Happy Easter Holidays

As we head into the busy holiday period, we pause to reflect on the many individuals that make up the Nambucca Valley. We love bringing you stories from the street to the boardroom and this month is no exception. This April, we are celebrating Youth Week by featuring local organisations working with young people along with guest youth authors, we hope you enjoy! Let us know what you think at info@thevalleyhub.com.au

From Country

Saltwater Freshwater Alliance

Expression of Interest
Expression of Interest


Valley Feature

Regional Development Australia

Youth Week 2023 FB landscape
Youth Week 2023 FB landscape

Workforce shortages are felt in just about every industry – exacerbated by the pandemic, but widely understood to have been a big problem in the making for many years.

This presents a challenge and an opportunity for employers and young people on the Mid North Coast. A Challenge because workforce shortages have been biting deep into the productivity and profits of employers, and opportunity because the stage is set for employers to bring in young people to help solve their workforce problems.

RDAMNC has been talking to a variety of employers across the region in our Employer of Choice series about what it’s like to employ young people. Some of the themes which emerged were: Young people need extra support in the workplace; The transition from school to work, or from an after-school job to a full-time job is challenging; Young people often need to be mentored and coached, not just in the technical part of their job, but in building emotional intelligence, and often general life skills and coping strategies; Pairing them up with a more experienced employee sets them up for success; and, adapt to attract young people.

Generation Z are digital natives, used to spending a lot of time on social media platforms. If you want to find young people, go where they are. They don’t live to work like older generations – they work to live, so they value flexibility, fun, and part-time work. Young people often don’t perform well in traditional interviews, so why not try something different like group interviews with a practical element? Set clear expectations and provide good structures.

Many young people come from highly structured educational or part-time work environments and will need to know what’s expected of them. Have clear policies, procedures, and workflows so they know what to do and when to do it. Good training and onboarding will make things easier down the

Need help to find your child a job, or to employ a young person in your business? RDAMNC are hosting a Youth Week employment event: Work Pathways for Young People in the Nambucca Valley on 27th April.

At the event, parents and carers of students from years 9 to 12 who
live in the Nambucca Valley will be able to meet a range of employment and education support services, local employers, and school staff who can provide information and insights about different approaches to career and job pathways.

Register here:


Our stories

James Lander is landing his story here

James Lander
Photo provided by James Lander

Fostering Connection by James Lander 

Photography has become an incredible outlet for me to connect with the world around me. Whether it is with the early risers – the Sunrise Lovers Club – or snapping photos of friends and bands at a music festival, I find that photography has opened my eyes and taught me to absorb the little moments and engage with my surroundings. I often wonder how my journey from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood shapes my creativity today.

Growing up in foster care, I had to learn how to adapt and make connections with new people and environments. It was not always easy, but it taught me the importance of finding moments of joy and beauty in even the most difficult of situations. Foster care is a reality for thousands of youths in Australia, and it can be a challenging experience that often involves dealing with feelings of abandonment, rejection, and loss. As someone who grew up through the foster care system, I can say that my journey from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood was not without these emotions. However, I consider myself one of the lucky ones, as my experience was mostly a positive one.

After several placements, I was super fortunate To be placed in kinship care with my dearest Aunty Robyn at the age of 7. While it was a blessing to be back with family at such an early age, it did come with its challenges, though perhaps more for those around me than for myself at the time. As I entered adolescence and adulthood, I discovered a love for live music and good times.

My passion for photography was a slow burn and then turned an all- consuming love affair. Cameras had always been a thing in the family, my grandparents rarely seen without a camera or video camera in hand. For my 18th birthday, the family gifted me money to put towards a car, but I went and bought a camera instead. Clearly, I had my priorities in order. Photography became a way for me to express myself creatively and capture all the experiences and shenanigans going on around me at the time.

As my creative journey has unfolded, all the ‘moments’ and the people that have helped along the way, the search for connection has just continued getting deeper. There were thousands of bad sunrise shots, I still miss focus at a gig far too often, but the desire to grow and learn how to capture something more meaningful is stronger than ever. The more impact the better. Blink and you will miss it, 1/125th of a second – click – you just made a memory.

I want to capture your favourite beach or your hometown and connect with you somehow; will it make you absolutely miss home, or perhaps you might see somewhere you know very well in a completely different light. Hearing how certain images make people feel; whether it is in person, via the socials, even google reviews – it is the absolute best! I have also found that photography has helped the antisocial extrovert in me connect with people in a deeper and more meaningful way. Whether it is through capturing quirky Gimme Gimme band portraits, exhibiting my work or capturing candid shots at an event and the atmosphere and energy of live music – It is a powerful way to make connections and break down barriers.

My journey through foster care has shaped me into the person I am today, and I am grateful for the positive aspects of my experience. Through photography and the continued desire to foster a deeper connection, I will continue growing and thriving, owning my past, and making a positive impact in my own life and in the lives of those around me. So, whether I am at the beach for sunrise, lost in a National Park somewhere, chasing sunrise, or at a gig waiting for the moment the crowd goes absolutely nuts – there will be a camera in hand, both eyes open, and I will be ready to soak it all in.


Love your local

Izzy on Becoming U

Izzy and Damien - Nambucca Valley Community Connectors
Izzy and Damien – Nambucca Valley Community Connectors

You may have seen me in the Valley over the past 15 months in my role as Community Connector for Becoming U.

I`m thrilled to now be working with Gumbaynggirr man Damien Carriage, who has just started as another Community Connector for the Nambucca Valley. Our role is to support young people to thrive and to create the positive change they want to see in their community for themselves and others. Today is never the same as yesterday and tomorrow always brings new ideas, connections, and ways young people can make an impact.

Becoming U is a youth-led project. We work side-by-side with local young people, schools, youth organisations, and the community to support young people co-design programs. These programs cover aspects of young people`s lives that matter most to them; health and wellbeing, job pathways, peer mentoring, environment and sustainability, creative expression, and making their voices heard.

It’s an exciting and busy time for the Becoming U team. We are closing out Youth Week with a massive two-day event for young people from the Valley. The Future U camp will bring together up to 40 young people from the region.  The aim is to give young people skills and knowledge in one of three areas; careers, leadership or sports mentoring. All campers have been nominated by their schools or sporting clubs for having shown mentoring and leadership qualities, being supportive and caring with others, wanting to build confidence or explore career options. All 3 smaller groups have tailored workshops throughout the camp and will learn from inspiring subject experts in their chosen area. Everyone will come together for meals, activities and for special guest speakers.

The Future U Camp is a fully-funded overnight camp at the Coffs Coast Adventure Centre in Bonville. It will be a jam-packed few days full of opportunity, encouragement, positivity, and connection and will provide exposure to role models and leaders. We can’t wait to run the camp, hear more from young people of the Valley, and see what they can achieve together.

There are so many amazing things happening locally this Youth Week. Check out The Nambucca Youthie, Bowra Youth Hub, and the newsletters and socials of local schools to see what`s on offer.

Youth Week is vital for young people to have opportunities to speak up, take action, and lead the way for a better world. We must also show young people we are listening and value their ideas and needs, not just for Youth Week but always

Spotlight on

Sending RIPPLES through Macksville

Sending RIPPLES through Macksville

RIPPLE is a specialty coffee bar in the heart of Macksville. Ripple are proud to be a community hub offering cultural influence, good conversation, eclectic music and damn fine coffee.

Contact Ripple here:


Inside knowledge

ShoreTrack on Youth Week


For ShoreTrack, Youth Week is a time to celebrate the power and potential of young people.

It is a time to recognise the contributions that young people make to their communities, and to highlight their talents, skills, and creativity. Youth Week is also an opportunity for the ShoreTrack team to come together and connect with one another. It is a time to build relationships, share ideas, and collaborate on projects that can make a positive impact on their community.

In addition, Youth Week serves as a platform for the young people who attend ShoreTrack to raise awareness about important issues affecting young people, and to advocate for positive change. It is a time to speak out on issues such as mental health, education, and social justice, and to work toward solutions that can improve the lives of young people. Overall, Youth Week is a time for the ShoreTrack youth to celebrate their identity, their potential, and their contributions to their community. It is a time to inspire and be inspired and to work towards a brighter future for all young people.

Reach out to ShoreTrack here: https://shoretrack.org.au

What's on in the Valley

Here are a handful of events and programs coming up in April and May 2023

Apr 2023: 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.


  1. What is the favorite food of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
  2. Who plays the lead character in Mean Girls?
  3. In Harry’s sixth year at the Hogwarts, a new apparition instructor joins. What is his name?
  4. In which year was the Notorious BIG rapper shot and killed?
  5. Who is the author Flashman series of novels?
  6. What is the color of absinthe?
  7. What did ancient Romans use to dye their hair?
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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