Tooloom Valley

I WAS THERE in the early hours of the morning.   It was a misty morning when the booming guns echoed through the Tooloom Valley. The original firearms aimed towards the sunrise, just like the soldiers at Gallipoli, we remembered.   We held the flags and sang with our heads held low, in sorrow, in remembrance. The […]

Keith Urban Live Zoom

I WAS THERE when KEITH URBAN live zoomed our school.   We decided the best we could do to help everyone in lockdown, especially students our own age, was to sing heart songs, messages of hope.   We didn’t know that Keith Urban had seen us. The teachers told us the zoom was with another teacher and […]

The Red Dragon

I WAS THERE when Mr Sifko ran through the fires in the Red Dragon.   We were stuck in Urbenville, and we even had  Woodenbong people there too. He drove the Red Dragon through the Yabra and some of the fire to bring all us kids and family’s food and supplies and water.   Miss J was […]

Ashes Rained Down like Rain

I WAS THERE when ashes rained down like rain across the sky.   The smell of smoke was choking, oppressive, hot. I  looked up at the sky with wonder as the flames curled and swirled from tree to tree. The flames looked like waves, only they were destructive, relentless, cruel.   Sadly, I walked past our school […]

Ex-tropical Syclone Debbie

I was there when ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit Collins Creek in March 2017, it wasn’t what we expected for a  normal flood in our creek.   First off, there was not much earlier rain to soak into the ground as is usual.   Secondly, the rain event was huge, fast and destructive,  dropping 10 inches of rain in […]

The 50s

I was here in Kyogle in the 50s.  Several families lived in Groom St next door to each other, and the mothers were all sisters;   Mrs Green, Mrs White, Mrs Brown, and Mrs Black.   In another part of the town lived the Biggs family, the Little family and the Holzitters (all sizes).

The Little Train

We school kids that travelled on the little train had to wait until 5.30pm after school finished. My friend waiting with me could buy 3 pence worth of broken biscuits from Yum Brothers at the bottom of town. If she was in a good mood we would share. It would be several hours before we got home.  The train […]


I was here when the ABC’s Backroads program came to town.  The Lions Road, a (sadly, now defunct) community-owned newspaper, living legend Stan Munro, the  Labyrinth and the Country Women’s Association.  All this in 28 minutes of national television.  What a celebration of Kyogle, what a promotion of the town! What a magnet to visitors!  […]

Bec Meets Blair

We looked across a car park in Brisbane.  Our eyes flashed, our stomachs jumped.  We spoke of our lives.  Kyogle, yes, Kyogle, I’ve lived there.  Spoken together.  Parents known to each other, careers the same. Memories of cherished childhood moments. Our souls sparked, our hearts jumped.  We made our new lives.  Job Kyogle, yes Kyogle, […]

The Flat

An early memory as a three-year-old is of the record 1954 flood. Unsurprising for one growing up on the flat. This is the flood-prone area of Kyogle bounded by the  Richmond River, Fawcett Creek and the railway track. An area that is frequently inundated with filthy brown water and debris.  I was there, growing up at […]