innes NSW 2370 smeatonsbakery@gmail.com

Celebrating 50 years

KENO & TAB facilities, raffles, club bingo, spin ‘n’ win members promotion and members badge draw.

Ph. (02) 6732 1355 120 Grey Street, Glen Innes New South Wales 2370

Restaurant open 7 days for lunch and dinner service.


Opening hours

Sun - Wed 10:30am to 10:30pm Thurs - Sat 10am to 12am


Smeaton’s is an institution in the Celtic Capital, having had just three owners. It all began with Ernie Smeaton, who established his business in 1939 to help feed the thousands of troops camped in the district and many more going through town. Among his employees was 14-year-old Bob Irish. With seven bakeries in town, business was brisk, and they introduced home deliveries. Thanks to bad debtors and the cost of maintaining his horse and cart, it was never going to be a profitable venture. Instead, he and wife Beatrice began a successful catering service, leaving Bob, now a fully qualified baker, and Elsa Butler to buy the shop in 1955. It was a good union and the pair worked alongside each other for 35 years before hanging up their aprons in their partnership in 1990. Bob continued to work in the bakery until his death. Smeaton’s is now owned and operated by Mount Isa-born Eilleen Halloran, whose father was an underground mine control officer, and mother a gold assayer, with a gift for cooking anything. Her grandmother was a master at making wedding cakes – from making the cake and the fondant to the intricate flowers and lace in the almost intolerable heat of the Isa. This is where the passion for baking was born. After completing school, the determined young woman left for Perth, serving a four-year apprenticeship in a high-end German patisserie with lucrative contracts from Qantas and many of the city’s finest restaurants. It was an excellent training ground for the young apprentice. “With German, Swiss, French, English and Aussie bakers on staff, at times it was like WW3,” she laughs. “You either got a history lesson or an argument, depending on what mood they arrived in.” Eilleen became the only female to finish her apprenticeship in the chaotic workplace. At 21, she packed her bags and drove across the Nullarbor to Glen Innes to join her mother at the Town Hall Coffee Shop. Several years later, Eilleen broadened her experience, working at patisseries in Austria and The Netherlands, leaving behind a local young lad, Phillip Halloran to wait for her. “I had given him a wedding ring and told him if he was wearing it when he picked me up from the airport when I returned, I would marry him,” Eilleen says. “He was wearing it when he met me at Brisbane airport and we married five months later. During our engagement, Smeaton’s came up for sale and Phillip and his parents figured it would provide me with a job for life.” A grazier, Phillip mostly leaves his wife to make the dough but can always be relied upon as “Mr Fixit”, when things go wrong.


Flour power A Glen Innes bakery has been tantalising tastebuds of locals and passing trade for more than 80 years.

Eilleen’s passion for cooking, baking, and creating has sustained her for the past 32 years. “As an apprentice, I had to lug 50-kilogram bags of flour and was expected to work like a man, a tough call for any 17-year-old girl,” she says. “Thankfully, the bags are now a quarter of the size they were back then.” It takes three pastry chefs and a team of 11 others to keep the wheels turning. Dave Hodge has been on staff for 54 years and could almost make sausage rolls, pies and his favourite, sponge cakes, in his sleep.

They all work together to maintain the high standards set by Ernie Smeaton and now Eilleen, whose freshly baked bread, hot pies and sweet treats remain a favourite with regulars and travellers along the New England Highway. RLM

FROM TOP: Aleisha Solomon, Donna Yarnold, owner Eilleen Halloran, Cassie Peacock and Karen Bradley with enticing offerings from Smeaton’s Bakery; Dave Hodge has been on staff for 54 years.

Glen Innes T O W N F E A T U R E



Health has always been Glen Innes woman Bettina Lynn’s main priority, and now, with her fabulous whole foods store, The Sage and Clover, she’s fulfilling a lifelong ambition. Perhaps it really is the warmth and pure energy radiating from within The Sage and Clover that makes walking into the Grey Street shop an unforgettable experience. The vibrant colours, earthy aroma, tranquil atmosphere and range of products tempt you to explore the possibilities. Sustainable packaging and lack of plastic is evidence of the store’s commitment to caring for the environment. Fabulously presented fruit and vegetables are a big drawcard, as well as carefully selected, ethically produced products. Owner Bettina Lynn arrived in Australia from Denmark in 1991 and found her way to Glen Innes, where a local farmer won her heart. “We always have had a large veggie garden and together with my husband, Philip, farmed our property organically for many years,” Bettina says. “Food always used to be organic and I find it sad that many people still either have to, or choose to, eat produce filled with chemicals we know are making us sick.” If it’s local, organic, ethical or under the whole foods banner, you’ll find it in-store. “We are all about community,” Bettina enthuses. “We love being able to provide our customers with organic, healthy food and support our local producers as much as possible. “My team has a huge heart and they all embrace, love and support the store and its community. The Sage and Clover wouldn’t be what it is without them.” Bettina has gathered a group of local women with a common goal: to be supportive, encouraging, nurturing and help people live their healthiest life. “Back in 2015, I was ready to take on a new challenge,” she says. “The kids had left home and I was burning to do something which would make a difference to both my community and to me as a person.” Originally studying naturopathy, Bettina’s life changed paths when the local health food store closed its doors. She put her studies on hold and with

encouragement from her daughter determined to “help people live their healthiest life”, opening The Sage and Clover in 2016. A new chapter has just begun with the launch of the store’s first branded product: The Sage Tea, a unique blend of Bettina’s favourite herbs, with packaging designed by her daughter. On top of that, Bettina is close to obtaining her Health and Wellness Coaching certificate.

“I can’t wait for this next stage in my life where I get to help people in a new way.” Bettina hopes to inspire other mature-aged women to really challenge themselves and look within to define their life purpose. RLM Words: Anna Rose Images: Rashelle Bischoff

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The Sage team of Bree Campbell, Bettina Lynn and Marissa Martin; the Sage and Clover shopfront on Grey Street; hand-woven elephant grass baskets from Ghana.


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


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

intriguing insight A museum dedicated to Emmaville’s rich mining history is full to the brim with fascinating memorabilia and photographs dating back to the late 1800s. At its peak during the tin-mining boom, Emmaville boasted 10 pubs to service its thousands of thirsty miners. The only remnant of those heady days in the quiet little town of 500 is the Emmaville Mining Museum, opened in 1999 and run by volunteers with help from the former Severn Shire Council. When baker Jack Curnow closed his shop in 1969, his vast collection of minerals and photographs remained in his bakery. After he died, his wife, Jean, bequeathed the collection to the town, on the understanding it would never leave Emmaville. The council purchased the then vacant Foley’s General Store and volunteers began remodelling it to house the renowned Curnow mineral collection. Today it also showcases the Jillet, Gilbey, Ellis, Schumacher, Trethewey, Hermann and Maskey collections, with thousands of mineral and gem specimens on display. As the collection grew, the museum expanded. Visitors can now view the interior of a hessian-lined miner’s hut, Foley’s General Store, replica blacksmith’s shop, old wood-fired bakery and a machinery shed filled with mining equipment. The walls are plastered with hundreds of photographs dating back to the 1880s, along with hundreds of old bottles from that era. When tin was discovered in the district in 1872, miners came from near and far to the settlement initially called Vegetable Creek, where Chinese shepherds were working on Strathbogie Station. The village got its name from the Chinese gardens on the creek, which would help feed the miners and their families. The name change to Emmaville took place in 1882, against the wishes of the locals, to honour the wife of the NSW Governor, Lady Emma Augustus Loftus. The original hospital built in 1880 and rebuilt in 1937 was finally replaced with a modern MPS in 2002 and is still officially called the Vegetable Creek MPS. Incidentally, in 1880, the hospital was where the first medical benefits fund in Australia was formed. When you visit the museum, you will

see a black panther in a mining hut. Apparently, a wild black panther was shot in the area in 1902. The last sighting of the so-called “Emmaville Panther” was recorded in 1968. A new military section was added to the museum in February 2022 to honour the town’s diggers and their families. Because the region is one of the world’s richest mineral belts, many visitors come to Emmaville to fossick for gemstones. The museum’s committee members are all local, dedicated people interested in promoting the wider community. RLM

The museum is open every day bar Thursday from 10am to 4pm and other times by appointment.

ABOVE: Emmaville’s rich history is recorded in the countless old photographs adorning the walls of the museum. FACING PAGE: Volunteer Mark Green enjoys sharing Emmaville’s mining past with museum visitors; the museum boasts a wonderful collection of minerals, bottles, mining tools and displays from more than a century ago.


Taylor made The road may be long and winding out to Bens Falls Retreat in the Glen Innes Highlands but the spectacular reveal makes it well worth the effort. The roaring sound of the waterfalls greets guests upon arrival at the distinctive timber and iron structure of Bens Falls Retreat, astonishingly built on a sheer cliff face in the middle of nowhere. All the ironbark, stringybark and box timber used in the build was sourced from the property. The roof is Tenterfield blackbutt pine, with she-oak above the fireplace and river redgum slabs used throughout for a unique design aspect. The redgum also features portholes, which perfectly frame the falls and fast-flowing Severn River feeding into the Murray-Darling Basin. Especially noteworthy are the views from the amenities, surely a nomination for best loos with a view in Australia. This magnificent timberwork and intricate design are only apparent once you walk through the massive front doors, with jaw-dropping views through to the floor-to-ceiling windows at the mighty source of that rushing water. It’s easy to feel immense awe and happiness. A dominant portrait of Ben Taylor smiles at visitors as they take in the breath-taking backdrop – a beautiful reminder of the inspiration behind the family’s dedication to building a legacy retreat in his honour. The venue offers accommodation, function space and a place to spend time in nature, to recharge and concentrate on health


and well-being. Allan Taylor has created a space with amazing atmosphere from the moment you step into it. “There was already Big Ben and Little Ben and Ben View in the nearby mountains – it seemed fitting to name it after our Ben,” says Allan’s daughter and hostess, Allana Price. The majesty of the waterfalls had always held a special fascination for the Taylors. The enterprising family could see potential far beyond farming for the rugged hillside block. “I’ll never forget Dad coming home one day and saying to Mum: ‘Hey, Freddy (the nickname for wife Shirley). Do you remember that block I’ve always loved? Well, I’ve just bought it. I’m going to build a restaurant and you’re going to cook in it’,” Allana recalls. After numerous enjoyable barbecues in front of the falls, the build commenced on the site in 2005. Bringing in a bulldozer to complete major earthworks was the first step in carving out a portion of countryside that needed some sound construction foresight and planning. It was then the painstaking work really began. Within a few years, the function centre was completed and the upstairs accommodation area reached lock-up stage, when Allan died suddenly from a heart attack – 10 years after losing Ben.

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

FACING PAGE: With its hand-crafted finish, Bens Falls Retreat is a spectacular venue for any occasion. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: There are many great places to tie the knot; gracious hostess Allana Price; the late Allan Taylor would have been proud of his legacy; the views are breathtaking; the rustic set-up matches the location; the view of the falls from the function centre.

Despite these personal upheavals, Allana, husband Sam and children Xavier, Lilly and Abigail, knew they needed to complete the dream. The pair first met at Glen Innes High’s Year 12 party and it was love at first sight. Sam began his Civil Engineering degree in Newcastle while Allana studied for her Bachelor of Resort and Hotel Management at Coffs Harbour, hoping to put those skills to good use one day. Construction of Bens Falls Retreat is a work in progress. Allana worked in the mines for a few years at Emerald and Moranbah, first as a trade assistant for boilermakers before becoming a dogman working various cranes. “I quit the mines to help Mum run this place,” Allana says. By then, younger brother Bradley, 32, an electrician and solar installer, had taken over their father’s business, operating out of Glen Innes. Bens Falls Retreat has hosted numerous weddings, birthdays and school reunions and is an ideal venue for a small conference or workshop. Allana’s mum still cooks and supports the business. Visitors who book Bens Falls Retreat can also hire a bus to and from Glen Innes and surrounding areas. Next on their agenda is buying a tiny house and installing it in a spectacular location on the river near the falls to complement the existing two cottages on the river and the new accommodation being completed at the retreat. “I hope to see the retreat used to recharge and feel the serenity,” Allana says. “Families can rewild in the nature without phones or computers.” She has also started another cottage business called Late Night Pottery with a fellow potter from the Glen Innes Pottery Club, getting together to create in their down time. Allana hopes to see Bens Falls Retreat used for health and well-being, as well as seeing their pottery creations in the restaurant and cabins. “It was my dad’s passion and dream to share this place with others,” she says. “He always told me it’s best to turn a negative into a positive.” Bens Falls Retreat is definitely a positive outcome for the region. RLM

BENS FALLS RETREAT Bens Falls Retreat is a family built and run business, created to share our amazing proper ty and river. We have two cabins on the river with the best cod fishing in the area. Our func tion centre has great tasting meals, an inviting atmosphere with beautiful scener y.

Ph. 0428 774 101 Morgans Road Emmaville, NSW, 237 1

bensfallsretreat .com



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

proud parents Apart from tin, the most famous things to come out of Emmaville, population 800, were the Emmaville Panther and perhaps war hero Charlie Scherf. Then along came the unstoppable Emmaville Express, Debbie Wells. While his daughter was making world headlines in the 1970s for her sprinting prowess, long-term Emmaville resident Roy Wells became quite accustomed to being quizzed by the media. But that was almost 50 years ago and Roy hasn’t been interviewed since. They clearly hadn’t counted on RLM knocking on the door. Wife Edna drags dusty old scrapbooks out of the cupboard as the pair exchange a quizzical look: those old newspaper clippings hadn’t seen the light of day for decades! Both seem genuinely surprised anyone would still be interested in the girl who thrust this family of Aussie battlers into the national spotlight a lifetime ago. It’s hard to believe Roy is almost 100. He looks fit, with a sharp memory and lively sense of humour. Edna, 89, is never far from his side. As a young man, Roy was involved in the tin-mining business, which boomed in Emmaville until 15 years ago. He was a wool presser and worked on a tobacco farm until a heart attack at 50 forced him to slow down. He found the change of pace a perfect opportunity to devote his days to coaching his fleet-footed daughter. He had Debbie did laps around the footy field and on the footpath outside the house they’ve called home for more than half a century. “The field was rotten and quite rough,” Roy says with a grin. “Debbie had to pick her way through stones and potholes as she ran.” This rigorous regime, coupled with her natural ability, certainly paid dividends. As a junior athlete at the 140-student Emmaville Central School, she won trophy after trophy. All of Debbie’s siblings – Colin, Allan, Lois, Sandra and Sue – loved their sport. Roy drove the girls to netball and track and field events from Coonamble to Casino and most towns in between. “In the mid 1970s, the athletics world was all amateur, meaning there was absolutely no money involved,” says Edna, the keeper of the family purse strings. “It was always a financial strain on the budget getting Debbie to track events all over the country, including long hauls to Sydney, often with lengthy stays. “Becoming a one-income family after Roy’s heart attack compounded matters.” To keep the family budget intact and Debbie on track, Edna spent more than two decades working at Emmaville’s Vegetable Creek Hospital, where Roy later became a wardsman. >

FACING PAGE: Roy Wells has lived an extraordinary life for almost a century. FROM TOP: As a teenager in the 1970s, Debbie Wells (now Wilkinson) was the fastest girl in the world; Debbie’s proud parents Roy and Edna Wells hold a picture of their wedding day.


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

Debbie wasn’t the only one to represent Australia, as Roy had signed up for King and country in 1941 and was based in Maitland when the Japanese shelled Newcastle.

By 14, Debbie was smashing records to become the fastest girl in the world, covering 100 metres in an astonishing 11.3 seconds. This coincided with her selection for the 1976 Montreal Games, the youngest athlete ever to do so. While sports fans across the globe applauded the monumental achievements of the long-legged kid from the tiny town no one had heard of, her mother held grave reservations about letting her baby girl go. “Perhaps we kicked her out of the nest too early,” laments Edna, reflecting on Debbie’s early overseas departure. “She was only a kid and could have enjoyed a normal childhood hanging out with her Emmaville friends. Instead, she was always training. She missed out on so much.” Their son, Allan, who regularly drops in for a cuppa with his folks, recalls those times as if it were yesterday. “The hype was unbelievable,” he remembers. “Apart from Raelene Boyle, Australia had very few track stars. For the media it was a field day. Journos would travel 600km from Sydney to interview Debbie in the lounge room we’re sitting in today.” After the 1976 Montreal games, Debbie went on to represent Australia in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics. She was the youngest female track and field athlete to represent her country before retiring at 23 due to an Achilles injury. “A lot of memories keep popping up but for now I’m just not ready to talk about them,” Debbie tells RLM over the phone. “I was a very young and shy teenager that was thrown into the world arena.” Later she spent 13 years as the coaching director at Toowoomba Grammar. In 2013, Debbie took a team of six athletes to the Czech Republic to compete at the World Schools Knockout, winning the world title. For the past nine years, Debbie, a keen gardener and walker, has been working in construction, where she met her husband, David Wilkinson. They live on the Sunshine Coast and both love taking their caravan on breaks. They have two children, Danny and Codie, and two grandchildren, Jack and Max.


Debbie wasn’t the only one to represent Australia, as Roy had signed up for King and country in 1941 and was based in Maitland when the Japanese shelled Newcastle. “I was sitting on a Lewis machine gun all night waiting for the Japs to come over the ridge,” he recalls. “It was a long night, but to make matters worse, before all the commotion, I was playing twoup with a few blokes – and on a winning streak.” It was no laughing matter four years later in the jungles of New Guinea. Roy was a specialist machine operator and sapper in the Royal Engineers, spending seven months at the frontline on Bougainville Island. The tenacious enemy had a large presence and fought tooth and nail until war’s end. “The Japs would blow up the roads and bridges then lie in wait to ambush the engineers who came to rebuild,” he remembers sadly. “A third of our platoon, including my best mate, ended up either


dead or wounded. Bougainville didn’t command much press back then but it was a pretty hot topic for this field engineer.” Roy thinks he’s in a fairly good place. “Most blokes start having problems at 60, or at least that’s what my doctor told me,” he grins. “My memory is spot on. Doc reckons I must hold the record.” Breaking records obviously runs in the family. Roy was still behind the wheel at 98, unquestionably one of Australia’s most senior drivers. Edna has her own claim to fame. Her ancestor came out on the First Fleet, albeit in chains. The poor bloke stole a cow and wound up in the notorious hell-pit of Norfolk Island. Later, her greatgreat-grandmother became the first European woman to set foot on Norfolk. As he reflects on his upcoming 100th birthday on March 24, 2023, Roy cites his greatest achievements in life as his long and happy marriage to Edna and the love of their close-knit family. There is one other accomplishment, not quite his own, yet one he’s equally proud of: his daughter’s enduring legacy. “It was through elite athletes like our Debbie that the Australian Institute of Sport was founded – to help those with a natural ability,” he says with more than a hint of pride. RLM dips its lid to this humble old Digger for the supporting role he played in not only defending his country but in helping change the course of Australian sporting history. RLM

ABOVE: Roy Wells was still behind the wheel of a car at age 99 and has lived in his Emmaville home for over 50 years.

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

community stalwart Former Citizen of the Year Peter Green knows a thing or two about living in a small regional community.

For the past 40 years, Peter Green has been involved with most organisations in Deepwater, a small country town of about 330 residents near Glen Innes. “A lot of people here devote themselves to local committees – there might be 15 or more committees in town and I’ve been on most of them,” he says from FoodWorks, the business he runs with wife Lyn. “It’s how we get things done in a small town – everybody gets behind anything that’s happening. Thankfully my family have always supported my achievements in the local community.” Among the many committees Peter has been involved is the Deepwater School of Arts, holding many positions over 23 years and is currently the patron. He has also been involved with the Deepwater Tennis Club, where his wife still plays, the Deepwater Jockey Club, Catholic Church and Deepwater Players and many more. Peter has lived an interesting life since his early days growing up on a Kyogle dairy farm. In the early 1970s, a promising career with the Commonwealth Bank was interrupted by 18 months’ National Service. Having blown his earnings on fast cars, he was happy to do his bit for the country while saving money and getting fit. Three months were spent in the RTO (Railway Transport Office) at Melbourne’s Spencer Street railway station, where large numbers of troops were returning from Vietnam on the transport ship Canberra. A few of his team, including Peter, were transferred to Albury, where they organised what went out on trucks to the various army bases, including tanks, APC (armoured vehicles used to transport military personnel) and general goods. After his discharge in late 1972, Peter resumed duties with the CBA in Glen Innes. It was there he met a charming Deepwater girl who came to the bank each week to deposit funds from the RTA where she worked. Following his marriage to Lyn in 1975, Peter ended up at the Circular Quay branch. He well remembers the tragic Granville train disaster on January 18, 1977, when a crowded commuter train derailed, running into the supports of a road bridge that collapsed onto two of the carriages, killing 83 and injuring hundreds more. “I passed through Granville on a train barely 10 minutes before the accident,” he says.

In 2005, he and Lyn established FoodWorks on the highway, where they continue serving the local residents and farmers. Two years later, after 13 years with CBA, he moved to Deepwater to work as a beekeeper for Lyn’s parents. This very different line of work wasn’t quite to his liking and he commenced work for the local Norco Co-op rural store. After managing the grocery department he took over the management for the next decade. In 2005, he and Lyn established FoodWorks on the highway, where they continue serving the local residents and farmers. Having the business saves the locals a 40km trip to Glen Innes for their weekly grocery shop. “It really is a great place to live, even though at times it feels like we live in a fish bowl, “ he laughs. “If we go away for a week, the whole town soon knows. For a small town we have a very strong community that knows how to support each other.” Now in his early 70s, Peter has FoodWorks on the market, hoping to spend more time with his family while continuing to support various Deepwater organisations where he can.

The three Green children all lead busy lives. Andrea works for the Queensland Ombudsman office, Ashley is a roofing contractor in Armidale and Nicholas works for AGL at Bayswater Power Station. Peter and Lyn Green are proof positive that if everybody chips in, big things can be achieved, even in little towns like Deepwater. RLM ABOVE: Peter Green loves living and working in Deepwater; Peter and wife Lyn established FoodWorks in 2005 and are now ready for the next chapter of their lives.


the problem SOLVER

For many years Reg Trethewey has come up with innovative designs that have helped change the way we do things. Known for his flair in designing equipment for the agricultural scene, Reg Trethewey has developed hydraulic wool presses, animal weighing machines and cherry pickers. It’s just not rural products that have captured his imagination – toys and fitness equipment including a hip-hopping kangaroo have all been developed under the Trethewey Industries banner in the tiny town of Deepwater. Over the past 40 years, many products have been marketed and sold throughout Australia and overseas – not a bad effort considering it can take up to 1500 man hours to get to the finished product. Exercise equipment was big business in America during the 1980s. The Techno-Gym and Aussie Work Horse both created a lot of interest in the New Product Fair in Chicago in 1985, and significant licence agreements were signed afterwards. There were many highlights from his dozens of trips to the land of the free, including an introduction to former bodybuilder and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Reg describes him as a “gracious and nice person”. It was also thrilling being invited to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.


“There were actually two of us,” he laughs. “The other chap was the vice president of the United States – we were special guests and joined the after performance party.” Originally from a property in Forbes, the Trethewey family moved to “Kamaruka”, Deepwater, in 1955 after the Lachlan River flooded one too many times. Reg formed his engineering business in 1980 with his brother, Mark, to service rural clients throughout Australia. Mark now produces electronic products sold locally and internationally through his own company, and services many large international organisations and Australian government entities with unique electrical testing equipment. Their first great success was designing, manufacturing and marketing self-pinning wool presses, followed by an innovative range of cattle-handling equipment that won design competitions. When the wool market went quiet the bigthinking engineer ventured into cardboard compacting machines, followed by pallet chippers that reduce pallets into small chips for furnaces and bulk reduction in the city. “Many tips won’t accept a full-size pallet because of their size,” Reg says. “All the good

timber and craftsmanship that goes into making them is wasted. There was a time when they were treated with a dangerous chemical and nobody wanted to touch them, fearing they may be contaminated.” Now in his 70s, Reg is still working on several new projects, with more than enough work for his crew of eight. On Saturdays, he tends to his Murray Grey and Angus cattle on “Hill View”, Bolivia, with Sundays devoted to the Crossroads Community Church, Glen Innes. Like all inventors, he’s experienced a few pitfalls along the way but it’s a journey he wouldn’t change. “Companies change, people change and mergers are happening all the time,” the quietly spoken and humble design engineer says. “It’s never the same but I still love creating things in my head and seeing them through to the end product. God gave me one gift from a young age – and that was it.” RLM CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Respected design engineer Reg Trethewey in his Deepwater factory; a hiphopping kangaroo was one of his many designs; in the 1980s Reg and his team developed exercise equipment for the American market.

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

on with the SHOW

Community theatre is alive and well in the small country town of Deepwater, where the locals will try almost anything provided it’s for a good cause. Deepwater Players was established in 1980 by former high school teacher Jenny Sloman, who dedicated 40 years of her life to the venture, much of it when she was a teacher. Thousands of children were taught English, History and Drama by Jenny over her 45-year teaching career at Glen Innes High and as a casual at Emmaville and Tingha. And just as many remember Jenny for her enormous contributions to the arts scene. The group started after a horrible accident where a child choked to death. With no life-saving equipment in the district, they met under the umbrella of the Red Cross, determined to raise funds to help establish an SES. They felt the best way forward was to put on a play, the Tri Color Suite, which turned into a runaway success. After sell-out performances in Deepwater, the play was staged in Glen Innes, thanks to Jenny’s connection to the Glen Innes Art Council, the longest running arts council in NSW. “After that, we went alone and formed the Deepwater Players and based ourselves at the Deepwater School of Arts, a late-Victorian country hall equipped with a stage,” she says. Over four decades, the shows have been fortunate to have two wonderful producers in Prue Graham and Jen Lanz, both working under Jenny’s directorship. Jenny says there is a new show every two or three years, with seven performances in Deepwater over a fortnight. She knew the best way to put bums on seats was to provide food and drinks alongside great entertainment. “Our shows have always been accompanied by a dinner and bar facilities. I’ve always maintained we looked a little better with a few drinks under the belt.” Mixing a meal with the show proved a winning formula, along with fantastic support from their local community, which numbers in the low hundreds. “I’m pretty sure most of the 10 or so organisations in Deepwater have supported us in some capacity. It’s truly amazing what you can get out of locals, farmers and teachers on stage,” she says.

“The stars of the show are all amateurs. We regularly ring up wives and husbands, with our talent from Bolivia, Deepwater, Dundee, Emmaville and Wellingrove ranging in age from 16 to 78 years. “I still get an enormous satisfaction from my involvement. I’ve always had a vision with Deepwater Players and can see what I want from my actors.” The group has always chosen successful, well-known plays that audiences can relate to. “We started with slapstick comedy and got a lot more adventurous,” Jenny says. “Our best play was probably Oh What a Lovely War while our best adaptation was Deepwater Goes Dancing, our version of Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom.” Each play raises about $12,000, divided between local organisations, including the Red Cross and recently Westpac Helicopter.

After 40 years of directing, Jenny has handed over the reins to the man with the golden tonsils, Richard Moon, from the Makers Shed, who recently moved to Deepwater to make his directorial debut among other things. She hopes he and his successors will continue the tradition in Deepwater. Now in her 70s, Jenny and farmer husband Peter moved into Glen Innes in 2018 but this community stalwart will forever be connected to the Deepwater Players. RLM

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The 2021 production of Phantom of the Music Hall included a stellar cast of locals; Deepwater’s Cool Choir; Jenny Sloman has devoted a lifetime to theatre and the arts, especially the Deepwater Players. (Show images: Max Harding)


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



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

a shire to admire from the Mayor of Tenterfield

Image: Sera J Wright Photography

Tenterfield Shire is a region of contrasts, featuring vastly different landscapes due to its size, shape, climate and geography. The Tenterfield Shire landscape ranges from rich farmland, gentle slopes and sheltered valleys to rugged timbered mountains, granite outcrops, balancing rocks, volcanic plugs, rainforests, wild rivers, waterfalls and gentle creeks, offering a wide diversity of experiences in adventure and ecotourism. Tenterfield is renowned for four distinct seasons typified by glorious displays of colourful autumn leaves, winters snuggled by the fireside, beautiful spring blossoms and mild summers. Wildlife abounds in the shire. Shy platypuses duck and dive in Tenterfield Creek as it meanders through town. Bird watching, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, horse riding, water sports, photography, painting, fossicking and enjoying starry skies by campfire are some of the eco-adventure activities experienced across the shire on national parks and private land. The most popular of our many national parks is Bald Rock. The Northern Border Trail will form part of a regional network. Motorcycle groups explore their preferred winding roads and fantastic scenery. An eclectic array of accommodation and dining choices is offered shire wide, from boutique hotels, short-stay home/ cottage rentals, motels, glamping, caravan parks, farmstays, adventure parks and campgrounds to restaurants, clubs, pubs, coffee lounges and cafes. Events include the Autumn Festival, Gravel n Granite, Oracles of the Bush, Agricultural Show, campdrafts, rodeos, Grassroots Enduro Australia, classic and vintage car show and shine, the Bavarian Music Festival, and sled dog races. Our communities are generous and welcoming and have many active volunteer organisations that hold regular events. The Tenterfield township boasts stunning historical buildings, parks and gardens, covered playgrounds, boutique shopping, museums, art galleries, theatre and sporting facilities, and soon an epic pump track and upgraded skate park. Our villages each have charming histories and attractions.

Agricultural produce includes livestock (mainly cattle and sheep), traditional crops and timber, and horticulture – stone fruit, blueberries, avocados, pecans, vegetables, garlic, lavender and truffles. There are several Aboriginal nations within the shire, and traditional language is still spoken. Tenterfield became a border customs town. The Post Office has both Queensland and NSW residences upstairs, and was birthplace or home of notable and colourful characters including Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson, RR Mackenzie, Captain Thunderbolt, Major JF Thomas, Oliver Woodward, Eleanor MacKinnon, Prof Edward “Ted” Hon, singer songwriter Peter Allen and more. It was the location of historic events such as the writing of official campdrafting rules in 1885, Sir Henry Parkes’s Federation Speech in 1889, the Spanish Flu border closure in 1919, and the first official Australian airmail in 1920. Whether you are interested in the remarkable heritage of the area or looking to unwind and relax and enjoy great eateries and hotels, discover nature and find adventure in our national parks and countryside, Tenterfield Shire is the destination to explore. Welcome and enjoy. Cr Bronwyn Petrie, Mayor of Tenterfield


days gone by TENTERFIELD

Images courtesy of Tenterfield and District Historical Society 92 RLM TENTERFIELD

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

SO MUCH TO SEE Tenterfield Shire is resplendent in natural beauty and community energy.

Tenterfield Shire stands proudly at the top of the New England High Country and southern end of the Granite Belt, straddling the Great Dividing Range and wrapping around the Queensland/NSW border. With a population of 6800, the shire covers 7500 square kilometres and is home to vibrant rural communities, dramatic scenery, the gateway to a vast area of national parks, and headwaters of mighty rivers to the east and west. On the intersection of the New England and Bruxner highways, the main town, Tenterfield, population 4100, lies strategically south of Stanthorpe, a comfortable 3.5-hour drive from Brisbane, two hours from Armidale and three from Byron Bay. Tenterfield is a beautiful town with many charming historic buildings, tree-lined streets and parks. Nestled in a valley beneath Mount Mackenzie (1287m), one of the highest points along the Northern Tablelands, and at 850m elevation, Tenterfield enjoys four distinct seasons. Tenterfield and the shire villages of Torrington, Jennings, Liston, Legume, Urbenville and Drake offer natural wonders, aweinspiring views and a host of activities from scenic drives and walks, adventure tourism, national parks, rock formations and waterfalls to boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and great country pubs. The shire’s Indigenous heritage includes the Jukembal, Bundjalung, Kamilaroi, Githabul and Ngoorabul nations. Speaking poles have been erected in Millbrook Park celebrating our First Nations people. European settlement dates from the early 1840s. Tenterfield Station is at the core of the town’s settlement history, first held by Robert Ramsay (RR) Mackenzie in silent partnership with Stuart Alexander Donaldson, who officially became owner in 1844. Sir Stuart held Bolivia, Tenterfield and Clifton stations with over 250,000 acres, became a member of the government, duelled with surveyor-general and explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1851, and became the first premier of NSW in 1856.

The Tenterfield township was gazetted in 1851. Gold was discovered in the 1850s at Drake, Timbarra and Boonoo Boonoo. The town and region boomed with the influx of miners, money and timber getting. In the 1860s, more substantial public buildings began to be erected, and Tenterfield’s magnificent Post Office was built in 1881. Visitors can follow our Sound Trails and Heritage Walk, which includes iconic buildings such as the Tenterfield Saddler, immortalised by locally born music legend Peter Allen, and St Stephen’s Church, where poet AB “Banjo” Paterson married local girl Alice Walker with the reception held at Tenterfield Station Homestead. Learn about Tenterfield’s rich Federation Town history at the National Trust’s first listed museum, the Tenterfield School of Arts, site of Sir Henry Parkes’s famous 1889 speech, The Tenterfield Oration, urging the Australian colonies to unite to become a nation. Visit the Tank Traps on Mount Lindesay Road, a relic of the WWII “Brisbane Line”, explore nearby bushranger Thunderbolt’s Hideout, then climb Bald Rock, the southern hemisphere’s largest granite monolith with 360-degree views. The shire and its communities have enjoyed booms and endured challenges, most recently drought, bushfires and floods, to emerge with much to offer visitors, new residents and businesses. RLM

For more information visit: tenterfieldtourism.com.au.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Bluff Rock on the New England Highway, just south of Tenterfield; Tenterfield Railway Station; the Autumn Festival at Jubilee Park; the Tenterfield Saddler Building.

Tenterfield is a beautiful town with many charming historic buildings, tree-lined streets and parks. TENTERFIELD RLM 93

getting down to


Tenterfield Chamber of Tourism, Industry and Business (TCTIB) formed in 2016 following a merger of the Tenterfield Visitors Association (TVA) and the Tenterfield and District Business Association (TADBA). It was a mutually beneficial collaboration, allowing both associations to join resources for the promotion of Tenterfield and to increase the reach of its local chamber. The membership base is made up of a diverse range of tourism, retail, professional services, industrial and government agencies. From small homebased businesses to larger enterprises, the vision is to encourage a thriving, vibrant and empowered business community, to foster and encourage strong, enduring and supportive business relationships. TCTIB seeks to provide a quality service that meets members’ business needs and fosters the relationship with all levels of government to ensure their advocacy efforts are effective.


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

The Tenterfield Chamber of Tourism, Industry and Business board members are business professionals with a passion for and commitment to the Tenterfield business community, who give their time and expertise to the chamber in a voluntary capacity. The key role for the board is to set out strategic objectives for the chamber, and whether through advocacy or initiatives, to support, promote and aid in the development of the Tenterfield Shire and business community. During periods of the prolonged drought, bushfires and COVID-19, the chamber has been focused on supporting business by coordinating initiatives to support them through the uncertain trading environments brought about by these significant events. In 2021, during COVID lockdowns, TCTIB introduced a Facebook SHOP Tenterfield Business Raffle, when more than 1200 members participated in 442 raffles, and 244 individuals won prizes, totalling approximately $130,000 in sales for local business. Chamber President Kristen Lovett has said that “the aim of the raffles was to support local business through fun and community involvement. There was a real buzz through the community waiting for raffles to be published.” It was such a success that the chamber is relaunching the page in the lead-up to Christmas. Another initiative launched last year to stimulate the local economy, the $10,000 shop local Christmas draw, will be run again this year from October to December. To be in the draw, shoppers need to purchase goods or services from participating businesses to get a ticket. The three winners, who will receive Tenterfield True cards to the total value of $10,000, will be drawn at the Lions and Rotary Christmas carnival during latenight shopping in December. RLM The chamber can be contacted via email at TCTIB@outlook.com or on the Facebook page, Tenterfield Chamber. FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: From left, Jacqueline Wait, who is a window display judge and grandaughter of the late Aub Gillespie whom the Christmas window display is named after, Chamber President Kristen Lovett, window display second place winner Laynee Taylor, and local business owner of DTB Fabrications and window display judge Tracey Butler; Tracey Butler, Jacqeline Wait, Sheree Thrift and Maree Parker, owners of Sherelle Fashions and winner of the window display competition, and TCTIB board member Peter Hay; Tracey Butler and Jacqueline Wait announcing the winners; Kristen Lovett, Peter Hay, and major prize winner of the 2021 Shop Local Campaign marriage celebrant Alli Blyth and son Otis.

A place to call home

Tenterfield is the kind of place that you can arrive in and feel like you have always been here. With Tenterfield’s strong sense of community, the comfort in a glass of wine and a wood fire on a cool night, terrific climate, the breathtaking natural attractions, and a thriving and growing business community, it’s understandable that there has been a shift that is seeing people come to visit, and relocate. My own experience is not much different. My time in Tenterfield was to be for just 12 months, and 21 years later, I am still here, and could not picture myself anywhere else. I love all that Tenterfield has, and its continued change and evolution. I married a local boy, Ben Sharpe, from Bolivia, who’s family traditionally had sheep and cattle properties. With Ben’s love for working with livestock and people, his purchase of the Tenterfield Ray White business in 2015 came as no surprise. This was the second business to add to our household, with my own, Kristen Lovett Accounting Services (KLAS), being established in 2006. Over my 16 years in business, I have been involved in the Chamber of Commerce in some shape or form. From the inception of Tenterfield and District Business Association (TADBA) by local businesses looking to create a support network, to a lunch with MP Thomas George and business representatives with a request to reform a recognised chamber, I have seen and been a sounding board for much of the business activities in the past 16 years. The business community has evolved throughout this period, to our current scene of seeing some wonderful business and innovation from those relocating to Tenterfield, which is creating an energetic boost to the business community. This shift is offering some unique experiences for those who come to visit and locals alike, and is supplementing an already buoyant and well-established business base. The soon-to-be-opened Barn at Glenrock Gardens will be a wonderful

Tenterfield is going to be a very significant player in the coming years as an ideal tree-change location. addition and event location for businesses, weddings and tourism, and the Bad Manners precinct is a terrific and trendy scene for locals and travellers and great addition to the hospitality offerings of Tenterfield. Ben and I have two children, who both attend schools in Tenterfield. They are part of local sporting groups and compete throughout the region in their sports. We are so very fortunate to have three schools and two preschools within the town. Tenterfield is going to be a very significant player in the coming years as an ideal tree-change location. It is two hours from three airports, and three hours from Brisbane and the coast on a major highway. It is the new-found love for our coastal and Brisbane friends, and I am tipping we will see some large growth numbers in the next three years and even further growth in our business precinct. It’s an exciting time to live and have a business in Tenterfield. RLM ABOVE: Chamber President Kristen Lovett is a true believer in Tenterfield’s many assets and huge potential.


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

Solid foundations

Tenterfield’s character-filled buildings house a vibrant and inclusive community.





Spectacular views, ever-changing terrain, nature walks and rock formations that transport you back to the Triassic period make Bald Rock National Park a natural wonder like no other.

Thirty kilometres from Tenterfield on the NSW/Queensland border, Bald Rock National Park is home to an abundance of wildlife, native plants and wildflowers and the mighty Bald Rock, which rises almost 1300 metres. As the largest granite monolith in the southern hemisphere, it towers 260m above the surrounding bushland, providing a 750m long by 500m wide space to explore. Here, climbers will feel like they’re on top of the world. Wildflowers and wattle trees bloom from July and the vibrant colours of the rock lilies, boronia and banksia are a sight to behold against the deep greens of the native trees and greys and oranges of Bald Rock. While away the hours at the picnic spot at the base of the rock, where you can enjoy a barbecue, a bite to eat and a quiet moment to take in the surrounds. There are plenty of shaded spots to escape the summer sun, and bush camping is available. For thousands of years, Bald Rock served as neutral ground for the three Aboriginal nations of the region: Jukembal, Bundjalung and Kamilaroi. Bald Rock was considered a boundary by the nations, so meetings and trade could occur on the site without each nation having to journey through the others’ territories. Entrance to the park and access to all walking tracks is via Mount Lindesay Road, 29km north east of Tenterfield.


Boonoo Boonoo National Park (pronounced Bunna-Boonoo) is a unique national park 27km from Tenterfield. The park is famous for its flowing rivers, secluded waterholes and rock pools, breathtaking gorges and cascading falls.


The Boonoo Boonoo River is one of the park’s most spectacular features. Its banks transform from smooth stretches of granite to sandy beaches, and in spring, it is lined with colourful bursts of wildflowers. Follow their brightly lit trail as you explore the secluded rock pools and waterholes scattered along the river’s path. If you’re quiet, you might even spot a platypus. The Boonoo Boonoo Falls Picnic Area is the heart of the park and where it’s most alive – from the gushing sounds of the river cascading over the granite cliff edge and the abundance of wildlife that visits the area to the excited visitors making their way off to explore one of the nearby walking trails. The lookout provides uninterrupted views of the river as it plummets 210m to the gorge below. In the early 1900s, Banjo Paterson made Boonoo Boonoo famous when he proposed to his sweetheart, Alice Walker, at the falls lookout. There’s an equally scenic picnic area at Morgan’s Gully, the site of an abandoned 1890s goldfield. Surrounded by geological formations, glistening waterfalls and blooming with spring wildflowers, the picnic area provides the perfect starting point before heading off to explore the historic site. The gold-mining area can be found at the eastern end of the gully. Explore the hand-dug water race, where gravel was once washed and the old pressure cylinders once used for gold extraction. Though nature has reclaimed the gully, it’s not hard to imagine what it might have looked like in the gold rush heydays. For those wanting an extended stay, bush camping is available at Cypress Pine Campground, situated on the banks of the river. Wake up to the sounds of the river, breathe in the fresh air, have a cuppa and a barbecue breakfast, and explore the park at your own pace. The campground is open to caravans, motorhomes and tent camping but sites must be booked.


Basket Swamp National Park, 23km north of Tenterfield, is a woodland park and important wetland area brimming with wildlife. Featuring meandering swampy gullies, rocky outcrops and heavily forested valleys, Basket Swamp is most suited to selfreliant bushwalkers. It provides exciting bushwalking and hiking opportunities, taking visitors to Timbarra Lookout and providing access to the nearby Basket Swamp Falls and the sacred Woollool Woolloolni Aboriginal Place. The park also offers horse-riding trails and the Basket Swamp Falls provide rockpools for swimming and exploring. Timbarra Lookout is a beautiful spot to watch the sunset. The park is home to the endangered brush-tailed rock wallaby and vulnerable spotted-tailed quoll, as well as an abundance of bird life. RLM Words: Bruce Mills

FROM TOP: Bald Rock, encased in fog, is a must-see experience; the Basket Swamp Falls in full flight; the ancient Bald Rock attracts visitors from all over the globe.

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


A fun new gravel and mountain bike event in March 2022 got off to such a flying start, a small club in Tenterfield hopes to take the second annual Gravel n Granite to dazzling new heights. Saddlers Mountain Bike Club president Mick Lieberman is excited about next year’s Gravel n Granite meet as it will be broadened to cater for bike riders of all levels and abilities. The 2022 inaugural event attracted 550 riders from across the east coast – local districts, Armidale, Byron Bay, Dubbo, Goulburn, Grafton, Inverell, Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Ballarat. Gravel n Granite caters for all levels of fitness and competitiveness. There are three different routes: 29km, 65km and 100km. The historic showground will again be transformed into a festive event village where riders and supporters can meet to enjoy local craft beer, wines and gourmet foods. Starting and finishing at the showgrounds, the ride takes participants through a variety of surfaces including bitumen, dirt and gravel. It offers awe-inspiring scenery with some great elevation up the 1300-metre Mount Mackenzie providing some of the best views in the Northern Tablelands. To the north, it encompasses the Basket Swamp, Bald Rock and Boonoo Boonoo National Parks in NSW and Girraween National Park in Queensland. “Gravel n Granite attracted a very wide group of cyclists and that was one of our aims, to make it accessible for everyone,” Mick says. “We had MTB bikes, gravel bikes, adaptive bikes, a tandem and e-bikes. The club will use new funding to assist with making the event even more accessible in 2023.” Each course is fully supported with lead and follow vehicles,

roadside marshalls, moto-marshalls, feed station volunteers, first aid, course managers and AusCycling officials recording all the times from the showground. The ride is a timed event and medals are presented to placegetters, but there are generous time limits for completion and no requirement to hurry. It is a fun day, with a great atmosphere in the beautiful high country of Tenterfield. “The feedback from riders and supporters from the inaugural event was overwhelmingly positive,” he says. “Riders loved the course, the spectacular scenery and the village hospitality. The food and refreshments on offer certainly helped in the riders’ recovery.” Saddlers MTB Club looks forward to seeing bike enthusiasts on the weekend of March 4 and 5, 2023. It’s an ideal way for individuals, families, bike club communities and like-minded people to connect on two wheels. RLM Images: Craig Render, RCPix

For more information and event photos visit: www.thesaddlersmtblclub.com.au.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Catherine Lane in the 65km ride on Kildare Road; Matthew Parkes and Dieter Stahmer at the finish line after completing the 100km course; Hank Duchateau takes part in the 28km ride on his adaptive bicycle.



in motion

Oracles of the Bush Tenterfield, which has been running for 26 years, is Australia’s only boutique Bush Poetry Festival.

Held over four days in late March-early April, Oracles of the Bush Tenterfield is a time of celebration when a professional team of poets and a balladeer travel from near and far to be part of the entertainment team for the festival weekend. Competitors travel from all over Australia to compete for the coveted Looming Legends Trophy, and hundreds of guests descend on Tenterfield to celebrate this incredible weekend. The longevity of this event is not the only thing that makes this festival unique. An important part of the festival is celebrating what makes the Tenterfield community special. Oracles of the Bush does this by inducting a community legend every year. The legend is someone who has made a substantial contribution to their community and who embodies why this community is one that is treasured by locals. Oracles of the Bush has a range of events to suit everybody. During the festival, you will eat great country grub, and be entertained by an amazing group of poets and balladeers who will make you laugh and cry. The Oracles committee recently received this beautiful message from Marion Fitzgerald, one of the professional poet team: “It was such an honour to be part of the entertainment team for Oracles of the Bush 2022. Stepping into such a professionally organised performing arena is an entertainer’s dream and an audience’s delight. “My allocated events for the three days were an immense pleasure to perform at, a sentiment shared by the other professionals. Your choice of venues for our art and our audiences was a testament to the pride you have in your beautiful Tenterfield. “Early morning sunbeams awakening the fog in the valleys, campfires silhouetting the historic Showground Pavilion reaching


for the stars, rolling hills of endless enchantment and rustic charm at Arrajay Downs, the lingering aroma of barbeques and gathering crowds of Bush Poet fans in the morning dew to the rotunda in the park! “Banjo would have witnessed all this magic in a poet’s playground – thank you for continuing such a tradition in your beautiful town and its surrounds that echo so much history . . . and thank you for making this autumn weekend of Oracles of the Bush such a memorable event. “ RLM

Lock in Oracles of the Bush Tenterfield 2023 from March 30 to April 2.

ABOVE: Oracles of the Bush draws some of the finest poets in the country to Tenterfield, much to the delight of appreciative audiences.


tctib@outlook.com www.tenterfieldchamber.com.au


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


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

seeing the light With a passion for all things travel and adventure, Sera Jan Wright loves nothing better than immersing herself in nature, with camera in hand, chasing beautiful light. Sera Jan Wright’s photography journey started from a young age, playing with her parents’ film camera. One of her great inspirations was watching Sir David Attenborough documentaries on repeat and flicking through her parents’ monthly issues of National Geographic, featuring stunning imagery from across the globe. “I took up photography as a subject in my last two years at high school, spending most of my time in the school darkroom,” she says. “My love of photography really kicked into gear after I was gifted my first DSLR and lens from a family member in my early 20s.” After school, Sera studied business, majoring in travel and tourism, which led to three years as a travel consultant. Eventually, she realised she’d rather be travelling herself and set off for Thailand for three months with her trusty point-andshoot camera. After spending a year in New Zealand in 2005, she knew her future was in capturing stunning landscapes. Before that could happen, she spent idyllic summers in her hometown of Byron Bay, where she is a fourth-generation local, followed by seven seasons in the snow, running hotels, working behind the bar and ploughing up the fields on her snowboard. The next few years were spent working in administration and customer service for an online retail business and in a chocolate factory before finally taking her photography to the next level. “At the same time, I was also running my photography business and getting paid to travel overseas,” she says. “It was a busy time in my photography career. It was only after leaving the ‘normal’ jobs that I was able to focus on my business full time.” After receiving favourable comments from family and friends on Facebook, she set up an Instagram account and from there things snowballed, with job offers from tourism boards and accommodation retreats. Canon took her on a trip to tropical north Queensland, followed by her first international tourism job in Samoa in 2013. Since then she has worked on more than 50 tourism campaigns, attracting 70,000 highly engaged followers on her Instagram page and across social media. After meeting her fiancée, Kyle Goodwin, they travelled to Tenterfield to visit Kyle’s mother. After the bushfires ripped through her 120-acre property, they helped rebuild the fences and realised what a special part of the world it is. Hoping for a quieter life than Byron Bay, they found their own five-acre property on Tenterfield Creek only 4km from town. “I was initially concerned about finding work but it’s been very encouraging,” she says. “My main income comes from photo shoots and selling prints on my online store, including fine art prints and canvas. “Since moving here I’ve found more commercial, editorial and tourism work and shooting for local businesses and people, particularly helping promote B&Bs with my photography.” The well-respected travel and destination photographer, travel

writer and blogger now spends most of her time on her farm in Tenterfield, in between trips back to her family home in Byron Bay and working and travelling on the road for clients. She hopes her photographs inspire others to get outside, explore and travel. “I love sharing the way I see the world through my eyes and my lens and enjoy working with clients to bring their ideas to life with high quality, professional photography. “What I still love the most is capturing pastel colours at sunset and sunrise – some would say it’s my signature style. “My prints are hanging on walls around the world and it makes me happy knowing they evoke emotion and bring people joy.” RLM

ABOVE: Gifted landscape photographer and blogger Sera Jan Wright enjoys capturing the beauty of nature. NEXT PAGES: Some of Sera’s stunning images.

You can find Sera’s work at www.serajwright.com.


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


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

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



With passion and drive, the Jones family is creating its own chapter in the history of a treasured landmark. The beauty and tranquillity of “Glenrock,” Tenterfield captivated Annie Jones at first sight. “I instantly fell in love with the garden,” she recalls happily. So impressed with the historic 200-acre property, Annie and husband Chris bought it the same day, beginning a life-changing journey. At the heart of “Glenrock” are 10 acres of magnificent gardens that encapsulate the distinct seasons experienced high in the Northern Tablelands. Over the past six years, this enterprising couple and their family have embraced the site’s beauty and character to create a distinctive destination and events venue, Glenrock Gardens. Accommodation is available in a charming cottage on the grounds. The award-winning gardens provide a magical backdrop for any occasion or event including weddings, family gatherings, tours, conferences and workshops. The couple are forging their own vision for “Glenrock”, embracing its wonderful legacy of history and horticultural development. Having spent many years living in the Gold Coast hinterland with busy careers in business and health, they were keen to pursue a strong affinity for country life. Chris grew up on the land at Narrabri, while Annie spent her childhood in Hobart where a love of gardens and yearning for a cool temperate garden of her own was born. A nurse, Annie also studied horticultural therapy and believes gardening nurtures people on many levels. “Gardening heightens your senses, is evocative of memories and is so rewarding,” she says. In the year before they moved permanently to their new home, regular visits strengthened connection with the garden.


“We got to know it, watching the seasons and light. We just love it.” The predominantly English-style garden was designed and developed by renowned garden designer Carolyn Robinson and husband Peter over a 25-year period from the early 1990s. Strong structure and thoughtful planting ensures colour and interest in all seasons. Drystone walls wind through majestic trees, while old-fashioned roses, shrubs and deep perennial borders surround a series of 10 interconnecting lakes. Plants and walkways define charming garden rooms, terraces, open spaces and croquet lawn. The garden sits harmoniously in its rural environment, also incorporating local native plant species that reflect the surrounding landscape. It is widely regarded as one of Australia’s finest and most inspiring gardens. “Glenrock” is steeped in history, having originally been part of the iconic “Tenterfield Station,” subdivided in 1901. Originally a four-room dwelling, the brick homestead dates to 1892. Various renovations were done over the years before Chris and Annie completed a major rebuild in 2019, opening up the building while retaining the original profile. Through its various owners, and local people working on or visiting the property over many years, there is a strong district association. “It is nice to have that connection, and for people to gather here with family and friends.” The gardens are open every weekend, and guided tours can also be arranged. Private events are held year-round, and weddings are especially popular. A fabulous recent addition is an allweather venue, The Barn, which has a beautiful aspect overlooking the main lake, and seats up to 120 people.

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

With oak tables and chairs, festoon lighting and a commercial kitchen, the possibilities for creating a memorable event are endless. The Barn has added to the many options for a wedding or any special event at “Glenrock” for large or more intimate gatherings. There is also the lovely ambience of the gazebo, lake pontoon, and various picturesque settings throughout the garden and across the terraces. The surrounding paddocks provide a classic rural backdrop. The photographic opportunities are superb. Add musicians on the deck, refreshments on the lawn, and the stage is set for a perfect celebration. Various wedding packages are available. Inquiries are welcome to discuss how any event can be customised to suit. “We can help take care of everything,” Annie says.

Cooking, painting, photography, yoga, and bird watching are some of the many workshops that have been hosted on site. Accommodation is a delightful couples’ cottage beside the lake on the edge of the garden (bookings through Airbnb). Renovation of the quaint building was one of the couple’s first projects, and where they resided while the homestead work was undertaken. The Cottage is a peaceful retreat with a cosy loft bedroom and fully equipped kitchen. Meal arrangements can also be made with The Barn. From the verandah, watch the kangaroos and abundant birdlife, take a picnic hamper and explore the grounds or venture further afield into the picturesque Tenterfield region. “It is such a beautiful area, with a fabulous town and community,” Annie says. >


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Paths invite exploration; exceptional design and thoughtful plant selection create a stunning picture; a series of lakes add to the garden’s appeal, along with special places to relax. FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: Beautiful drystone walls and details feature throughout the 10-acre garden; Annie and Chris Jones have developed Glenrock Gardens as a perfect setting for any special occasion or event.


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

THERE IS A HARD-WORKING TEAM BEHIND THE SCENES TO BRING TOGETHER THE MANY FACETS OF GLENROCK GARDENS. “We have great local businesses, and plenty of accommodation in town, too.” “Glenrock” is part of Tenterfield’s popular Easter Autumn Festival when the highlands’ exceptional colour and gentle light of the season shine. Annie loves the changing seasons and closely observes which plants flourish in the climate, which can range from well into minus degrees to the mid 30s. “You need the right plants for your climate and aspect. Here there are repeat plantings of strong performers.” She believes part of the garden’s charm is the many relatable vignettes, such as a perfectly placed feature tree or mass grouping of perennials and grasses. Many plants from the garden are propagated and available from the nursery, opened in 2020.

For Annie and Chris, the past few years have been busy and productive but also challenging, such as the battle against a devastating bushfire that tore through the area in late 2019. “We were more fortunate than many,” Annie says quietly. “The fire did impact our property but Chris with the help of fire crews saved the buildings and most of the garden was spared. “The intensity of the fire was incredible. A helicopter drew water from the lake to protect the house. It was a frightening few days.” Affected areas of the garden were cut back, mulched and fertilised, and have regenerated well. There is a hard-working team behind the scenes to bring together the many facets of Glenrock Gardens.

Working alongside Annie and Chris with complementary skills are their daughters. Madeleine is wedding and events manager, runs the B&B, and showcases Glenrock Gardens with beautiful imagery. Ally is involved with branding and design, social media and advertising. Valuable team members assist also with the many tasks. As the garden matures, tree maintenance is a vital and ongoing job. The gardens and café are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday (except public holidays). The restaurant will open Friday and Saturday evenings in the near future. Chef Josh Telford provides a delicious seasonal menu, with wine from local vineyards. More events such as this year’s acclaimed Easter Gourmet Long Lunch are planned. Local and regional produce is used wherever possible. The longer-term vision includes growing the paddock to plate experience with produce from “Glenrock.” Annie talks excitedly of their plans. “There is so much to look forward to. We enjoy sharing this special place so others can love it as much as we do.” RLM Words: Elizabeth Grant Images: Madeleine Jones

For updates follow Glenrock Gardens socials, and you can subscribe to their newsletter via glenrockgardens.com.au.

FROM TOP LEFT: The hard-working team at Glenrock Gardens; The Barn is a beautifully appointed, all-weather venue. LEFT: Located lakeside in the grounds of “Glenrock,” accommodation at The Cottage offers a delightful country retreat.



Cafe, gardens & nursery open Friday to Sunday 10am - 5pm 84 Robinsons Lane Tenterfield, NSW 2372 Ph. 02 6736 1831 admin@glenrockgardens.com.au Image: Megan Kelly Studio


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

seize the day Driving down the quiet road to Carpe Diem Guesthouse amid the majestic Mount Mackenzie and lush, rolling paddocks, you instinctively know you’re in for a special treat.

When you arrive at the luxurious Carpe Diem Guesthouse, you are greeted by the hint of cinnamon and lavender in the air, upbeat music in the background and the smell of freshly baked scones. The double-sided brick fireplace gives warmth to the large and inviting living area. The attention to detail immediately catches your eye: hutches filled with collectible plates, china cups, old tea and coffee jars, stunning local artworks for sale, beautiful floor coverings and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. The guesthouse comprises four separate rooms, each with its own en suite. Two rooms have vintage-style showers and the other two have large claw-foot bathtubs, also with shower. The bedrooms are large and beautifully appointed, with luxurious coverlets encasing the comfortable queen-sized beds.


All the bedrooms look out onto stunning landscaped gardens with sweeping vistas of Mount Mackenzie and Doctor’s Nose. The path through the gardens leads you to the dam, gazebo and lawns, all combining to make it an ideal and unique wedding and function venue. It’s hard to believe John Hensley and wife Kathryn Davis came to Tenterfield barely five years ago in the middle of a drought. After opting for life in the country, the pair has set new standards in the accommodation stakes for the New England town. The guesthouse has a library and pool room off the main living area. Couples and groups love a game of pool with a glass of wine close at hand. Affable hostess Kathryn will endeavour to make your stay as comfortable as possible, creating your best possible experience – not only at Carpe Diem but in Tenterfield as well.

Kathryn greets her guests with homemade scones, tea and coffee and prepares a country-style cooked breakfast each morning as part of your stay. She can make your dining reservations and suggest sights to see based on how much or how little you wish to do. If it’s your birthday she will strive to create something special and loves nothing more than setting up for Christmas in December and July. If you have come as a group, she can prepare dinners and/ or cheese platters to your requirements. For those looking for a romantic getaway or thinking about popping the question, Kathryn can prepare picnic baskets and recommend little hideaways in the nearby national parks for your perfect proposal location. Barbecues in the warmer months are always a lot of fun, and whatever you need in the way of meat, salads and dessert can be easily sourced locally.

Carpe Diem Cottage

In addition to the guesthouse, John and Kathryn also built a smaller house, Carpe Diem Cottage, on the adjoining block of land. The build for both properties began during the start of COVID-19 and, as it happened, the cottage was completed first. It opened in August 2020 and, despite lockdowns and border restrictions, Kathryn put it on Airbnb where it has been booked every week since for young families and groups to enjoy. The cottage is a self contained four-bedroom, two-bathroom house, which enjoys the same panoramic views as the guesthouse. The interior design is fresh and contemporary and can sleep

up to seven people comfortably. The cottage provides all cooking facilities, toiletries, tea, coffee, eggs, butter, milk and Kathryn even makes a fresh bread for each group when they arrive. “It’s so important that when you enter a property you feel at home,” she says. “In winter I have the fire roaring, the lights on, gentle music playing and the smell of a freshly baked bread and it just creates a warm and inviting atmosphere for when guests arrive.” Since opening the guesthouse and cottage, John and Kathryn have enjoyed consistent five-star reviews and multiple returning guests. The pair particularly love it when couples and even children leave notes thanking them for a wonderful stay. The only complaint ever received was that they (the guests) had to go home. “It is exactly what I wanted,” Kathryn says. “For people from the city to come and experience all of this and see what I see and fall in love with regional Australia as I have. “I enjoy seeing the smiles on my guests’ faces, listening to their adventures around Tenterfield and making sure I can help fill their holiday with memories to last a lifetime.” > FACING PAGE: A night or two at the Carpe Diem Guesthouse is a guaranteed fabulous experience. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The open-plan dining area is a great spot for breakfast; nothing has been left to chance in the guest rooms; the scene from the driveway; hosts Kathryn Davis and John Hensley have gone all out to bring you a refreshing and unforgettable experience.


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

As John and Kathryn had travelled extensively they knew exactly what people would enjoy during their stay.

A tree change for globetrotters

After their marriage in 2012, John and Kathryn bought a house in Sydney’s northern suburbs and began building their life together, putting down roots and creating memories. John worked as a chartered accountant and Kathryn a ballroom and Latin dance teacher. They had travelled extensively, experiencing yoga retreats in Laos, hurricanes in Miami, mountains in Lombok, DMZ in Vietnam to swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean. Little did they know their lives were about to change. In 2014, John suddenly fell ill with viral encephalitis. The ensuing brain injury resulted in memory loss, chronic pain and other associated problems, meaning his working days had come to an end. After years of hospital visits and seeing a variety of doctors and specialists, they felt it was the ideal opportunity to move far away from the bustling city they called home. In 2017, while driving along the New England Highway from Sydney to Brisbane for yet another medical appointment, they arrived in Tenterfield. Kathryn had reached her driving limit and asked John where they could find accommodation for the evening. The next morning, they stepped outside their motel, fully awoken by the crisp mountain air. Just like that, they came to the same conclusion that this was where they were meant to be. Before they even returned home they had planned exactly how the move would work and within a week they found a 10-acre block overlooking Mount Mackenzie. It only took another seven days before they employed the services of a builder who would create their dream home in the bush. A year later, their home was completed and the tree change began in earnest. Although John will never fully recover from his illness, Kathryn started to notice a change in his wellbeing and quality of life. Who knows what brought about this change. It might have been Kathryn’s home-grown vegetables and hearty meals, fresh rainwater from the tank, clean country air, spending time with their newly acquired horses, two dogs and four cats or a


combination of all of the above. The main thing was that he was no longer confined to bed and could once again enjoy life. When the block next door came up for sale, the astute couple felt it would be prudent to buy it to ensure their serenity and amazing views would never be compromised. The big question was: what would they do with it? John and Kathryn realised they knew nothing about farming and as they stood on their newly acquired acreage they thought others may appreciate the view. It was settled that they would build two styles of properties for tourists to enjoy. As John and Kathryn had travelled extensively they knew exactly what people would enjoy during their stay. Kathryn had drawn up the basic plans of the buildings on the back of a napkin and gave it to her builder with the instructions: “I’d like one of these, please.” After a year of building it was time for Kathryn to think about adding the finishing touches. She attended countless auctions and acquired a variety of antiques – old chandeliers that once hung in Stannum House, an old Catholic altar, vintage fabrics to make pillows and re-cover lounges and chairs, old books and rusty machinery, cars and wagon wheels to enhance the gardens. At the official opening, the Mayor attended to cut the ribbon, the local newspaper covered the event for the next edition and hundreds of curious locals flocked to the property for a “squiz”. Champagne and canapés were served upon arrival, proving that Kathryn and John were the consummate hosts. Both properties have since hosted milestone birthdays, Melbourne Cup Day functions and small, intimate weddings. Whatever the occasion, Kathryn can organise catering, decorations, sound and lighting, photographers and videographers, flowers, cakes, winery tours, marquees and so much more. The guesthouse can host up to 30 people and is wheelchair-friendly. The term Carpe Diem, Latin for “seize the day”, continues to be their mantra as this enterprising couple continues to make every day count. RLM ABOVE: Carpe Diem guests can relax in the beautiful surrounds.

Our eight luxurious guest rooms offer the perfect base for a weekend getaway, or the ideal location for your bridal party to stay in style. The hotel lounge is a unique and intimate space for your sumptuous boutique country wedding reception. Take in the restored original Art Deco features of our restaurant and bar whilst you enjoy a lavish food experience, accompanied by world class local wines or craft beers by the open fire. The warmer months offer a great opportunity to take in the sunset on our back deck, or in our newly expanded green garden space. We look forward to seeing you soon.

288 Rouse Street, Tenterfield Ph: (02) 6736 4870 bookings@thecommercialboutiquehotel.com


Tenterfield’s Premier Guesthouse, Cottage and Bed and Breakfast Retreat Accommodation




Experience luxurious modern facilities in a unique Australian setting with panoramic views, and captivating sunsets; only 5kms from the historic township of Tenterfield. Indulge yourself at the Guesthouse with home style cooked breakfasts, scones and baked breads, manicured gardens, and 4 beautifully appointed bedrooms each with their own ensuite or choose the self contained Cottage ideal for families and leave with a lifetime of memories. P: 02 6761 3071 | M: 0492 871 747 21 Millers Lane, Tenterfield, NSW 2372 info@carpediemguesthouse.com.au

carpediemguesthouse.com.au TENTERFIELD RLM 113

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


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

COMMERCIAL SUCCESS The owners of Tenterfield’s Commercial Boutique Hotel saw great potential in the place and set about bringing it to life.

When Tim Dillon’s brother-in-law, Justin Sibley, spotted an abandoned, boardedup, two-storey hotel during a weekend in Tenterfield in 2013, little did Tim know that his life was about to dramatically change. The building was The Commercial Hotel, which was originally built in the mid-1800s, destroyed by fire in the 1930s, rebuilt in the middle of WWII and had stood vacant from 2006-2013. Justin saw its potential as a wine bar, restaurant and boutique accommodation. The Dillon-Sibley clan, made up of Tim, his wife Cassandra, her two siblings Justin and Jodie, and parents Robert and Colleen, are an eclectic bunch. Their careers had included a barrister, diplomat, flight attendant, psychologist, echocardiographer and baker. “Of all the owners, I was bringing in the only hospitality experience, but that was only nine months moonlighting as a bartender in Sydney in my early 20s,” Tim says. “We were really stepping out of our comfort zone. “I’m not a big drinker so I never imagined I would be a part-owner, let alone the publican of a country hotel. “My wife Cassandra had long dreamed of running a little B&B in the country, but this really was next level.” No one in the family had ever undertaken such a large renovation/restoration. “Each of us had our own ideas, which proved both a strength and a hindrance,” Tim says. The work took 12 long months and cost much more than anticipated. Justin, Robert and Cassandra each took turns managing the restoration and by the time The Commercial Boutique Hotel re-opened to the public in 2014, no surface remained untouched. “While there was a lot of financial pressure on the project, we don’t regret our uncompromising approach and we are very proud of the result,” Tim says. The work was extensive and involved much

more than just the public space downstairs. The original hotel had 18 small guest rooms, with shared bathrooms down the hall. Walls were removed to enlarge the rooms, resulting in eight boutique queen guest rooms with en suites. “Everything was done with careful consideration and consultation with a heritage advisor,” Tim says. Today, the hotel employs approximately 20 staff, and patrons can choose between the public bar, wine bar, lounge, dining room, sun deck and beer garden. The lunch and dinner menu features modern cuisine, including seasonal additions straight from the kitchen garden. “The local New England and Granite Belt regions are heavily represented in our beer and wine list,” Tim says. “We source some of the best of the region, but really this region has some of the best of the world.” Local history buffs say that in the 1940s and 1950s, The Commercial was “the place to be”. There were some rollicking periods and also some rougher days in the early 2000s before it closed in 2006. “We have been told by some that Peter Allen used to play here as a lad, but others claim that’s a furphy,” Tim says. “Nonetheless, there is an old piano which has a long history with the hotel, and it sits in the hotel’s lounge as a point of reference to his connection to Tenterfield.” Tim says there have been many things that have challenged the growth of the business. Following consecutive years of worsening drought, the town was besieged by bushfire on September 6, 2019. “That was the first day of the Peter Allen Festival, for which we were a major sponsor, and the fires utterly devastated the attendance,” Tim says. The rains finally came in late January 2020, and eight weeks later, so did the COVID pandemic, shutting down the hotel. Tim believes Tenterfield is again on the


ascendancy, and points to the success of the inaugural Gravel n Granite mountainbiking event in March as a sign of confidence in the town. The hotel has won a bevy of local business and tourism awards, but Tim says the most gratifying feedback is when customers express pleasure in the venue that the owners have worked so hard to revive. “Despite the need to navigate the hazards that continue to appear on the road ahead, we hope and believe that The Commercial Boutique Hotel will prosper for many decades to come.” RLM Words: Liz Tickner

FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: CBH, on the corner of Rouse and High streets, Tenterfield, at dusk; Tim Dillon, Justin Sibley and Cassandra Dillon; manager and part-owner Tim Dillon enjoys a fine scotch; cafe and wine/craft beer bar; deluxe balcony queen room; lounge and sun deck, with views to the western hills.


saddle up

Horse enthusiast Anna Hudson loves following the sport of campdrafting, which originated at the 1885 Tenterfield Show. Forget Christmas or holidays, the highlight of every year for Anna Hudson is the Warwick Gold Cup, the mecca for campdrafters across the country. Anna has been drafting since age 14 and loves nothing more than hooking up the caravan to the truck (loaded with up to five horses) and setting off to a venue hundreds of kilometers away. This busy horse lover divides her time between teaching at the local high school and tending to her beloved stock horses. “Competing in campdraft allows me to gauge how my horses are going,” she says. “It’s a funny sort of adrenalin. You have to be able to read stock, control your horse and hope you get a good draw. If all else fails, you can meet up with friends at the bar. “The best thing is the chance to meet like-minded people from every corner of the country. You make some great mates and it’s really like one big family. We all look out for each other, which helps to get things done.” Her late parents, Noel and Joy Hudson, moved to a five-acre lifestyle block in Tenterfield when she was a toddler before upgrading to a larger property out of town. The family was well known, with Joy a sister to Geoff of Sullivans Newsagency fame. Horses have always played a huge role in Anna’s life, starting when she first climbed aboard a small pony at age three. Two years later she started pony camp with her big sister, Jacqueline, attending every year until she reached the cut-off age of 21. The highly competitive rider always made the cut for the jamboree and was used to bringing home a swag of ribbons from her favourite sporting events including the flag, bending and barrel races. “My mother insisted I take dressage lessons, believing that was the foundation for all horse sports,” Anna says. Her big break after school was joining Droving 88, the Bicentennial Great Cattle Drive from Newcastle Waters in the Northern Territory to Longreach, Queensland. On May 1, 1988, 1200 steers and bullocks donated by 45 pastoralists were sold, making good coin for the soon-to-beopened Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Anna beat thousands of applicants to become one of the lucky few invited to


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

Killarney Station for a fortnight. One person was selected from each station to ride with the team over the last two weeks of the 2000km journey. Anna was given the nod and is still in touch with the chief organiser, Allan Hagan, and some of the crew 34 years later. “It was so energising,” Anna says. “I loved it. I went up to Alroy Downs, close to Tennant Creek, for a season as a jillaroo. I loved the farm life back home with my parents but this was a whole new level.” Anna completed her teacher training in Armidale before taking a year off to visit horse ranches in Canada and America. Upon her return she commenced her fourth year in Special Education, with a two-teacher primary school in Gravesend her first posting. Never one to let an opportunity pass, she later joined her then boyfriend in Japan for a 10-month stint breaking in horses. One of the highlights was spending a few months working at a farming theme park in the Japanese Alps. “One woman I was working with had trained many of the farm animals in the movie Babe,” she says. “When we weren’t flat strap, we would spend our time teaching tricks to the horses for the amusement of the endless tourists.”

Back in Tenterfield, she returned to casual teaching and horse-breaking duties, later spending 18 years with the RTA. After her mother died, she cared for her father when he was diagnosed with cancer many years later. They got to spend that last precious year of his life on the farm. The two were very close and shared a strong bond with horses. These days, Anna has returned to teaching in a schedule that fits in well with her farm, where she runs a small herd of Angus breeders alongside her stock horses. Her stallion, Kirkby Stud Rebound, lives on the farm with brood mares, competition horses and young ones coming on. “Between looking after Dad, the drought and COVID-19, I haven’t had the chance to attend many drafts but am looking forward to getting back into it,” she says. Over the years, Anna has proved a strong competitor at Paradise Lagoons, Rockhampton and the Warwick Gold Cup. She has run off the Canning Downs, placing second, along with the stallions’ draft and placing in the ladies’ draft at the Warwick Gold Cup, and winning many state titles. “Campdrafting is one of the only sports that is not gender or aged based,” she says.

The sport is thought to have developed in outback Queensland among the stockmen and drovers in informal competitions to prove their horse skills. The first campdrafting competition was staged at the 1885 Tenterfield Show, where local cattleman and horse breeder Clarence Smith created the rules that have barely changed in almost 140 years. Anna often thinks of the connection as she continues striving in the horse world. She makes and sells halters as a sideline business and recently started running clinics covering horsemanship and cattle work. Her horses have given her immense joy and satisfaction over the years. Up here in the rocky granite hills of home, her exuberant four-legged friends are champing at the bit to get her over the line at the next draft. RLM

FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: Anna Hudson riding Wannalook Snowonder in her favourite sport of campdrafting; Anna with memories from Warwick. ABOVE: Anna with favourite campdrafting charge Wannalook Sweet Ta Cee and mini foxie Bear.


history close to home

The history of Tenterfield is wrapped up in Centenary Cottage, built as a private residence for Michael Egan in 1871.

The land on which Centenary Cottage stands was bought in the first sale of town land in 1854. The cottage was built 20 years later and stands as a fine example of colonial architecture. It was opened as a museum by the Tenterfield Historical Society in 1971. The cottage houses a large collection of memorabilia and historical material relating to Tenterfield and its surrounding district. History buffs will enjoy the Sir Harry Chauvel Gallery, built from a bequest from his sister, the famous artist Lillian Chauvel. Dozens of her paintings are on display. It tells the story of the formation of the NSW Mounted Infantry, whose headquarters were in Tenterfield, and the Light Horse volunteers who served in the Boer War and WWI. The gallery is a memorial to the first Australian to command a military corps. In 1929, Sir Harry Chauvel was the first to reach the rank of general before retiring a year later. His military career wasn’t quite over, as he was recalled in World War II as Inspectorin-Chief for the Volunteer Defence Corps. Another person represented in the museum is Sir Stuart Donaldson, who owned a massive sheep run known as Tenterfield Station and became the first NSW premier in 1856. Petrie Pioneer Cottage, in all its finery, is adjacent to Centenary Cottage. With its two front rooms made of local pitsaw hardwood, slab and battens with board roof, the cottage reflects a typical 1860s workman’s home. The cottage is filled with furnishings and artefacts from that era.


Originally named Atherstone Cottage, it is the last remaining and largest of three slab cottages. They occupied prime land in Rouse Street (now part of a shopping centre) and in 1984, this one was saved and relocated to its current position. It is thought that bushranger Captain Thunderbolt stayed in the boarding house after he held up the second owner of the cottage. Volunteer Chris Moon has always been interested in history, especially since

moving to Tenterfield five years ago. Chris is a long-term collector of old bottles and antiques, with a particular fondness for old pharmaceutical memorabilia. RLM The museum is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, subject to staff availability. ABOVE: Centenary Cottage is a must-see; a keen collector of old bottles and antiques, Chris Moon is the perfect museum volunteer; there’s plenty to see in the well thought-out space.

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

the Tenterfield TALES Peter Harris is a committed storyteller of Tenterfield’s fascinating history.

Tenterfield’s 2022 Citizen of the Year, Peter Harris, had a chilly introduction to his adopted hometown in the 1950s, arriving on the freezing cold mail train to visit an uncle. He immediately felt a connection with the town. The travelling troubadour later returned to live in wild granite country on the edge of the shire. “I had been a wandering musician most of my life with much of my music inspired by nature and Australian landscape,” Peter says. “I was fascinated by local wildlife creatures and wrote and narrated many stories about them for Macca on Australia All Over.” Peter was a classical pianist in the 1960s and a decade later released a number of vinyl albums as part of a Sydney duo. Prior to that he’d been successful writing advertising jingles. Eventually he was drawn to the township with its many historic buildings, including the museum at Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts. With his passion for the past, he began to understand the significance of the grand town on the edge of the colonial border. “Early investors in the city found it an opportune place to catch a piece of the action,” he says. “This was where tariffs were collected and money changed hands. However, the great ideas man of politics, Sir Henry Parkes, had other plans, setting his sights on Federation. “He had a number of persuasive reasons, including shared defence and free trade. In 1889, Parkes travelled north on the newly completed Great Northern Railway and held discussions with his Queensland counterparts. Returning to Sydney, he stopped in Tenterfield, a pro-Federation town. “Parkes had fond memories of Tenterfield, having been the town’s local member a few years before. The wily Sir Henry planned a clever publicity stunt, delivering his stirring Federation speech in the School of Arts before promptly hightailing it out of town.” On the new fast train, he was back in Sydney within 12 hours, timed perfectly to arrive just as the morning papers reported his Tenterfield address. The telegraph system had been busy, painstakingly transferring the story overnight from Tenterfield Post Office, one word at a time. Though Federation discussions had been ongoing for some time, Parkes’s clever timing brought the whole vision successfully into the public domain, igniting Peter’s passion for the Federation town. Over the years, Peter recorded a number of special programs with the ABC including the story of Burke and Wills, partly told through the skills of Sydney jazz musicians. He’s found it fascinating to explore and research the many layers of Tenterfield’s history. Peter mainly shoots documentaries, which are shown on the big screen at the School of Arts cinema, one of the real gems of Tenterfield. The Mechanics’ Institute was another name for the Scottish movement where people came together to learn as artisans and mechanics traditionally worked with their hands. The first School of Arts building included a reading room to cater for the primarily illiterate population. Newspaper broadsheets were pinned up in the newly built reading rooms, offering a place to catch up on the latest news,

while others used it as a place to improve their reading skills. Over the 150 years of its existence, the School of Arts has continued to serve the changing needs of the community. After the war, much of the educational work of the schools of arts was taken over by government education facilities, and in other centres many of these buildings were demolished. Tenterfield School of Arts faced the same threat in the 1950s but nobody counted on the tenacity of locals who loved the historic building that’s always been the town’s centre of education. They took the issue to Parliament where an Act was drawn up to save the facility. As part of the decision, the National Trust was established through the granting of a tax-free status. “Tenterfield has played a role in a number of important national issues,” Peter says. “We have the coin worn by Breaker Morant when he famously goaded the firing squad by yelling: ‘Shoot straight, you bastards’. You can see a bullet hole through the coin. “A local solicitor had been appointed to defend him, a token gesture by the Poms, of course. But these days we sort out our arguments on the cricket pitch in a much more civilised manner.” Thanks to the efforts of visionary Tenterfield locals, the building that’s played such an enormous role in shaping Australia’s history remains intact for all to enjoy. RLM CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Peter Harris stands in front of a painting of Sir Henry Parkes; the room where Sir Henry delivered his stirring Federation speech; the theatre; the historic Tenterfield School of Arts building.


an extraordinary LIFE As historic Tenterfield Station nears the 100th anniversary of occupation by the Dean family, current custodian Beryl Dean reflects on her lifetime association with the property and its colourful past.

From the early 1840s, Tenterfield Station became the springboard for European occupation in the district and growth of the nearby town. It was the home of NSW’s first premier, Sir Stuart Donaldson, and frequently visited by Banjo Paterson as he courted and eventually married Alice Walker, the daughter of WH Walker, the station’s third owner. The Walkers were reportedly worth as much, in today’s terms, as Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart. The bush bard was not the only great romance associated with the property, reveals Beryl Dean, who was brought up on the other side of the world in very different circumstances. During WW2, she was just a young girl trying to stay alive during the bombing raids over London. For the first six years she never knew her father, who was away doing his bit for King and country. The family had no idea if he was even alive. Years later, they learnt he escaped from Dunkirk on a tiny vessel back to England, while the bigger boats around him were bombed mercilessly by the German Luftwaffe. “I was eight months old when the war started and six by the time it was over,” she recalls. “I remember the bombing raids like they were yesterday, along with the constant hunger and carrying a gas mask everywhere.” Just when things couldn’t get much worse, Beryl succumbed to scarlet fever and chicken pox. In her bid to walk again and strengthen the muscles damaged by her illness, she took ballet classes three times a week. Life after the war was never going to be easy, with many areas reduced to rubble. Her father, Francis Keenan, a Scotsman, returned home from work one day and announced to his wife Ethel that they were going to migrate to Australia. In 1951, the family, including Beryl’s older brother Colin, boarded the SS Asturias, a former luxury liner turned troop ship then a migrant mover. They moved into the migrant hostel in East


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

Hills, Sydney, spending the next 15 months acclimatising to life Down Under. Her father began driving cranes at the docks, saving enough to buy his first car. The only problem was they were living in a unit without a garage to house his treasured Vanguard. He found space for it a few houses down the street, owned by two elderly sisters who happened to be the aunts of Harry Dean from Tenterfield Station. Each year, Harry would stay with them during his annual pilgrimage to the Sydney Royal Easter Show. It was in that very garage where Beryl, the pocket rocket (a smidgen over five feet tall) first set eyes on the towering, handsome stranger. “I’ll never forget the moment I saw him. I was this small, skinny thing and he was sixfoot tall with piercing, blue eyes,” she laughs. Harry, 34, wed his 19-year-old bride in Sydney in 1958, before setting off for a Queensland honeymoon, most of it spent in his fancy new Chevrolet. During long hours of driving, Beryl learnt more about her husband, who had served in the demanding 2/8 Australian Commando squadron during the war. “It was tough,” Beryl says. “Men even lost their lives in the rigorous training. Harry and his mates saw action in Bougainville, New Guinea.” Theirs wasn’t an easy kind of love. While Beryl’s family weren’t exactly poor, she did not come from old money – a prerequisite if one was to be accepted into “high society”. Harry didn’t mind but his family was another matter entirely. “I was told I wasn’t good enough or sufficiently well educated to be part of the family,” she explains. “I was just a naive city girl from the other side of the world and nobody thought I was up to the challenge. To prove them wrong, every time they asked me to do something on the farm, I threw myself into it.” As a new bride, she received a “calling card” from some society ladies and knew

this was the time to make an impression so Beryl did what she still loves doing to this day: she baked. After dropping the freshly made chocolate cake she hastily whipped up another, mistakenly using salt instead of castor sugar. It was not her finest hour. Those first few months on the station were long and hard, tending to 300 pigs, cattle and sheep. Then there was the apple orchard that saw diminutive Beryl peering over the steering wheel of the tractor, quite an education for the transplanted Pom. At the end of an exhausting day, she would return to the 13-room homestead she shared with not only Harry but his mother and brother, too. For a while they lived in town where Harry and his brother ran the Tenterfield butchery. After almost a century of ownership by the Dean family, Tenterfield Station is finally getting the facelift it so richly deserves. “I’m very excited about seeing the restoration project take place, mainly through the efforts of Tenterfield Mayor Bronwyn Petrie, who recognised the historical significance and huge potential for the town’s tourism,” Beryl says. “I hope I live long enough to see the grand old lady fully restored to her former glory.” Most work so far has been focused on the verandah and outside posts, but it’s going to be a long, slow process, having stood vacant for the past 30 years since Beryl moved to a more modern house on the property. Up until COVID struck, Beryl taught aerobics twice a week for 31 years and misses the interaction with her students and friends. She’s a keen photographer and avid history buff, which comes in handy when she’s called on to conduct homestead tours. Awards have been bestowed on Beryl for her years of promoting Tenterfield through her historic home, including Tenterfield Legend at the Oracles of the Bush Festival and Apex Club Citizen of the Year. Although Harry died in 2002 after 46 years of a happy and fruitful marriage, Beryl still has their two wonderful children,

John in Brisbane, and Victoria FultonKennedy and seven grandchildren. A humble woman, her Christian faith is still as strong as it was during those bombing raids during the war. She feels blessed to have survived a life that wasn’t always easy. Her intestinal fortitude has helped her through years of caring for her mother, her husband and then her brother. Aged 83, she still keeps an eye on the farm, which has thankfully been whittled down from its original 125,000 acres to a much more manageable 432 acres. Since her arrival on Australian shores 70 years ago, Beryl has embraced her new land with absolute respect for the historic home that’s been entrusted to her family. Who would have thought this young bride who came to Tenterfield not knowing the difference between a cow and a bull would be the one left to keep this important part of history alive and hopefully see it brought back to its former glory. RLM CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The Tenterfield Station homestead has strong ties to the birth of Tenterfield; a rustic outbuilding; the remnants of the old stables; old newspaper clippings of the historic station. FACING PAGE: Custodian Beryl Dean keeps the flame alive at Tenterfield Station.



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

survive and


They say the grass is greenest where you water it and this phrase rings true for Kim Massie, owner of the Bungalow and Ivy Leaf Chapel in Tenterfield. Kim Massie defiantly chose her own path, channelling a cruel twist of fate into hard work in the garden, getting her hands dirty in the soil that became her salve. She created her own refuge from the busyness that plagues the minds and bodies of the modern world and now she is sharing her very special piece of the countryside with guests to her home and garden through Airbnb stays, weddings and special events. When Kim moved to Tenterfield from Sydney in 2007 with her husband and three children, Peter, 4, Zac, 7, and Chelsea, 11, it was the tree change they had been working towards for years. In 2010, they found the Bungalow built around 1915 and set on 1.6 acres. It was all her country-style dreams come true. Growing up, her Sydney postcode technically made her a city kid but her heart told a different story. The daughter of a country boy who was passionate about nature and conservation and a mother who was a Geography teacher, Kim was encouraged by her parents to have a healthy respect for nature. Kim always took a keen interest in any activities that took her beyond the city limits or into her dad’s shed, where they built things together. It was always outside the city that Kim felt most at home. At 22, she left the city and headed west for Broken Hill. It was here in the outback that, against all odds, she had her first success planting a garden. After moving to Tenterfield, Kim crossed paths with garden designer Carolyn Robinson, who was the landscape architect behind the famed Glenrock Gardens on the outskirts of town. Having taken notice of Kim’s gardening prowess, Carolyn brought her on to work alongside her at Glenrock. “I couldn’t absorb enough from her; she was the most incredible teacher,” Kim says.

Back at her own property, Kim allowed several seasons to go by before turning any soil. “I wanted to get a feel for the sort of garden that I wanted here,” she says. Finally, inspired by her newfound knowledge, Kim made plans for her own garden and ran the design by her mentor, who gave it her blessing. By autumn 2012, the front garden was fully planted. However, work came to a screeching halt when in July Kim was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and told she would probably never garden again. She was thrown into a whirlwind of intense treatment and decision making. How was she supposed to fit the rest of her life into the year that doctors gave her to live? Thankfully, her sister-in-law suggested a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat. “Ten days of silence and learning how to meditate was one of the most incredible things that I have ever done,” she says. By day 10, she had learned how to sweep clear her mind and body, allowing her to slow down and take things in. While Kim has never been a religious person, Vipassana opened her up to a spiritual world. “I learned how to home in on my own energy and control it to my advantage.” Sick of feeling dangerously ill from her treatment and tired of being unable to participate in the life she had left, she took matters into her own hands and made the decision to stop treatment. Day by day, she started to regain a bit of strength, and the possibility of gardening started to seem like a reality. “One day I was sitting with Carolyn having a cuppa in my back garden and she said ‘I don’t think you are going to die, you better start planting your garden’.” And so she did, planting the entire English-inspired back garden by the end of 2013, less than a year after she was told

that she only had a year to live. In 2016, she began a special project in the side paddock, a living structure that is now known as the Ivy Leaf Chapel. Inspiration for the project came from a trip to Japan where she visited a number of shrines and temples, taking time to sit and meditate within them. She recalls the most incredible feeling of peace. She wanted to create a space where she could cultivate this same feeling at home. She crafted a church-like frame for the ivy vines to grow around and surrounded her chapel with maples, conifers and blossom trees that all play a special role throughout the changing seasons. It’s not a traditional church but this spot is no less sacred. It has become an essential part of Kim’s health regimen and daily routine. “I sit out there in the mornings with my cup of coffee, and even if it’s for only two minutes I sweep through my body and clear out the cancer cells. They come out like stars through my fingers and my toes. I envision them scattering, turning into star dust and floating away.” Nearly a decade on, she is staying well. Opening the doors to her home and gardens as a gracious host through her B&B bookings, garden tours, intimate weddings and more, is a role that Kim cherishes, welcoming visitors with open arms not only to her property but her town of Tenterfield, which has so much to offer. RLM Words: Jennifer Harden Images: Lara Flanagan

FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: Aerial and side views of the Ivy Leaf Chapel in Tenterfield; repurposed wheelbarrow with plantings; the Bungalow surrounded by garden; an aerial view of the front garden; cosy interior welcomes guests; inspiring owner and creator of the Bungalow and Ivy Leaf Chapel Kim Massie.


Home to Lara’s Tenterfield collection of wood prints, greeting cards, calendars & tea-towels. Here you will also find her picture poetry inspiration & My Notes of Hope fragrance products.

The Bungalow & Ivy Leaf Chapel

Beauty, hope, joy, & inspiration.



You’ll adore our springtime blossoms, elegant summer gardens, fiery orange autumns and relaxing winter fires! Which season will you book your next romantic getaway? 141 MILES STREET TENTERFIELD NSW 2372 PH. 0428 669 121


Ph. 0489 927 845 234 Rouse Street, Tenterfield




A ANTIQUES NTIQUES * JEWELLERY * ESTATE * FABRIC * TURKISH POTS * ARTIFACTS Specialising in antique, estate, art deco and reproduction jewellery. Discover unique pieces from the Turkish Ottoman Empire, enamel jewellery from Russia as well as traditional English pieces. The store also sells beautiful homewares, middle eastern rugs, Turkish pashminas, clothing, unique gifts, garden sculptures and so much more.

02 6736 1213 182 Rouse Street, Tenterfield NSW 124 RLM TENTERFIELD

Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm Saturday 9am - 3pm

* This festival and associated events will be subject to NSW State Government COVID restrictions & regulations, and may be subject to change.

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


once upon a time

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

Lara Flanagan’s work provides inspiration to embrace the adventurer, dreamer and storyteller within ourselves. Just over a decade ago, Lara Flanagan was a relative newcomer to Tenterfield. She and her twins, Archie and Rissie, who were four at the time, left the Gold Coast on what she calls a “whim and a prayer”. What she thought would last three months turned into buying a cottage and settling into country life. In 2013, a surprise MS diagnosis threatened to dampen Lara’s adventurous and positive spirit but she pushed back through a daily walking routine that would become a near obsession. Walking kept her mind, body and spirit strong, ultimately leading her to her beloved role as the Little Tenterfield Shopkeeper at My Notes From Gallery & Store on the main street of the town that stole her heart. “I made a promise to myself that regardless of what happened I would always start the day with something beautiful,” she says. Her morning walk was the perfect way to keep that promise to herself. At the time, taking photos of local scenery was part of her role managing the Tenterfield Visitors Centre but by 2015 she was ready to go freelance and her walk was already an essential part of her routine. A self-taught photographer and poet, Lara prefers to call herself a storyteller. “I believe every image I capture is telling the story of my life,” says Lara, whose life story so far has been a well-travelled one. If a younger Lara had to venture a guess at where in the world she would settle down, the northern highlands of NSW wouldn’t have been on the list. After growing up on the Gold Coast, the self-proclaimed city and coast chick called Brisbane, Japan and the UK home. However, despite finding her forever home in Tenterfield, Lara’s adventurous spirit still cries out. In 2016, she and her twins embarked on a nine-month backpacking experience splitting their time evenly between the USA, Costa Rica and Italy. Lara says in Italy she “lost the desire to travel anywhere else”. She promised herself that she would spend the rest of her life getting to know the two countries to which her heart connected the most, Australia and Italy. “I would rather know two places well than a whole lot of places not at all.” With Lara’s wanderlust steadied, the trio returned to Italy for six weeks in both 2018 and 2019. They worked in exchange for a place to stay, a little apartment in a medieval village in Tuscany. Their “work” was speaking English to an Italian family who became like their own.

A restored 1969 Viscount caravan name Tiney-Boppa was a present to herself in 2020, a consolation when travel abroad was off the table and a way to more easily explore our own shores. Tiney-Boppa is named in honour of Lara’s sister Justine, who died in 2017. Justine gifted Lara her first DSLR camera and strongly encouraged her sister to follow the photography path. Photography has led Lara to where she is today. After a couple of years selling her prints at the markets, she opened up in her first location in 2021 and in January 2022 jumped at the chance to move her shop to an ideal location on the main street. In addition to her work capturing the beauty in and around Tenterfield, Lara is also available for a range of photography services and cherishes the opportunity to help you tell your own story. “With my store I wanted to create a place to share my stories – a place that would provide beauty, hope, joy and inspiration.” It is inspiration to embrace the adventurer, dreamer and storyteller within yourself. RLM Words: Jennifer Harden Images: Lara Flanagan

FACING PAGE: Photographer and storyteller Lara Flanagan (pictured centre) is inspired by her surroundings in Tenterfield; the interior and exterior of her shop , which stocks her Tenterfield print collection as well as other gifts such as photographic tea towels . ABOVE: Lara Flanagan with her dogs Kevin and Rosie; Lara with her 15-year-old twins Archie and Rissie.



Margot Rees’s love for exotic and antique jewellery is proudly on display throughout her exquisite Tenterfield store. Margot Rees has been dealing in antique jewellery for 40 years, cutting her teeth at London’s famous Portobello Road Markets and later buying in exotic locations such as Turkey and India. But her love of antique jewellery and passion for travel dates back even earlier, to her childhood in Sydney. “My mum and her father loved antiques and, being the youngest of a large family, I was taken along with them to auctions in Sydney,” Margot says. “I was always drawn to the jewellery section and even as a small child the dealers would recognise me and let me try on things and tell me what they were and where they came from. “I also have a love of travel. My father was a Qantas pilot and I was fortunate enough to start travelling when I was about 10.”



Margot trained as a nurse in Sydney before moving to London. She continued her nursing career but in her spare time travelled to Paris to buy jewellery to on-sell at the Portobello Markets. She learnt a lot and her passion for buying and selling antique jewellery was sealed. Margot eventually returned to Australia, and in 1989 she opened an antique jewellery store in Armidale. “I had a massive robbery in Armidale and lost all my traditional English fob chains, fobs and lockets,” Margot says. “But I realised the fashion was altering and I was one of the first people to get out of the traditional English antique pieces. “I went to Turkey for a holiday and it opened my eyes to what else was out there.

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

It is here that she sells what she describes as a “conglomerate of liveable pieces we want in our homes”. FACING PAGE: Margot Edwina Rees Antiques, in Rouse Street, Tenterfield, specialises in antique estate and new jewellery. THIS PAGE: Margot, top left, hand selects every piece in the store, which makes for a very special shopping experience.

“The robbery made me look outside the square.” Margot moved to Tenterfield 19 years ago and, together with her husband Scott Parker, restored a colonial building in Rouse Street. It was an act of love for the largely derelict building, the exterior of which is listed by the National Trust. Not only was the old building saved from ruin, but the purposebuilt interior fit-out meant that Scott could operate his chiropractic clinic upstairs while Margot ran her antique business downstairs. Margot says that walking into her shop is like entering Aladdin’s Cave. “My love is for exotic, handmade jewellery,” Margot says. “I also love history and the influence it has on everything we do.” Margot continued to travel to Turkey at least once a year until the COVID pandemic. She sourced antique Ottoman diamond, emerald and ruby jewellery handset in traditional designs that was made in Constantinople before it became Istanbul. “A lot of jewellery from Russia comes through the Port of Odessa in the Ukraine then across the Black Sea into Turkey,” Margot says. “Unfortunately, with the war between Russia and the Ukraine that won’t be happening now.” Margot also travels to India to buy stones that she takes to jewellers in Istanbul to have set. She buys Georgian and Victorian jewellery from England, as well as fine English and European porcelain and silverware.

Pieces are also sourced from antique fairs, deceased estates, and also over-the-counter purchases, sometimes from people trading up. Margot opened a second shop, across the courtyard from her jewellery store, eight years ago. It is here that she sells what she describes as a “conglomerate of liveable pieces we want in our homes”. She also imports fabrics from Turkey and quilts and linen from India. “I love colour and the exotic fabrics that are found in countries such as Turkey, India, Syria and Iran,” Margot says. Margot’s shops are a Mecca for visitors to Tenterfield and people living locally. “The 14-year-old girl who wants to buy a pair of earrings is as equally important to me as the wealthy customer who can afford a ring costing thousands of dollars,” Margot says. “That young girl will turn into a 24-year-old who becomes engaged, and that’s how my business grows. “Repeat business is vital, and the ability to teach about gems and jewellery techniques is important for my clients to develop their own love of jewellery.” Margot’s philosophy is as simple as it is profound: “I don’t feel I go to work, I just spend my working hours playing with beautiful jewellery. “I am a truly lucky person.” RLM Words: Liz Tickner Images: Lara Flanagan and supplied







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

keeping track OF THE PAST

The area’s railway history is alive and well at the Tenterfield Railway Station Museum.

In the 1800s, railway lines were criss-crossing continents throughout the world, and the Australian colonies were no exception. With the formidable eastern ranges, connecting the capital cities of Brisbane and Sydney was always going to be a daunting task. Back in the mid 1800s, Tenterfield’s 1500 residents were hoping their town would be the junction for the NSW and Queensland rail lines. Sadly, inter-colonial politics led to a new town and station being built on the Queensland side of the border. The railway opened in 1886 and two years later was extended to Wallangarra on the border, connecting Sydney and Brisbane for the first time, with a break-of-gauge at Wallangarra. The good times didn’t last long. The town was bypassed in 1932 by the fully standard gauge North Coast line that now connected the two capital cities and the bigger population of coastal residents. The Main North line is now closed north of Armidale, and the Tenterfield Railway Station Museum opened in 1991. The last station master, Max Cooper, left his post a few years earlier but left a lasting legacy on the platform – a magnificent oasis of ferns and hanging pots. The spirit and history of the railway is kept alive by volunteers like Frank and Lois McGuinness, two of about 56 financial members. They are an interesting group that includes former farmers, schoolteachers, a doctor and retired businessmen. Frank, a former firey for 30 years, says that in its heyday, Tenterfield was the terminus for the Great Northern Line.

“All the goods trains from Sydney stopped here, where they were loaded with livestock, produce, wool and tin for the return trip. For many years it was hoped it would become a major railway hub but it never quite happened that way.” The nearby pub, The Lodge, was once the W Crisp Temperance Hotel and Coffee Palace, where travellers could get a bed but no beer. In today’s terms, you could book a room for one dollar a night or for the budget conscious, pay a bargain 20 cents to sleep on the balcony. RLM

The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 4pm and school holidays.

ABOVE: The Tenterfield Railway Museum serves as a reminder of the importance of rail in the history of the town. FACING PAGE: 1. The museum details the history of rail in Tenterfield; 2. The signal lever frame from Bolivia Station; 3. The old carriages were built for space and comfort; 4. A diesel 727 used on country lines from 1961 to 2007; 5. A miniature model railway with the engine driver’s barracks in the background; 6. Volunteer Frank McGuinness with a railway lantern used in the days before electricity; 7. The railway in horse and buggy days; 8. This 1917 meat truck transported beef to butcher’s shops in Sydney; 9. The leafy plants add colour to the station; 10. The ticket office with the station master’s safe; 11. A dozen trikes used for track inspection and maintenance.




The Tenterfield Artists Collective Studio Gallery celebrates the many and varied skills of local creatives. With the aim of exhibiting and promoting local artists and artisans, a small group of Tenterfield creatives came together and formed a collective in 2013. The Rouse Street studio has been a hive of activity for close to a decade. Local artists have featured prominently in a series of exciting opening nights, showcasing their various talents. Starting off in a smaller venue, they moved within a year of opening due to the positive response from local artists and those keen to see and purchase quality artworks. Four or five major exhibitions are held annually. The Australiana Art Prize 9 by 5 event was introduced in 2019, celebrating the early Australian impressionist movement. Thanks to the generosity of local law firm Jennings & Kneipp, it’s since become an annual exhibition. New England Tablelands artist Liz Powell has continued to expand her portfolio of interests since graduating from the National Art School in 1978 with both national and international exhibitions to her credit. Using paper as the basis for much of her art making, she draws on a range of techniques acquired over the years to complete her works. Anni Washington began her artistic endeavours with watercolours and was captivated by the excitement and spontaneity of this challenging medium. “Watercolour can be a hard, and sometimes unforgiving taskmaster, yet a surprising and, when successful, hugely rewarding one,” she says. For 35 years, she’s learnt to coax and cajole watercolours before working with the medium to make magic happen. Of late, Anni has explored acrylics and oils to give texture to her abstract landscapes. Flora and fauna have always inspired Tenterfield artist Nola Sindel but it was only after retirement she transferred her thoughts to canvas. Gardening, bushwalking and observing native wildlife compelled Nola to use watercolour, graphite and coloured pencil to include the fine details of each living species. “My challenge is to illustrate the delicacy and variety of plants and the unique and wonderful world of our native animals in my paintings,” she says. From a rural background, artist Michael Wish has always been fascinated with wood, which he now uses in a variety of forms to create his unique pieces. A lover of all things natural, Michael has dabbled in several facets of woodworking, turning, carving, box and jewellery making and now intarsia – cutting and shaping pieces of timber to make a picture – in effect, a wood mosaic. The mountainous granite New England Ranges and the desert regions of Central Australia never cease to inspire contemporary landscape artist Linda Nye (Benye).


The Rouse Street studio has been a hive of activity for close to a decade. Bold in colour and style, her works capture the bush culture and its characters, with Linda the recent recipient of the Stanthorpe Art Prize. She often exhibits with the Borderline Art Group and has sold her artworks both nationally and overseas. Fuelled by enthusiastic members and volunteers, the Tenterfield Artists Collective Studio Gallery has become a drawcard for tourists and locals alike as word spreads about the quality works on show. RLM For more information, visit artistscollectivetenterfield.com.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: : Artists Anni Washington, Michael Wish, Nola Sindel, Linda Nye and Liz Powell all have magnificent works for sale at the Tenterfield Artists Collective Studio Gallery.

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

STUFF OF LEGEND By the time Australian singer-songwriter Peter Allen immortalised his grandfather in his 1972 hit song, Tenterfield Saddler, George Woolnough was already a legend in the town and surrounds. The late George Woolnough worked On High Street and lived on Manners, Fifty-two years he sat on his verandah And made his saddles, And if you had questions About sheep or flowers or dogs, You just asked the saddler He lived without sin. They’re building a library for him. It wasn’t just saddles people sought from George Woolnough. It was the atmosphere within his High Street business that stimulated conversation and storytelling, drawing men from throughout the district – perhaps the first modern-day Men’s Shed? Among the colourful characters to grace George’s doorstep in the early 1900s was famous poet and author Banjo Paterson. The bard was courting the Tenterfield Station owner’s daughter and found the saddler’s company an enjoyable respite from his romantic endeavours. Regular visitors found no topic was off limits within the saddlery walls as they discussed national and local events while George steadily plied his trade. A multitasker, he had the ability to continue working while others talked around him. Often the men brought along their children, who would happily play with the leather off-cuts as their dads solved the problems of the world. Many of those young lads, now the town’s senior citizens, can still be found today, all with fond memories of their visits to George, the Tenterfield Saddler. George’s grandson was a regular visitor. Nine years after George’s death, Peter Allen committed to paper his loving tribute, which is now part of Australian folklore. George was laid to rest just three years after his retirement and his grave can be found at Tenterfield Cemetery. His Manners Street home is now privately owned. The High Street saddlery has a rich history. One of the district’s original graziers, Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson, from Tenterfield Station, purchased the land and built the saddlery in 1858. In 1870, it was sold to saddler Charles Pavel, before the canny leather man sold the property to the Australian Joint Stock Bank in 1874. With its granite walls more than 20 inches thick, it was well suited to its new purpose. In its next life it became a private home

before being sold to the town’s second saddler, Dan Egan. Then in 1908, George Woolnough, the most famous of them all, became saddler in residence. After George’s retirement in 1960, a further two saddlers followed, Ted Daly and Trevor Gibson. While both were fine craftsmen, they never achieved the notoriety of their predecessor. Not every Tenterfield saddler has a hit song written in his honour. For a 10-year period, Brian Meldon used the saddlery as a retail outlet and museum until ill health forced its closure. Volunteers reopened it as a museum in 2012 on behalf of the Meldon family and it’s now stacked with souvenirs and leather goods.

Thousands of visitors from around the globe, mostly keen Peter Allen fans, have flocked to see the workplace of the man who inspired the iconic song. The Tenterfield Saddler, classified by the National Trust in 1972, is open every day bar Monday from 9am to noon, and the cheerful volunteers are more than happy to answer questions about its rich history. RLM

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The High Street building in all its glory; a historic photograph of the building; Jim Byrne has a repertoire of stories he loves sharing with visitors; volunteers Elaine Maguire and Don Lewis love showing visitors through the building.


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


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

revelling in retail

Simply Country Boutique owner Carol Campbell has worked hard to create a fun-filled, whole shopping experience for her clientele.

Carol Campbell trained as a nurse but “fell into retail” and has never looked back. Today she owns one of Tenterfield’s longestrunning fashion boutiques. Simply Country Boutique is one of three shops located under an imposing facade with the moniker Paragon Buildings 1925, once home to the fashionable Paragon Café. The middle shop has been a clothes store for more than 40 years, and for 33 of those years it has borne the name Simply Country Boutique. “The boutique still has all the charm of its former self, the old stained-glass windows are intact and the name Paragon is spelt out in old tiles at the entrance to the shop,” Carol says. Carol’s involvement with the boutique predates her purchase of the business 14 years ago. “I fell into retail helping Trish, the former owner of the shop, a couple of days a week,” Carol says. “I couldn’t believe I was being paid for something I just loved doing. “In 2008, the opportunity arose to buy the business and with my five eldest children away at university or boarding school, and only my youngest, Annabel, still at home, it felt like the perfect time to own a shop. “It’s wonderful. It’s a decision I have never regretted. “You open up the front door every day and you don’t know who is going to come in, and you get to meet the most amazing people.” Carol grew up on a sheep and cattle property, nestled between the Mole River and Tenterfield Creek. She trained as a nurse and met her husband Bill when she was home one weekend from Goondiwindi. Carol and Bill spent a year in Cooma, in the Snowy Mountains, before returning to their property south-west of Tenterfield. “We married in 1984 and our six children arrived in quick succession and I never went back to nursing,” Carol says. The couple started a farm stay in the old shearers’ quarters on their property in 1992 and ran that for 16 years until Carol bought the boutique. Simply Country Boutique is a lively hub. The boutique stocks an eclectic range of labels sourced from Australia and overseas to suit any occasion from casual day wear through to outfits for special events such as the races and weddings. It also stocks lingerie, and accessories including shoes, handbags, hats, scarves and jewellery. “I simply love pearls. It’s pearls galore in here,” Carol says. The large number of people who drop into the boutique whenever they are in town is testimony to the store’s reputation and the customer service they receive.

Carol does all the buying, sourcing a range of items to suit her loyal clientele who live locally and also those who travel from far and wide to visit the store. “I absolutely love buying,” she says. “You’re buying a year ahead, so it is exciting to see what’s going to be around in the next season.” Carol has noticed Tenterfield undergo a transformation in recent years. “People used to move to Tenterfield to retire but today they are relocating to the town to start new businesses,” Carol says. “There are all these beautiful little businesses popping up and that helps the whole town and makes it more interesting for everyone. “It’s such a vibrant little town.” Carol and Bill’s children are now far-flung across the globe. Gabby lives in Scotland, Pru in Yamba, Sam in Dubai, Angus in Goondiwindi, Blair in Melbourne and Annabel in Darwin. Carol’s other passion, gardening, provides a much-needed worklife balance. RLM Words: Liz Tickner Images: Lara Flanagan

ABOVE: Carol Campbell is in her element at her Simply Country Boutique. FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: Fashions by See Saw and Jump on display in the front windows; bright orange dresses by Yarra Trail; tops by Foil and Jump; light knits by Zaket and Plover; Yarra Trail top and skirt, and See Saw tops; shoes by Zeta.


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

talent POOL

In the small inland town of Tenterfield, where the cold forces the closure of the local swimming pool for six months of the year, young swimmers are leaving other competitors in their wake. The Tenterfield Swim Club, which was incorporated in 1989 and today has 64 active members, has its home at the Tenterfield War Memorial Baths. Swim club president Candice Potter says that in the 2021-22 swim season, the number of representative swimmers from the club who attended regional competitions tripled. Candice says it is testimony to the dedication of the swim club to develop the town’s youth both competitively and socially, and she pays special credit to its coaches Joshua and Lauren Lavea. “Josh and Loz’s dedication and commitment is outstanding, and it warms your heart to see the children replicate that passion in the pool,” Candice says. “We are also fortunate to have former Olympic swimmer Justin Lemberg lend his expertise at club clinics.” Tenterfield’s War Memorial Baths, owned by Tenterfield Shire Council, opens in October and closes in late March. “It’s challenging to race competitively with swimmers who regularly train in indoor pools for 12 months of the year,” Candice says. The ageing pool has other drawbacks. At 33 metres, it is not an official-sized pool, meaning that the club is unable to host qualifying events or meets. The club is seeking grants to upgrade the pool. In the meantime, its keenest swimmers make a three-hour round trip across the border to the Warwick Recreation and Aquatic Centre to train in its heated indoor pool in the cooler months. Their dedication paid off at the Short Course Carnival in Gunnedah in July when Annalise and Charlotte Potter and Sophie and Louis Wait won 11 medals and recorded personal bests.


The swimmers compete across the northern New England, with the hope of qualifying for the state competitions at the International Aquatic Centre in Sydney. Early on in the COVID pandemic, young swimmers were not permitted to travel to compete but it failed to dampen their enthusiasm. Swim NSW held webinars where the young swimmers could listen to the likes of Olympic gold medallists Cate Campbell and Madi Wilson. Tenterfield born and bred, Candice admits to being a bit of a landlubber in her younger years, preferring a soccer field to a swimming pool. But Candice has taken on the club’s presidency with gusto, and she is a

passionate advocate for the health benefits that swimming offers, particularly to asthmatics and seniors. “The whole town gets behind the swim club, no matter whether it’s donating prizes for raffles or joining in to celebrate the achievements of the children,” Candice says. RLM Words: Liz Tickner Images: Supplied

FROM TOP: Club night at the Tenterfield War Memorial Baths; swim meet at Stanthorpe; Christmas fun at the pool with Lauren Lavea, Abbey Jones, Natasha Brierley, Bree McCowen and Phelix Lavea; young swimmers take their mark on the blocks at a club night; Annie Potter, Reagan Sharpe, Annabelle Roffey, Mia Everson and Paige Parker before their club night swim.


Two Bowling Greens Greenview Restaurant & Bar • Gaming Accommodation • Conference Facilities

77 Molesworth St, Tenterfield 6736 1023 RESTAURANT 6736 1848 www.tenterfieldbowlingclub.com.au



Simply Country

Simply Country is your store for everything beautiful in classic women’s fashion shoes and accessories - style for all seasons.


Orders can also be made by contacting us P: 0429 441 086 E: info@lifestylemagazine.net.au

Ph. 0481 361 482 222 Rouse Street, Tenterfield New South Wales 2372

Opening hours Mon to Fri 9am -5pm Sat 9am - 1pm

Pictured: The Spring 2022 edition featuring the Gwydir Shire TENTERFIELD RLM 137

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

on a ROLL

The well-patronised and much-loved Tenterfield Bowling Club is celebrating its 90th birthday. Once a simple bowling green in front of a home in Molesworth Street, Tenterfield Bowling Club has grown in size and prestige since those early days when it could only muster a handful of players. Today the club’s modern facilities draw hundreds of enthusiastic bowlers from throughout the district and beyond. In 1930, the Tenterfield Star reported that Commercial Hotel owner WH McCotter had undertaken in his yard “outstanding work and considerable expense to erect a clubhouse and lay down the greens for the noble art of bowls”. “It has been felt for years that many visitors to town pass on because of the lack of this needed code of sport. This has now been corrected and all that is required is the formation of a club with the necessary appointment of officials and committee of management,” the article states.


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

On Australia Day, 1930, the club was officially opened by Colonel Michael Bruxner with guests attending from Glen Innes, Stanthorpe, Brisbane and Ballina. Sadly, rain on opening day prevented the new green from being put to the test but it soon became an enjoyable Saturday afternoon pastime for 16 regular bowlers. The club’s first AGM and elections were held in August 1932. Mr McCotter’s foresight in choosing the location was remarkable, to say the least. The club is set back one block from the highway in open parkland and offers an extensive range of activities and services the original owner could never have envisaged, including a motel within easy walking distance. As one of the town’s only accommodation options not on the main road, it’s become a popular and peaceful stopover for travellers and bowlers alike. The motel comprises 16 well-equipped rooms with continental breakfast included in the tariff. For the past decade, the club has been home to the Greenview Restaurant. Head chef Scott Fisher’s skills make it a true destination dining experience. The restaurant opens every day of the week, offering lunchtime specials from noon to 2pm and dinner from 6pm to 8.30pm. It caters for all types of functions, parties and weddings with platters of finger food through to sit-down meals. For something different, try cooking your steak on a hot rock. It continues cooking for 10 minutes, so you can cook your steak to perfection from your own table. After nearly six years as club president, James Bennett likens the “bowlo” to one big family. “We may not always agree on things but the support from club members is unquestionable,” he says. “Visitors love getting away from the really big clubs and enjoying a local experience. The best

thing is they can walk back to a motel room after a great night of Tenterfield hospitality.” Tenterfield Bowling Club general manager Stephen Bowen says the club is a community not-for-profit organisation. “We are heavily focused on community events including barefoot bowls days, kids’ fun days, fundraisers and sponsoring as many community organisations and events as we can,” Stephen says proudly. Other sports sponsored by the club outside of bowls include cricket, soccer, junior league and touch football. In February 2022 the club raised $5000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Friday nights and Saturday afternoons are popular times for members and guests to gather enjoying raffles, members’ draws and live entertainment in the company of friends. At the end of the day, a club is nothing without a loyal band of members. Tenterfield Bowling Club is thankful to the local community and passing trade for their ongoing support. It’s hardly surprising that Tenterfield Bowlo is known as the place where you can meet as strangers and leave as friends. RLM

For more information visit tenterfieldbowlingclub.com.au.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Tenterfield Bowling Club greens; the dining area; barman Zane Annand; the bowlo is where you can meet as strangers and leave as friends. FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: A busy weekend of bowls; Tenterfield Bowling Club general manager Stephen Bowen with club president James Bennett.




Tenterfield dynamo Kim Rhodes OAM is, by her very nature, a giving person.

Recently elected Tenterfield Shire Councillor, Kim Rhodes OAM plans to give her all on behalf of the community she loves, with the aim of achieving greater communication and discussion with the local government body. When Kim joined St John Ambulance, she studied hard and worked her way up the ranks. Every second Saturday was spent catching the train to a nursing home in Coopers Plains. “I’d talk to the residents, read to them or simply take them outside into the garden,” Kim says. “I loved helping these amazing people by just being there and talking to them about whatever they wanted.” She’s never forgotten her late father’s mantra. Wal McGreal, a photo engraver with Hanimex and various newspapers, would often tell her: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

ABOVE: Emily Rhodes is living the life of an outback ringer.


Her mother, Cath, lived by another homespun philosophy: “One of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon another is kindness. If someone is in need, lend them a helping hand. Do not wait for a thank you. True kindness lies within the act of giving without the expectation of something in return.” Kim has practised these principles throughout her life, but it was still a shock and great honour when she received the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2021. “I only hope people realise it’s the little things nobody else actually knows about that give me the greatest satisfaction,” she says in her typical humble fashion. For Kim, it all started in the swimming pool. She credits her father as the driving force behind her early success as a young sportswoman growing up in Brisbane. “While I was always happy to be part of the swim team, Dad urged me to go ‘a little further’ during training before and after school and all day Saturday.” She became competitive in longdistance events, but the gruelling regime meant Kim missed out on many things. Her commitment, however, never wavered. Debating became her next passion, and Kim’s natural flair for expressing herself came to the fore. “Our team always seemed to come out on top because of some zany way I dreamt up to blow the opposition out of the classroom,” she laughs. She enjoyed being involved with school musicals, and her inherent love of cooking also put her on the culinary map. After school she moved to Toowoomba for a TAFE catering course, boarding with a local family, followed by an apprenticeship at the Brisbane Cricketers’ Club. Later she worked at Brisbane hotels and Parliament House, regularly preparing meals for Sir Joh and Lady Flo Bjelke-

Petersen. She also cooked up a storm at Tangalooma Resort. “With a methodical mind and not being prone to stress, it was a career that really suited me,” she says. Kim enjoyed her time in the kitchen before moving to Tenterfield at the age of 25, catering for several years at the golf club. She spent a decade on the Gold Coast in a failed bid to save her marriage before eventually tying the knot with Neil Rhodes in 1998. When Kim returned to Tenterfield, she was the Main Street Committee co-ordinator, and had regular catering assignments. Neil breeds Angus cattle on two farms and works on the bridge gang with Tenterfield Shire Council – a typical farmer working seven days a week.

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

One of Kim’s projects was conducting a heritage study for the town and securing funding for 10 main-street shops to be repainted in heritage colours. After that, Kim managed several businesses, spending any spare time helping organisations and meeting people with similar goals. After daughter Emily was born, Kim assumed the role as family taxi driver, just like her own mother had done when she was young. Their only child was an all-rounder – from dancing, swimming and hockey to football and basketball. She is also a gifted poet, and Tenterfield’s Oracles of the Bush is a wonderful place for her to hone her skills. “We were very proud when Emily was chosen as school captain during her final year at Scots College, Warwick,” Kim says. “She’s learnt to think about other people’s needs and I often hear of little random acts

of kindness she continues to do as part of her daily life. “I guess, like me, she will enjoy her life, doing the things we do to make the world a better place for everyone.” Now 21, Emily is enjoying the experience of working as a ringer from the Top End. “I love the 13-hour days when I’m 400km from nowhere, forever caked in dust inside and out – but that’s not the part I tell my parents,” Emily laughs down the phone line from the Northern Territory. “It’s the horses that carry me 20km in a day, a road train tunnelling through the dust or being in the middle of a paddock wondering if any human has ever been there before.” Her proud mum works with various groups and people in town and out, looking for new and interesting ways to improve the lifestyle of those in her community.

“I only hope people realise it’s the little things nobody else actually knows about that give me the greatest satisfaction.” Kim has served as president and/or secretary on a string of committees too long to mention. She is secretary of the local show and Lions Club. When it’s hard finding numbers to fill committees, Kim Rhodes OAM will always be the first to put her hand up as she nurtures and promotes the town she proudly calls home. RLM ABOVE: Tenterfield councillor Kim Rhodes OAM works tirelessly to make her town a better place.


Life lessons

A close and inclusive school community supports the learning journey and aspirations of every student at Tenterfield High School.

Individual attention, support and well-being underpins a comprehensive curriculum and diverse program of opportunity at Tenterfield High. The school has a long and proud history serving its rural community in the vibrant New England Tablelands. With 250 students across years 7 to 12, the small-school environment enhances individual engagement and connection. “Small schools have so much to offer,” Principal Stephanie Scott says. Tenterfield High is highly regarded for consistent academic results, a caring culture among students and staff, and strong relationship with the community. Stephanie credits students striving for their best supported by attentive and experienced teachers in small class groups for the school’s above-state-average Higher School Certificate results and successful post-school transition. For the past two years, every graduating student has gone on to further education or secured employment. Different interests are catered for across a wide field of curricular and extra-curricular programs, enriching the education experience.


A popular Agriculture program incorporates practical skills in cattle and sheep husbandry and showing, including attending Queensland’s premier agricultural show, the Ekka. Agriculture is one of the Technological and Applied Sciences options, which also include Food Technology, Graphics, Industrial Technology, Information and Software, and Design. A modern hospitality setting incorporates barista classes and customer service skills. The Creative and Performing Arts faculty has expanded to include a rock band, drama performance opportunities and successful visual arts program. Many students showcase their work in the local show and regional competitions. Emphasis is placed on providing a wide choice of academic and vocational electives for HSC students. The Aurora program also offers virtual choices for students in rural high schools. Excellent facilities include a strong emphasis on technology. All students have their own laptop, and this year an interactive digital display system, MLD, was introduced into every classroom. There are two support classes for students with additional needs, where a well-resourced program facilitates learning outcomes.

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

Tenterfield High is highly regarded for consistent academic results, a caring culture among students and staff, and strong relationship with the community. Stephanie highlights the work across the school spectrum of dedicated and caring staff, supporting every student to pursue their interests and fulfil potential, in and out of the classroom. She cites careers advisor Helen Clothier as a wonderful example. “She does an amazing job, including liaising with our supportive businesses in town, and exploring all opportunities for student pathways.” Helen was named NSW Careers Adviser of the Year in 2019. A close relationship with local business and industry provides excellent opportunities for school-based apprenticeships, traineeships, work experience and placement. The breadth of extra-curricular activities at Tenterfield High is impressive, and Stephanie again emphasises the opportunities students have to participate and further their talents from a rural base. A myriad of sport options is an example, and also where the school enjoys considerable success at all levels. A proactive well-being program is another area Stephanie proudly underlines. Building resilience and future preparedness is fostered in an environment of respect, co-operation and support. Tenterfield High has a student support officer, head teacher well-being and Aboriginal educationofficer. Opportunities to engage with community programs include equine therapy, and others run by Centacare and the Benevolent Society. The school’s busy schedule includes annual NAIDOC week celebrations, with activities recognising and celebrating Indigenous culture welcomed back on site this year following COVID disruptions. Eighteen per cent of the student population identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. After the significant impact of COVID, Stephanie is delighted to have interaction with families and community return, including assemblies and sports events. Among this year’s highlights have been a large representation of students at the Tenterfield Anzac Day commemoration, and a very popular Grandparents Day, filling the school hall across generations. The high school is an integral part of the strong and close-knit district community. The students appreciate and value this connection, reflected in a reputation for active and respectful community involvement, including with Meals on Wheels and other charities. A fundraiser for Lismore flood victims was initiated and co-ordinated by the Student Representative Council. Every student at Tenterfield High is given the chance to shine within a culture that embodies the school’s motto of Respect – Responsibility – Do Your Best. “Our school has so much to be proud of.” RLM Words: Elizabeth Grant Images: Jake Lindsay

FROM TOP: School leaders, back row, Bree McCowen, James Ibbett, Ralph Thomson, Sophie Halliday, front, Allie Hill (captain), Principal Stephanie Scott, Courtney Ford (captain) and Hana Robertson; Stephanie Scott, Deputy Principal Brian Edmonds and Acting Deputy Principal Sarah Little; Music teacher Ben Ryan with Year 9 rock band; Year 12 students show plenty of school spirit at the swimming carnival; action from the 2022 swimming carnival; principal and students volunteering their time to cater for a community event; Tenterfield High School; Year 9 Drama students Ashah Hillier and Claire Lambert; Science teacher Brian Edmonds with students Brock Julian and Honor Daniels. FACING PAGE: The Tenterfield High School community; Ag teacher Phil Jones with students and show cattle.


Ella Wishart grew up on her family’s 35-acre property near Tenterfield. “I was never in the house, I was always out exploring the creek,” Ella says. “It was one of the things that got me interested in ecology, noticing the changes if we got rain, or if we didn’t get rain, how the creek flowed and what plants popped up.” Ella says she has always been inquisitive. “As a small child I was forever asking irritating questions,” Ella says. “My parents always encouraged my sister and I to go outside our comfort zones, learn different things, and question the things around us.” Ella attended Tenterfield High School, where she was school captain, and she is a passionate ambassador for country schools. She says her teachers were “incredible mentors”, adding that being part of a small cohort of students worked to her advantage. “My parents told me that wherever I was there were going to be opportunities available to me if I was willing to do my best and seize them,” Ella says. “There were people who went away to boarding school who had a great time and got a lot out of it but equally I am so grateful for all the opportunities I had at Tenterfield High.” Fresh out of high school, Ella moved to Canberra in 2021. “I knew I wanted to do a Bachelor of Science, and the Australian National University was my first preference, so I feel insanely lucky to have been accepted,” Ella says. “Being able to question things, think critically and develop models to make predictions about the future, that’s something I find really awesome.” She was one of 25 undergraduates to be awarded a prestigious Tuckwell Scholarship, which aims to support talented students realise their potential. Ella is in the second year of her Science degree, with double majors in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, which explores the origins, interactions and future prospects for plant and animal life, and quantitative environmental modelling. Leaving Tenterfield to live in the city was initially a little overwhelming for Ella but she quickly immersed herself in the university experience. Ella lives on campus and has joined a number of ANU’s clubs and societies, including the Intrepid Landcare Club, which carries out tree planting in reserves across Canberra, and the Astronomy Society. She also finds time for cricket, swimming and athletics. Younger sister Amelia is interested in humanities, which Ella says makes for interesting conversations around the dinner table.



A passion for science has lured 20-year-old Ella Wishart from Tenterfield to the nation’s capital.

Ella hopes to find a career that will take her back to Tenterfield. “Ultimately, Tenterfield is always going to be home and have a special place in my heart.” RLM Words: Liz Tickner Image: Lara Flanagan

ABOVE: Ella Wishart is loving her Science studies at ANU in Canberra, where she continues to question things and think critically.

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

“Physie puts some important balance into my life.”

perfect balance Erin Crotty was a shy seven-year-old when she made her debut in the world of physical culture in Tenterfield.

Ten years on, in November 2019, and brimming with confidence, Erin performed on the Concert Hall stage of the Sydney Opera House, where she was named National Champion of her age group. “It was a very big few months,” Erin says. Erin also completed Year 12 at Tenterfield High School with marks that gained her entrance into university. And, in January 2020, as town folk who had been crippled by drought and threatened by

bushfires gathered to celebrate Australia Day, Erin was named Tenterfield’s Young Sportsperson of the Year. Erin joined the Tenterfield Physical Culture Club in 2009. “Some of my friends were doing physie, and in the beginning it was a just bit of fun,” Erin says. “Then I got into the competitive side, and I wanted to keep improving and achieve the goals I set for myself.”

From the outset she has been under the guidance of instructors Jude Hayne and her daughter, Stacey Hayne. Tenterfield has produced three physical culture national champions: Erin, Stacey and Natasha Brierley. “Jude is passionate about teaching, and Tenterfield physie is extremely fortunate to have her,” Erin says. The physical culture movement in Australia dates back to the late 1800s when it was used to help rehabilitate patients suffering from polio and other medical conditions. Today, the focus is on improving the fitness, strength, agility and coordination of girls and women of all ages. But Erin says it has also equipped her with important life skills. “As a young child, it got me out of my shell,” Erin says. “Then, when I was studying for my HSC, it provided a good break for me, getting my mind thinking about something other than study. “And, I have made some of my closest friends through physie, who are from all over the country.” Erin, 20, now lives in Brisbane and attends Queensland University of Technology where she is in the first year of a Bachelor of Medical Imaging degree. She first considered medical imaging as a career when she did work experience in Year 10 at Tenterfield Hospital. “I desired a career within the healthcare industry and found that department particularly interesting,” Erin says. Erin’s outlet from university is her twiceweekly physie classes that encourage her to get out, meet with friends and exercise. She also teaches younger girls with whom she hopes to share her passion and love for the sport. “Physie puts some important balance into my life,” she says. Returning home to Tenterfield’s fresh air also keeps her grounded and Erin is an enthusiastic ambassador for the community that has helped foster her dreams. RLM Words: Liz Tickner Image: Lara Flanagan

ABOVE: Erin Crotty with the trophy she was awarded when she was named National Champion for her age group in 2019.


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


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

French country


For Sue Griffiths, the best part of owning Ruben and Flax is having customers who feel like family in a shop that feels like an extension of their own home. When Sue Griffiths and her husband, Mark, took a day trip into Tenterfield from their home in the Northern Rivers, lunch plans turned into a lot more when they spotted a beautiful old stone house for sale and decided to purchase it quite spontaneously. The village feel of Tenterfield and its ideal location close to both Brisbane and the coast meant that their snap decision was also a smart one. They knew Tenterfield would be easy to call home, and seven years on they haven’t looked back. In fact, Sue has settled even further into life in this classic country town by taking charge of Ruben and Flax, a well-loved shop on Rouse. A customer first, Sue says she was always drawn to Ruben and Flax for their unique mix of home goods and appealing French country style. “I happened to be in the store one day talking to Shirley, the previous owner, and she mentioned she wanted to sell.” Sue said she’d like to buy and within two weeks she had purchased the store. Sue has been at the helm of Ruben and Flax for almost five years now and she has enjoyed it immensely. Last year, they moved four doors up to larger premises, which has allowed her to expand their product lines and venture into larger furniture pieces. Many of their regular customers know that Ruben and Flax is their local supplier for French Country Collections and CC interiors. Both lines offer gorgeous homewares that lend themselves to creating a country house look with a bit of French flair, and with the additional floor space Sue has been able to stock even more of the lines that her customers know and love. In addition to beautiful home goods and unique furniture pieces, you will find an extensive line of impressively crafted Redecker brushes from Germany. Everything from bottle brushes and brooms to hair and nail brushes, Redecker offers a brush for every task, even as obscure as brushing your cashmere. Ruben and Flax also stocks an array of natural body products perfect for pampering. Regular visitors to Tenterfield from Brisbane and south to the coast are repeat customers at Ruben and Flax, always being sure to stop in when they are in town. And the shop is a bit of a hub for local women who are at home in the friendly and comfortable atmosphere that Sue has created in store. “People come in for a browse and a chat and they run into someone they know and before you know it there are half a dozen people in the store,” Sue says. RLM Words: Jennifer Harden Images: Luke van de Rest and Hollie Griffiths

FACING PAGE, FROM TOP RIGHT: Owner of Ruben and Flax Sue Griffiths in her beautiful shop, which offers homewares, furniture and gifts with a nod to French Country style. ABOVE: Sue in store at Ruben and Flax arranging some of the goods on offer.

Situated in the heart of Tenterfield is the well established Ruben & Flax. Filled to the brim with unique homewares, luxurious body products & gifts for every occasion. With a love for everything French country, farmhouse & vintage style, Sue loves finding special pieces to make life that little bit more beautiful. Be sure to pop in for home styling advice, or to buy a gift for the person who has everything. Open 7 days! Phone: 0407 949 655 sue@rubenandflax.com @rubenandflax Images: Luke van de Rest



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


FAMILY The food, the coffee and the atmosphere at Sonya Pillar’s Tenterfield Corner Cafe are to be truly savoured. What’s a brilliant barista without a coffee machine and what’s a coffee machine without a cafe to call home? It’s this very conundrum that led Sonya Pillar to purchase a coffee machine that happened to come with a cafe and everything you might need to run it, including staff. In May, Sonya and her crew took over the reins of Tenterfield Corner Cafe (TCC), and since then they have been drawing customers with their homey atmosphere, friendly service, delectable old-fashioned baked goods and meals. The building that started life as Murray’s Exchange Hotel and that TCC now calls home, has been part of the Tenterfield community for over 100 years from its corner on Rouse Street. Sonya, who grew up just one town over in Wallangara, says the heritage building appealed to her senses straight away. “There are so many different textures throughout the historical building. From the bricks in the bar room and the twin open fireplaces to the large timber joists holding everything up and, my favourite, the polished concrete floor, it was very easy to fall in love with,” she says. She wasn’t the only one who fell in love with the heritage building. The cafe is truly a family affair with Sonya’s daughters, sister and mother all taking on key roles in addition to her partner Garry. “Garry is our ‘silent’ partner in this cafe adventure we have all embarked upon, although he’s not as silent as we would like,” Sonya jokes.


The barista who started the wheels in motion is her daughter, Jenah-May, who is known as the singing barista. “On any given day, when the mood hits, she’ll break out into song and quite often a little happy dance. The customers love it,” Sonya says. Jenah-May’s partner, Navarre, can be found in the kitchen in his role as head chef. Navarre, along with Sonya’s sister, Joanne, round out a team of three cooks who create a delectable menu that is adaptable to many dietary requirements. Along with proven favourites, they also have daily specials that include seasonal meals and salads. Sonya’s mum, Robyn-Ann, along with two other local women are the bakers behind the cafe’s renowned cake cabinet. On any given day you might find the likes of date slice, lumberjack cake, decadent vegan double choc brownies and ginger pistachio cream biscuits waiting for you. Her eldest daughter, Kayla-Ann, brings a country apple and cinnamon pie to the table in addition to her role keeping the premises sparkling clean. But perhaps the most important role of all is filled by Sonya’s grandson, Hudson, who holds the title of “chief milkshake taster extraordinaire”. TCC also offers two dog-friendly outdoor areas where the furry members of your family can enjoy a puppycino. Being licensed allows them to cater for a wide range of functions from business lunches to special gatherings. “It is a very versatile cafe and we love it,” Sonya says. “You simply must come visit.” She promises that one visit will turn into many and her favourite spot in town will no doubt become yours as well. RLM Words: Jennifer Harden Images: Lara Flanagan and supplied

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: TCC owner Sonya Pillar with her daughter and barista Jenah-May; the interior of the cafe; Sonya’s partner and silent partner at TCC Garry; a decadent chocolate sponge cake with black cherries and coffee liqueur cream; coffee by Jenah-May; chef Navarre in the kitchen; coffee art; gluten-free lemon and mixed berry flan; seasonal specials include this grilled prawn salad off the new spring menu.

Carry on with confidence with

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shared passion for fashion Sherelle Fashions in Tenterfield has long been known as a “destination store”. Stopping and shopping with Maree Parker and Sheree Thrift at Sherelle Fashions is a “must do” on your next New England Highway adventure. This mother-and-daughter partnership started out in style 37 years ago, hosting a fashion parade instore the day before opening the doors on November 6, 1985. Thanks to exceptional customer service and the owners’ keen eye for detail and style, Sherelle Fashions soon gained momentum and quickly built a loyal clientele with customers returning from all over Australia. “We have one customer at Tocumwal who couldn’t come in during COVID, so she would tell us what she wanted and we’d just send her outfits,” Sheree says. With more customers came the need for more space and stock. After a few years they moved into larger premises, the shop you see today. To order stock in the early days, Maree caught the bus to Sydney and back to see agents, always purchasing a season ahead. With the racks close to empty 10 days after they opened, a quick dash to Sydney was in order, but Maree and Sheree were left feeling overwhelmed and extremely grateful at being so well received by the community. Sheree now flies to Sydney or Brisbane, always with specific customers’ tastes, colours and sizes in mind. Instead of Maree balancing chequebooks late into the night, Sheree’s husband, John, has taken over this side of the business. One of Tenterfield’s most treasured seniors, Maree turned 93 on August 30 and was showered with gifts, flowers and well-wishers from go to whoa. You will still find Maree working in the shop most afternoons pricing stock. Every year Sherelle Fashions continues to do parades, raising countless funds for various local charities and organisations in the district. That’s the philosophy behind the business: look after your community and they’ll look after you.


With the closure of Target in town, Sherelle now stocks more for young teens. Always mindful of the needs of the local community, Sherelle Fashions caters for all ages and sizes, casual to formal wear, including mother of the bride and groom, school formals and so much more. “We’re very fortunate we have our girls who come in and help us out when we need them,” Sheree says. “They work it like it’s their own.” The longevity of the mother-daughter partnership is unusual in retail today. It’s evident their shared passion for fashion and serving the community has kept them working peacefully together since day one. RLM Words: Anna Rose Images: Lara Flanagan

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Tenterfield style queens mother and daughter Maree Parker and Sheree Thrift; Sheree is happiest when another satisfied customer walks out the door with a smile on their face; vibrant colours and styles all tastefully arranged; hats off to the staff at Sherelle Fashions.

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

meet the MAKER

On bustling Rouse Street, Tenterfield, you will find a hidden gem: Matilda Made Leather. In the early morning when the streets are quiet, behind the inviting green shopfront, you can find Matilda Newsome sitting soundly, carving away at leather before the hustle of the daily trade starts. With the coffee brewing and country music playing, the doors are swung open for business, and the charming smell of leather floats down the street. “It’s the first thing people always comment on,” Matilda says. “The smell of leather always seems to bring back warm memories for our customers.” Walking into the store, you are immediately taken in by the vibrant rustic styling of the front retail section of the shop. The shelves are lined with an array of bespoke leather bags and purses, and the iconic carved belts and accessories adorn the walls. A friendly greeting draws your attention behind the counter to the large workstation, where the real magic is happening first-hand. While stitching together her next order of the ever-popular travel duffel bag, Matilda happily explains her work to curious onlookers as they browse, giving shoppers a unique and engaging behind-the-scenes look into how each Matilda Made Leather product is skilfully crafted. In a world of fast fashion, it is refreshing to see the passion and care that goes into the design, build and detailed finish of each and every product. Being tough on her leather gear is not a new concept for Matilda, who has been riding horses from an early age. “Whether it be in the competition arena or out mustering in the paddock, having quality gear has always been essential to our way of life,” she says. “This is how my interest in leather work was initially sparked and how Matilda Made Leather was born. “I first started the business out of my parents’ shearing shed in 2017, taking custom orders online solely through social media and have now grown the business to the point where I can offer my customers the option to

“The smell of leather always seems to bring back warm memories for our customers.” visit our flagship store here in Tenterfield, the convenience of online shopping through our website and social media platforms and on the road at large horse events as well.” Since the inception of Matilda Made Leather, it has been the personalised and distinctive designs that have set the brand apart. The flair and style brought to each one-of-a-kind piece showcases Matilda’s passion and skill in the trade. “Keeping the tradition of leatherworking alive fuels my drive and dedication for the business and is something I am very proud of. This is key to the longevity of Matilda Made Leather,” she says. “Come down and experience our way of life for yourself!” RLM Words: Alexandra Doering Images: Lara Flanagan

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: A variety of leather belts atop the three-legged folding stool; MML owner Matilda Newsome sitting among this season’s must-have bags; from bridles to pliers, Matilda Made Leather stocks a wide range of bush accessories; uniquely hand-carved leather trays essential for every coffee table; Matilda working on some belts at the carving station, wearing the daisy belt.


Good news story

Since taking over the reins of Sullivans Newsagency in early 2013, David and Trish Parker have filled some pretty big shoes. The Sullivan family played an important role in Tenterfield’s CBD for almost 90 years, with Jack Sullivan opening the newsagency doors in 1934. After a lengthy run, he handed it down to son Geoff and daughter-in-law Lucy, who ran the business a further 54 years before passing the baton to nephew Mikel Lewis and his wife Nikki, the third generation of Sullivans. The modern newsagency that serves Tenterfield today is a far cry from the one on which locals and visiting servicemen depended for their news during the war years before the advent of television and local radio. In an old newspaper clipping, Geoff’s mother, Bess, says hundreds of soldiers would mill around the newsagency as they waited their turn to be allowed inside. At one stage the newsagency would stay open all night so customers could buy their Courier Mail as soon as it arrived on the Brisbane night train. Collecting the Sydney papers was a different matter. Instead of driving to the train station, the Sullivans would listen for the SMH call sign after the paper plane left Glen Innes. Then they would drive to a designated paddock where a plane would drop bundles of papers from the sky. One morning in 1950, they heard the call sign and went to the paddock but no plane arrived. Upon returning to town, they learnt it had crashed into a hill at Bungulla, killing the two men on board. After that, papers were flown to Tamworth and freighted to Tenterfield by road. David is a born-and-bred local, and like his father, worked in the now-closed Wallangarra Meatworks for 20 years. Later he joined a mate at the Shell Liberty service station and served drinks at the golf club before briefly returning to the meatworks. Originally from the Nambucca Valley, Trish enjoyed a banking


career in Sydney and her hometown before transferring to Tenterfield in 1994, continuing in casual banking and office administration after having their children. All that work enabled the Parkers to buy into the newsagency. It has been a steep learning curve, especially after the first few years of drought, bushfires and then COVID-19. With all that history, the Parkers were never going to change the name. Like always, the newsagency carries a large range of cards, magazines and books but it’s the community support that pays the wages. “Our Lotto customers always break into a huge grin when we tell them they have to accompany us out the back,” Trish says with a grin. “It means we have some big news to share with them.” David says the older generation still enjoys reading a newspaper while the younger ones have found new ways of catching up with the news. Helping them at work is daughter Chelsea, 22, who is studying Business Administration part-time. Son Dean, 24, is a customer service officer at the local Coles supermarket. “It’s pretty special working with my husband and daughter,” Trish says. “Things can get a bit heated when we’re under the pump but generally we get on like a house on fire. “There’s always a mountain of paperwork involved with running a newsagency but it’s all worthwhile when we see the happy faces of our regulars.” While David played rugby league for more than 20 years, his days are now devoted to Sullivans Newsagency, one of the oldest and most respected businesses in Tenterfield. RLM

FROM TOP: David and Trish Parker from Sullivans Newsagency; an old shot of the shop in the 1960s when it was run by the Sullivan family.

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

Unwind in


Oozing classic country charm, Tenterfield Cottage is your perfect escape next time you are in the high country. With three bedrooms and two bathrooms along with a sun-drenched deck out the back, the historic cottage has something for everyone. Whether it be a romantic getaway or a chance for the family to spend a few nights in a beautifully restored cottage, Tenterfield Cottage ticks all the boxes. Guests can enjoy the whole cottage, with a continental breakfast as well as robes, luxury linen, towels and toiletries. During the cooler winter months, a wood fire, air conditioning and electric blankets help ensure your comfort. Located opposite Stannum House, it’s within easy walking distance of historic sites, cafes, restaurants and shopping, for which Tenterfield is famous. The history of the building makes fascinating reading. German immigrant Henry Colditz moved to Tenterfield in 1878, buying a parcel of land for 11 pounds, 10 shillings. He died a few years later, leaving the land to his second wife, Margaret, and their seven children. The cottage was built in 1895 but after a century of use, it fell into a serious state of disrepair. Extensive renovations were undertaken in 2010, turning the cottage into luxurious, self-contained accommodation. Like Henry, current owner Beate Sommer also emigrated to Australia from Germany, arriving here in 1986. For many years she called Byron Bay home, where she raised her two daughters. In 2016, she made the tree change to Tenterfield and now enjoys life on a small farm block 20 minutes out of town. It is Beate’s special retreat, shared with her brumbies, a Border Collie called Hazel and cat Jasper. “Living off the grid and growing my own fruit and vegetables has always been a dream of mine,” she smiles. “I’ve always wanted a simpler life, hoping to leave less of a footprint.” Tenterfield Cottage is a business that strives to support the local economy along the motto “Think Global, Act

Local” – reflected by some of the interior design such as artwork by local artists, native herbal teas and a display of local handicraft, which can be purchased on request. “I am proud to be earth- and consumerfriendly, using organic cleaning products and toiletries,” she says. While it is often difficult finding quality accommodation that is dog-friendly, there

are no such problems at Tenterfield Cottage, which has a fully fenced yard for your pampered pooch. Tenterfield Cottage is the perfect spot to pull up stumps and soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era. RLM CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Owner Beate Sommer and her friendly pooch, Hazel, outside Tenterfield Cottage; the bedroom settings take you back in time; the cosy kitchen has everything you need.


BABY BOOM On December 31, 1967, a Tenterfield family made worldwide headlines after the safe delivery of Australia’s first set of quintuplets.


When the story broke that a Tenterfield woman was expecting quintuplets, the only details revealed to the media was the mother who’d been admitted to Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital was in her 30s and the father was a solicitor. In the weeks preceding the birth, hospital authorities asked reporters not to disclose the family’s name or hometown, fearing excessive publicity might be harmful to the expectant mother. The press finally had some good news to report after the puzzling disappearance of then prime minister Harold Holt had dominated the media throughout December. Now the headlines proclaimed: “Quins: Mystery mother well” and another “Father’s plea for privacy” while more probing ones centred around the reason for the multiple birth, among them: “No fertility drugs”. Stories appeared regularly on the impending arrival in newspapers across the country. The father was quoted in one article saying: “I only wish it was all over”. But the media merry-go-round had only just begun for the young family. Initially, doctors believed Tenterfield’s Roger and Pat Braham were expecting quads, only to discover the fifth baby weeks before their arrival. The odds of quintuplets were staggering – 50 million to one. Hospital staff were on high alert, with five humidicribs labelled “keep for quins” reserved in a special part of the nursery where they would spend their first 10 days of life. On New Year’s Eve, six weeks before their due date, the births began at 5.12am and ended at 6.27am, taking just over an hour. The headline-making delivery coincided with one of Brisbane’s hottest days that summer. Obstetrician Dr R. F. Drake said there were handshakes all round but no tears after the birth. Without mishap, the deliveries of Annabel, Richard, Faith, Caroline and Geoffrey went off with almost military precision. Overnight, the Braham family had more than doubled in number. Eldest daughter Leith (born in 1960), Kirsty (1962) and twins Prue and Berkeley (1966) welcomed five new siblings. A tall man with a clipped moustache and ready smile, Roger reportedly sipped champagne and chain-smoked cigarettes following the arrival of his three new daughters and two sons, each weighing about three pounds. The day after the quins’ arrival, Pat was allowed out of bed for a shower and hairdo. Congratulatory cards and telegrams arrived from all over the world, including one from Queen Elizabeth II and Australia’s caretaker prime minister Sir John McEwen.

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

The media frenzy escalated on day five when the world learned the devastating news of the unexpected passing of fifth quin Geoffrey. Doctors had no explanation. Tenterfield, too, was in mourning as locals learnt of the death of one of the famous five, a child they would never get the chance to meet. The little one’s death weighed heavily on the community of just over 3000 people. One concerned resident was quoted in the media: “The whole place is in shock. The life has gone out of Tenterfield this afternoon”. Even the prime minister had to amend his congratulatory press release made earlier in the day, offering assistance to the family after learning of the tragedy. In later years, Pat often wondered what Geoffrey would have turned out like had he survived. “I don’t think any mother ever gets over the death of a child,” she told the local paper. Sadly, Pat would learn more about loss in two years’ time when they had to bury seven-year-old Kirsty, a beautiful child born with cerebral palsy. With two nurses in tow, the family returned to their large, spacious weatherboard and brick home on the edge of Tenterfield obscured by willow trees and surrounded by gardens – but was it large enough to accommodate eight children, six under 13 months of age? Tenterfield locals protectively embraced the family in a bid to maintain privacy, mostly refusing to talk to the media until the exclusive interview with Woman’s Day magazine. There was even talk of a film and story rights to the quins, one of only seven sets in the world to survive, the others being from America, Canada, Venezuela, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina. The christening was a grand affair. Three of the babies wore heirloom robes, between 60 and 100 years old, made in handembroidered lawn. The fourth was lace. Busy was an understatement for Pat when it came to raising her large brood. With all those nappies, the washing machine and dryer were always going, two clotheslines were constantly

full and the newly installed dishwasher was cranked up after every meal. Simply getting the children fed, dressed and ready for school was a challenge, as they all piled into the brown Kingswood for the daily drop-off. Horses played a major role in the Braham family’s life. Most rode from the age of four at pony camp. Pat became well known in the district for her generosity, often lending horses to other kids while teaching them the finer points of horsemanship. They were known throughout the district for their matching greys in the fours competition at local shows, including the Ekka. Pat would always delight in telling anyone who would listen that not only were her four ponies a perfect match, so too were the faces of their riders. She instructed the teams of fours at Tenterfield Pony Club for many years and aspired to have her adopted hometown win each of the age groups at the Zone 13 Jamboree, which happened on several occasions. “Mum used to worry when we were all quiet,” says Prue (one of the twins), the last remaining Braham family member in Tenterfield. “On one occasion we were sitting in a circle in the garden and Mum came out to find us all eating toadstools. Thrusting her hands down our throats she tried desperately to retrieve them, only giving up her futile efforts after Richard bit her. Obviously, we all lived to tell the tale.”

Prue attended uni in Brisbane and Armidale and lived in Goondiwindi before returning to Tenterfield after her marriage to stock & station agent Bruce Birch. It’s been a long time since the quins made international headlines, and Prue, now the Ray White office manager, was slightly bemused anyone was still interested in the old family story. “Mum and Dad tried their utmost to keep the press at bay so we could all lead normal lives,” she says. As she was just a baby when the quins came along, she had no recollection of the buses full of curious onlookers passing by the family home. “Tenterfield’s changed a lot since those early days,” Prue says. “As kids, we knew everyone in town and vice versa. Now, 55 years later, the family has all moved on to other places.” Roger died in 2017, and wife Pat joined him three years later. Having both grown up in small families (Roger with one brother and Pat an only child) they most certainly did their bit to increase Australia’s population – in the most spectacular fashion. RLM FACING PAGE: Tenterfield residents Roger and Pat Braham made international news with the birth of quintuplets on New Year’s Eve, 1967. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Four babies prepare to leave hospital in their new bassinets; Prue Birch, the only Braham family member residing in Tenterfield, with the Courier Mail headlines when she was 13 months old; the Braham family were competent pony clubbers; Roger and Pat on their wedding day.


down on the corner The call for “last drinks” at The Exchange Hotel in Tenterfield two decades ago signalled the end of an era and paved the way for the launch of a stylish new shopping destination.

The Corner Life & Style, a chic fashion boutique and homewares store, breathed new life into the circa late-1800s building on the corner of Rouse and Manners streets. “We are in a perfect spot in the centre of town and on a corner hence our name,” owner Deb O’Neill says. Deb, who is Tenterfield born and bred, was presented with the opportunity to buy into the then fledging business with two other women 17 years ago. With two young daughters, Georgia and Abbey, and husband Jamie who was working away a lot of the time, Deb decided to sell her hairdressing salon and look for a new, more family-friendly venture. “Our partnership was amazing,” Deb says. “Their children were grown up and I was still busy with my young girls . . . and then my son Jack arrived.” But the wheel of time has turned full circle and the partnership dissolved on July 1 with her two former business colleagues pursuing different paths. Over time, the business has thrived and The Corner Life & Style is popular with locals and visitors to the town. “My mission is to ensure that country women have the opportunity to own beautiful things,” Deb says. Deb scours the countryside in search of new labels to give The Corner Life & Style a point of difference from other boutiques. Fashion items feature Australian designers and cater for girls and women across a wide age demographic. The range of accessories includes shoes, bags and jewellery. She also takes full advantage of Tenterfield’s climatic extremes. “We definitely see the seasons here in Tenterfield,” Deb says. “Linens work really well for us in summer and the brisk winters are perfect for layers.” The Corner Life & Style also stocks beautiful home décor and gift items including fragrances, candles, cards, coffee table books, gift vouchers, and an expanding men’s range. The different sections of the business vary in popularity from day to day.


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

“We say, ‘oh my gosh, it’s a shoe day today’ or ‘it’s a décor day’, and it’s that diversity that makes the business work so well,” Deb says. Deb has a team of senior and junior assistants in the shop. “They are fabulous girls who play a huge part in the business, and I would be lost without them,” she says. The Corner Life & Style is perfectly positioned in the centre of town and on a corner to benefit from a big passing trade. Tenterfield is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Federation and also the home of entertainer Peter Allen, who immortalised the town in the song Tenterfield Saddler. But visitors are also flocking to the region for the spectacular natural environment with excursions into the Bald Rock, Boonoo Boonoo and Girraween national parks increasingly popular. “People are also visiting Tenterfield for its wineries, gardens and as a wedding destination, and all that is great for business,” Deb says. “Weekends are now huge in Tenterfield.” Deb witnessed a post-COVID resurgence in the popularity of regional travel, especially when the border with Queensland closed. “We’ve had people from the coast who are only two hours away but didn’t realise what’s actually out here,” Deb says. Her love affair with people, fashion and style continues to feed Deb’s passion for her business. “It’s very social, and being surrounded by beautiful things makes it a lovely place to work.” RLM

The Corner Life & Style — a unique shopping experience

Words: Liz Tickner Images: Lara Flanagan

FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: Staff Sandy Palmer, Jandy Smith, Lisa Griffiths, Deb O’Neill, Nicki Lewis and Allie Hill; in store you will find an array of homewares, gifts and fragrances along with a beautiful selection of clothing, shoes and accessories. ABOVE: An extensive range of gifts, homewares and clothing; Deb outside the welcoming shopfront on the corner of Rouse and Manners Street.

Monday to Saturday from 9am 212 - 214 Rouse Street Tenterfield, NSW, 2372 hello@thecornertenterfield.com.au 02 6736 1812



cultural exchange Two key Indigenous initiatives have been established in Tenterfield to educate, entertain and enlighten visitors and locals alike.


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

To take advantage of the passing tourist trade, Gallery 299 opened at 299 Rouse Street, operating five days a week to showcase the artistic talents of local Indigenous people. “All our stock is made by Aboriginal people and the royalties from sales go back to the artists and communities that produce them,” says Helen Duroux, the busy and dedicated CEO of Moombahlene Local Aboriginal Land Council. “We have also built a thriving bush tucker and native nursery called Gunimaa, which translates to Mother Earth in the Kamilaroi language. These two new enterprises were established to provide employment and training opportunities for our people, as equal employment opportunities are not always available.” The not-for-profit Lands Council was established in 1984 to provide social housing for the local Aboriginal community. “Moombahlene owns and manages 16 houses that provide affordable rental space for our Aboriginal community,” Helen says. “It has a very active board that assists with day-to-day activities, sharing of cultural happenings and looking after the well-being of our small community. “We have about 80 active members, not including all our young people, and we cater for cultural excursions for our youth as well as connecting them to country and sharing our traditions with the wider community.” Tenterfield is an area rich in Aboriginal history. The land is connected to the Bundjalung people to the east, Ngarabal mob near Deepwater and Glen Innes, the Gumbaingirr people further down the range and Kamilaroi ancestors to the west. It was often a central trading point for those groups from the coastal and western regions. Archaeological evidence suggests the tablelands Aboriginal people traded with groups on the western slopes and that a range of stone tools such as jagged spearheads, boomerangs, coolamons and digging sticks were produced with local and traded stones and hardwoods. Mammals such as kangaroos, possums, echidnas and goannas were hunted and used for food and medicine and their skins made into clothing to keep out the cold. Many species of fish and yabbies were abundant in the area as well as a plentiful supply of bush tucker from endemic plants in this region. The region is also known for ornately carved trees, ceremonial bora rings and art sites, indicating an intimate spiritual and physical attachment to the sacred landscape. Trading activities brought the local people into contact with the Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri people, and as a consequence there are strong kinship ties within these groups. The landscape was both a natural and cultural resource and there is a strong oral history suggesting seasonal movement of Aboriginal people through the rugged gorge systems between the

coastal plains and tablelands via their known walking tracks, more recently known as songlines. The tablelands were occupied during summer and autumn with communities moving either to the coast or the western river systems for winter. These traditional practices continued up until contact with the first Europeans in 1818 when John Oxley’s explorations took place. Squatters began to occupy the area in the 1830s, seeking suitable land for grazing. This spelled the end of Aboriginal life and the practices that ensured the land would provide for their livelihood. All cultural activities were halted. From 1882 to 1962, all Indigenous people came under the Aboriginal Protection Board, which in 1940 became the Aboriginal Welfare Board. In 1962, many Aboriginal people were classified wards of the state and therefore unable to exercise the right to vote, coming under the Flora and Fauna Act. By 1983, the Aboriginal Land Rights Act was passed, recognising the dispossession and dislocation of NSW Aboriginal people. “We have strived to share our culture and our stories with anyone who lends their ear and time to us,” Helen says. “Hopefully it will ensure a strong culture continuing for many years into the future.” RLM

FACING PAGE: Local artworks for sale at Gallery 299; CEO Helen Duroux with board members Lee-Anne Nichols and Dianne Duroux. ABOVE: Lee-Anne Nichols with bees-wax food wraps; horticulturalist Matt Sing has found his forte nurturing plants at the Gunimaa Nursery.

Moombahlene Local Aboriginal Land Council

Our services Social Housing Land Claims

Mini Bus Hire

Local Community Representation Culture & Heritage Assessment Welcome to Country Cultural Information Social Hub

Community Programs

Gallery 299 Rouse Street, Tenterfield  Open weekdays 9am–3pm Nursery 34 Railway Avenue, Tenterfield  Open Thursday–Saturday

02 6736 3219  moombahlenelalc1@bigpond.com.au  www.moombahlene.com.au

Land Regeneration

Reporting Requirements

Confirmation of Aboriginality


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

While growing up in the NSW beef capital of Casino, Kristen Lovett had no interest in Herefords, Charolais and cattle shows like most of her friends. Her dreams were of Kelly Slater, world surf titles and motocross. She admits to being totally indifferent to farming, country living or anything that was more than two hours from the beach. Fast forward 20 years and hers is the classic story of coastal girl meets country boy. After two decades on the coast, she’s happily settling into farm life, with 1200 acres, a cattle business, two kids, two businesses, three Jack Russells and a love for Tenterfield that is as strong as her black coffee. Kristen began accounting at the age of 15, leaving high school in Year 10 when the opportunity of a job arose at a wellestablished accounting firm. Her then boss taught her not only accounting skills but respect for your employer, how to communicate with all demographics and that you get what you give. This sage advice has remained with her, years after his death. After three years, she pursued her career in Sydney, which also brought further life lessons and business experience. It’s where she came across the McCarthy family, which ultimately led her to Tenterfield. By the time Kristen completed her university degree and gained her qualifications, she had 10 years’ practical experience and business knowledge, which set her up to step into her own practice in Tenterfield at age 25. In July 2022, Kristen marked 21 years in Tenterfield, during which time she has integrated herself into the community, yet still claims she isn’t categorised as a local. She is married to local Ben Sharpe, and their passion for Tenterfield, its people and future can clearly be seen in their businesses and personal activities. Both are involved in many charity events, sporting organisations and anything that promotes the town. They joke about passing one another in the driveway most days but, given their busy lives, RLM suspects there’s some truth in the jest. KLAS (pronounced class) began its journey as Kristen Lovett Accounting Services. Through natural evolution and innovation, the firm is now known as KLAS Business and Accounting. After 16 years, Kristen says it’s the relationships that keep her energised, knowing the impact her business has on the lives of her clients. The most intense period of the business and by far the most rewarding is the “tax planning season” from April to June. This is where Kristen says she develops strategies to see the successful planning of the year to come, while developing tax-saving techniques to increase the business owner’s


A class act

Kristen Lovett’s business and accounting firm is committed to putting clients first. wealth and avoid unnecessary tax. Since opening, KLAS has seen much change and development. Finding the right staff has always been a struggle in country locations and as a result, she opened a second office in 2016 in the Northern NSW town of Kingscliff. The idea here was to further develop managers and to have an office on the doorstep of a university to grab candidates. After losing a key manager, she soon realised competition for staff was much more intense on the coast. Kristen found she was competing in a market where work was discounted to produce volume only, not profits. It put a huge financial strain on Kristen and Ben as they had not long beforehand purchased the local Ray White franchise. With careful planning, they forged ahead. They closed the Kingscliff office and a hybrid team was implemented. The business would operate from its Tenterfield head office but had the ability to employ all over Australia, with two key team members working in the Philippines. This model allowed a highly skilled team to work in the business, ensuring high quality advice and service without the need to draw staff out of more desirable locations to move to the country. Today, Kristen has equal remote staff to local staff, and actually has one of her Sydney accountants based in Tahiti, which makes for scenic daily team meetings. This remote working is now commonplace post-COVID, as is the idea of country living being the ideal lifestyle choice, which has seen many now opting for a tree change.

With a realisation that work can be performed anywhere with the access to technology, KLAS has gone from being one of few to one of many with a hybrid team. Kristen also credits her success and point of difference to a fierce connection to core values of the business and ensuring the team at KLAS work to these values, always with the client central to these. “A successful business must have a DNA, something they can be identified with,” she explains. “KLAS spent a lot of time developing a set of values that were client-centric and that we wanted to have engrained in the culture of our business. “These values remain relevant and are as much a part of KLAS as the green logo and ultimately work around a theme of relationship focus. “We work with our clients to ensure they have clear goals and initiate action to reach these. We are focused as much on the business our client is in as the outcomes. “We are not just tax accountants, we are business advisors and mentors and we work with our clients closely, rather than ticking and flicking boxes and lodging a few compliance documents.” While she still dreams of waves lapping at the shore, Kristen is more than content with the life she and Ben are creating for themselves in Tenterfield. After all, it’s a mere three hours’ drive to the coast. RLM ABOVE: Kristen Lovett with her KLAS Business and Accounting team of Lauren Lavea, Louisa Mullins, Kirsty O’Neill and Chloe Butler.

Not your average accountants Understanding your business not just the numbers

PASSION INNOVATION CHANGE 253 Rouse Street, Tenterfield NSW 2372 Ph. 02 6736 1145 Email. admin@klas.com.au


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

EXPERIENCE AND ENERGY Ray White Tenterfield successfully teams technology with dedication and a passion for customer service. In a sign of the times, Ray White Tenterfield real estate agency is operating out of a historic church. Ray White Tenterfield’s offices occupy the former Uniting Church hall, which came on the market along with the historic church after it was decommissioned. The agency moved into the church hall in mid 2021, in a shift seeing more and more real estate businesses move out of main street premises. “The big bonus is having plenty of parking for both our clients and our team of nine staff,” principal Ben Sharpe says. “Having a shop front in the main street is not as important as it was 20 years ago. The internet has become the window display. More importantly, our staff and clients no longer have any parking issues.” The church, built in 1929 and still with its original pews, leadlight windows and belltower, is now used as an auction room. Ben says it’s still available, free of charge, for weddings and funerals, especially for those with a sentimental attachment to the church. Ben was raised on “Warrigal” south of Tenterfield. During his school days at Tenterfield High, he enjoyed work experience with agents Bruce and Prue Birch. Knowing he’d found his career, he later attended Gatton Ag College before starting work as a livestock assistant with Wilshire & Birch. After a brief stint working for Wesfarmers in Mackay, Ben returned to Tenterfield when Bruce offered him a job in his new Ray White franchise. Within a few years he had his stock and station agent’s licence and in 2015 bought the business with wife Kristen


Lovett from KLAS Business and Accounting. They juggle their busy careers while raising their children Reagan, 13, and Beau, 10. The business offers a full suite of real estate and stock and station services, including residential sales and management, rural and lifestyle property sales, commercial property sales and management and livestock sales and purchases. Ben says they have an experienced and energetic crew of nine that is client focused. The business is divided into four teams: property sales, property management, livestock and administration. Cattle sales are conducted each fortnight at the Tenterfield saleyards, while the closest sheep saleyards are 100km away at Warwick. It is predominantly a cattle breeding area, and weaner sales are conducted in March and May each year. “In 2019, Ray White staged Tenterfield’s biggest yarding of 4500 weaners, brought on by the drought. The Australian herd was slashed by up to 70 per cent during the drought and is still in the rebuild stage,” Ben says. Despite reduced numbers, the 2022 weaner sales were their highest grossing sales in history, with huge demand from buyers from southern Queensland through to northern Victoria. Ben also owns a Ray White Livestock branch in Warwick, managed by Ben Johnston and livestock agent Callum McNicol. Residential and lifestyle property sales agent Libby Sharpe says house prices in Tenterfield range from $300,000 to $350,000. Since joining the firm in 1996, she has sold many houses twice, if not three times.

One of her selling points is the Tenterfield weather. “I love the great climate here,” she says. “Yes, it’s cold in winter but our summers are mild. Spring and autumn are spectacular. In my 26 years here I’ve seen plenty of changes in technology and the way we specialise in marketing and selling property.” During his 12 years with Ray White, rural property specialist Mark Clothier reckons he has seen it all. “I’ve witnessed first-hand the impact of the drought and the highlights of a once-ina-generation boom,” he says. “At the moment we’re seeing a lot of city dwellers heading to the bush looking for a more laid-back country lifestyle. Many of our clients have moved from highly populated coastal areas, looking for a tree change. “Property demand has been so strong. Our main problem is the current lack of listings. It’s the same for most rural towns.” Mark and wife Helen, a careers advisor at Tenterfield High School, have six adult children and live on a beautiful property east of town. Mark loves his work but is equally happy among his cows and his growing number of grandchildren. Whether you list, sell, rent or buy, you can rest easy knowing you are getting real estate experts with a strong local feel. RLM CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Ray White principal Ben Sharpe; the renovated offices behind the old Uniting Church; the livestock selling team in action; residential and lifestyle specialist Libby Sharpe with rural sales specialist Mark Clothier; sale day; Ben conducts auctions in the former church.

IN THE driver’s seat

Tenterfield identity Grant Townes has come a long way in the transport industry in just 11 years.


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

The big-thinking principal of Grant Townes Haulage (GTH) operates out of a depot adjacent to his father’s truck yard on the outskirts of town. It was there he learnt the business from his dad, Michael “Sparra” Townes, who started a service station and ran a tyre shop before establishing an earthmoving and construction business with wife Maree. For Grant, it’s been one hell of a ride. After graduating from school in 2004, he worked in the family business, Townes Contracting, up at the Cracow gold mine about 800km away in central Queensland, where he operated mining equipment and refined his skills with construction machinery. For six years, he came home regularly to drive trucks on his days off, with the aim of saving enough money to buy a truck of his own. In 2011, he drew up a business plan with his bank manager and bought an International Eagle that set him back every hard-earned dollar he’d made since joining the workforce. Finally, GTH was born. A decade later, the beat-up Eagle has been replaced by a dozen late-model Kenworths accompanied by a fleet of about 40 trailers. The business has grown tenfold, achieved by doing the hard miles and trusting his judgement – all managed without ever having an overdraft. Grant still enjoys getting behind the wheel a few days each week, fearing he might otherwise go “stir crazy” in the office. He keeps GTH’s 20 or so drivers occupied with a good mix of local and interstate haulage. He built his first depot, a 250-squaremetre shed, on his property west of Tenterfield, which he shares with partner Sapphire Daly, and their two-year-old daughter, Piper.

In 2015, Sapphire made a tree change from the coast, settling in Tenterfield with her parents, Tony and Janet Daly, who run a quaint little cafe on Rouse Street. It was there she first set eyes on the quietly spoken truckie who dropped in once a month for coffee. His visits became more frequent. His coffee fix eventually became a twice-a-day ritual. Something was clearly going on. She didn’t know many of the locals but Grant was evidently ticking a few boxes. “He seemed liked a nice, genuine sort of guy and we started chatting,” Sapphire says. “Fast forward five years and we now have a magnificent Great Dane we call Junior and a beautiful bub who loves tooting the horn on the forklift!” The former chef is now building her photography business, Tales and Tones, by word of mouth. “People seem to like my work and with that level of support I’ve been kept really busy, for which I’m extremely grateful,” she says. Grant steers clear of the camera, preferring to tinker around in the yard. “Every day you don’t work is a day you fall behind,” he says. Some people learn to be successful but for Grant it seems as natural as breathing. “I’ve never met a person with the ability to see things five steps ahead of everyone else,” Sapphire says with obvious admiration. When Grant decides to take a break, you know he’s not one to sit in an armchair at the beach. He and his brother, Jed, recently drove to Port Lincoln to take part in a mystery box rally. It involved 11 days of straight driving – a walk in the park for this seasoned truck driver – in his 1970 F100 former ambulance dubbed Jake and Elwood.

Grant still enjoys getting behind the wheel a few days each week, fearing he might otherwise go “stir crazy” in the office. More importantly, it gave this Tenterfield local a chance to enjoy a well-earned break, knowing his GTH team would keep the wheels turning in his absence. Now 35, Grant Townes has created a thriving business of which his family is exceptionally proud. GTH is proof positive of what can be achieved by one young man with passion and drive. RLM

FACING PAGE: Despite his comparative young age, Grant Townes has built a successful trucking business from the ground up. ABOVE: Three of the dozen Kenworth trucks owned and operated by Grant Townes Haulage; Grant with partner Sapphire Daly and daughter Piper.


best dressed CM Country Outfitters has filled a gap for those looking for quality country clothing and accessories.

Finding it difficult to purchase quality country clothing, Tenterfield’s rodeo- and campdraft-loving Sharman family took matters into their own hands when they opened CM Country Outfitters in 2008. A family affair it is, with Patsy Sharman and her business partners husband John, daughter Cassie and son Matt. Cassie lives near Ebor and often gives her mum some well-deserved time off from the shop when she’s home for a visit. Matt, a former bull rider, and his dad also help out when needed. Patsy and John’s other daughter, Vanessa, lives near Warwick and comes home every chance she gets, helping with the family business. The extensive range of stock on the shelves caters to everyone from babies to


their stylish mums and dads right through to seniors wanting to keep up with the latest fashion. The Rouse Street business is packed to the rafters with everything from boots, shoes, shirts, jeans, hats and belts to jewellery, toys, leather handbags, hoodies, baby and children’s clothing, scarves, beanies and appealing gift and saddlery lines. The extensive collection of knives is impressive to say the least, including every knife enthusiast’s favourite, the American Old Timer. They also have a horse float that is transformed into a mobile shop that does the campdraft rounds, where John is still a keen competitor. He is often joined by his equally enthusiastic daughters, both keen

horsewomen, who enjoy the sport. Tenterfield born and bred, Patsy is a natural people person and never complains about the long working hours in her store. The engaging main-street thoroughfare, packed with shops of every description, is a joy for Patsy, who at one stage knew just about everyone on the strip. “With so many newcomers to town these days, I don’t recognise some of the new faces in town but we all greet each other in the way we do in small country towns, with a smile as we pass.” Rouse Street is an attraction in itself. The friendly locals are always keen to welcome regulars, new customers and those who make it a point to stop and shop in Tenterfield as they travel the New England Highway.

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

Patsy says one of the greatest benefits of owning a business like hers is the opportunity to dress her family in style. Her grandchildren are the best-dressed kids at the rodeo, hands down. You will see these little cuties showing off CM Country Outfitters range of country kids’ wear on the shop’s Facebook page – Gus, Josie, Miley, Bailey, Carter, Dolly and Chase are model grandkids. As you’d expect, all the leading brand names can be found in store – Wrangler, Thomas Cook, Twisted X, Ariat, Cinch, Cruel Girl, Cowgirl Tuff and Gidgee Eyes sunglasses to name a few. With their exceptional taste, Patsy and Cassie do the stock ordering either online or from catalogues to create the marvellous range on their shelves. “Our kids started in pony club, then we started in the junior rodeo (the Glowalman) and campdrafting and rodeo became a big part of our life. We had a pretty good idea of what competitors in that arena were looking for, which made ordering much easier,” Patsy says. At the end of the day, Patsy drives back to her farm near Bolivia Hill, where John has dinner cooked. During and after the meal, Patsy shares stories about the interesting people she’s met throughout the day, while John keeps her updated with all the things going on around the property. Patsy’s brother, Larry Schiffmann, and Matt live a mile further down the road from the Sharmans. Matt and John breed bucking bulls, supplying rough-riding stock for rodeos. Their property, “Brookside”, was originally selected by Larry and Patsy’s great-grandfather, Frederick Bendall, and is believed to be the only property in the district still in the hands of the original selectees. “It’s pretty uncommon in this day and age for one family to have stuck around in the one place for so long, but we just love it here – the climate, the country. It’s just beautiful and a pleasure to spend time here when I’m not behind the counter,” Patsy says. Conveniently, the shop’s doors are open seven days a week, catching the passing weekend trade, who are pleasantly surprised with the extensive range. The window display changes throughout the year to promote various events such as Mother’s and Father’s Day. Their Christmas window needs to be seen to be believed. This family-owned and operated business has certainly brought another dimension to the Tenterfield shopping precinct, and as long as customers leave with a smile, Patsy knows they’ll be back. RLM

Tenterfield born and bred, Patsy is a natural people person and never complains about the long working hours in her store. FACING PAGE: Patsy Sharman from CM Country Outfitters has a shop full of clothes, boots, hats and accessories. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Patsy and John Sharman’s daughter Cassie models clothes with her boys Bailey, Carter and Chase; John campdrafting on Mace; retired bull rider Matt Sharman on board Freaky (Image: Eagle Photography); CM Country Outfitters caters for all horse enthusiasts.


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

a warm welcome

The Jumbuck Motor Inn is the perfect spot for a good night’s rest when passing through Tenterfield – just ask the many guests who keep coming back. The modern and spotless 16 ground-floor rooms at the Jumbuck Motor Inn come with comfortable beds and steaming hot showers, making it only natural for guests to return time after time. The friendly staff and management look forward to providing you with a warm welcome and will assist in any way to make your stay at the Jumbuck most enjoyable. Enjoy your complimentary wi-fi and parking, fresh milk for tea and coffee and double-glazed windows to ensure a quiet stay. A continental breakfast is available for those not wishing to venture out of their room, although the motel is ideally located within walking distance to shops and eateries. It is right next door to the Visitors Information Centre, making it convenient to access the rundown on the local area or charge your electric vehicle at the charging station. The Jumbuck aims to make your stay as memorable as possible, providing friendly and caring service with modern, renovated and sparkling clean rooms. Staff will greet you with a smile on arrival and live on-site to be of assistance 24/7. Accommodation options include executive king and queen rooms, twin share accommodation, as well as family rooms and a two-bedroom unit. The Jumbuck Motel received Tripadvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award for 2022, and has gained a Certificate of Excellence every year since 2015.

It is the highest ranked Tenterfield motel on several online booking sites and is rated 3.5 stars by Star Ratings Australia, the independent industry standard association. Staff and management look forward to catching up at the Jumbuck Motor Inn on your next visit to Tenterfield. RLM FROM TOP: The Jumbuck Motor Inn provides a warm welcome for all visitors to Tenterfield; the rooms are clean, comfortable and quiet.


JUMBUCK MOTOR INN, TENTERFIELD Open 7 days for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea Coffee by Artisti Coffee Roasters, Toormina NSW

King, queen, twin and family rooms available Free Wi-Fi  All units are on the ground floor

Large groups welcome ∙ Pet friendly

BOOK DIRECT + SAVE 141 Rouse Street, Tenterfield NSW 2372 (02) 6736 2055 stay@jumbuckmotorinn.com.au www.jumbuckmotorinn.com.au Cnr Rouse St & Manners St Tenterfield

Located inside the historic Sir Henry Parkes School of Arts Building

(02) 6736 4741 courtyardcafensw@gmail.com Facebook & Instagram @courtyardcafetenterfield


Quote LIFESTYLE when booking direct via the phone and receive $5 off per night booked with us. OFFER EXPIRES 30/11/2023

Our range includes Quality clothing Footwear Saddlery Jewellery Gifts Sunglasses Knives Hats

Brands we stock Akubra Sunbody Ariat Wrangler Twisted X Roper Levi Cowgirl Tuff Bullzeye Bébé Fox & Finch Arthur Avenue


Weekdays 9am–5pm Weekends 9am–2pm


(02) 6736 1072



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

cafe society

In Tenterfield’s School of Arts building, where Sir Henry Parkes delivered his historic speech in 1889 calling on the colonies to form one nation, cafe owner Amanda Blair is carving out her own future.

The School of Arts building was redeveloped about 20 years ago into a multi-purpose space, which houses the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Museum as well as a cinema complex, theatre for stage shows and cafe. It was the perfect venue for Amanda Blair, who moved from Brisbane to Wallangarra, in Queensland’s Granite Belt, 13 years ago with husband Simon and their two young daughters to experience life in the country. Amanda, who has worked in hospitality virtually all her life, found the vacant cafe space in the School of Arts building in 2017, signed a lease and launched her new business venture. The Courtyard Café serves 100-plus customers a day – sometimes more than double that number when busloads of tourists pass through – who dine inside or outdoors undercover in the leafy, paved courtyard. It is open seven days a week for morning and afternoon teas and lunch, and includes an all-day breakfast menu. The casual dining menu features homecooked meals, with the emphasis on fresh ingredients that are predominantly sourced from local or regional suppliers. Amanda employs 11 staff, making the cafe a significant contributor to the town’s economy. The town has had to draw on its resilience in recent years.


“We’ve seen it all – drought, bushfires, floods and even snow, all of which have taken their toll on tourism,” Amanda says. “Conversely, tourist numbers increased during COVID because people couldn’t travel overseas or interstate so they discovered regional Australia and we did experience an up-tick.” The cafe remained open throughout the pandemic. “We did whatever the guidelines allowed and adapted the menu accordingly,” Amanda says. “We expanded our selection of takeaways so people could still purchase meals to eat at home when they couldn’t dine out, and reduced other items.” Living a mere 15 minutes from Tenterfield, but technically across the border, was not without its challenges.

“At one stage, when Queensland wasn’t letting anyone over the border, I lived in the local motel in Tenterfield for three weeks,” Amanda says. It has been rewarding to become part of the community and learn about the town historians call the birthplace of the nation, she says. “It’s a beautiful little town with so much to offer. Its rich history is just the start.” RLM Words: Liz Tickner Images: Lara Flanagan

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Owner Amanda Blair enjoys her busy role at the Courtyard Cafe; relaxing spaces to enjoy the Courtyard Cafe hospitality; The Courtyard Café staff. Back - Karen Moylan, Debbie Minns Amanda Blair, Sarah Saxby, Laura Richards and Renee Jenkins. Front - Ally Sedlbauer, Kylie Jackson, Dani Blair, Mariah Mooney and Amelia Wishart; coffee is a firm favourite; the historic exterior of the building; tempting treats await you.

the real DEAL

The name Alford and Duff has loomed large in Tenterfield since 1995. Owner of the Alford and Duff real estate agency is Steve Alford, a Queenslander who moved across the border into “Blues” territory 27 years ago. Steve grew up on a sprawling 4500-acre cattle and sheep property near the little town of Dulacca on Queensland’s Western Downs. He attended Gatton Agricultural College before going to work for Primac stock and station agents in Roma. Steve made the transition from livestock sales to real estate when he moved from Warwick to Tenterfield in 1995. “I felt I should have a go on my own,” Steve says. He realised his ambition with the establishment of Alford and Duff, initially in partnership with Robert and Joanne Duff. Steve bought out the Duffs 18 months later, but kept the trading name intact, and then in 2002 joined forces with the First National group. “I was advised to get a brand name to give the business a bit more strength,” Steve says. He took that advice on board, and today Alford and Duff First National is a major player in the Tenterfield residential and rural real estate market, as well as livestock and clearance sales. Steve says residential prices in Tenterfield are strong, brought about by demand from buyers fleeing successive floods in the Northern Rivers. He says the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane markets, as well as some coastal locations, have “overheated” in recent years, but Tenterfield still offers value for money. “Tenterfield is a very nice place. We’ve got a zero tolerance to crime, which is what I sell the town on more than anything else,” Steve says. Steve believes the rural real estate market will remain firm in the foreseeable future. “Livestock markets are strong, and provided we keep Foot and Mouth Disease out of Australia I can’t see land values falling,” Steve says. The Alford and Duff office comprises Steve and four other employees. “I surround myself with smart people who do the paperwork while all I do is list and sell,” Steve says. A raft of awards displayed in the agency’s Rouse Street office is testimony to Steve’s business acumen. In 2021, Alford and Duff won First National’s awards for the highest number of exclusive listings, settled sales and gross sales commission in rural NSW, and Steve was also recognised with the Diamond Award for Rural Commission. “I may be a Queenslander by birth, but I love it here.” RLM


Words: Liz Tickner Images: Lara Flanagan

FROM TOP: The Alford and Duff team, Laurie Stenzel, Shania Moore, Katrina Chisholm, Helen Crotty and Steve Alford; Helen, Laurie and Steve in action at the Tenterfield Saleyards; Steve in full swing selling a pen of cattle; Federation-style home recently sold by Helen.


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

the sausage king An award-winning butchery has sat across the road from the famous Tenterfield Saddler for 75 years.

Since taking over from Maurie Quirk in 1986, Premier Meats owners Tim and Carmel Rose have built a reputation as a quality, traditional, retail butcher shop based on their logo “premium quality, every day”. Combined with their range of famous gourmet sausages, exclusive smallgoods and personal service, they have developed a loyal customer base locally and from afar over the past 36 years. The business has had a stranglehold on the Australian Meat Industry’s Sausage King competitions. In the regional finals they’ve come home with the blue ribbon for a staggering 21 consecutive years, while clinching three gold medals at state level in Sydney. It’s little wonder they’re referred to as the “New England Sausage Kings”. “When I first kicked off, the sausages were voted second in Australia,” Tim says. “I had a mate in the media and he was able to get a write-up in one of the big Melbourne newspapers. That generated a lot of interest and put us on the map. We even had a truckie ring from the Nullarbor wanting to pick up some of my snags as he came through Tenterfield.” Premier Meats’ hams and bacon have been awarded gold, silver and bronze medals at the Royal Sydney Fine Food Show and Australian PorkMark national and state awards. These smallgoods are produced exclusively in-house at Tenterfield. The on-site smokehouse produces fabulous wood-smoked ham and bacon along with a range of salami, pastrami, cabanas and other meats.


Premier Meats is a proud supplier of regionally grown, hormone-free beef, lamb and pork and a stockist for Moore Venison, supplying fresh venison cuts, smoked venison hams, salami and backstraps. Apart from Tim, two full-time butchers, Floyd Oxford and Teena Smith, are employed along with apprentice Darcy Roots. Teena is the only qualified female butcher in town and, after 20 years of wielding the knife, is a force in her own right. “I love the creative side of being a butcher and enjoy experimenting with the rest of the team to create new flavour combinations,” she says. Considering how long they’ve been in business, there has been a relatively small turnover of qualified staff. “We have trained about 10 apprentices and it is great to be able to give young people a good start in their careers,” Tim says. “Some have continued on in the industry while others have succeeded in alternative occupations.” Tim was born into the cattle industry, having grown up on a local property run by his grandfather and then Tim’s father. The industry knowledge gleaned during those early days on the property has served him well. In the late 1970s, Tim worked at the local meatworks, which has since closed, and two butcher shops in town before he and Carmel bought Premier Meats. Carmel came from Stanthorpe to work in the Forestry Commission before transferring to the local police station. “I

had no plans to stay but I met Tim and here I am 50 years later,” she laughs. “We may be known as the ‘Sausage Kings’ but our core business is traditional retail. Along with all traditional cuts we offer a range of value-added and gourmet meal solutions. “We are guided by current food trends and in particular by our customers’ needs. We aim to provide clients with a great shopping experience and we carry a good selection of condiments, relishes and sauces to accompany their selections.” When they’re not at work, Tim and Carmel enjoy unwinding in the garden. They have two sons, David and Troy, neither of whom followed the family tradition. “Both our boys did a stint in the shop after leaving school before deciding to spread their wings and pursue different careers in the city – not that it stops them filling their eskies whenever they come home,” Carmel grins. After 36 years on the job, Tim admits you need strong reserves of passion and commitment to get through the long days. “Meeting people, creating new product lines and keeping our customers coming back for more is enough to keep me going,” the humble butcher says before returning to work. RLM FROM TOP LEFT: For nearly four decades Tim and Carmel Rose from Premier Meats have provided high quality meat products for their Tenterfield locals; the butcher’s shop has been going strong for 75 years; the town’s only female butcher, Teena Smith, with Tim in the cool room.


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An iconic publication featuring a collection of the best of editions 19-34 Available now from all stockists of Regional Lifestyle Magazine, and on our website: www.lifestylemagazine.net.au Orders can also be made by contacting Elizabeth: P. 0429 441 086 E. editor@lifestylemagazine.net.au RRP: $20

A great gift idea TENTERFIELD RLM 173

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

purple patch Tim and Deborah Bonner’s lavender farm represents a risk that has paid off beautifully. It was a big gamble that paid rich dividends when the Bonner family diversified from Herefords to herbs 22 years ago, planting a lavender crop on their Queensland border property. Knowing little about lavender didn’t deter Tere and husband Peter Bonner from sowing 12,000 plants on six acres of their property between Tenterfield and Stanthorpe. Two decades later, the Bonner family is still planting lavender and harvesting every last part of the versatile and sought-after product, selling from a retail outlet on their Granite Belt farm, now a haven for tourists, campers and visitors from across the country. The family has been in the Liston area near Stanthorpe since the 1850s. Tim Bonner is a fifth-generation farmer and now a councillor with Tenterfield Shire Council, while wife Deborah works in agribanking in Warwick. Tim’s mother, Tere, a former Home Economics teacher for close to 30 years at Stanthorpe High, continues to play a vital role in the business. Looking for something different and interesting, Tere and late husband Peter toured Victoria and southern NSW before embarking on their ambitious new project. “The freshly planted lavender grew particularly well, and we figured we might be onto something,” Tere says. “Our decision was based purely on an impulse – we knew very little about the plant, especially how labour intensive it is. “We feel fortunate we chose to grow lavender, which is well suited to our land and climate.” In 2001, they started building their dream home and shop in front of the rolling, pale purple paddocks. During gaps in construction, they planted the majority of the crop, armed with the knowledge 95 per cent of lavender used in Australia is imported. Another sideline is the popular bush camping ground, which


includes 22 powered sites for those who enjoy relaxing on a working farm surrounded by national parks. Although the farm sits on the NSW and Queensland border, it is in the Tenterfield shire, making it an interesting place to be during the State of Origin series. “Tenterfield has a historic background and beautiful national parks,” Deborah says. “Our cattle property lies along the Mount Lindesay Road, the scenic alternate route from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. We have plenty of space for coaches and caravans to park and turn in comfort.” The shop, open from 10am to 4pm Thursday to Monday, is well stocked with a large range of lavender products. “We sell virtually all of our lavender and its products through our gift shop. From the dried product we sell dried bunches, ‘stripped’ lavender of various weights and distil our oil on-site. Everybody remembers their grandmother putting a lavender bag in their clothes cupboard to freshen up their towels and underwear.” Apart from the wide range of soaps and lavender cosmetics, the shop also stocks china, hats, jewellery, stationery, framed prints, jams and confectionary and much more. Meals and morning and afternoon teas can be prepared for larger groups with prior booking. Good coffee and a range of teas are available to guests at any time but for the superb Devonshire tea it’s best to book ahead to have the scones fresh from the oven. Tere can always be counted on to hold the fort during busy periods, cooking and manning the shop. With her 80th birthday soon approaching, this dynamo loves her sewing and cats, which greet all newcomers. The family grows 11 different commercial varieties for their specific qualities. Italian and French varieties provide colour throughout the year for the increasing level of tourism.

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

Harvesting begins in mid November during the cooler parts of the day and finishes before Christmas. The lavender is handpicked using five or six pickers before being hung to dry for up to 10 days, when it’s packaged and stripped for later use. In a good year, they can cut over 30,000 bunches and produce about 10 litres of pure, essential oil, which is sold by the millilitre. The family has chosen to take the tourism path with sales of products on site, value adding of the stripped lavender and products as well as distillation of sufficient oil for sales. Tim says it’s very rewarding having such a versatile and useful plant that is enjoyed by their guests. “The more we have to do with lavender, the more we respect its healing qualities,” he says. “With hospital-grade antiseptic qualities, lavender is used for minor cuts, abrasions and burns and known to be very helpful with its calming qualities, curbing headaches and insomnia.” Lavender also helps prevent itch and pain from most insect bites and the oil is used in oil burners, baths and to freshen rooms. Tim juggles his time between his three great loves of breeding Angus cattle, council commitments in Tenterfield 45 minutes away and the lavender farm. He’s the type of man who has never backed down from any challenge and is constantly on the alert for new opportunities to diversify. “I’ve tried many things over the years, not all of them winners,” he grins. “It’s a bit like taking on a tiger – you never know what’s going to happen unless you prod it. I’ve always said you can’t figure out how deep the mud is unless you step in it.” The land has traditionally been cattle country, with Peter and Tere breeding Herefords from 1965 until numbers were slashed in the 1991 drought. “With an older brother on the farm there was not quite enough room for both of us. In the 1980s, Martin and I started spreading fertiliser with a special machine we adapted to help make ends meet,” Tim says. The business was expanded into contract agricultural services – spreading fertiliser, carting cattle, slashing and bulk haulage. At one stage they had five trucks on the road until 2005 when Tim took one truck and went solo. The brothers still work together in the cattle department, running about 400 breeders on their 3500-acre farm. Tim and Deborah have three sons – Adam is an agribanker in Emerald, Peter a design engineer and Thomas a diesel fitter, both working in Brisbane. Although none are involved with the business, they have watched with pride as Aloomba Lavender has transformed itself into a flourishing tourist destination. RLM

Gift shop Online shop Devonshire tea B&B Bush camping Weddings


ABOVE: Deborah and Tim Bonner with some of their lavender products in their farm shop: the granite country is well suited to lavender production. FACING PAGE: Fields of purple greet visitors to the Aloomba Lavender Farm, east of Stanthorpe.

Aloomba Lavender is a part of a 3500 acre cattle property east of Stanthorpe. Established in 1998, the lavender covers 6 acres with approximately 12,000 plants. We sell virtually all of our lavender and its products through our own gift shop.

5425 Mt Lindesay Road Liston via Stanthorpe, QLD 4380 0429 919 910 ∙ lavender@aloomba.com



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

ALL EARS Tenterfield community radio station Ten FM is so much more than catchy tunes and district news. Lightning strikes and access issues forced community radio Ten FM to move broadcasting operations from its caravan atop Mount Mackenzie into town in 1986. After trying several locations, the team settled into premises conveniently located next to the council building in Manners Street. The station’s growing popularity justified the expansion of the broadcast area to include Stanthorpe. Now there are studios in both towns, in buildings provided by each local council. Covering almost 10,000 square kilometres, the station reaches out to numerous rural towns and villages. More than 30 volunteer announcers present a range of programs, which in addition to current popular music include country, blues, jazz, Indigenous, golden oldies and a special Italian program devised for the many local residents sharing that heritage. One of the announcers, Mike Harris, blind from birth, presents his own programs four times a week with guide dog Nevada sitting quietly at his feet. Mike helps prepare and edit the station’s playlists and trains young announcers to become better broadcasters. To highlight the strength of community, Mike mentioned on air he’d like to try skydiving, and in response several listeners offered to help pay the fee. The next thing Mike knew he was jumping out of a plane, soaring through the air in one of the most exhilarating moments of his life. “The radio station is my life. I love music, communicating and training new presenters,” says Mike, who has been part of the on-air team for 32 years. “Luckily, I live just up the road so it’s a short stroll for me and Nevada.” Several other volunteers work behind the scenes in production, scheduling and sponsorship support. Committees run the Tenterfield and Stanthorpe studios separately but work in close harmony.



As well as music, the station provides local news, sports and weather reports, community announcements, a lost and found segment and gives listeners a voice on the Have Your Say program. Interviews with mayors from both shires complete the wide range of presentations offered by the community station. The ongoing 24-hour information service Ten FM conducted during the floods of 2010-2011 received a Community Service Award from the NSW Premier “in recognition and appreciation of your outstanding contribution to the community”. During the recent devastating bushfires, which caused power failures and road closures, Ten FM was for many people the only source of up-to-date information on

the direction and progress of the fires. As a result, rural residents were able to take protective and evasive action. Hundreds of people have been trained to be proficient in preparing and presenting their own radio programs over the past 36 years, and well over 20 volunteers have gone on to full-time employment in the media. RLM

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Station volunteers Pip Lillyman, Pete Robinson, Irene Jarvis, Marion Saxby, Daniel Duffield and Mike Harris at Ten FM; Community stalwart Pete Robinson helps run the show; Mike Harris and faithful friend Nevada hard at work.

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

community minded The Drake Village Women’s Shed is a place of activity and connection. With a population of 356, Drake has always been a fairly close-knit community. Back in its heyday following the discovery of gold, and later, tin in the late 1800s, as well as abundant supplies of timber, Drake boasted a school, post office and 14 pubs, hence the need for a police station out near the cemetery. After a big Saturday night session at the pub, they could always ask for forgiveness the next day at St Peter the Apostle Anglican Church, which has been placed on the National Estate Register. It also had a town band, blacksmith and weekly coach run from Tenterfield to Casino, but that was back in 1885 when you would see bullock teams, drovers and settlers passing through en route to the coast or inland. It’s 800km from the bright city lights of Sydney, and close to an hour’s drive into Tenterfield along the Bruxner Highway, or Casino in the other direction. Drake is no longer a thriving metropolis. The only businesses remaining in town are the Lunatic Hotel, community hall and the Post Office, which serves as a gallery, cafe, op shop and Centrelink access point – the place where it all happens. Last year, a small group of women created the Drake Village Women’s Shed, a place to chat over a cuppa, do some craft work and become involved with community events. “Our group provides a safe and welcoming environment for all women in the community, especially those whose lives may have been affected by conflict or disaster,” president Lisa Battishill says. “This connection aids in recovery and reconnecting with each other.” Its aims are straightforward: to enhance the well-being, health and quality of women’s lives. There’s just one thing missing – at this point in time they don’t actually have a shed! Instead, they meet at Drake Community Hall. Although limited in some ways, their aim is to provide a well-equipped premises with activities, projects and hobbies they can work on for their own enjoyment, or for the benefit of all. Macrame, gardening, arts and crafts are just a handful of things that keep the village women well occupied, or if they’re not feeling particularly creative, enjoying a catch-up over coffee is equally as beneficial. In such a small community it’s always a challenge raising funds and seeking donations. In a bid to overcome this hurdle, the women work tirelessly running the

ABOVE: Lisa Battishill, Louise Bartlett, Suki Shea, Julie Leonard, Helen Nauschutz, Belinda Fields, Penny Jacobsen and Christine Spedding. LEFT: The women are involved with local organisations.

monthly market, selling raffle tickets and urging locals to sell their wares. “There is a men’s shed in town, which meets at the pub, but neither the pub nor here are designed to really cater for our interests,” Lisa says. Half of the 10 paid-up members told RLM they found themselves in Drake for a variety of reasons. President Lisa is a relative newcomer to the village, moving there two years ago to be with her sister after 30 years on the Central Coast. Louise Bartlett, the group’s treasurer and Lisa’s sister, has lived in Drake for 14 years, loving the quiet, country lifestyle where she can indulge her love of bushwalking, immersing herself amid the abundant wildlife. Five years ago, secretary Suki Shea was walking the Bicentennial National Trail when a bushfire swept through, leaving Suki in need of rescuing. Her knight in shining armour just happened to be a Drake local, who has since become her husband. Julie Leonard has been in the village for the past 34 years since leaving the big smoke of Sydney, lured by the mountain lifestyle and small, intimate community. She has the job of rattling the tin as the group’s fundraising officer. Helen Nauschutz had strong motivation for coming up with the idea of the Women’s Shed.

“During the fires I found the local women needed to get together and check on each other,” Helen says. “Many people live in fairly remote conditions and I felt we all needed a place to connect. As I live in town, all the girls came to my place. Out here women have to be strong, independent, resourceful and resilient, but a shocking event like a bushfire makes us all vulnerable.” It was during this time they decided to form the Drake Women’s Shed (although they were shedless). “It’s not an organisation like CWA as we have a fairly different direction we’d like to take. Besides that, we’re not exactly known for our scones,” she laughs. “When we do eventually have sufficient funds to erect a shed, so many more activities will be available for members. In a large, purpose-built space we could do other things like woodworking and pottery.” The group is always open to new members who will share some of their exciting plans for the future. The Women’s Shed meets at Drake Community Hall on Tabulam Street on the third Thursday of the month at 5.15pm. Despite its remote location, Drake is an infinitely beautiful part of the country, famous for its agriculture, timber, hiking, fishing and fossicking. For some, like the women in this group, it could be considered the ultimate tree change. RLM



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

a pioneering family

Drake cattleman Roderick Robson Ramsay willingly admits he’s always done it tough on “Cheviot Hills”, but concedes it would have been much worse for his English forebears who first set foot on the place in 1842. Robert and Henrietta Smith arrived on the Surrey in Sydney from England in 1838. The trip ended in disaster, even before they’d arrived at their destination. Before the ship had berthed in Sydney, a hapless gentleman fell overboard and, in the ensuing excitement, Henrietta threw her hands in the air in alarm, promptly despatching her handbag into the drink. It was no laughing matter. Not only had she lost all her money but also a small parcel of valuable documents that would introduce her to society in the new colony. How on earth would the governor, Sir George Gipps, know who she was when her letter of introduction was now sitting in Davy Jones’s locker? After a brief sojourn managing a Hunter Valley property, they settled at Fairfield, a location that later developed into the village of Drake, half an hour from Tenterfield. The spread they were running was once owned by pastoralist Captain William Ogilvie as part of his Yugilbar run. There’s no record of how it came into the Smiths’ possession, but it’s likely the good captain, who had too much land to handle on his own, may have gifted it to Robert, his good and faithful servant. The property was passed down to Robert’s sons, Harry and Frank Smith. When Harry married, he felt the old slab hut he’d been occupying was unsuitable for his new bride, and built the homestead in the late 1850s. It was then passed down to his son Arthur and later to Arthur’s daughter, Dorothy Smith, who married Roderick Ramsay, from Quipolly, near Quirindi, a veterinarian who had graduated from Sydney University. Their son, Roderick, better known as Rod, is now lord and master of the 20,000-acre “Cheviot Hills” property, named after a region dividing Scotland and England. The young chap attended Drake Public School and claims to be the last of the wild, young bush kids who rode a horse to the oneteacher school three miles each day. The ponies knew only one speed – flat out – and his record was 12 minutes. School numbers varied according to what was happening in the district at the time. His mother felt a good Sydney education would improve their son’s social standing and Rod, aged 11, was sent to the King’s School, Parramatta. The boy from the bush found that first week the most traumatic of his young life, having to break in his first new pair of leather shoes. The sheer size of King’s was initially overwhelming as Rod was more accustomed to being part of a tiny bush school where he knew everyone. Instead, he was thrust into a sea of 1000 boys from all over the country – and he didn’t know a soul. Only a select few from the district attended boarding school, so it was a huge culture shock, to say the least.

His aspiring career as a mining engineer went down the chute after failing his first year at Sydney Uni. Rod always maintains it was a shame as the mining industry was about to boom and engineers were in high demand. Left with no other prospects, he returned to Drake and life as a farmer, fulfilling his family duty. Like many marriages of the day, he met his future wife Eleanor at a bush dance in a tiny hall at Sandy Hill, halfway to Tenterfield. They had three sons, who all spent time on the farm before moving away and starting their own families. Simon is now in Melbourne, Hamish in Casino and David in Brisbane. “In some ways it’s a bit disappointing, considering we’ve been here for 180 years,” Rod says. “But we’ve always encouraged them to be independent and make their own way. Besides, life here isn’t always easy.” It’s tough, unforgiving land and a long way from anywhere. Eleanor loves her animals and has never missed living in town with all its luxuries. She often jokes she’s “not quite ready to join the latte set just yet”. However, she does drive into Tenterfield each Friday for lunch with friends, and does the weekly grocery shop. Although they now live separately on the property – Rod in the old schoolhouse and Eleanor in the worker’s cottage – they’re still great mates after more than half a century of marriage. In this rugged country, no one should be on their own. > FACING PAGE: Drake cattleman Rod Ramsay has spent a lifetime on “Cheviot Hills”. ABOVE: Rod and Eleanor Ramsay on the old homestead verandah, which is being renovated following several good seasons.


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

“The best thing of all is we’re finally debt-free. Had we not harvested stands of eucalypts over the past 30 years, it’s doubtful we’d still be here,” Rod admits. “The timber sales kept the wolf from the door and has allowed us to do some much-needed maintenance and farm improvements, essential things like fencing and other upgrades. “Best of all, there’s almost enough left over to undertake renovations on the old homestead where I grew up. To complete the restoration, I might have to sell a block or two, but it will be worth it. After Dad died, my brother lived there as a bachelor and even then, it was showing signs of decay.” As a young farmer on “Cheviot Hills” Rod had five neighbours who all ran cattle and helped with the boundary fences and returned straying stock. Nowadays, he has 25 neighbours with only one of them a cattleman. Only about a quarter of the property has been cleared and there are places on it he’s never even seen. Until just a few years ago, it was a bullock operation but now their main emphasis is on breeding stock. Herefords were the cattle of choice until the mid1960s when his late brother David introduced Brahman bloodlines into the herds. “Everyone was horrified,” Rod laughs. The property had earned a solid reputation for its highly sought-after young cattle, which were walked for three days across the range to reach the Tenterfield Weaner Sales. In those days Victorian cattlemen were notoriously keen buyers, sending their purchases thousands of miles home via rail. Although he’s the only male Ramsay left on the farm, Rod has three brothers and a sister. The eldest, Arthur, is in a Bonalbo nursing home, Jamie has a property at Woodenbong and Jane lives in Sydney. His brother David was tragically killed in a car accident at Nyngan in 1967. Apart from his education in Sydney and a short stint managing a


property at Biloela in Queensland, Rod has spent the bulk of his 75 years at “Cheviot Hills”, just as his father before him. In years gone by they would muster on horseback and at one stage the horse herd numbered 60. Now, there’s just one old grey mare who ain’t what she used to be. Poor old girl probably won’t make it through the next winter. The old stables where Captain Thunderbolt was said to have shod his horses, lies abandoned and lonely near the homestead. Nowadays, good working dogs and four-wheelers have replaced the old four-legged form of transport during mustering. It hasn’t been all work and no play for Rod. In 1970, he became a foundation member of the Richmond Range Rugby Club, playing with the Mallanganee-based club “till well after I should have retired”. He did, however, manage a couple of games with NSW Country and loved every minute of it. In yet another break from farm life he joined amateur theatrical group the Ballina Players in 2002, taking part in nearly all their musical productions through to 2019. One of his favourite roles was in 2007 as Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, one he reprised in 2016. Theatre gave Rod the opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of people whose interests were completely different to those of his daily life. In hindsight, it’s possibly a good thing he failed mining engineering at uni. Otherwise, Roderick Robson Ramsay might not have continued the proud family tradition that began all those years ago. RLM CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The cattle are bred tough just like the owners; grazier Rod Ramsay with a photo of the old homestead; the stables were once visited by bushrangers; inside are saddles and harness gear from yesteryear.




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RLM 187

hitting the

RIGHT NOTE Farming, music, community and family combine harmoniously to fill Frances and Nick Evans’s rich and rewarding life.

It was every parent’s worst nightmare when three-year-old Alfred Evans embarked on his Boys’ Own farm adventure. For an anxious 2½ hours, the inquisitive youngster appeared to have vanished into thin air. Within 30 minutes of going AWOL, most of the tiny population of Collie, along with emergency services from Warren, Gilgandra and Narromine, dropped everything and mustered at “Eurobla”, ready to assist a neighbour in distress. The active toddler had wandered off in search of his mother, narrowly missing her in the kitchen baking biscuits, before

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being found safe and sound 2km from the homestead. It was a happy conclusion for distraught parents Nick and Frances Evans, who three years later have never forgotten the goodness that came out of that confronting time. “The overwhelming support we received was testimony to the strength, care and kindness within this close-knit community,” says Frances, still emotional even thinking about the ordeal. Ironically, it was this very sense of community that helped lure the classically trained musicians to the farm in the first place. Coming home had always been a long-

held dream for Frances, a fifth-generation Collie farmer, while Nick, more of an urbane city dweller, often dreamt of a life playing music in one of the great cities of Europe. Love can make a man do radical things, and Nick was no exception. With Frances by his side, they traded in their violin and clarinet for fencing pliers, overalls, shovels and all things rural. Memories of them performing with orchestras are starting to fade as they devote their energies to matters of the heart – the land, raising Alfred, now six, and his threeyear-old sister, Harriet, and teaching music to the next generation.

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After many lengthy discussions, the pair moved to the farm, near Warren, in 2016 – one of the wettest years on record with 800mm or 32 inches in the rain gauge, twice the annual rainfall. The buoyant season prompted plans to expand the sheep enterprise but within 12 months the newcomers were staring down the worst drought in a century. “We call Harriet our little drought-breaker baby, as we had 60mm the day we brought her home,” laughs Frances, a vivacious, can-do woman who is just at home on sheep duties as playing on stage to a captive audience. During the drought, Nick spent three months working his classically trained hands as a butcher at Fletcher’s Abattoir. These days, his meat-handling skills are put to good use around the farm. Having their children enjoy a typical country upbringing is not lost on Nick and Frances. “We want our children to grow up without being reliant on electronic devices like television and iPads to keep them occupied,” says Frances, who admits that can sometimes be a challenge. “We involve the children in our daily farm life, read to them, play with them and are always singing and making up simple songs with them. Music making in some way each day is simply part of their life. We make it fun and don’t enforce it. They don’t know any different.” Farming life in the 21st century is a far cry from the early days of “Eurobla”.


Pioneering farmers Robert and Harriet Firth settled in the Warren district in the late 19th century, with son Alfred building the original homestead and woolshed in 1904. Both are still standing but slowly succumbing to the elements. The old woolshed was replaced with an updated version a decade ago while the sprawling timber homestead was lived in by Frances’ parents, Philip and Carole Wilson, until 1982, when they built a new home nearby. In recent years, they downsized to a smaller cottage on the property, built by Nick and Frances in their early days of marriage. Philip has lived an interesting and varied life, the bulk of it as a radio operator in the merchant navy. He also spent a decade working on oil rigs in Bass Strait and Indonesian waters and enjoyed flying locally in his five-seater Beechcraft – all the while keeping a firm handle on the farm. Carole enjoyed working in remote Aboriginal hospitals in the Kimberley and for a time was the youngest matron ever appointed in Western Australia. It was here she made many life-long friends who would later travel east to visit her throughout the next stage in her life.

The pair met in their late 30s in a scene straight out of a movie. Long story short, Carole exchanged addresses with a fellow traveller on her maiden Greyhound Buslines journey across America. Three years later, Philip was doing the same thing. During one stretch he was yarning to the fellow sitting next to him about how difficult it was (with all his travel) to meet a nice single Australian woman, when the stranger handed him Carole’s address in Perth and suggested he make contact. For the next 14 months, the two Aussies became pen pals, exchanging their hopes and dreams for the future on thin airmail paper. Finally, Philip docked in Fremantle with a shipment of iron ore and was engaged to Carole within six months. “I grew up on the farm with Dad often away, but he always made up for lost time when he was home,” Frances laughs. “He taught my sister Sara and I to be global citizens.” Born when her mother was 44, Frances was schooled in Dubbo but always loved mustering, shearing and fencing with her father. By her fourth birthday, she was introduced to the piano and a few years later the violin, an instrument played by both her grandfathers. For many years, there were regular trips to Dubbo and Narromine for fortnightly lessons. With all this music in the family, it seemed a natural progression for Frances to buy her teacher’s violin school, which at the time had a dozen students but soon grew sixfold.

“Needing an injection of inspiration and education, I moved to Canberra to study my Bachelor of Music at the Australian National University School of Music,” she says. “While there, I practised hard and did well in some violin competitions, earning a scholarship to study postgraduate music performance in Tasmania.” Nick grew up as the son of two doctors in Bundaberg, Queensland, and studied clarinet under the tutelage of Paul Dean. He went on to study at the Conservatorium of Music in Hobart on a similar scholarship. Prior to their moves to the Apple Isle, they both performed with the 80-strong Australian Youth Orchestra on a national tour but their paths never crossed. “I was hanging out with the wind and brass players while Frances was with the string posse,” Nick laughs. There was an instant connection when they finally met two years later. Nick’s love of music started at age eight after picking up his auntie’s clarinet. By Year 10, the boy from Bundaberg knew he had found his calling, devoting four years to the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane. > FACING PAGE: Violinist Frances Evans plays a solo in her family’s historic woolshed. ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Nick and Frances Evans with son Alfred, the seventh generation on the land, have adapted well to farming life; the musical duo offer tuition in the music room; Frances has always enjoyed sharing her love of music with others; Nick still makes times time for music despite big farming commitments.

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Frances finished her music performance studies and dedicated herself to education, believing that when it was time to have a family, teaching would provide her with the work hours she desired. She completed her final teaching internship in York in the UK, with Nick flying over for a European travel adventure in between his years of study at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in South Melbourne, the premier classical music performance school in the country. Over the years, Frances enjoyed coming home to the farm and deep down wanted to one day return permanently and start a family. Nick, too, fell in love with the idea. Enjoying the laid-back country lifestyle, it was he who suggested they relocate to Collie and turn their hand to farming. Frances had been resigned to living in Vienna one day, where Nick had been invited to study, but was delighted by this extraordinary turn of events and enthusiastically endorsed the move. After eight years studying clarinet and performing at the top level with orchestras including Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Nick felt it was as good a place as any to put down

roots. In what he felt was a positive sign, his application to study Agriculture at Melbourne University was accepted. “I could see a life outside of playing music at that elite level,” he says. “I’ve played in orchestras in capital cities all over Australia and many overseas countries but deep down always felt we would come back to the farm where it all began for Frances.” One of their favourite places on the property is the music studio they built in a 40-foot converted shipping container. During COVID-19, Nick conducted Zoom classes from there, interacting with 60 students across Warren, Gilgandra and Dubbo. Under normal circumstances, this would entail 400km of weekly travel. Now that’s all behind him, Nick is hitting his straps on the farm as the music-loving pair gear up for 2023. Although it’s a far cry from the stage, this fun-loving couple have embraced their new farming careers, confident and happy to combine their love of music with breeding livestock in a small country community. RLM Words and images: Jake Lindsay

FROM TOP: Carole and Philip Wilson met in the most unlikely of circumstances; Harriet Evans, pictured with parents Frances and Nick, has excellent musical genes.

Warren Chamber Music Festival

In 2021, Frances Evans and some wonderful newfound friends and fellow music lovers became the driving force behind the Warren Chamber Music Festival, giving themselves and other creatives the chance to listen to and perform in world class chamber music in the bush. “I love to perform because it gives me joy and it brings great joy to others,” Frances says. “If I can help other rural families to experience all the wonders, challenges, happiness and benefits of music making, then I will continue to bring whatever I can to make that happen. “I implore the orchestras and ensembles of the city to come to the bush and delight audiences. Warren has proved that the people will come and fill the chairs, the musicians will be treasured and an important cultural exchange of city-country will benefit all.” The inaugural event in 2021 saw an array of star-studded performers from across the nation perform in four spectacular concerts in and around Warren. More than 600 locals and travellers bought tickets to attend the performances, which showcased extraordinary musicianship, local hospitality, rural living and arts culture and education in the bush. The festival brought together some of the country’s finest musicians to perform works composed by Mozart, Handel, Copland and Foote. The festival was made possible by the generous support of an FRRR Tackling Tough Times grant,

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Outback Arts, Warren Shire Council, Warren Rotary and the Warren Services Club. “There is an enormous opportunity for our city orchestras and ensembles to tour in regional Australia,” Frances says. “They will inspire, educate and provide all the well-being benefits that music offers to the hard-working, curious and interested people of rural NSW.” In 2023, three captivating concerts will be presented by Australia’s pre-eminent string quartet, the Goldner String Quartet, from May 12 to 14 in the Warren Shire. Alongside the Goldner, a regional community choir to form early in the new year will perform a work specially commissioned for the festival by an Australian composer. Men and women over the age of 16 are invited from across the region to join the Warren-based choir for enjoyable weekly rehearsals prior to the festival. The big musical event hopes to attract visitors to enjoy a longer stay in the area, taking in the Macquarie Marshes, a Ramsar-listed wetlands, and enjoy other towns and villages nearby, each with their own unique and interesting history. RLM

Three captivating concerts featuring Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Weber, Vivaldi and more

FRIDAY 12 MAY, 2023 6PM


SUNDAY 14 MAY, 2023 12PM

Warren Community Room

Collie CWA Hall

Warren Catholic Church Mother’s Day Concert

Tickets available from 1 February 2023 on the website, from the Warren Shire Council and at the door.

W W W.WA R R E N C H A M B E R M U S I C F E S T I VA L . C O M Proudly supported by

Create NSW Arts Screen and Culture





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NEW LIFE for the lodge Coonabarabran graduate architect Jo Redden is a woman on a mission. Forever on the move, the talented all-rounder has held down 40 jobs and lived in 43 homes in 18 different cities and country towns. Jo Redden’s most recent project has been transforming the former Masonic Lodge in her hometown into a stately home. For Jo, it’s been a long and winding road before embarking on this somewhat challenging project. Growing up the youngest of four children to Pat and Esmae Redden on “Burloo”, 20 minutes west of Coonabarabran, a young Jo spent her time following her father around the farm. “This is probably where I gained my love of being outside and chipping away at something,” she tells RLM from her unique,

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sun-drenched home. In her teenage years she became more involved with stock work and loved it when shearing rolled around. After attending local schools, Jo headed west to Coonamble to work with a shearing team. The hot and dusty environment provided a real sense of independence as she discovered more about the wool industry, especially after studying wool classing. “A real eye opener was when the wool floor price scheme was on the verge of collapse,” she says. “After a hard day in the

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shed, there was utter carnage as graziers destroyed their sheep and pushed them into massive pits in the ground. “It was totally soul destroying and all due to a major blunder and unaccountability within the wool industry. This resulted in a need to reduce the national flock size by paying graziers $2/head to shoot their sheep.” After two years’ jillarooing around the Coonabarabran district with a short stint in Tambo, in south-east Queensland, Jo furthered her education at Orange Ag College, walking away with an Advanced Diploma. It also took her to many places throughout NSW and Queensland with a short stint overseas temping in London and as a nanny in Scotland. A standout job was working as a rural counsellor’s assistant for the Macquarie Rural Advisory Service in Dubbo. “The early 1990s drought had hit, with interest rates around 17 per cent. The banks were selling up farms left, right and centre, leaving farmers completely lost. We were responsible for helping clients with everything from interest rate subsidy applications and household allowances to handing out donated items. “On a daily basis, you could ask a client anything from their cash flow budget to their bra size. It was quite a responsibility for my young shoulders, but fortunately my boss was an amazing mentor. I’ve never forgotten the support she gave me during this crazy time.” Her interest in design and building intensified. By then, Jo was used to undertaking makeovers on some of the rental houses she lived in. Jo loved dabbling in designing and making furniture – mostly out of necessity, as she moved on a regular basis and preferred to travel light. After four years in Gunnedah with a chemical company, the decision was made easy. “I didn’t want to die wondering ‘what if?’. I’d just completed a small renovation on a cottage I’d purchased and as fortune would have it – or maybe it was a sign – I had a knock at the door by a prospective buyer and an offer was made and accepted.” Returning to university in her 30s was a shock to the system. Studying architecture proved a lot more challenging than the good old partying days at Orange Agricultural College. >

FACING PAGE, FROM TOP: The former Masonic Lodge in Coonabarabran has undergone a massive rebuild under the guidance of Jo Redden; the building before renovation. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The main room is uncluttered; the new verandah opens on to a beautiful lawn; the open-plan kitchen provides plenty of dining opportunities; the brains behind the project, Jo Redden.

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S U M M E R renovation

“The good times were replaced with countless all-nighters, working on projects that were due for submission, only to be told to try again,” she says. “It seemed more a course in survival. If you could go a week with very little sleep and not cut yourself or accidentally superglue yourself to your model, you were doing well.” Jo’s adaptability and resilience helped get her through the tougher moments. After completing her first degree, she worked for a Tamworth firm, then again returned to her hometown to renovate a small house. After a three-year sabbatical, Jo returned to her studies and completed a Master of Architecture before moving to a firm in Surry Hills. Back in Coonabarabran for some time out, Jo was on the hunt for another project but missed out on a few opportunities. After a year, she was about to head off again when she learnt the old Masonic Lodge was being offered for sale. Not wanting to miss another golden opportunity, she called the real estate agent on the first day it was listed, had an inspection and the following day made an offer. “I couldn’t believe my luck. The 99-yearold building is only a block from the CBD and comes with countless potential. It just needed a lot of TLC,” she laughs. The first year was spent deciding the best option for the building. Many considerations had to be made so as to not over-capitalise but work with the list of possible uses based on council guidelines. “The most economical and fun use was to convert it into a residence. I’d seen a few Masonic Lodge conversions and was quite excited about the opportunity.” As the planning unfolded, the building actually started to almost design itself. Jo wanted to keep the existing symmetry, and the window placement helped the floor plan evolve in a functional manner, allowing natural light flow into all rooms. The ceiling heights helped with the illusion of space – as the walls went up and the floor areas became smaller, keeping the high ceilings gave it volume and a feeling of abundance. “There were many hurdles along the way, but also the right support just when I needed it,” she says. Many trades helped. Jo devoted countless hours working on the project from design, DA, demolition, fit-out, painting, landscaping and everything in between. “I had to be resilient, resourceful and, above all, patient. The project took a lot longer than I’d hoped but the outcome has been well worth the effort.” Jo says it’s interesting how life turns out, as during this time her 95-year-old father’s health began to decline. “I was extremely grateful I was close by and could spend time with him and help my mother until we said our final goodbyes,” she says.

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“There were many hurdles along the way, but also the right support just when I needed it.”

Having celebrated her 50th birthday, Jo is getting itchy feet once more. “I think it’s time to move again and start my next adventure! I’ve had an interest in hemp housing for quite some time now and am looking for a move in a more sustainable direction.” Jo has thoroughly enjoyed bringing the historic Masonic Lodge back to life, but

after seven years, it’s time to pass on the reins to a possible boutique B&B operator or lucky homeowner. RLM Words and images: Jake Lindsay

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The living room features high ceilings and an old brick wall; the exterior before the addition of a verandah; the delightful home has been tastefully designed for modern living; once the interior had been gutted, the real work could begin.

Guided by an international palate in country NSW Australia, using artisan batch roasting to achieve the best possible result from quality beans.

Wholesale Roasted Coffee • Bagged Retail Coffee Beans • Café supply and consulting • Coffee subscriptions

A cafe in the wheat growing village of North Star, the heart of “The Golden Triangle”. Supporting local artists and serving delicious food which is locally grown and great coffee!

Monday - Wednesday 8am - 3pm Thursday - Friday 8am - 5pm Saturday - Sunday 9am - 2pm Ph. 0477 661 076 9-11 Edward St, North Star, NSW 2408

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Specialising in livestock, property, clearing and machinery sales. Crump Stock & Station Agency pride themselves on personal, professional service and attention to detail.

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6 Keera Street Ph: 0428 834 281 Bingara NSW 2404 mcdouallg@bigpond.com theriverhousebingara.com.au RLM 199

WINNER OF SUPREME MERINO EWE & SUPREME JUNIOR EXHIBIT Plus five other Grand Champion & Champion Ribbons from 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show ANNUAL ON PROPERTY RAM SALE WEDNESDAY 25 JANUARY 2023 Commercial sheep available from February 2023 Des/Jane/Jack Carlon 0427 787 339

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Offering services in livestock sales which incorporate Auctions Plus, private, paddock, feedlot and weekly sale yard sales. Specialists in large and small rural / residential property sales and management.

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living from the heart

Consider practising acts of courage in your everyday life.

Courage is a habit, a muscle you can exercise. Most of us aren’t born courageous, so we shouldn’t expect to magically acquire it without practice. It’s like you learn to drive by driving. You learn courage by couraging. Put simply, courage means: doing something despite discomfort, fear or anxiety. It can be hard for us to acknowledge our acts of courage. We are more inclined to focus on our perceived flaws and weaknesses than to speak about our successes and wins. So, on that note, I invite you to reflect on your own relationship with courage. What do you understand courage to be? When were you last a little bit brave? How might you practise courage today? Consider how acting from a place of courage may help you to show up in a meaningful way, to authentically and consciously define and align your values more boldly. In other words, be both brave and afraid at the same time. Acting courageously generally makes us feel good because it involves mastering emotions. We are empowered. Courage, in the sense of acting in a way that responds to risk appropriately, not over-confidently or in a cowardly way, will also help us to accomplish good things. It also helps us to act against those who threaten or act less than ideally. Acting courageously involves drawing on your internal strength in a deliberate way, being both vulnerable and strong. Of course, living with courage requires a willingness to experience both pleasant and unpleasant emotions – the highs and lows. So, what are you actually afraid of? Is it the right thing to be afraid of? Should you be this afraid of it, or rationally, should you be less or more afraid? Get in the habit of deciding what you think about things and speaking from that place of conviction. Practise saying what you think about small, inconsequential things – pleasantly, politely, but firmly. What are the things that could happen as a result of your actions and/or inactions? Weigh the pros and cons. Courage is not the absence of fear. You will feel fear but don’t let it stop you taking action. Courageous people often use the fear to ensure that they are not overly confident and that they take the appropriate actions. Courage gives us the strength to evaluate an emotional response (fear) and act rationally and rightly. Feel the fear and do it anyway. RLM Words: Sue Curley Images: Steve Bruce, Sincerely Media

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What might this look like for you? • Doing something you haven’t done before, think: new welding project, community organisation, sketch a portrait anyone. • A willingness to be who you are, to be seen as your authentic and real self (not as someone you think others might like). • Deal with something you have been avoiding. • Letting go of what you can’t control and practise trusting that it will work out. • Beginning a relationship or ending one. • Following a dream you haven’t yet taken steps towards.

15n Derby St Walcha, NSW info@walchagallery.com.au Ph: 0488 775 891 walchaguesthouse.com.au

0488 775 891 15n Derby St, Walcha NSW



Settle in and relax

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Commercial Hotel Walcha

We are passionate about agriculture, local produce and regional Australia and are committed to showcasing traditional, quality products with a strong sense of provenance. We strive to bring great value, ethically raised, handcrafted smallgoods and charcuterie to your table that you know the story of, from paddock to plate.

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Betts Transport Pty Ltd is a family owned company that has the versatility, experience and vehicles to meet all of your transport needs.

Cattle and Sheep Transport General Freight Ag Products Wool Palletised Freight Based in Northern NSW and Newcastle, Betts operates Australia wide.

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OUR LOCATION 538 Nundle Road, Tamworth NSW 204 RLM


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yours respectfully Stepping into the old-world charm of the Shakespeare Funeral Home, one is immediately aware that this is a place where attention to detail matters, and where the utmost thought goes into ensuring a grieving family will be professionally supported.

Shakespeare Funerals manager and funeral director Laura Carter derives immense satisfaction out of caring for people who are devastated by the loss of a loved one. Laura understands that each person experiences grief differently. Tailoring professional care that is both respectful and appreciative of individual needs is a delicate skill. Laura quickly reduces the sense of overwhelm, giving confidence that whatever arrangements a family chooses will be respectfully carried out. This unburdening of pressure, the relief of placing trust in such a caring expert is what Shakespeare Funerals is renowned for. Shakespeare Funerals is Dubbo’s longest serving funeral home (established 1894). The beautiful, historic building is where the Shakespeare family was raised. A marble plaque on the front of the home records the famous 1955 high water flood mark. Aside from funeral services, cremations and graveside services, Laura and her expert team specialise in monuments, bereavement support and pre-arranged funeral plans (which don’t need payment in advance). Laura enjoys helping people to record their own funeral wishes (so families do not have to make difficult decisions later). Care is evident in every step of the process. Laura’s team is skilled in graphic design and printing of memorial cards and orders of service. There is also an in-house florist, where special requests (such as colour or type of flowers) are easily accommodated and quality controlled to perfection. Both live-streaming and videography have become popular in recent times. Special requests are welcomed. Laura is particularly fascinated by the traditions and rituals of different cultures. If a request is dignified and legally possible, Laura will ensure it happens, and to an exceptional standard. Laura takes pride in setting the standards for industry best practice, as well as being alert to emerging developments – sourcing

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the very best (think Rolls Royce hearse) to complement the Shakespeare services. Many clients learn about Shakespeare Funerals through the personal recommendations of grateful others or via previous family connections, where strong trust has been built. A discreet online presence complements the strong ethos of community care. Laura confides she doesn’t work (in the usual sense). The funeral industry has been such an integral part of her entire life. Being a funeral director is simply who she is and what she does. It’s never a job, it’s a passion, a way of life, a desire to do the very best possible.

Does Laura ever take time out? Just occasionally, to connect with her inspirational parents, Paul and Barbara Carter, and to watch her partner play football. Shakespeare’s monumental mason occasionally asks Laura to cast an eye over headstone work, knowing her reputation for precision and alignment. Her attention to detail is truly evident in every facet of the business. RLM Words: Sue Curley Image: Natalie Salloum

ABOVE: Laura Carter of Shakespeare Funerals.

Premier funeral services for Dubbo and surrounding communities

Shakespeare Funerals Shakespeare Funerals, Dubbo’s longest serving funeral home, have been setting the standards of funeral care since 1894. We understand how difficult and often confronting it is making arrangements for the funeral of a loved one. When you step into our office, you will be greeted with a warm welcome, a gentle smile and be surrounded by people who truly care. We encourage families to be active during the process of making funeral arrangements and making the service as personal and individual as possible. We are committed to exceeding the expectations of the families we are honoured to serve and our aim is to guide you through this journey while providing a professional and modern approach to funeral care.

Laura Carter

94-96 Talbragar Street, Dubbo NSW 2830 (02) 6882 2434 info@shakespearefunerals.com.au www.shakespearefunerals.com.au OPEN 24 HOURS

Flowers on Talbragar

St Andrew’s Chapel

The experienced team at Flowers on Talbragar know how to convey the perfect sentiment through beautiful tribute flowers, bouquets, wreaths and casket sprays.

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The facility is blessed with a homely, yet benign ambience that succinctly pervades every nook and cranny as well as providing an unsurpassed spaciousness under the influence of which clients can celebrate their special occasion in a naturally freeflowing atmosphere.

W Larcombe & Son

FUNERALS & MONUMENTS W Larcombe & Son Funerals are committed to providing superior care, service and support to Dubbo and the wider community in times of loss. 52 Talbragar Street, Dubbo NSW 2830 (02) 6882 3199 info@wlarcombeandson.com.au www.wlarcombeandson.com.au OPEN 24 HOURS

As a full service funeral provider, we are able to assist you with every aspect of the funeral to make it unique and designed for your exact requirements. We focus on providing the finest quality products and services, including coffins, caskets, urns, flowers and vehicles.

Paul & Barbara Carter

20th Annual On-Property Bull Sale Wednesday 19 July 2023 Commencing 1pm

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New owners and an exciting new look! Drop-in and discover for yourself the new buzz in Tamworth dining.


Located in a graceful old heritage building, with a tucked away, private garden in Tamworth’s main street, Ruby’s is a local and well loved cafe and gift store. We are passionate about seasonal, local produce, amazing flavours, great coffee, and our loyal customers. We provide gorgeous gifts, beautiful fresh flowers and a relaxed, yet elegant, function space. We look forward to welcoming you soon.

LOCAL AND LOVED (02) 6766 9715 Tues–Thurs 7am–2pm kellie@thesweetvioletgroup.com.au Fri 7am–-5pm 492–494 Peel Street, Tamworth NSW 2340 Sat 7am–2pm www.rubystamworth.com.au Sun 8am–12pm

Tamworth’s favourite pub on the Armidale Road 6761 3892 583 Armidale Road, Tamworth, NSW 2340 theoasis583@gmail.com @theoasistamworth www.theoasistamworth.com


Our team is committed to providing expert legal advice across the Central West region and beyond.

Criminal Law Commercial Law Family Law Wills & Estates Conveyancing 02 6882 1455 62 Talbragar Street, Dubbo NSW 2830 PO Box 1025, Dubbo NSW 2830

Our solicitors and support staff are experienced professionals who provide quality and personal legal services.

admin@silkman.com.au www.silkman.com.au @SilkmanAustenBrown RLM 209

S U M M E R Dubbo business


YOUR HOME Dubbo’s Lighting & Living is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to enhance your living spaces.

Formerly an accountant, Mark Richardson was seeking a change of career when he took on Lighting & Living (formerly known as B & B Lighting) in late 2013. Nine years later, and Mark offers customers a wealth of knowledge and a vast array of quality products. In addition to interior and exterior lighting options and fans, the store offers a unique range of homewares, giftwares and furniture. Shoppers from across the Western Plains region and beyond have frequented the store for 25 years, though the business name was changed to Lighting & Living in 2017 to better reflect the fast-growing range of merchandise. Previously located in Erskine Street, Lighting & Living now takes pride of place at 20 Cobbora Road. The store provides a wonderfully interactive experience, but if you can’t make it to Dubbo, the business also has a comprehensive offering online. “Our customers often seek their home design inspiration by simply perusing our product range available in-store,” Mark says. “I really enjoy helping people, so it’s wonderful to hear the positive feedback from customers who are thrilled with our quality merchandise and advice. “Our large variety of stock is intended to cater for all styles, tastes and budgets, and we will gladly arrange delivery at competitive rates. “We are more than happy to provide guidance on lighting and homewares that will complement your existing home style and décor.” Lighting & Living has an extensive range of energy-efficient LED lighting available for those looking to cut back on their household bills. If you enjoy browsing homewares, you’ll delight in the products available here, including artworks, wall décor, mirrors, signs and clocks, right through to mats, cushions, lanterns, statues, frames and ceramics.

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“Our customers often seek their home design inspiration by simply perusing our product range available in-store.” It’s the ideal place to shop for gifts for your loved ones. You’re bound to find something special at the right price point. For regular updates about what is happening at Lighting & Living, including new products and the latest promotions, follow their Facebook page. Lighting & Living trades six days a week, from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 2pm on Saturday. If you’re looking to revitalise your home, renovate or undertake a new build, a visit to Dubbo’s Lighting & Living is a must. RLM Words: Anna Conn Images: Natalie Salloum

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Lighting & Living’s Mark Richardson enjoys helping customers enhance their living spaces through quality products and sound advice; a stylish product range is sure to inspire; functional pieces will enhance your home; a fast-growing range of merchandise to discover; expert guidance to simplify your shopping experience; products for all styles, tastes and budgets; a must-see on your next visit to Dubbo.

m ov ed ! W e’ ve


WITH POOLWERX DUBBO! WE CAN HELP WITH: Spas / Pool Chemicals & Equipment / Regular Servicing / On Demand Servicing / Green Pool Clean Up / Dust Storm Clean Up


An impressive range of lighting for all your interior and exterior needs, as well as lamps and globes. We also have an extensive range of homewares to make your house a home.

8.30am–5.30pm weekdays 8.30am–2pm Saturday

Poolwerx Dubbo offers pool and spa servicing to rural NSW residents, including Mudgee, Narromine, Parkes, Gilgandra, Warren, Nyngan, Coonamble and Walgett.

Visit us in our new location at

20 Cobbora Road Dubbo NSW 2830 P. (02) 6884 8000


Call us today to book 02 6885 5381 142 Erskine Street, Dubbo NSW 2830 | www.poolwerx.com.au

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State of the art technology. Traditional methods. Our experience across the last 15 years covers: • Cadastral surveying • Building surveying • Engineering surveying • Environmental surveying • Project management and applicable land law


0432 561 966

Registered Surveyor NSW - No: 8919 | Registered Surveyor ACT - No: 438 | Licensed Surveyor Victoria - No: 2032

Award Winning AwardWinning Winning AngusBeef Beef Award Angus Angus Beef 2021 Sydney Royal Fine Food Award 2022Sydney Sydney RASViRtuAl ViRtuAl tASte teSt PlAce 2022 RAS tASte teSt 1St1St PlAce 20192021 Sydney RAS Virtual Taste Test 1st Place 2021Sydney SydneyRoyAl RoyAlFine Fine Food AwARd Food AwARd Oberon NSW Oberon NSW Oberon NSW Family owned • Locally grown•Hormone free Family owned • Locally grown•Hormone free Family owned • Locally grown•Hormone free Available Available atatMawhood’s at Mawhood’s IGA IGA Stores: Available Mawhood’s IGAStores: Stores: Cootamundra, Cootamundra, Oberon Oberon &&Grenfell & Grenfell Cootamundra, Oberon Grenfell email: email: Sunnypoint@igaoberon.com.au Sunnypoint@igaoberon.com.au email: Sunnypoint@igaoberon.com.au Barker’s Barker’s Butchery, Butchery, Oberon Oberon Barker’s Butchery, Oberon Summer Summer Centre Centre IGA, IGA, Orange Summer Centre IGA,Orange Orange Trinity Trinity Heights Heights & &Westpoint & Westpoint IGA, IGA, Bathurst Trinity Heights Westpoint IGA,Bathurst Bathurst Cootamundra Cootamundra Butchery Butchery Cootamundra Butchery

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Visit jackscreek.com.au

S U M M E R arts scene




FINE FIGURES The Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail showcases the best of art and nature.

The Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail is a new, permanent public collection of over 25 sculptures by renowned artists from across Australia and the world. Stretching over 100km in the Snowy Valleys region of southern NSW, the sculptures are showcased in collections across seven locations in the towns of Adelong, Batlow, Tumbarumba, the hamlet of Tooma and the Tumbarumba wine region cellar doors at Courabyra Wines, Johansen Wines and Obsession Wines. This Bushfire Local Economic Recovery project was conceived in partnership with the communities and Sculpture by the Sea, and is jointly funded by the Australian and the NSW governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, to aid in the socioeconomic recovery of the Snowy Valleys after the devastating 2019/20 NSW bushfires. With the aim of being recognised as a world-class sculpture collection and one of the most important sculpture collections in Australia, the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail is another reason for people from across Australia to visit this hidden and relatively unknown gem that has much to offer from bike and walking paths to the world-class Tumbarumba region vineyards.

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Artworks in the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail include significant sculptures by Haruyuki Uchida, Keizo Ushio and Takeshi Tanabe from Japan; Keld Moseholm from Denmark; Milan Kuzica from Czech Republic; Jennifer Cochrane, Norton Flavel and Ron Gomboc from Western Australia; and from NSW Michael Le Grand, Philip Spelman, Harrie Fasher, Stephen King and Elyssa SykesSmith, who is now based in London. The Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail will continue to grow. New works are set to be installed throughout 2022 and 2023. RLM Words: Sculpture by the Sea, organisers of the Snowy Valley Sculpture Trail Images: John Riddell and supplied by Sculpture by the Sea

For more information, visit sculpturebythesea.com/snowyvalleys


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: 1. Haruyuki Uchida, Thinking Red; 2. Keizo Ushio, Oushi Zokei; 3. Harrie Fasher, The Last Charge; 4. Michael LeGrand, Schism; 5. Norton Flavel, And Another; 6. Keld Moseholm, Together We Are Strong; 7. Marcus Tatton, Habitat.


BULL & FEMALE SALE Saturday August 12th 2023 @1pm • 1409 Namoi River Rd, Manilla NSW 2346 •

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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 www.grapevinecafe.com.au OPEN 7 DAYS

We We founded founded the the Distillery in 2014 to to specialize specialize in in Small Small Batch Single Malt Whisky, Whisky, Rum Rum & & more recently Gin. We We wanted wanted to to capture capture the Riverina also known known as as the the “food “food bowl of Australia,” and and it’s it’s sheer sheer beauty beauty of the Griffith Region. The The heart heart of of the the Murrumbidgee that that is is home home to to so many traditions.

Best Bestshared sharedwith withthe the one’s one’s we we love, love,where wherememories memories are are made. made.

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Thu Thu & & Fri Fri 10am–2pm Sat 10am–1pm 12 12 Altin Altin Street Griffith NSW 2680 theaislingdistillery.com.au theaislingdistillery.com.au 0428 438 336

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­

Art Works

Lifting & Rigging – 300t

Steel Cables

• Splitbelt Rubber • Rubber Matting • Staytight Cattle Cable • Holy Belt Ute Mats • Enviro Belt 40 - Erosion Control • Ag Mat - Horse Flooring • Tailgate Mats • Wire Rope • Winch Cable • Floodgate Cable • Stable Tiles

Tailgate mat

Erosion control - Enviro Belt 40

Wire rope

Roundyard rubber

Holeybelt 20 ute mat

Staytight cattle cable

19-45 Charles Street Moonbi NSW 2353 Ph. 02 6760 3773

OPENING HOURS Monday to Thursday 8am - 5pm Friday 8am - 3:45pm

andromedaindustries.com.au RLM 217

S U M M E R garden

garden S U M M E R

A vision splendid The result of Steve Cordony and Michael Booth’s dedication and hard work is the gorgeous and much-loved Rosedale Farm in Orange. Interiors stylist Steve Cordony and partner Michael Booth began their search for a country retreat in the Southern Highlands of NSW. Three and a half years later, they hadn’t found the right place. In May 2017, a friend suggested they view a just-listed property in the Central West. Three weeks later, they were proud owners of Rosedale Farm in Orange. The 1877 Georgian homestead with wrap-around verandahs on 49 hectares (120 acres) offered loads of potential to realise their dream country home and extensive garden. Rosedale Farm is part of a former 1335-hectare (3300-acre) pastoral enterprise and is bordered by cherry orchards and an abandoned goldmine. The elegant Georgian homestead was built in 1877 by William Dale. It has been lovingly and faithfully restored over the past five years, updating functionality while paying homage to its heritage. The exterior fresh coat of pristine white together with Steve’s signature contemporary European styling indoors is exquisite. During the past five years, the list of projects undertaken by this hard-working couple is mind-boggling. Remarkably, they have retained their weekday jobs in Sydney, travelling to Rosedale every weekend to work on the house and garden. In addition to major house restoration works, they have refurbished a hay shed for their flock of poultry and transformed

former servants’ quarters into two luxurious farm-stay suites. The property now has new fencing, new tree-lined gravel driveway, a gated entry, a relined pond, retaining walls, shedding and a plant nursery. Next on the agenda is the swimming pool, pool house and large rose garden. Nothing is wasted; they keep and reuse everything in order to retain historical aspects of this grand old property. Recently retired from corporate life, Michael is passionate about gardening, has studied horticulture and ran a small growing nursery in Llandilo. His horticultural training is evident in all aspects of Rosedale’s extensive garden. Guided by a master plan drawn up by Christopher Nicholas Garden Design, from humble beginnings at 1.2 hectares, the expanded English-inspired gardens now cover almost four hectares. >

FACING PAGE: Mirrored in the pond, Rosedale’s Georgian homestead set among almost four hectares of picturesque English-inspired gardens. ABOVE FROM LEFT: Large-scale decorative urn surrounded by cutting-grown red dahlias; pretty springtime view across the breezeway between the guest accommodation and the homestead.

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garden S U M M E R

During the past five years, the list of projects undertaken by this hard-working couple is mind-boggling. A garden of this size and scale requires large quantities of plants, especially for hedging. Fortuitously, Michael loves growing plants, and successfully propagates thousands from seed and cuttings. His hot house is full of seed trays with next season’s annual flowering and vegetable seedlings. There are thousands of cuttings of evergreen plants including Japanese and English box and lavender for hedging, divisions of perennials and deciduous tree seedlings. Michael has successfully grown roses and poplar trees from cuttings, too. Once cuttings or seedlings have formed sturdy roots, they are potted on into containers in the nursery, ready for planting out during the growing season. Photographs dating back to the 1840s show the property covered in trees. Michael and Steve aim to restore that bucolic scene. Over 27,000 plants have been introduced to the property during the past five years. Large-scale tree plantings in paddocks will revegetate the property and prevent erosion. In the north-east portion, 20 acres have been given over to Landcare for regenerating and protecting endemic white and yellow box eucalypts. Extensive hedging has been introduced within the garden and along fence lines. There is even a young Christmas tree forest. Photinia, Viburnum, Teucrium and box-leaved privet (Ligustrum undulatum) have proven tough, reliable hedging varieties. Hedges are planted in late winter after the last frosts to establish well before both summer’s heat and next season’s frost. Hedging plants are rarely given supplementary water.

Gardening in this climate isn’t without its trials. Plants need to tolerate both heat and frost. Some early plantings, including around 300 camellias and hydrangeas, were lost due to drought. During summer and autumn 2022, frequent heavy rains inundated parts of the garden. On this downward-sloping site, water naturally runs towards the lowest point. Dish drains, widened and lined with stone, have helped slow and redirect this run-off. Large trees including scarlet oaks, English oak, pin oak, beech, liquidambar and horse chestnut provide welcome summer shade, and many colour beautifully during autumn. Iconic poplar trees along the fence lines are almost 150 years old. Cutting-grown poplar saplings are planted alongside the old trees for posterity. Weeping willows and lovely Japanese maples edge the pond. Michael and Steve saved, dug and transplanted 36 mature apple trees from a neighbouring orchardist to re-establish in groves throughout their new rose garden. > FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: This bird’s-eye view captures the scale and layout at Rosedale, including the large area for edibles and flowers; trimmed topiary rounds and hedges among profuse spring flowers; vegetable garden beds combine edibles and flowers; the newly renovated guest accommodation swathed in white-flowered Clematis; edged with low box, garden beds are generously filled with blossom trees, seasonal perennials and colourful annual bloomers; formal circle garden with central urn fountain; dahlias are much-loved summer and autumn flowers; the front verandah is a favourite spot to sit and enjoy the serenity of Rosedale; spring-blooming crab apple. ABOVE: Steve (left) and Michael with their beloved shire horses Ebony (left) and Brave.

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S U M M E R story name

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garden S U M M E R

Four ancient fruiting olive trees are awaiting transplanting into their new home in the planned pool area. Located among swathes of green lawn to the rear of the homestead, rectangular garden beds contain young ornamental pear trees edged with low box plantings. Michael designed the extensive half-hectare vegetable garden that sits centre stage at the back of the property. Generoussized, hand-dug beds are laid out in a grid with a central axis. Transplanted old apple trees lend maturity to this new garden, and the timbers edging the beds were reclaimed from old shedding. The gravel surface is both practical and attractive. Intermingled among the plentiful seasonal vegetables are lots of flowers. Roses, beds full of seed-grown dahlias and many flowering annuals attract pollinators, beneficial insects and foraging honeybees from Rosedale’s own hives. Perennial vegetables include rhubarb, asparagus and artichoke. Cane berries are trained up timber support poles to aid harvesting. Stylish pots of topiary, herbs and flowers add a decorator touch to this practical yet very beautiful space. Formal-style gardens in front of the house are edged with neat Buxus hedges. During spring, tiered beds are filled with colourful flowering annuals including spires of lupins, foxgloves and hazy blue cornflower. These are followed by masses of white dahlias and tall cosmos in summer. Aromatic lavender and topiary plants also feature in these showy gardens, which form a welcoming entrance at the front door and also frame the view from the wide verandah across to the ornamental pond and resident white ducks. During spring, wisteria blooms swathe the ironwork along the verandah. In summer, lush wisteria foliage resembles a lime green necklace adorning the grand homestead until autumn when the leaves turn buttery yellow. Beneath the mature trees surrounding the house, woodland shade lovers including hellebores and aquilegias are combined with pretty displays of home-grown annuals to add seasonal interest and colour. Roses feature throughout the garden, flanking the poultry house, as flowering fences and massed in beds near the Buxus bun walk. Many more await in the nursery, ready for the new rose garden. The menagerie of animals at Rosedale farm includes a small heard of belted Galloway cattle, a few sheep, two shire horses (Ebony, a 14-yearold mare, and Brave, a four-year-old gelding, 18 hands high), two ostriches, one camel, Lucy the rescue pig and English Springer Spaniel Bedford (who loves to muddy up the white-painted verandah boards). In the poultry house and roaming the garden you will find chickens, geese, Guinea fowl, many white peacocks and doves. Recently arrived, two red and blue macaws enjoy the warmth of the hothouse. A shallow one-megalitre ornamental dam and 100,000-litre rainwater tank assist natural rainfall to drip irrigate gardens. Tons of mulch, horse manure, lucerne and oaten hay are incorporated into the garden beds. Fertiliser, including blood and bone and Dynamic Lifter, keep the roses and vegetables in peak condition. Michael and Steve acknowledge the invaluable assistance of family and friends, who have helped make their dream possible. As they still divide their time between Sydney and Orange, they employ a farm manager, James, to run the estate and care for the animals. Rosedale supports work-experience students from local schools who learn about the garden, farm animals and nature. Steve and Michael say it has been a fun journey and “now we get to enjoy it”. RLM Words: Elizabeth Swane Images: Robert Bruce and supplied

Rosedale Farm: www.rosedalefarm.net.au Instagram: rosedale_farm

Michael and Steve acknowledge the invaluable assistance of family and friends, who have helped make their dream possible.

FACING PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The menagerie at Rosedale Farm includes inquisitive Camelot, sheep and English Springer Spaniel Bedford; the pond and surrounding poplar and willow trees viewed from the verandah across terraced front gardens; mounded Japanese box line the grassy walk leading past the poultry house to the future pool house; lush lawns and flower-filled borders in the breezeway between the guest accommodation and homestead, the ruin is part of an old bakery; perfect from any angle; Michael’s hot house filled to the brim with cuttings and home-grown seedlings for future plantings; spires of lupins in the front gardens are a spring delight; Rosedale’s resident ostrich. FROM TOP: This enchanting view from the homestead across the gardens and pond changes with the time of day and season; mature trees cast dappled shade and create wonderful shadow patterns.

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Calrossy is enrolling now for 2023 and beyond Secondary Girls and Boys Day and Boarding

Also providing eCalrossy — the smarter distance education choice

(02) 5776 5100

The difference between small and boutique is in the customer experience. We are a boutique agency and pride ourselves on delivering superior, personal customer service each and every time. Jane Donald • Shayna Chapman • Graeme Board • Fiona Gibbs Phone: 02 6882 6822 56 Talbragar Street, Dubbo

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Visit our website for our Regional Tour dates and to book your personalised tour today


Experience Register for a NEGS Experience Day and discover

why we are more than a School.


Experience the Spirit of Community Experience the welcoming, inclusive and highly affordable environment that awaits you and your child by visiting one of our 33 Catholic schools in towns across the Central West. Visit bth.catholic.edu.au or phone 6338 3000 for further information.

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S U M M E R country recipes

Simply the best

As is often the case with home cooking, these simple dishes are truly scrumptious. SPICY MEAT LOAF This hearty old favourite is just perfect for lunch or dinner. Ingredients 1 tin pineapple slices 2 tbsp brown sugar 1¼ tsp curry powder 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 700g minced beef 1 cup uncooked rolled oats (I use quick oats) 1 egg ¼ cup chopped onion 2 tsp salt ¾ tsp pepper 1 tsp mustard 1 cup condensed milk Method 1. Drain pineapple. 2. Grease loaf pan.

3. Place pineapple slices in pan, sprinkle with brown sugar, curry powder and sauce. 4. Prepare meatloaf by mixing all remaining ingredients. 5. Smooth into the greased pan on top of sliced pineapple. 6. Pack down firmly so that the meat loaf will cut into neat slices when cooked. 7. Cook in moderate oven for one hour. 8. When cooked, turn out on to platter to cool, then garnish with salad vegetables of your choice.

CHOCOLATE SURPRISE I love whipping up this quick dessert after dinner. Have ready six small ramekins or suitable dishes plus six of your favourite chocolate truffles. I use Lindt chocolate.

Ingredients 100g butter ¾ cup brown sugar 1 cup self-raising flour ½ cup milk 2 eggs 2 tbsp cocoa Choc liquor sauce 3 tbsp cocoa powder (20g) 150g caster sugar 150g cream ½ tsp vanilla essence 1 tbsp of your favourite liquor Method 1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat for four minutes until smooth. 2. Place half of the mixture in ramekins. 3. Place one truffle in each ramekin. 4. Put rest of mixture on top. 5. Bake in slow oven for about 20 minutes. I place them all in one baking dish. 6. Cool, sprinkle with icing sugar.

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7. Start making choc liquor sauce by placing cream in saucepan on low heat. Add vanilla and liquor. 8. Add caster sugar. 9. Sieve in cocoa powder.

10. Combine all ingredients together. Heat a little and continue for five minutes, stirring. 11. Pour over puddings and serve with dollop cream or a creamy custard. Recipes and images: Lorraine Hills

Giftware, home decor, womens/mens/childrens fashion, fresh flowers, cane furniture and so much more. Wednesday - Friday 9am - 5pm Saturday 9am - 12:30pm 101 Queen Street Barraba, New South Wales 2347 Ph. 0400 278 412 babesinthebush@hotmail.com


Cafe Dolcetto YASS, NSW

Cafe Dolcetto is conveniently located in the heart of Yass and, is owned and operated by Noelene and Leigh, a dynamic mother-daughter team.

The warm, friendly atmosphere of this quaint heritage building; with its all-day breakfast, delicious lunches and amazing coffee makes it an enjoyable stop for travellers, as well as a popular social hub for Yass locals.

129 Comur Street Yass NSW 2582 Ph: 02 6226 1277 Tuesday – Saturday: 6:30am – 3pm Sunday: 8am - 2pm Find us on Facebook: CafeDolcetto

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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magnolia home & gift For over 18 years we have been dedicated to offering the latest in gifts, homewares, decor, kitchen, baby wear & nursery, women’s fashion, accessories and much much more. Featuring brands such as Elk • Maxwell & Williams • Glasshouse • Najo • Toshi • Aden & Anais • Alimrose

Ph. 02 6721 4666 magnoliahg@bigpond.com 4 0 - 4 2 O T H O S T R E E T, I N V E R E L L , N S W 2 3 6 0


M O N T O F R I 9 A M - 5 . 3 0 P M & S AT 9 A M - 1 P M

Open daily

Located on the banks of the Macdonald River.

Monday to Friday 10:00am till late Saturday 10:30am till late Sunday 11:00am till 10:00pm

Enjoy our picturesque beer garden, accommodation, fabulous food and hospitality.

Here, you are family. 112-130 Caroline Street Bendemeer NSW 2355 02 6769 6550 www.bendemeerhotel.com.au


Armidale Feature Available March 2023

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO ORDER: www.lifestylemagazine.net.au Orders can also be made by contacting us P: 0429 441 086 E: info@lifestylemagazine.net.au Images: Armidale Regional Council

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Multi-Award winning


Machines operate Monday to Friday

TOURS 11am & 2pm Mon to Fri

35 Oakenville St Nundle, NSW 2340 Phone: 1300 686 353

Email: sales@nundle.store Online store: h‫מּ‬ps://nundle.store Open 7 days a week from 10am till 4pm


Relax in the hills of gold The park is centrally located within walking distance of craft, antiques and homewares shops, museums, restaurants, pristine swimming pool, the famous Woollen Mill and legendary Peel Inn. A short drive takes visitors to a patchwork and quilting supplies barn, trout farm, golf course, fishing and boating, dams and walking tracks.

The start of the Fossickers’ Way Jenkins Street, Nundle NSW 2340 Located 55kms from Tamworth (off New England Hwy) P. 02 6769 3355 E. fossickers@outlook.com

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S U M M E R socials

answering the call Tenterfield There is nothing more humbling than watching a small community rally to support one of their own in a time of need. The emotion, the drive and the community spirit build such momentum that it not only creates a successful fundraiser, but it draws community together like a force field. This was evident in the recent efforts by Tenterfield, Glen Innes and Texas when Deepwater local Nathan Stapleton was injured in a rugby game, which left him a quadriplegic. Nathan is a former NRL

Tenterfield Tigers 2022 team.

player, having played for Cronulla and the Roosters. Nathan and wife Kate have a young family. When news of the incident filtered through to residents of Tenterfield, there was a sense of disbelief and a desire to do something to help. Kristen Lovett, Shay Landers, David Landers, Brendan Minns and the Tenterfield Tigers Rugby League Club helped bring Stapo Day to fruition. Funds raised exceeded $120,000. RLM Words: Kristen Lovett Images: Sapphire Daly

Nathan and Kate Stapleton and their boys Harry and Angus. (Image supplied).

Highest bidder Ben Sharpe and event organiser Kristen Lovett.

Tom Landers Players’ Player.

Donor Darryl McCarthy with Kirstie Appler, Andrew Mayne.

Event volunteers Shay Landers and Brendan Minns.

Tenterfield Tigers players Josh Lucas, Jake Kelly and Brendan Blaker.

Over 35s Old Boys’ players David Landers, Grant Townes and Nathan Barraclough.

Volunteers Emily McMenimen and Karen Cooper.

Auction participants Dean and Ellie Brauer.

Kirsty O’Neill, Rachael McMillan and Kristen Lovett.

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Auction attendees.

Phoebe Cooper, Megan Fuller, Shay Landers, Emily Sweetman and Riley Cooper.

Auctioneers Glen Curry, Jake Smith, Steve Alford, Mattew Duff and attendee Matthew Krahe.

Attendees Bud and Larson McIntosh.

Successful bidder Pete Williams and Matt Fletcher.

Damien Petrie, Simon Andrews, Ben Sharpe and Lucas Dearden.


ADDRESS: 122 Queen St, Barraba NSW 2347 PHONE: (02) 6782 1403 EMAIL:



Building quality Australian stockyards since 1990


M&M Stockyards specialises in complete stockyard systems for cattle, sheep, horses and goats, as well as steel fabrication and sales





02 6785 1977 25 ARTHUR STREET, MANILLA NSW 2346 enquiries@mmstockyards.com.au



MANILLA — 02 6785 1911


BARRABA — 02 6782 1006


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1920 trusted for generations We are proud to be the oldest independent real estate agency serving the local community of Wagga Wagga and surrounding areas. With a rich history spanning four generations, people have always been at the heart of our company, providing prompt, professional and highly competent service for all aspects of property transactions.

Residential Sales | Residential Leasing Rural Sales & Leasing | Strata Management Commercial Sales | Comercial Leasing Project Management | Residential Land Sales

Because people matter horeanddavies.com.au

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126 baylis street, wagga wagga

6922 2900


At Choices Flooring we know that good interior decorating starts

from the floor up


"Always an interesting place to shop" 71 Keppel St, Bathurst Phone 02 6331 7544 franksmithworkclothing@gmail.com

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


Easter’s Landscape Supplies

Easter’s Home Decor









Supplying to both trade and public

Discover an extensive array of items

45 Hume Street, Tamworth (02) 6762-0650 www.easters.com.au

Mon–Fri: 7am–5pm Sat: 8am–1pm Sun: 9am–1pm Home Decor Centre opens 9am daily

(02) 6332 1738 sales@pressedtinpanels.com 2 6 B R A DWA R D I N E ROA D RO B I N H I L L , BAT H U R S T N S W 2 7 9 5

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S U M M E R socials

celebrating lifelong learning Dubbo Past president of U3A Network NSW Laurene Mulcahy was delighted to be the guest speaker at the U3A Dubbo Chapter’s 30+ celebration on July 28. She shared the vision of U3A, which is to ensure retired and semiretired people are offered opportunities to continue lifelong learning. U3A offers activities that keep the mind engaged and creative, the body physically active and ensure members remain socially connected. Laurene and fellow U3A member Beth Elliott were active during the COVID lockdowns, engaging with members in a mission to demonstrate a positive view of ageing. This was achieved by collecting and collating 70 short stories submitted by 69 U3A

members from around NSW to produce the book Holy Crap, What Are They Doing Now? This endeavour produced a collegiality that continues to prosper. The stories touch your heart and give you “laugh out loud” moments. They take you on a journey with the author that is thoughtful and entertaining. The next project for Laurene is podcasts, which will promote the benefits of U3A membership and highlight the different regions of NSW where U3As are located. She will chat with U3A members, and listeners will hear some of the stories from the book. RLM

Councillor Vicki Etheridge, Julie Wilson, Margaret Carolan, Mathew Dickerson and Nola Younghusband.

Kerryann Stanley, Aboriginal Liason Officer.

Mary McGhee, Brenda Lesueur and Freda Whitby.

Guest speaker Laurene Mulcahy.

Words: Laurene Mulcahy Images: Zenio Lapka

Don Nicholson, Col MacKiintosh and Monte Jones.

Lyn Wilson, Nola Younghusband and Julie Wilson.

Nola Younghusband, Laney Luk and Gloria Ryan.

Yvonne Gowans and Jan Condie.

Wayne Wilkinson and Garry Gowans.

Ruby Riach.

Margaret Carolan and Lyn Wilson.

Helen Akerstrom and Barb O’Brien OAM.

Jenny Rodway and Veronica Morgan.

Jill Irving and Joan O’Brien.

Lesley and Lindsey Young.

234 RLM

Timeless Treasures Leeton Vintage, modern, boho or classic

Unique range of products from around the world. Scented flowers from Paris, antique foot baths from China, authentic pieces from India, Wavertree and London candles and diffusers, Royal Doulton and much more.

Tue - Fri 9am - 5:30pm Sat 9am - 3pm Sun 10am - 3pm Closed Monday

Ph. 0429 982 772 72 Pine Avenue, Leeton Images by Alice Halden

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Capturing the land, the figure and the flower w w w. a l i s o n p e r c y. c o m . a u

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251 PEEL STREET, TAMWORTH 2340 P. 02 6766 5663


Australian landscape and portrait artist. Commissions welcome. 0412 335 735 instagram.com/steve_j_art

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S U M M E R weddings

TAYLOR + ROBERTS Lucy Taylor and Isaac Roberts were married near Collie on March 19, 2022. The garden ceremony and reception was held at Isaac’s family property, with 150 of their friends and family. Lucy wore a skirt and top by Melbourne designer Kyha, with flowers supplied by Narromine-based florist La Petite Fleuriste. Lucy was accompanied by maid of honour Holly Purdy and bridesmaids Emily Taylor, Hannah Peterson and Grace Higgins. Standing by Isaac’s side were best man Thomas Hancock and groomsmen John Ellis, Bill Rybak and Markus Brabrook. After celebrating into the wee hours of the morning, Lucy and Isaac drove to Queensland, where they spent six days on the Gold Coast. The couple have since returned to their home on Isaac’s family property near Collie. Photographer: Vicki Miller Photography

Above: Grace Higgins, Bill Rybak, Emily Taylor, Markus Brabrook, Lucy and Isaac Roberts, Hannah Peterson, Thomas Hancock, Holly Purdy and John Ellis.

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sculpted J E W E L S

106 FITZMAURICE STREET, WAGGA WAGGA P. 0423 448 690 E. roley@sculptedjewels.com

www.sculptedjewels.com OPEN: TUES BY APPT | WED-FRI 10AM-5PM | SAT 10AM-1PM

Inspired by nature’s bounty, Sculpted Jewels creates beautiful handcrafted jewellery in gold & silver, adorned with precious and semiprecious gems.

THE GLEN, Clear Creek via Bathurst, NSW 2795

Farm Cottage Accommodation Two beautifully styled cottages set on 400 tranquil acres With option to hire together as your gorgeous garden venue for special occasions and wedding celebrations

P h o to g ra p h by L i l y at D aw n

Indulgent relaxation Two private garden spas Romantic wood fire Spectacular scenery WEDDING + EVENT FLORIST New England, North West New South Wales Ph. (02) 6766 7706 flowers@designerbunches.com.au 70 Brisbane Street, Tamworth NSW 2340 TAMWORTHFLORIST.COM.AU

Event garden hire with accommodation

Enquiries to Jayne M: 0435 008 268 E: theglen1826@gmail.com

Accommodation only bookings

The Dale (1 bed) airbnb.com/h/thedalecottage Dempsey’s Cottage (2 bed) airbnb.com/h/dempseyscottage

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S U M M E R weddings

HEATH + WARD Rosie Heath and Lochie Ward were married in Dubbo on March 5, 2022. The ceremony and reception were both held at Lazy River Estate, where approximately 135 guests helped celebrate the couple’s special day. Dubbo businesses were supported. Denise’s Flower Studio provided the flowers, Adors Party Hire supplied the chairs, and the fairy lights were from Taylormade Weddings & Events. Lochie and Rosie enjoyed a honeymoon in Noosa following their wedding and have now made their home at their property near Parkes. Photographer: Amy Allen Creative Co

Above: James Heath, Josh Van Der Stok, Pat Dwyer, Lochie and Rosie Ward, Alice Clark, Tilly Heath and Brooke Moir.

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Business Functions ∙ Birthday Parties ∙ Weddings ∙ Special Events


fine d ining experience

Cnr Brisbane St & Wingewarra St, Dubbo 02 6882 4411 BOOKINGS www.dubborsl.com.au THURSDAY, FRIDAY & SATURDAY 6.00PM – LATE FOR DINNER

Photography by Amy Louise Photography & Design & Copper.Co Photography

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S U M M E R weddings

KILDEY + DOBSON Katie Kildey and Lewis Dobson were married near Dunedoo on June 26, 2021. The ceremony and reception were both held at Cobbora Hall, where 100 of their closest friends and family were in attendance. Katie’s best friend, Emily Yeo, was her maid of honour, and Lewis’s three sisters, Isabella, Abigail and Amelia Dobson, were her bridesmaids. Lewis’s best mate, Dylan Jones, was his best man, and cousins Noah and Leith Wright along with Katie’s brother James Kildey were his groomsmen. Following their wedding, the newlyweds enjoyed a 10-day honeymoon in Port Douglas and Cairns before returning home to Gilgandra. Photographer: Sian Williams Photography

Above: James Kildey, Leith Wright, Noah Wright, Dylan Jones, Lewis and Katie Dobson, Emily Yeo, Isabella Dobson, Abigail Dobson and Amelia Dobson.

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We will make your dream event come to life Specialising in marquees of all sizes, tables, chairs, cocktail furniture, catering equipment and much more you will need for your Wedding, Corporate Event or Party!

18 Swanbrook Road, Inverell info@goldeventhire.com.au Ph. 02 6721 4495 M. 0459 455 179 Monday to Friday 9.30am - 3.30pm

Contact us today for a free personalised quote


“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

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S U M M E R weddings

PILON + GILMOUR Eliza Pilon and Austin Gilmour were married at Pokolbin on May 7, 2022. The ceremony took place in the beautiful chapel at Peterson House, while the reception was held in the onsite marquee where 80 guests enjoyed dinner and an evening of music provided by Sarah Head. Eliza wore a Sophia Tolli gown purchased from The Wedding Shoppe in Dubbo. The wedding flowers were designed by Wow Flowers of Singleton and hair and makeup were provided by Ivory State of Cessnock. The bridal party consisted of groomsmen Anthony Blessing, James Gilmour, Kyle Gilmour and Russell Mann and bridesmaids Georgina Mann, Maddie Gilmour, Bri Cowper and Maya Angus, along with flower girl Charlotte Gilmour. The couple honeymooned in Port Stephens before returning to their home in Dubbo. Photographer: Bryce Noone Photography

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Top: Bri Cowper, Kyle Gilmour, Maya Angus, Russell Mann, Eliza and Austin Gilmour, Maddie Gilmour, James Gilmour, Georgina Mann and Anthony Blessing.



266 Hoskins St, Temora NSW (02) 6977 4122 info@debsjewellery.com

Ph: 0428 663 020 E: info@1834.com.au 803 Ogunbil Road, Dungowan @dungowanstation1834


Open weekdays for Corporate retreats Workshops & events Boutique weddings & elopements Cottage & tiny home accommodation Woolshed/Brewery Open weekends from 10:30am Full bar & casual dining all day

Relax with family and friends amongst the picturesque scenery of Dungowan Station RLM 245

S U M M E R weddings

SAUNDERS + THOMAS Chelsea Saunders and Ryan Thomas were married at Mudgeeraba, Queensland, on March 20, 2022.

The intimate ceremony and reception were both held at The Acre Boomerang Farm, with 62 guests in attendance. Standing by Chelsea’s side were maid of honour Lona-May Dennis and bridesmaids Brittany Johnstone and Maggie Thomas, while Ryan was accompanied by best man Jordan Kerby and groomsmen Harley Moore and Bailey Thomas. The couple, formerly from Inverell, honeymooned at Daydream Island before returning home to Brisbane. Photographer: Ivy Road Photography

Above: Maggie Thomas, Brittany Johnstone, Lona-May Dennis, Chelsea and Ryan Thomas, Harley Moore, Bailey Thomas and Jordan Kerby.

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The Ten Mile is a regional destination eatery featuring seasonal farm gate foods, local wines and fabulous coffee. Celebrating local and regional produce through both our menu and our retail store.

Thursday, Friday, Monday 8am - 2pm Saturday + Sunday 9am - 3pm P. 02 6086 4800 120 Albury Street, Holbrook, NSW 2644


Based in Gundagai, Embellish Catering delivers excellent quality food, outstanding service and value for money. We go the extra mile to ensure that our clients are completely satisfied with their events. Embellish caters for functions of all sizes across the Riverina, Hilltops Region, Snowy Valley and Canberra. WEDDINGS • CELEBRATIONS CORPORATE FUNCTIONS Embellish Catering

56 West Street Gundagai, NSW 2722 0419 478 508 Regional Riverina, NSW



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S U M M E R weddings

FITZGERALD + NEVILLE Alyssa Fitzgerald and Luke Neville were married at Mudgee on March 8, 2022. The ceremony and reception were held at Blue Wren Farm, where some 70 guests joined the couple to celebrate a beautiful day of love, despite the rainy weather. Local vendors Soul Mamas Catering, Mudgee Monkey, Bourne of Cake and Cheveux Hair Studio were supported. The man of honour, makeup artist Jackson Roberts, provided the makeup. The couple enjoyed a Hamilton Island honeymoon before settling back into their Mudgee home. Photographer: Feather & Birch Wedding Co.

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PH: (02) 6885 3500


From our hands to your home Unique, handcrafted and coastal inspired: Furniture Homewares Gifts

H O M E • WA R E S • G I F T S

398 Peel Street Tamworth New South Wales

Opening Hours Monday to Friday 9.30am-5pm Saturday 10am-4pm

Jewellery & Fashion Accessories

Phone. 0414 614 880 coastalfarmhouse@bigpond.com


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02 6882 0949 1/27 Bultje Street, Dubbo NSW 2830 care@dubbodental.com.au

A complete range of dental services: >

Preventative Family Dental Care


Cosmetic dentistry


Crown and Bridgework


Teeth whitening




Local anaesthetic




General anaesthetic


Wisdom tooth removal


In house 3D x-ray imaging


Orthodontics — braces and clear aligners


Veterans Affairs


Paediatric dentistry


Medicare Child Dental Benefits Schedule


Geriatric dentistry


Northaven is a wellrespected service for people living with a disability. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people living with a disability by offering employment opportunities wherein individuals are trained in a work environment while building confidence and dignity, developing personal skills and earning respect in the wider community.

EST. 1969

 Employment  Plan management  Coordination of Supports  Early childhood Early Intervention  Supported Independent Living Accommodation  Community and Social Support


EMPLOYMENT, LIFE SKILLS & ADVENTURE Northaven is committed to providing a safe, caring and non-discriminative environment that allows for the delivery of a person-centered service to each individual.

Have a chat to our friendly team on 02 6722 2280. 65 Oliver St, Inverell NSW 2360

250 RLM




We are a one-stop solar and electrical shop! SOLAR ON & OFF GRID ECOSMART SOLAR HOT WATER



Sapphire City Solar and Electrical have been supplying their services both domestic and commercial, for over 35 dedicated years.


58 Oliver Street, Inverell NSW 2360 (02) 6722 2345


We We offer offer a a range range of of services services that that ensure ensure you you are are the the focus focus of of your your care. care.

Personal Personal Care Care Domestic Support Support Domestic Medication Medication Assistance Assistance Respite Services Respite Services In In Home Home Nursing Nursing Social Social Support Support 24 Hour 24 Hour Care Care Transport Transport Home Home and and Garden Garden Services Services

LIC NO: EC27118

Keep the life that suits you with support at home and in the community Premium Aged & Community Services is an aged care service provider committed to maintaining your independence, dignity and quality of life in the secure and familiar surroundings of your own home and in your community. Our home care services give you the support you need to live in your own home for as long as possible. Contact one of our Care Coordinators to discuss your individual needs.

1300 826 219 mycare@premiumacs.com.au www.premiumacs.com.au 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Head Office Suite 13, 454-456 Peel Street PO BOX 1157 Tamworth NSW 2340 RLM 251

Our Advertisers SUMMER 2022 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. ABCRA

Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft & Rodeo Association Tamworth, 6767 9200 abcra.com.au


Tenterfield, 6736 3377 alfordduff.com.au

ALISON PERCY ARTIST Albury, 0419 151 315 alisonpercy.com.au


Stanthorpe, 4686 1191 aloombalavender.com.au


Moonbi, 6760 3773 andromedaindustries.com.au


Barraba, 6782 1916 andysguesthouse.com.au


Millthorpe, 6366 4300 angullong.com.au



Currabubula, 6768 9030 cascadestuds.com

CATHOLIC EDUCATION Bathurst, 6338 3000 bth.catholic.edu.au


CSC CHURCH STREET CAFE & BAR Dubbo, 0408 730 399 cscdubbo.com.au

CIRCA 1929

Wagga Wagga, 6925 9312 circa1929.com.au

CM COUNTRY OUTFITTERS Tenterfield, 6736 1072


Tamworth, 0414 614 880 coastalfarmhouse.com.au


Tenterfield, 6736 4870 thecommercialboutiquehotel.com

Glenn Innes, 0427 736 437 apartmentsongrey.com.au




Barraba, 6782 1303 babesinthebush.com.au


Walcha 6777 2667

Bingara 6724 1303 iga.com.au

Inverell, 0429 441 086 balmoralinverell.com.au




Goulburn, 1800 026 382 baxterfootwear.com.au


Glen Innes, 0427 255 825 sheds.com.au/agents/glen-innes


Emmaville, 0428 774 101 bensfallsretreat.com

BETTA FRAME & TRUSS Dubbo, 6881 8544 bettaframe.com.au


Walcha, 6778 0477 bettstransport.com.au

BINGARA BAKEHOUSE Bingara, 6724 1901


Bingara, 6724 1500 bingaranewsagency.com


Bingara, 6724 1404


Bingara, 0418 650 413 bingara-wattle-arts-crafts. business.site

BIZCLEAN MATS AND HYGIENE SERVICES Warialda, 6729 1800 bizcleanmats.com.au

BOB BERRY REAL ESTATE Dubbo, 6882 6822 bobberry.com.au

BOORAMOOKA ANGUS Keera, 6723 6622 booroomooka.com.au


Glen Innes, 0428 326 644 bourkestreetvintage.com.au


Gulargambone, 0428 438 253

BURKE & SMYTH AND SINGLE BUILDERS Tamworth, 6766 1411 burkesmyth.com.au


Yass, 6226 1277 cafedolcetto.com.au

Tenterfield, 6736 4741 Dubbo, 6882 8911 cramptonscarpets.com.au

CREATIVE FUSION ART GALLERY Dubbo, 0408 618 325 creativefusiongallery.com.au


Bingara, 0400 757 888 crumpagency.com.au


Tamworth, 6742 0185, 6766 1461 dcco.com.au


Tamworth, 6766 7706 tamworthflorist.com.au






Glen Innes, 0428 451 360 gimardi.com





Dubbo, 6884 1166


Glen Innes, 0403 383 080 gawuragallery.com


Glen Innes, 6732 2577 gleninnes-p.schools.nsw.gov.au

GLEN INNES SERVICES CLUB Glen Innes, 6732 1355 giservices.com.au


Glen Innes, 6730 2300 gisc.nsw.gov.au

DUBBO RHINO LODGE Dubbo, 6884 1760 rhinolodge.com.au


Warialda, 6729 1507

GWYDIR SHIRE COUNCIL Bingara, 6724 2000 www.gwydir.nsw.gov.au


Glen Innes, 6732 2799 highlandsre.com.au

HORE+DAVIES REAL ESTATE Wagga Wagga, 6922 2900 horeanddavies.com.au



Tamworth, 6762 0650 www.easters.com.au


Gundagai, 0419 478 508 embellishcatering.com.au


Bathurst, 6331 7171 www.fishriverroasters.com.au

FOSSICKERS TOURIST PARK Nundle, 6769 3355 fossickersatnundle.com.au


Cooma, 6452 3130 Forbes, 6851 4000 Tamworth, 6760 7577 jemalongwool.com.au


Tenterfield, 6736 2055 jumbuckmotorinn.com.au


Tamworth, 0415 074 578 kareelaconstructions.net.au

KINGS HALL JEWELLERS Dubbo, 6885 3500 kingshall.com.au


Tenterfield, 6736 1145 klas.com.au

Walcha, 6777 2409

Bathurst, 6331 7544 franksmithworkclothing.com.au



Dubbo, 6884 8000 lightingandliving.com.au




Tamworth, 5776 5100 calrossy.nsw.edu.au

CARPE DIEM GUESTHOUSE Tenterfield, 0492 871 747

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Tamworth, 6766 5663

Warialda, 0427 295 760 thefullpackagemarketing.com

NEGS (NEW ENGLAND GIRLS SCHOOL) Armidale, 6774 8700 negs.nsw.edu.au


Lucknow, 6365 5330 lucknowskinshop.com.au

Walcha, 6778 7339, 0427 787 339 shalimarpark-merinostud.com.au Tenterfield, 6736 2453

Dubbo, 6882 1455 silkman.com.au

SIMPLY COUNTRY BOUTIQUE Tenterfield, 0481 361 482


Clear Creek via Bathurst 0435 008 268


Tamworth, 6766 5611 themagicpudding.com.au



Nundle, 1300 686 353 nundle.store




Manilla, 0419 289 754 oakeycreekspeckleparks.com.au/


Tamworth, 6761 3892 theoasistamworth.com

OUTSCAPE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Grenfell, 6343 8288 outscape.net.au


Tamworth, 1300 826 219 premiumacs.com.au


Canowindra, 0427 077 798 perennialle.com.au


Armidale, 6770 1700 plcarmidale.nsw.edu.au


Dubbo, 6885 5381 poolwerx.com.au


Tenterfield, 6736 117


Inverell, 0412 335 735 Oberon, 6336 1101

TAMWORTH REGIONAL COUNCIL Tamworth, 1300 733 625 tamworth.nsw.gov.au


TENTERFIELD BOWLING CLUB & MOTOR INN Tenterfield, 6736 1848 tenterfieldbowlingclub.com.au

TENTERFIELD CORNER CAFE Tenterfield, 6736 4400 tenterfieldcornercafe.com.au


Tenterfield, 0408 247 965 tenterfieldcottage.com.au


Tenterfield, 6736 1200 tenterfiel-h.schools.nsw.gov.au

TENTERFIELD SHIRE COUNCIL Tenterfield, 6736 6000 tenterfield.nsw.gov.au


Griffith, 0428 438 336 theaislingdistillery.com.au

THE ARMIDALE SCHOOL (TAS) Armidale, 6776 5800 as.edu.au

Bathurst, 6332 1738 pressedtinpanels.com






Tenterfield, 6736 1136 raywhitetenterfield.com.au Warialda, 6729 1500

ROSIE’S HONEY MUSTARD Warren, 6824 2055 rosies.net.au


Tenterfield, 0407 949 655


Dubbo, 6882 5362 rubymaine.com.au


Holbrook, 6086 4800 thetenmile.com.au


Glencoe, 6732 3860 smithstonfarms.com.au


Glen Innes, 0428 490 108 nutrien.com.au

Bingara, 0428 834 281 theriverhousebingara.com.au


Warialda, 0429 648 111 spoiltwarialda.com.au

Walcha, 6777 2044 nutrien.com.au

Glen Innes, 6732 4686 thepremierstore.com.au



Inverell, 02 6722 2280. northavenltd.com.au

Tamworth, 6767 9866 oldefarmstore.com.au

Glen Innes, 6732 1108 smeatons-bakery.com.au

Tumbarumba, 1300 275 782 visitsnowyvalleys.com.au






Dungowan, o428 663 020 Young, 1800 219 496 dunkinsurance.com.au

Wagga Wagga, 0427 778 636 montyandmoo.com.au



Bingara, 0427 682 811



Pakenham 1800 806 416, 5943 2388 harkawayhomes.com.au

Tamworth, 0459 207 128 helenhystek.com


Tenterfield, 6736 4741


Tenterfield, 0489 927 845 mynotesfrom.com

Narrandera, 0427 004 442 gruntporksmokehouse.com

Bingara, 0429 647928 selahyoga.com.au






Tenterfield, 6736 1812 thecornertenterfield.com.au


Tenterfield, 6736 3219

Glen Innes, 6732 1966 greatcentralhotel.com.au

Wagga Wagga, 0423 448 690 sculptedjewels.com



Inverell, 66721 4495 goldeventhire.com.au


Inverell, 6722 2345 sapphirecitysolar.com.au



Wangaratta, 5721 6058 mcphails.com.au


Tamworth, 0427 456 128 goonooredangus.com.au

Tamworth, 6766 9715



Tenterfield, 6736 1831 glenrockgardens.com.au

Tamworth, 5712 9800 jackscreek.com.au


Oberon, 6336 1101



Dubbo, 6882 0949 dubbodental.com.au





Tenterfield, 0488 123 490 matildamadeleather.com

Leeton, 6953 6522 realestateleeton.com.au

Bingara, 60428 977 923 dewberrylanebingara.com

Barraba, 6782 1403

Tenterfield, 6736 1213

Narrabri, 6792 1618 Bingara, 6724 1618 meatonmaitland.com



Inverell, 6721 4666 magnoliahomeandgiftinverell.com


Barraba, 6782 1006 Manilla, 6785 1911 hartrural.com.au

Temora, 6977 4122

Dubbo, 0418 634 868, 0409 844 036 macquarieview.com.au

Glen Innes, 0404 312 441 Bendemeer, 6769 6550 bendemeerhotel.com.au

Bingara, 6724 1206


Tenterfield, 0428 669 121 ivyleafchapel.com


North Star, 0477 661 076 West Wyalong, 6972 0393 tdhww.com.au


Glen Innes, 6732 3016 timbspharmacy.com.au

TIMELESS TREASURES Leeton, 0429 982 772


Tamworth, 6766 4558 townandcountryboutique.com.au

TOYOTA CENTRAL WEST GROUP Central West, 6882 1511 toyota.com.au

TREASCO SURVEYING DUBBO 0432 561 966 treascosurveyors.com.au



Wagga Wagga, 6925 8143 unekelounge.com.au


Dubbo, 6882 3199 wlarcombeandson.com.au


Bingara, 0488 380 641

WALCHA GALLERY OF ART Walcha, 0488 775 891 walchagallery.com.au


walcha, 0488 775 891 walchaguesthouse.com.au

WALCHA ROASTED COFFEE Walcha, 0488 990 777 walchacoffee.com.au


Walcha, 6774 2460 walchansw.com.au

WARIALDA NEWSAGENCY Warialda 6729 1049


Warren, warrenchambermusicfestival.com


Glen Innes, 0439 791 923 waterloostationnsw.com.au

WESTERN PLAINS WINDOWS AND GLASS Dubbo, 6884 8818 wpwg.com.au


Tamworth, 6763 1500 woodleys.com.au





THEIR NEW These beautiful puppies are a much-loved part of our family, and are being raised with the best care and treatment, LOVING HOMES IN with space to explore in the surrounds of our garden and farm. Mum and pups are fed premium puppy food to TIME FOR CHRISTMAS ensure the best start to life. Wormed every two weeks, microchipped, vaccinated, vet checked. Testimonials available. They are looking for loving homes with space and an active lifestyle, from 18/12/22 (8 wks) – applications open now.



0418 528 432



Please contact for online application form link · Delivery options available · Responsible Pet Breeders Association Member

The Temora Ex-Services Memorial Club boasts newly completed renovations that truly welcome everyone. We hold regular live entertainment and if you enjoy a punt on the horses, we are well known for our TAB lounge with new touch screen wall sheets.

Mon – Thur: 10am – 11.30pm Fri – Sat: 10am – 12am Sun: 10am – 11pm

130 Baker St, Temora NSW 2666



The Koreela Park Motor Inn brings luxury and comfort to you.

The Goldtera Motor Inn is conveniently located on a quiet street, right in the heart of Temora's CBD. Close by and within walking distance are shops, restaurants, hotels and clubs. For some great entertainment and food, visit the Temora Ex-Services Memorial Club directly opposite.

P: (02) 6977 4177 F: (02) 6978 0269 admin@temoraexservices.com.au www.temoraexservices.com.au

If you are visiting Temora or just passing through, The Koreela Park offers you the benefit of being close to the centre of town, while being snuggled away from the noise and bustle. 80 Loftus Street , Temora P: 02 6977 2433 admin@temoraexservices.com.au

134 Crowley Street, Temora P: (02) 6977 4987 koreelaparkmotorinn.com.au

We offer four star accommodation at three and a half star prices.

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LIVESTOCK STUD STOCK RURAL PROPERTY CLEARING SALES FINANCE Providing professional and personalised services to our clients for over 35 years


Livestock & Rural Property Agents



Garian Foods is a locally based, family owned business and a proud member of NAFDA. Garian stocks all the leading brands, we strive for customer satisfaction with our loyalty reward program and in store promotions. Come and see us today for all your meal, party or catering needs.


Garian Wholesalers Pty Ltd Unit 2/13 Douglas Mawson Road Dubbo NSW 2830 254 RLM

PH: 02 6884 1166 FAX: 02 6884 1809 enquiries@garianfoods.net.au

Trading Hours Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 5pm Sat: 9am – 12pm

All-New Amarok Maximum Evolution Max Performance, max adventure The All-New Amarok proves that a practical and fun-packed ute can also be a down-and-dirty workhorse. With a range of diesel and petrol engines available, including a barnstorming V6 TDI engine, the Amarok is just as suited to hauling heavy building supplies as it is hitting off-road trails. And with up to a 3.5-tonne braked towing capacity, you won't have to leave anything behind. The All-New Amarok, coming soon. * Overseas model shown, local specifications may vary

S U M M E R the story last name word

a feather


A few feathers were ruffled at the annual Glen Innes Poultry Club Show but none of the 30 exhibitors was left with egg on their face.

The smooth running of the Glen Innes Poultry Club Show was put down to the experience of two competent judges who flew in from Tasmania for the big event. Looking resplendent in their white coats, Peter Spotswood and Brian Bennett waded through 300 squawking exhibits before selecting their champions. Organiser Peter Trow, a former policeman, admitted there was some fowl language in the shed after an eye-catching Langshan pullet was judged Grand Champion of the show. The prize-winning pullet was exhibited by beaming junior exhibitor Aden McBain, of “Barrabinda”, Emmaville, who walked away with a swag of ribbons and bag of feed from sponsors Riverina and Norco. Aden’s dad, Gordon, proved no slouch either, exhibiting the champion Large Hardfeather from the family’s truckload of 36 chooks. Highly regarded within the poultry world, the Glen Innes Poultry Show is now in its fifth decade. Each year, the chook fanciers come out of the woodwork for this prestigious showdown. Peter said part of the fun was catching up with fellow exhibitors from all walks of life and from a large area. Although no spring chicken himself, he says it’s all about the challenge of breeding an outstanding bird. The organisers and exhibitors were naturally chuffed when RLM marched in the door to capture the unfolding action with the camera. RLM

Words and images: Jake Lindsay

256 RLM

Junior competitor Aden McBain, Emmaville, with his Langshan pullet that beat stiff competition to walk away with the Grand Champion exhibit of the show.

Peter Trow (centre) with Tasmanian judges Peter Spotswood, Brian Bennett.

Ron Dudgeon, Tenterfield.

Some of the many chook fanciers who came out to try their luck in the competition.

Errol O’Brien, Red Range, near Glen Innes.

Organiser Peter Trow in full flight at the awards.

Terry Tevelde, Glen Innes.

Craig Pigg, Grafton, with his favourite fowl.

Graeme Crisp, Inverell.

Rob Tozer, Grafton.

Gordon McBain, Emmaville, with his champion Large Hardfeather.

Cheryl Brown, Oakwood near Inverell, with her champion Large Hardfeather.

Dunk Insurance has been helping individuals, property and business owners protect their assets for over 30 years, all over the Central West and beyond. Our new Agri and Commercial divisions have been established to meet our clients’ changing needs and can offer a range of policies and advice - WE HAVE GROWN AS YOU HAVE GROWN. Contact our experienced staff to discuss your best insurance options or to arrange a FREE Commercial on farm or business appraisal. Phone: 1800 219 496 or Email: youngmail@dunkinsurance.com.au





2016 NSW/ACT National Insurance Brokers Association General Insurance Broker of the Year – John Dunk

2017 NSW/ACT National Insurance Brokers Association General Insurance Broker of the Year – James Dunk

Commercial Agri

Commercial Agri



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