2022 August – Issue 02

This month’s edition of The Valley Hub News features a heap of Nambucca Valley locals taking innovative steps to connect community in creative and joyful ways.

We have everything from warming your belly with a CWA special winter recipe to a great brain tease with our monthly quiz… and while you’re here check out what’s happening around the valley via the community calendar!! Do you know someone doing something great in the community that you think should be shared? If so, The Valley Hub would love to hear about it - reach out at info@thevalleyhub.com.au

From Country

Giinagay, I'm Uncle Budd Marshall... Let me tell you a story.

Uncle Budd Marshall standing alongside the statue of his Uncle Benji Buchanan in Nambucca Heads
IMAGE: Uncle Budd Marshall standing alongside the statue of his Uncle Benji Buchanan in Nambucca Heads

My mother is Gumbaynggirr, I was born in Bellingen. My mother had to travel across the hills to have me as Aboriginal women were not allowed at Macksville or Bowraville Hospital. I believe my father is from New Zealand. While visiting there I was talking about all the different islands, Tonga, Fiji and how the people live off the land; not too different to here. I had the idea to tell the story of my Uncle, Benji Buchanan.

Every year we would sit up on the sand dunes and watch and wave at Uncle Benji, he would be waiting over at the wall. We used to ride across there on the beach, walk up with spears and bags. I used to follow him a lot. Something about him, I saw him spear something as big as me and he would dive in that water at sea and pull them out. He was strong.

Over at the wall fish was plentiful; mullet, flathead, clean fish, because every time that tide came in and underneath the wall, it filled up the lake and went out with the tide. I wouldn’t get anything out if it now, too polluted.

I wanted to build a statue, telling the story of him on the river, making his own spears and catching mullet. It’s something I’m learning how to do now too, I don’t want to see that die out.

I spoke to the council with a girl by the name of Sara Wright, she approached me about the story. She wanted to show people that this is how us Aboriginal people lived on the river, this was our main source of living. Oysters, fish, and stuff like that. An engineer and Nick Walford, an artist, was one of the guys we approached for the statue. They did the sculpture and then my niece Sharon put the butterflies and wattle trees in there. I worked with Brody Simon to make the mullet on the top.

We organised the Buulungal (mullet) festival. Nearly two hundred people were there. There was a smoking ceremony, dancing, the mullet cook up and drummers. I’d like to do one every year. Putting something on the map would be deadly. Bigger each year. I hope even more people come so I can keep sharing the story.


Valley Feature

Foraging for foods in our local area is a passion of Carly Mclean that she is now sharing with the community.

'Foraged Treasures'... Carly Mclean’s new local business
IMAGE: ‘Foraged Treasures’… Carly Mclean’s new local business

Carly’s kitchen bench is lined with homemade riberry cordial, naturally aging vinegars and jars of sauerkraut, all of which she has collected the ingredients from our local area.  As I sat with her at her kitchen table, looking out to the Macksville wetland where she will often forage wild growing greens to create colourful, tasty salads, she described her passion for foraging local foods and her dreams to inspire our community in sustainable living.

“Foraging for foods in our local area is a passion of mine that I would like to share with the community”. Carly’s new business, ‘Foraged Treasures’, provides boxes of locally foraged produce, some homemade products including teas and sweets made from the plants she has foraged, and a few little pre-loved treasures, like a cute tea cup from local op shop and antique stores to enjoy freshly dried tea.

The contents of the boxes will vary from season to season depending on what is available in the area.  For example, an autumn box might include pine mushroom salt, herbal tea lemon myrtle blend, spice rub and apple cider vinegar. Other items could be riberry cordial, some honeysuckle and other edible flowers plus wild passionfruit, native raspberries, flax lilies and berries made into sodas.”

If most of you who are reading this are like myself, who has never foraged for edible food and are about ready to take out a loan to buy an iceberg lettuce, you will find this fascinating and essential. Who’s ready to grab a basket and follow Carly into the local grassland, along the Nambucca River and through the streets of town? I assumed edible plants would be hard to find but Carly says…

“I’m actually mind blown that I don’t have to go far. Just walking through Macksville there are lilly pillies and rye berries everywhere which are some of my favourites. Lemon myrtle is all through town and flax lilies are along the river. I’m so excited because the council is getting on board to plant natives in our nature strips which of course are all mostly edible. In Scott’s Head, there’s cape gooseberries everywhere, like everywhere. Native raspberries are so easy to find”.

From your backyard beyond just over the fence and up to Dorrigo, Carly says there is an abundance of local and native foods we can collect. “Some days if I’m lacking on greens in my fridge, I will actually walk out into the back yard, over my fence and just go foraging and I can make the most amazing dinner full of greens”. Carly wants to be able to inspire people to know that wherever they live, they can forage for food around them and that, wherever they are, there is free food available. “I really hate waste, so I’m really happy to do anything that can encourage people to live more sustainably.”

Interested in Carly’s new business… follower her on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/foragedtreasures/


Our stories

Sarah Jae Miles shares her journey which led her to Bowraville and onto become a birth photographer, doula and local creative.

The witness of the journey - Sarah Jae Miles
IMAGE: ‘The witness of the journey’ – Photography by Sarah Jae Miles

“When I talk with mums about self-care, I often reinforce the importance of putting themselves first once in a while. Reminding them that they matter. My ideal form of self-care is diving or a swim in the ocean”. Sarah’s love of water comes from spending time on the river with her dog as a kid. “We would often jump in at one bridge and float down to the other bridge. Mum always said I would be safe as long as the dog was with me”.

Sarah studied Marine Science at school and obtained an open water dive certificate. Ever since then, she has plenty basked around water. “I spent some time in the Whitsundays as a dive instructor. I packed up all of my stuff, no house, no plan, but I made it work. I moved on to Daydream Island as a Marine Biologist. Eventually I bought my first wide-lens and fell in love with taking pictures of landscapes”. One of the photos Sarah took of morning glory clouds was purchased by the Sydney Morning Herald. Sarah started taking photos of the fisherman with their fish when they came in, angling it to make sure the fish looked sizeable, “They ate it up” laughs Sarah.

After some years, Sarah came home to Bowraville and decided to start her own business taking wedding photos. “Eventually I was able to shoot my first birth, one of my wedding clients. It was really special to have that connection”. Sarah states that the birth work she carries out is not about the baby. “Kids aren’t really my thing. What fascinates me is the lead up to the birth and watching the mum growing and being her old self, maybe she’s loving being pregnant or maybe she’s hating being pregnant, watching her go through labour or birth and watching her partner watch her, knowing that from then on, she’s never going to be the same ever again. And then seeing the point where she hits rock bottom and then watching her grow again. The emotions are real, it’s a real story. I have such love for my birth clients”.

Coming away from a birth, Sarah says she mostly feels exhausted. “My emotions tend to mirror that of the mum I have supported. If she feels empowered, then I am also on a high. The opposite is also true. What fascinates and makes me want to keep doing it, is that having children was an experience I didn’t plan to have, and I have come out the other end with this whole new trajectory.”

You can get to know Sarah and her work by visiting: www.sarahjaecreative.com.au


Sarah’s story originally appeared on ‘Humans of Bowraville’: https://www.facebook.com/humansofbowraville/?ref=page_internal


Love your local

Opening the door to her relocated and newly renovated space "Ishara" - Saimone Fergusson has created a lush, feminine safe place for healing which beckons the spirit to breathe and relax.

Saimone Fergusson in her newly renovated space "Ishara"
IMAGE: Saimone Fergusson in her newly renovated space “Ishara”

Saimone has created a space to reflect that which she claims as her divine purpose; to connect community.

Saimone fell in love with the land, moving to the valley following the death of her dad some years ago. Opening her original rooms in River Street Macksville, Saimone connected with like-minded practitioners and thus developed a calibre of alternative therapies which she is passionate about sharing with locals. Amidst the services provided such as Hawaiian Massage, Reiki, Bowen Therapy, Meditation and Sound Healing, Saimone notes encouraging individuals to look at alternative and holistic ways of healing as integral to her practice.

Ishara`s new location, on the corner of River and Cooper Streets, Macksville, certainly fosters a space for this healing. With a desire to empower women, particularly those who have experienced trauma and violence, Saimone has her own story of healing to tell. This story is held within the paint and trimmings of the place, designed and facilitated by Saimone herself, as a means of recapturing her autonomy and power with the hope of creating a safe space for other women who have experienced domestic violence.

Encouraged by staff at Mitre 10 Macksville, Saimone has independently developed a stagnant shop front into a soft and inviting central location for wellbeing, a feat which was some time coming with Saimone originally missing out on the lease. Saimone has always believed the building would fall into her hands, and it is this intuition she believes has served her well in establishing and maintaining Ishara throughout the challenges of the pandemic. In ode to her original shop neighbour who recently passed, John Wood, Saimone fondly recalls chatting about Covid, with John citing “just don’t think about it too much”. This quip encompasses Saimone to a tee, a practitioner who leads with her heart, and is set to lead a community to greater health and wellbeing, with some joy and adventure on the way.

If you would like to connect with Saimone, you can visit her website here:

Spotlight on

Country Women's Association - Satay Chicken

‘CWA’ member Merrie Hunt delivering a batch of fresh Satay Chicken to the kids at ‘ShoreTrack’ Macksville.

‘CWA’ member Merrie Hunt delivering a batch of fresh Satay Chicken to the kids at ‘ShoreTrack’ Macksville.
IMAGE: ‘CWA’ member Merrie Hunt delivering a batch of fresh Satay Chicken to the kids at ‘ShoreTrack’ Macksville.

500 grams chicken breast
1 packet Satay Chicken powder
Spring Onion
1 can Corn and Carrots
2 tablespoons of crunchy Peanut Butter
Sweet Chilli sauce
300 to 600mls of cream (depending on how much sauce you want).

  1. Cut chicken into thin strips and brown in a frying pan. Set aside.
  2. Follow instructions on Satay Chicken powder packet to make sauce up.
  3. Sauté Celery, Capsicum and Spring Onion. Drain can of Corn and Carrots and add to sautéed mix.
  4. Pour sauce and cooked chicken back into the mixture.
  5. Add Peanut Butter, a squeeze of Sweet Chilli Sauce, Cream and stir.
  6. Simmer for a few minutes – make sure you don’t overheat as cream will curdle.

Serve on a bed of rice.

Inside knowledge

Tips from Country with Kenny Walker “Gagu Land Services”

IMAGE: Kenny Walker from “Gagu Land Services” demonstrating how Country can heal.

Kenny is a Gumbaynggirr man, a Custodian of Country who owns and operates the local business, Gagu Land Services. Kenny is all about combining new methods of land conservation on country with old methods of land management passed down from his Gumbaynggirr Elders. He has spent a lot of his years in the bush on Country learning the cultural way. He also has relevant western qualifications in Conservation and Land Management.

Kenny shares with us a little bush medicine tip. “If you’re ever in the bush and brush up against a ‘stinging tree’ (Wiirrinyjaga), the sting can come on quickly and be painful. But if you look around the stinging tree, Country will give you the medicine to ease that stinging feeling. Try and look for this large leaf plant (Dawguway Cunjevoi), open its stalk and you’ll find that the sap/juice that lives inside the stalk can be rubbed on the stinging area to reduce the sting”.

To Connect with Kenny visit www.gagulandservices.com.au


What's on in the Valley

Here are a handful of events and programs coming up in August 2022.

Aug 2022: Highlight events

For more information about the above events or for a list of what else is happening around the Nambucca Valley head to The Valley Hubs calendar of events. You can also request to add upcoming events here.

Let the games begin

Set your brain to our monthly trivia quest.

The answers will be shared next month – let us know how you fared.

August Questions:

  1. Which monarch officially made Valentine’s Day a holiday in 1537?
  2. What is the name of the biggest technology company in South Korea?
  3. What is the rarest M&M color?
  4. Which country won the first-ever soccer World Cup in 1930?
  5. What’s the city with the most diversity in terms of language?
  6. The unicorn is the national animal of which country?
  7. In public places in the state of Florida, what’s illegal to do when wearing a swimsuit?
Valley publications

Stay in touch with other Valley publications available.

The Valley Hub acknowledges Gumbaynggirr country, the Ancestors, Elders and Traditional Custodians of the Valley in which we live and work. We thank them for their care of country through time and acknowledge and respect their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.

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