Aunty Ruth Walker
Aunty Ruth Walker

We hope that you enjoy this edition of The Valley Hub News. 

Hello and welcome to your August edition of The Valley Hub News.

This month, we are pleased to introduce our recurring guest authors, Mujaay Ganma, to our 'From Country' section. Each month, you will hear from Mujaay Ganma on all things 'Country, Culture and Community'.

From Country

Rachel’s Cultural Journey Shared With The Valley

Outside the Bowraville Theatre after the films were shown. Aunty Ruth Walker, Rachel Ward and Aunty Rita Ballangarry.
Outside the Bowraville Theatre after the films were shown. Aunty Ruth Walker, Rachel Ward and Aunty Rita Ballangarry.

Many of us in The Valley took the opportunity to see Rachel Ward’s recent, sold out screenings of Rachel’s Farm, about her journey in learning about regenerative farming. However it was those who attended the Bowraville Theatre’s screening, who were welcomed by Uncle Martin Ballangarry and treated to Rachel’s Cultural Journey. This short film was edited by Ljudan Michaelis-Thorpe, from footage captured while shooting Rachel’s Farm.

This short film provided insights into Gumbaynggirr culture and Lore. In just ten minutes, viewers were given a glimpse into the depth of knowing held by custodians of Country today. We, who live on Country where custodians continue their cultural practices, even without having easy access to their land, are indeed the beneficiaries of thousands of years of experience.

For those who missed the premiere of Rachel’s Cultural Journey, here are a few snippets of the wisdom shared in this film:

“As you know our people have been on this land for over 50,000 years,an’ we got a fair idea of how to look after the land and respect it. … it gives us a sense of responsibility of letting people know, not only that it’s our land, but it’s a land we want people to respect. We try to followthe Lores of our ways” –  Uncle Roy Ballangarry

Dallas Walker, who along with Uncle Roy, is also a Gumbaynggirr language speaker and one who knows how language cannot be separated from Country and culture, showed us how Gumbaynggirr Lore is about sharing and caring, when he acknowledged Rachel;

“… you know, you giving that respect and giving us this time to come here and show you what we know about the land… and hopefully you carry on with your kids … and for generations to come” and a bit later“… by walking this land with Rachel, we can be healing at the same time, you know?”

Aunty Ruth Walker in answering the question … how do we help it (the land), had this to say

“By just walking it, listening to it, talking to it. We always sing out!… We always ask permission when we go somewhere. Even though we live here.”

Uncle Martin Ballangarry spoke (with more gestures than words and in his laughing way) of his respect for the grandmothers and their importance in the Culture.

When talking about a termite mound with Rachel, Kenny Walker explained that the termites work together, as one. “Work as one, not divided. Working as one, as a community, as one

body… if Australia gets that in the head, there’s a big wake-up call!”

When speaking of the Lore, Patricia Walker shared:“It’s all about Country, it’s all about family, it’s all about tradition, it’s all about language, it’s all about waters, it’s all about sustainability, it’s also about succession planning.” This little film elegantly shows us how Country holds so much for us all and how custodians and cultural Lore can help guide the continuing care of Country.

Article submitted by Mujaay Ganma

Valley Feature


It’s all about choice!

The Phoenix School of Arts offers a wide range of arts courses taught by professional artists and qualified adult educators. The Open Arts programs are for all members of the community while the Ability Arts courses are disability focused. Enjoy the benefits of arts practice and choose the course that is right for you. Get involved at this year’s Phoenix School of Arts ceramics program, facilitated by artist Sally Hook. The purpose of these hand building classes is to bring a sense of design and skills to enable participants to begin their own ceramic practice into competency. The projects cover slab and coil building as well as methods of construction that are used to achieve a particular structural element. 

Each month features two Saturday workshops to explore different themes. The coming months touch on fantasy animals in September, pots with attitude in October and then an invitation to create something of one’s own in November. It is a packed ceramics program with the possibility to show your very best works at Phoenix Gallery. For bookings contact

Connect with Phoenix here:

Our stories

KINI Kenya Help

Barbara Parkins - founder of KINI Kenya
Barbara Parkins – founder of KINI Kenya

My name is Barbara Parkins. I grew up in the Valley, living all my childhood at the farm on Rosewood Road, Warrell Creek, attending Warrell Creek Primary and Macksville High School. I left for college and lived in New Zealand for 7 years before returning to the Valley where my 2 children were born and both still reside in the area. I spent my life in the Valley until my journey to Kenya to live permanently in 2013.

My friend was living and working here with the SDA Church Health Department and invited me to come and visit and look at the needs here. I visited the Maasai people, met one of the Warriors who was a guard at the camp where we stayed, visited the village and realised they really needed help educating the children as many were orphans or parents very poor. So I resigned my job and came back to the Village where I was highly welcomed and settled in to help the people, especially the children.

It was from there I started KINI Kenya. Our main focus is education and the rescue of vulnerable and at risk children, both boys and girls, but especially girls from early marriages, female-genital-mutilation, and exploitation. We also help with many medical problems children have and parents that may be unable or uninformed of how to help them.

KINI Kenya relies solely on donations from those who wish to partner with us in the building works for the school and the rescue centre, the every day running of programs and especially the sponsorship of students from kindergarten to University. We have a home where we currently have 25 children living with me as they have no other safe home to go to and most are orphans with no family willing to care for them.

There is never an average day for me! From my school (KINI Mara Academy) I have 40 students stay with me during the week – so that means we rise at 6.30 am to ensure their breakfast of millet porridge, bread (home made in a charcoal oven) and a banana are ready for each child to eat before going to school.  After they go to school it can be the need to rush to other school to visit the students for Academic Days or deal with issues which arise, or to town to buy much needed food supplies, deal with sick children, which are often many, be called to meetings or someone’s home for a celebration and also keep a check on KINI Mara Academy. Also you can be called to pick or check children who are in a dangerous situation or are being exploited, often by relatives if they do not have both parents. Even when you plan your day, that plan is usually changed quite a number of times as different situations evolve.

An example of this is when a father came to my home early one morning requesting I take his 2 older daughters as their mother had died 5 months previously after having a 3rd baby and the grandmother did not want to care for them and he was not able to (I later realised he was an alcoholic and did not care for the family at all). As is my usual practice the next day I got on the back of a motorbike and went through the forest for almost 2 hours to reach the boma (home) of where the children were living. I found the 2 girls aged 6 and 3 and also a very tiny baby (who was actually the 3rd daughter born 5 1/2 months previously). One look at the baby and I knew she was almost dead from malnutrition and was not being cared for or fed (only a small amount of cows milk, often not boiled). After discussions we agreed I would take the baby or she would surely die, and the older sister. The baby had acute malnutrition and was 4.5 kg. Along with caring for other children in my home and visiting schools, etc I now had a baby to care for full time, and one that required a lot of attention to ensure she had good food to help her regain her muscle tone and health. Today, 7 years later she is a bright beautiful little girl in Grade 2 who knows no mother but me.

There are a number of children who desperately need sponsorship for education purposes as they cannot stay in school unless school fees are paid and they have all the necessary requirements. Primary Students are $300-$400 per year and secondary students $600-$700 per year as they always board. Children living in my home also need sponsorship ($50 per month) to clothe and feed them and care for all their necessities. Monthly salaries for teachers and other staff amount to $2,000 per month. Any other expenses incurred, such as vehicles and building works are also required.

Connect with Barbara here:


Love your local

Riverside invites you to Rest

Sharon Darrin and Milly of Riverside Rest
Sharon Darrin and Milly of Riverside Rest

We are a rhyming pair, Sharon and Darrin Coleman. We have been married for 36 years and are the owners of Riverside Rest.

With over 55 years experience between us, we take great pride in providing the best night’s stay for our guests. We have managed resorts, motels and apartments in The Entrance, Byron Bay and Nambucca Heads. Moving here in 2015 to manage a Boutique Motel, we have always worked for others but Riverside Rest is ours. It’s our dream come true and we love sharing it with our guests.

Our bed and breakfast is at 2 Foreshore Close, Nambucca Heads overlooking the Nambucca River. It was built in 1987 by long time locals to house their family of 6. We bought it in December 2016 and renovated to our vision of a 3 room bed and breakfast where each room has their own private bathroom, TV, aircon, tea & coffee facilities. We wanted our guests to have the privacy of their own space as well as lovely common areas to relax in if they’d like. We opened for bookings for Easter 2017.

The décor was inspired by the colours of the Nambucca River. In winter, guests love to relax by our fire and in summer, enjoy spending time on our deck watching the dolphins and pelicans swim by. Our rooms are spotlessly clean, well maintained and modern. Breakfast is served in our dining room and cooked fresh once guests are seated, we also offer fruit (some from the farmers market), homemade bread and strawberry jam lovingly cooked by Darrin and served by Sharon.

We greet all our guests personally, show them around and make them feel at home, making time for them should they like to chat. Our motto is “arrive as guests and leave as friends”. Milly, our Cavoodle, loves meeting our guests and sharing a cuddle or pat. For the comfort of all guests, we do not allow pets but for those missing their fur babies we are happy to share Milly.

Our guests are mainly people travelling up and down the coast to visit family or to stopover on road trips. We have had guests stay from all over the world and from all walks of life. We have had a couple of return guests tell us “that we feel like coming home”. This makes us extremely happy.

Over the years we have managed through extreme weather events, from drought to floods, severe storms, power outages, snakes, and schoolies, taking each day as it comes. This may seem unbelievable, I had been praying for faith, the grace to treat everyone the same, not to judge and to not get angry … on this one night everything happened that tested me and I believe God stayed that night and taught me many lessons. That story is a long one and I am happy to share it with my guests if they ask. Don’t worry I only share this story with those that would like to listen, otherwise I love listening to my guests’ stories about their adventures, family, travels, work …

From this you may gather that I (Sharon) am the people person and Darrin likes being in the background doing everything behind the scenes. Some guests have stayed many times and not met him!

We go above and beyond to ensure our guests enjoy their stay with us and in the Nambucca Valley. We recommend things to do, places to eat, must do experiences and are happy to help solve the problems of the world! We love what we do and where we live and love sharing our little part of the world with our guests.

Connect with Riverside Rest here:

Spotlight on

Riverside Rest

Riverside Rest Bed and Breakfast
Riverside Rest Bed and Breakfast

Riverside Rest is a great place for people from all walks of life. Boasting lovely views of the Nambucca River, Riverside Rest offers private rooms with modern quality furnishings, comfortable beds & air-conditioning.

A home away from home where you feel welcome and cared for.

Riverside Rest is rated 9.2/10 on, 5/5 on Google, and 9.6/10 Expedia.


Inside knowledge
FRRR Nambucca Valley Learning Together Event (L-R) Nancy Sposato (FRRR), Penny Coulter (TVH), Trudi Hayes (BISEP), Tamara McWilliam (TVH). Also pictured, Patrick Moriarty from The Valley Hub`s FREE NFP Governance Training Event.
FRRR Nambucca Valley Learning Together Event (L-R) Nancy Sposato (FRRR), Penny Coulter (TVH), Trudi Hayes (BISEP), Tamara McWilliam (TVH). Also pictured, Patrick Moriarty from The Valley Hub`s FREE NFP Governance Training Event.

The Valley Hub Team were pleased to co-host two events this month thanks to our generous partners, FRRR (Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal) and BLER (Bushfire Local Economic Relief).

The first, ‘Nambucca Valley Learning Together’ provided the community with an opportunity learn more about how The Valley Hub can serve them, as well as provide feedback on what they would like to see going forward. One such example of this was a radio show, watch this space!

We were also privileged to host a FREE Governance training event for local Not-For-Profits. Alongside Governance consultant, Patrick Moriarty, as well as Cultural consultant, Melinda Walker, The Valley Hub team shared learnings from creating our own Governance structure through to mediation strategies.

We hope to be able to provide more networking and training events to the community going forward and welcome your feedback. You can reach out to us at

What's on in the Valley

Here are a handful of events and programs coming up in August and September 2023

Aug 2023: Highlight events


Time 2 Talk NV are hosting – Suicide Prevention training in Bowraville.

Nambucca Valleys ‘Time 2 Talk’ are hosting Suicide Prevention training throughout the Valley. The first session will be held in Bowraville at Nambucca Valley Phoenix – 88 High Street Bowraville.

This training will commence at 9am and conclude at 4pm. Morning tea will be provided. Bookings are essential as spaces are limited.

Book 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 book holds the record for the fastest selling book in history?
  2. What movie is “You had me at hello” from?
  3. How many legs does a lobster have?
  4. What is the diameter of the average basketball hoop?
  5. Where were Doritos invented?
  6. What year was eBay founded?
  7. Who is Barbie’s little sister?
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.

Skip to content