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

A HUGE congratulation to Penny and her partner Jonas on the birth of their gorgeous baby boy! This months newsletter you won't want to put down! We have a beautiful story by Mujaay Ganma - A Yarn with Aunty Ruth and Uncle Bud, we chat to Mick Green about Regenerating Farming, we learn about some wonderful happenings in the arts within the Nambucca Valley and we have a sneak peak at a few of the amazing things our young Nambucca Valley local kids are getting up to!

From Country

Yarning with Uncle Bud and Aunty Ruth: by Mujaay Ganma


A yarn with Uncle Bud and Aunty Ruth…

We (Aunty Ruth, Wurinda and Janette) spent a morning with Uncle Bud to yarn about the ‘old times’, Country, culture ways and to ponder solutions to the problems facing us all today. The morning dawned with a heavy haze of smoke hanging over the valley. We had not seen this since the bushfires of 2019, the memory of which is still etched in our psyche. We began to talk about the winds the night before and Aunty Ruth talked of telling her mob to be still, as she had learned to do when her Elders had told her to be still and quiet.

When we arrived at Uncle Bud’s we expected to hear his stories and his wisdom. We were less prepared for his deep concern for Country and for the future. He spoke of the state of the rivers, of the beaches, of the fish, the damage to oceans and waterways, the decreasing number of fish in the rivers and the sores he has seen on the fish. Now Uncle Bud learned a lot from Uncle Benji, who knew the river country so very well back in the day. He has watched the changes to the river, the ocean and the life in the waterways of the Nambucca for over 80 years.

Aunty Ruth has spoken about the changes to the rivers many times over the last 30 years and recently has sounded the alarm about her people getting sick from eating traditional foods from the river. It would be wise for all of us to listen and learn from the observations that these Elders can share with us. Now most of us these days can read words. We know that it helps us survive in the modern world. The traditional knowledge that was passed down through millennia was spoken in words but so much more was given through learning to read Country. Survival depended on observing the natural order of things, reading Country and then living with respect for those laws of nature. How else would the oldest living culture in the world have survived?

The care and responsibility these two old people carry for the Country and all of life in this valley is deeply moving. They do have a lot to share, they can tell us how their old people cared for the river. When talking about Aunty Vine the room fills with the strength and  integrity with which this woman lived with respect for the river. These two Elders, then children, can tell us a lot about caring for Country that they learned from her and others like her, back when they were growing up. If only we can learn to listen, if only we can learn from them before ‘The Mother’ kicks our butts with winds, the warming oceans, the floods and the fires, such that our future looks bleak indeed. If only!?

Now the nature of Gumbaynggirr culture is collective, at its core it is respectful and inclusive, generous and caring. However dire the situation, it is the way of the old people to be responsible around feelings, shared and carried. So to do justice to these two Elders we need to finish with just the beginning of the solutions they shared. We need to come together. We need to bring back some of the old ways that can help us today. We need to sit with the young ones who want to listen, so they can learn about how to live with Country, learn about the plants and how they can sustain life, to learn what it means to know who we are, so we can be truly respectful of Country, of life.

Valley Feature

The Ready Set Go Program in the Nambucca Valley


The Ready Set Go program has been running in the Nambucca Valley for four years now. Like all amazing things, this program first began with a conversation between mentors, Rob Torelli, Deebee Bishop and Alicia Parry.  When Kerry Grace from Regional Development Australia caught wind of this conversation, the Creative Youth Council was formed.

In order to get the program off the ground, Kerry helped Rob, DeeBee and Alicia secure a grant through the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. With the first year being such a great success, the program has continued to run under Arts Mid North Coast with Olivia at the helm and funded through the same Alcohol and Drug Foundation program for a further three years.

The Ready Set Go program is aimed at Nambucca Valley youth, between the ages of 13 and 18 who have an interest in music. The program helps the participants fine tune their musical skills, enhance their abilities in reading music, understanding the technical aspects behind music and gain confidence to perform on stage in front of their peers, family and friends.

On Sunday the 22nd October the Ready Set Go participants of 2023 performed a live concert at The Macksville Music Station. The Valley Hub was fortunate enough to be invited to share in this amazing experience where the youth of our Valley shone on stage under the guidance of their talented mentors.

Congratulations to all involved in this wonderful program.

A full interview with mentors, Rob Torelli, BeeBee Bishop and Alicia Parry will be available in the first edition of The Valley Hub magazine.


Our stories

Author Annie Seaton takes home the Ruby Award for her latest novel

The 2022 Romantic Book of the Year awards, known as the Ruby Awards, were announced and presented in the ballroom of the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney in mid-August. There are several categories of novels, and in June, when local Nambucca Heads author, Annie Seaton’s book, Larapinta, was announced as one of the four finalists in the Long Contemporary category, she was over the moon. So, Annie packed her formal outfit and headed off to Sydney with her sister and two friends as support crew.

Annie says it was an honour to be named as a finalist, and was another high point in her eleven-year writing career. Her 2015 book, Kakadu Sunset, the first book in the Porter Sisters series was a finalist in the 2016 awards.

The ceremony was a formal dinner in the ballroom and attended by over four hundred people. When the winner of the Long Contemporary Award was announced, Annie was overwhelmed when her book, Larapinta, coincidentally, the fifth book in the same series as Kakadu Sunset, was announced as the winner.

‘I thought I had no chance,’ she said, ‘as I was up against three excellent authors.’

‘Being the recipient of the award is the absolute high point of my career.’

Annie is a hybrid author. As well as being with a traditional publisher for some of her books, she also independently publishes other novels. Since she began writing in 2011, she has now published over eighty books.

Larapinta is one of her independently published books, and that made it an extra special achievement. Larapinta is the story of a woman finding her inner strength in an isolated and rugged environment.

Annie researched the setting in 2019 with her husband, Ian, on one of their outback trips.

Annie’s books are all available in eBook, and her print copies are all available from her online store on her website, http://annieseaton.net


Love your local

NVCCS presents Where Words Once Were

Nambucca Valley Christian Community School production for 2023 was called, ‘Where Words Once Were’ and was a heartfelt story that was set in a dystopian time where language is rationed, a sentence can mean you are sentenced and the silent are rising. The protagonist, Orhan discovers that words have power when you start to take notice of how you use them.

The play was chosen to not only showcase students’ abilities to develop characterisation in portraying vulnerable and flawed characters, but also to convey the importance of language in a time where some of the very words we use are being questioned as to their importance and need for inclusion in our world today.

The show provided students the opportunity to work with others outside their year group as students came together from Year 5 through to Year 12.  The experience of developing a piece of theatre for the whole school community was a process that started back in Term 1. With a double cast, more students were able to be involved, and each week after school, spent many hours rehearsing  (up to 3 hours this term!) working together to bring the story to life.

Students were able to become involved through a variety of roles:

  • performing in main roles, one with a singing part
  • becoming part of the chorus ( a great opportunity for younger performers to dip their toes into being on stage, some of them for the first time in front of a live audience)
  • operating lighting and sound effects
  • working on the backstage crew to position sets and props
  • designing the program.

Music Director, Aaron Rodriquez, composed a piece of original music to complement the themes of hope and resilience, with beautiful and haunting moments for the piano and violin. He guided students without any prior singing experience through the process of learning to sing for the production. Constructing components of the set was also an area where his previous experience was a benefit.

Director Barbara Parker has seen tremendous development of skills and maturity in students throughout the production process, as they have committed themselves to their roles. She says “Participating in a large-scale school production such as this, creates lasting memories they will look back on with such fulfillment.  The experience of being involved, either on stage or behind the scenes, provides them with interpersonal skills and builds confidence in ways that go far beyond the production.”

After the Fires- The Art of Recovery 

‘The Art of Recovery’ is the culmination of a 2-year program delivered by Arts Mid North Coast and showcases some of the artworks created by communities, as well as videos documenting projects from across the region.

In the wake of the devastating Black Summer bushfires of 2019/2020 that struck our picturesque Mid North Coast region, communities faced the daunting task of healing and rebuilding. Amidst the chaos and destruction, Arts Mid North Coast initiated a two-year Creative Recovery Program funded by the Australian and NSW Government’s Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund, Primary Health Network and FRRR (Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal). This innovative initiative aimed to utilise the power of art and creativity to uplift spirits, foster unity, and support the healing process for those affected.

On the opening day, artists that undertook some of the projects talked about their process and results.

Spotlight on

There’s never a good time for bushfires, floods, or severe weather. Have you made your Bushfire Preparedness Plan for this coming season?

According to ABC Emergency data, there have been thousands of emergency bushfire incidents in Australia since the 2019-2020 bushfires.

With life’s to do list as long as your arm, making a Bushfire Preparedness Plan is the last thing Nambucca Valley locals want to be thinking about. However, data shows it is gearing up to be a very dry and hot Summer this year. Grab out your pen and paper and start ticking off your to do list to ensure you stay safe this bushfire season!

For more information head to:  https://www.abc.net.au/emergency?fbclid=IwAR2DvZGhNr2Q72ZKh7BybyY-0_hufUbXtT1c1iWw_B21j1VDCl8rytpiruI

SHORETRACK have been busy…

70 young people from Nambucca, Bellingen, and Macksville Primary Schools and High Schools, Bowraville Central School, and jobseekers attend ShoreTrack between 1 and 5 days per week depending on their own needs. These young people are referred by schools, parents and community, Transition to Work and NDIS.

ShoreTrack work to build resilience and courage in these young people by developing their trade-based skills through community projects, workshop activities and work experience. Skills development opportunities are focused on metal fabrication, carpentry, construction, concreting, automotive, small engines, lawn maintenance, hospitality, and beauty skills.

Some of their community projects include:

  • replacing flood affected seating at Coronation Park Sports Fields
  • building new seating in Macksville Nambucca Valley ROTARY
  • restoring the Bowraville Drey
  • repainting the seating at Donnelly Welsh Fields
  • rebuilding fencing for bushfire and flood affected primary producers
  • mowing, landscaping, and maintenance work as part of their social enterprise
  • digital metal fabrication of signs and mechanical parts for community and industry
  • concreting jobs for local industry
  • working with local Not for Profits to build their digital filmmaking skills and help them make short films for their own marketing purposes.

In the 2022-2023 financial year, of the 30 young people attending ShoreTrack, 20 were supported to gain entry level employment. These positions included apprenticeships in commercial cookery, metal fabrication, beekeeping, beauty, gardening, landscaping, automotive, RV and trailer construction, farm hand, retail and concreting.


Inside knowledge

Regenerating Farming with Mick Green

The Valley Hub recently caught up with local Regenerating Farmer Mick Green, and asked him a few quick questions on Regenerative Farming…

What is Regenerative Farming?

I think it’s better to call it Regenerating Farming, as the terminology then is about a doing word or verb.

The short of it is trying to improve the 4 ecosystem functions:

  • water cycle
  • nutrient cycle
  • energy flow (solar energy)
  • biodiversity.

Regenerating Farming is about understanding our farms , gardens, or lands we are managing, are actually ecosystems – they are not just simply land producing and just one or a few products can help.

I am learning how to better restore these functions of the ecosystem with the use of grazing animals. Other tools we use can include rest, fire and technology (this could be machinery, chemicals, fertiliser and the like). We have a very large tool kit, though the latter tools and least preferable, are used with the knowledge that there are always unintended consequences that are compounding and cascading. They can also be addictive and costly.

In brief I’m trying to build complexity, abundance, resilience and profitability in the land under my stewardship.

Why are you so passionate about Regenerating Farming?

I am very passionate about Regenerating Farming, because it has so many win/wins. In the same way a negative action can have compounding and cascading effects on a system, so too can positive actions.

By not only healing and regenerating our ecosystems with the use of animals, we can grow food that is high in nutrition and low in chemical residues. So we can help address climate change by restoring water and carbon cycles, feed our communities with nutritious food, that can help address health issues along the way. Thats a Win/Win/Win!

I want to leave future generations with a legacy of love and caring, rather than ignorance and neglect.

Tell us a little about your journey with Regenerating Farming…

Well everyone is on a journey through life. I’ve just tapped into the existing community of experience and knowledge that exists and always made sense. There really is a ground swell of people, farmers, gardeners and consumers out there, that understand the choices we make around food and food production. These choices have a big impact on planetary health and food security.

It has become less difficult to do things differently to mainstream and the status quo, because more and more people are understanding the urgency and importance of good custodianship.

If you take a broad view of humanity and where it’s headed and the many problems facing us, we can do with more people taking a look to the future and doing a better job.

What would your advice be to someone looking to be a Regenerating Farmer?

Start by doing a holistic management course, because farming is such a complex thing. You can do the same thing one year and get a completely different result the next. There are just so many variables in farming – seasons, climate, rainfall, marketing and family. No two farms are the same – no two farmers are the same .

Holistic management is about giving you a decision-making framework to deal with the complexity of farming. I am not claiming I have got it all covered by the way – I will be a lifelong learner. I think by admitting we don’t know and can’t know everything, helps us to open our minds to new learning.

So for anyone standing at the edge and wondering what to do, get out there and talk to others. Try and learn from some of their mistakes too. Know that you will always make mistakes (that is part of being a human), that is how we do a lot of our learning. Surround yourself with other positive can-do people and don’t waste any time with negative people.

What is your favourite thing about Regenerating Farming?

My favourite part about Regenerating Farming is knowing I am doing what I can to improve the future for my children and I get to be part of a beautiful community in the Nambucca Valley.

What's on in the Valley

Here are a handful of events and programs coming up in October and November 2023

Oct 2023: Highlight events

Friday Feeds at Youthie is designed to build positive connection between youth and community whilst providing a healthy FREE meal for the general community from the youth mobile cafe. All served by local youth trainees.

Located at 48 Ridge Street Nambucca Heads.


The Bob Brown Foundation Presents: Maagunda Muruygu – Festival for the Forest, Bellwood Park on the 4th of November, starting at 3:30pm.

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. How many Pyramids are in Egypt?
  2. What is Ashwagandha commonly known as?
  3. What country is Australian, Mary Donaldson, the Crown Princess of?
  4. On the Mid North Coast, when should you plant Tomatoes?
  5. What is the old English name for a Tiger?
  6. What year did Australia win the America’s Cup?
  7. How many season of Grey’s Anatomy have been filmed?
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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