2022 December – Issue 06

The Valley Hub Team wish you a Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years.

The final edition of The Valley Hub E-Newsletter for 2022 features local retailers and events set to make your holidays happy. We`ll be taking a short break and will be back in your inbox in late January. We hope you take the time to enjoy the sea, sun and sand, and all the other treasures the Nambucca Valley has to offer. If you have a story you'd like to share in 2023, reach out at info@thevalleyhub.com.au

From Country

Giinagay, Chris and Heather.

‘Dilly Bags’ for Lake Macquarie City Council at Teralba
with Chris Edwards and Heather Clarke

A dynamic business duo, well-traveled and well-accomplished, known to the community simply as Chris and Heather.

Born and bred in the Valley, Heather Clarke grew up on a Banana farm in Bowraville, leaving only to chase education and travel. She moved back to the area some years ago to raise her family, drawn to the sense of community embodied by the Nambucca Valley. Heather had enjoyed a broad career working in hospitality and customer service, including the Olympics, and several years spent with Qantas. Then, feet on country and at a crossroad in her life, she would soon bump into a familiar face, again, and again, and again. Chris Edwards.

Chris is a proud Gumbaynggirr man, son of Oakie Marshall. His heritage would later inform Chris`s initial business name, Wirriimbi Designs, meaning ‘saltwater oak’. Starting out in shop fitting and designing, Chris knew he was being called to art after moving to Sydney in his early twenties. So, paintbrush and dollar shop canvas in tow, Chris commenced his foray into the art world, a journey he says has informed his outlook on life, “I had been designing the layout for Michele`s Patisserie shops, how much lighting was needed, colours etc, I’d lost passion for my trade and thought what I am doing?, and that’s when I started”. 

Chris says that being a young Aboriginal man in the big smoke was hard, “I`d go into a gallery to try and sell my art and they would always be a run by a well dressed white lady, well spoken… sometimes I didn’t even put my foot in the door thinking; they`re too flash for me”. He may have felt intimidated, still, Chris persevered and the thriving business he and Heather share today, Edwards and Co, is testament to Chris`s self-belief and Heather`s professional lens. Chris says, though, that this self-confidence didn’t develop overnight, “I had the stigma, you know. I was shy, I was embarrassed by what I was giving them, but eventually, I realised you just have to walk in the room and know you belong there”, advice Chris has utilised in his role as an Aboriginal Ambassador and Wellbeing Coach for AFL team, the Giants, and now, the Sydney Swans up and coming, young Indigenous athletes. 

Now, coming home to Country has been formative for Chris. Pooling his strengths with Heather`s, the pair work together to create art for, with, and about community. Heather notes, “We`ve built something new together on top of what Chris has worked so hard for, and now, we pitch for public art tenders, work with youth, art therapy, we`ve also worked with not-for-profit organisations like ShoreTrack and Mission Australia”. Chris echoes, “At the moment we also have a couple of community projects in the works, a gateway sculpture for Nambucca Reserve and a refresh of Nambucca Plaza”, a project they`re particularly excited about. “Nambucca Heads Public school students are designing some of the elements, and ShoreTrack participants will make them”, designing in collaboration for community is such an important and big part of giving back to the place you call home”, the pair report. 

By all accounts, Heather and Chris have been incredibly successful, with Edwards and Co. art sourced nationally and internationally for exhibitions and commandeered by large organisations and councils alike. While the pair may be tendering for large projects on and off community, Heather says the only thing that changes when negotiating a contract is a nice shirt and shoes. Chris and Heather`s hard work embodies a completely self-funded and self-sustaining business that is only set to grow now Chris is back on Country. “Today, it’s humming and strong, I really feel when I wake up with my feet on Gumbaynggirr land that my business is stronger”, the artist notes. 

Chris finishes with a statement that one can only imagine is both embedded in his art and truly exemplifies the spectrum of experience he has had. “You`ve just gotta show up and be yourself, work hard, and believe in yourself. It doesn’t happen overnight, sometimes not even in a year, but if you keep going, don’t judge anyone, believe that you`re meant to be there, it makes the difference”. 

You can find Edwards and Co. at:  c.edwardsclarke@gmail.com or call 0424 803 321. Look out for their website which is currently being constructed….www.edwardsandcoart.com.au

Valley Feature

Kirstie and the team want you to feel ZEN.


ZEN Health and Beauty
ZEN Health and Beauty

You may know Zen Health and Beauty from Bowra Street Nambucca but, if you`ve visited them more recently, you probably now know them as paradise

Finding their new home at The Cubana Resort in Nambucca Heads, Zen`s soft pink abode beckons the soul to relax and unwind while enjoying just one of the many beauty treatments they have on offer. 

Owner Kirstie Snow is passionate about creating a warm and nurturing environment, “our new location means clients can have more privacy and really feel a sense of being heard and attended to as individuals when they come here”, she says. Access to Cubana`s Spa, Sauna, and Pool is a neat addition to the services already provided by Zen. Kirstie says it is her utmost priority that everyone is treated with the respect they deserve, “When people come to Zen, we want them to feel like they’re coming to visit old friends”, her kindness well conveyed. 

Hailing from Western Australia, Kirstie moved to Nambucca five years ago and immediately fell in love with the area. There are many things Kirstie loves about the coastal lifestyle the Nambucca Valley has to offer, the sense of community being just one of them. From spending time at her favourite place, Shelly Beach, to partaking in her favourite eateries, Matilda`s and Earthbound, Kirstie enjoys raising her kids in this spectacular piece of the country, “It’s like being on holiday every single day”, she jokes.  

It is Kirstie`s hope that when you come to Zen, you too will feel like you`re on holiday. To make the experience more accessible, Kirstie has created 20 Christmas packages worth $180.00 for $100.00 including options such as organic massage and facial packages. To check out what else Zen has on offer visit:


Our stories

Irwin Partridge is laughing all the way to Christmas.

Irwin Partridge featuring one of his own images.
Irwin Partridge features one of his own images.

Irwin Partridge has lived in the Nambucca Valley for over fifty years, which is almost as young as he says he is. 

You may recognise Irwin from his work in the service industry which, ironically, is how he developed his now favourite hobby. Irwin recalls, “I had been working at Caltex for some time, my boss at the time had a Canon 60D and would frequently talk about photography. I thought to myself, I could do that”, and as he says, the rest is history.

Purchasing his own camera shortly after, Irwin began taking photos of local landmarks, flora, and fauna, and, of course, obliging family and friends. Now, Irwin sees the world through the lens of his camera, “I am always thinking about how something may look in a photo and from what angle”, this is metaphorical for the photographer, with his ability to capture special moments changing how he sees the world. Irwin explains, “I don’t remember much of Christmas from my own childhood, to be honest, so I love taking photos of the kids and grandkids enjoying Christmas and watching them change and grow over the years”.

While he enjoys capturing those he loves, Irwin says his enjoyment comes from a challenge.”I attend the local camera club, talking with other photographers and seeing their work, the challenges set among us, it pushes me to be more innovative and to constantly improve”. While Irwin may enjoy the company of others within his craft, his best work, he says, is captured on a whim, “from a lizard basking in the sun in the front yard to the bridge on my way home from dinner”.

It’s clear that the beautiful backdrop that is the Nambucca Valley only serves to encourage the photographer, and he has no plans to stop, “I want people to enjoy my photography, but I also hope it shows them who I am and what I`m interested in”, he continues, “I’m easy going, open, and interested in the world”. Most of all, Irwin hopes that in the business of life, people will slow down to notice the small details he is able to capture through his camera, from the funny behaviours of animals to the small variations in colour of a flower petal, this, he says, is the perfect reminder of a life well lived during the Christmas season.

You can see more of Irwin`s work here:


Love your local

Hi, I`m Charlotte from Beachside Creations

Charlotte and her Beachside Creations

Creativity has always been important in my life, I find it is the calming element I need, especially when life is busy!

I grew up in Nambucca and have spent a few years away but it felt right to come home to raise my babies in this wonderful valley. I love living in the Nambucca Valley and the smaller-town lifestyle it offers, and I definitely enjoy the beach! 

 I’ve been a potter for around 10 years and, more recently, I have also been creating one-off unique jewelry pieces. I started my business, ‘Beachside Creations’ to fill my creative need, simply doing what I enjoyed, and then, as time went on, I was receiving more and more orders, which eventually turned into a regular spot at the markets. 

I`m at home raising my three babies, so creating often comes much later in the day, either creating a wholesale order of earrings or preparing for a market. I try to have a range of things on the go, from resin setting for earring components through to pinch pots waiting to go in the kiln for a load of garden bells. I hope my creations bring as much enjoyment to those who purchase them as they do me through the creative process. 

This Christmas, I`d encourage you to spend and support local. The families behind the business will always appreciate it. For us, it often means being able to enroll our kids in an extra activity or take that much-needed family holiday. Plus, with a valley full of creatives, why look any further? 

Check out Beachside Creations here:



Charlotte`s creations are also available at Lucy Fru Fru in Macksville and Kaleidoscope in Coffs Harbour.

Spotlight on

Eat local this Christmas.

V Wall Pavilion, Nambucca Heads.
V Wall Pavilion, Nambucca Heads.

The Nambucca Valley boasts a plethora of growers and eateries ready to make your Christmas merrier. From fresh produce boxes to delectable sweet boxes, check out some of the growing and catering services from The Valley Hub family.


You can find businesses featured in this video at www.thevalleyhub.com.au

Inside knowledge

Gift ideas for Christmas

The Team at Revel and Co featuring Chris Edwards Artwork
The Team at Revel and Co featuring Chris Edwards Artwork

With gifts, decor, and local treasures abundant, Revel and Co is the perfect place to take a moment to escape the hot sun and enjoy a beverage while you shop your Christmas list. From teachers’ gifts to unique finds for that special someone, the boutique store on Bowra Street is a great place to start for your Christmas purchases. Here, Monique and the team at Revel and Co tell you their top picks. 


For opening hours head to: 



What's on in the Valley

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

Dec 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.

DECEMBER Questions:

  1. Which ocean is Christmas Island situated in?
  2. How do you say Merry Christmas in Spanish?
  3. Which country is the largest exporter of Christmas trees?
  4. What colour are mistletoe berries
  5. ‘Wassailing’ is the old tradition that is now more commonly known as what?
  6. What does the shape of a candy cane represent?
  7. What do Swedish children leave for Santa Claus?


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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