All posts tagged: Clunes

Kaine and Jade Hunt a.k.a Secret Chef Catering

Still high from the success of their first appearance at Eat The Street in Lismore, Kaine and Jade Hunt were brimming with enthusiasm and ideas to enhance to their fledgling catering business when I caught up with them recently. The couple run Secret Chef Catering from their 5-acre property in Clunes, where they grow coffee, fruit trees, herbs, vegetables and chickens. They’re about to begin work on a commercial kitchen next to the house. “It will be great in summer when it’s really hot, you can put your knives down and jump into the pool!” says Kaine. The impetus for moving out of Sydney to the Northern Rivers in 2014 was to have a quieter pace of life, work from home and enjoy their growing family. They have two cute-as-button children, Axle, 3 and Ryder, 1. “When we found out we were having our first child we set things in place,” Kaine says. “Secretly Jade knew all the time that this is where we were going to live, before we even met!”  Kaine worked as sous …

Vlad Kolas | Artist

Prize-winning painter, Vlad Kolas, is moving about his studio, brush in hand, music blaring, when I appear at the door one hot afternoon. Startled, he turns and jumps off the ground and walks over, wiping his hands with a rag. Music is a crucial element to Vlad’s artistic practice, giving him energy and inspiration. Today, as with other days, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie are on high rotation. “You know how you dance when no-one’s looking? I’m doing that with the paintbrush. Then you stand back and assess what you did, and make some adjustments. It’s a balance between those critical decisions and the intuition,” he says. Vlad’s white-walled studio is a relatively new addition on his Clunes property, where he lives with his partner, Jessica, and their four boys aged from 3 to 15. There’s not a clean surface in sight, with couches and office chairs spattered with paint, and entire tables serving as mixing palettes, covered in oils blended together in endless colour combinations. Growing up in Bondi Beach, Vlad loved surfing and …

Kevin Hogan | Politician

Kevin Hogan is a busy man. I meet him over morning coffee on his way to a radio interview, before he heads into work during a week when he’s not in Canberra. The Federal Member for Page has a lot of ground to cover, representing an electorate that goes from the QLD border to just north of the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour. For 20 weeks each year, Kevin is in Canberra attending parliament, and for the rest of the time he’s in the electorate. “This is seriously a 7 day a week job” Kevin says. On weekends there’s always an event to attend or a cause to support, but it’s also the time when a lot of people manage to speak with him. “They’re busy during their work week as well, so they can’t ring me up or come to see me, so it’s at those weekend community events that people do get access to you,” Kevin says. Kevin grew up in the regional town of Port Augusta, South Australia, before studying Economics at …

Gary and Pam Lovell | Leaving as locals

When Gary and Pam Lovell first came to Clunes in 1978, Bangalow Road was still a stock route for farmers taking their cattle to the dipping yards. “Old Billy Noble used to drove 100 head of cattle down there with his dogs, and no-one blinked an eye,” Gary says. The couple married in 1980, when Pam was just 18. “She was a child bride,” laughs Gary. “He was nine years older than me. Still is,” Pam teases. “Funny that!” replies Gary. “I was a… what do you call ‘em? Cradle snatcher? But we’re still here.” They both chuckle.  Gary knew the area from visiting on surfing trips with a mate from Sydney. “One thing led to another and Pam said she was going to do teachers college and I said, ‘well there’s a good one up the Northern Rivers.’ After finishing her studies Pam taught in Kempsey for a few years before returning to Clunes and retraining as an Indonesian teacher. She has just finished at Eltham Public School after 27 years there, and still …

Thomas Rehbach | Educator, Carer, Hitchhiker

Thomas Rehbach has been a preschool educator, an administrator, a respite carer, a teacher, a courier, a soccer coach and referee. He’s lived in the area long enough to see kids he’s taught now becoming parents and teachers themselves. Tom was born in Australia to German parents and grew up in Rosehill. At age 9, Tom and his brother went to live at Dunmore House, a boys’ home in Pendle Hill. “We got into enough trouble that we had a choice to go to one of two boys homes,” Tom says. It’s a time he remembers favourably, being part of a large family unit with children of all ages. “I think that was the best thing that ever happened to us. I don’t hold any animosity towards my mum for making that choice.” After hitchhiking from Sydney to Cairns a few times in the early 1980s, Tom came back to the Northern Rivers and never left. He met his partner, Gail, through Clunes Preschool when they both had sons who were attending. The couple live …

Jim Richardson | Teacher, Librarian, Environmentalist, Volunteer

The son of a dairy farmer from McKees Hill, Jim Richardson started his education at a one-teacher school at Clovass. Since those early years, he has been fortunate enough to take advantage of the educational opportunities that came his way. They eventually led him out of rural New South Wales, to the city, and the wide world. Fast forward to the 1970s, and Jim was a scholarship student at university in Armidale. Originally aiming to become a marine biologist, Jim realised he wanted to be involved with education, so decided to become a science teacher instead. During university, Jim had been to the Nimbin Aquarius Festival in 1973, and it made an impression on him that would shape both his professional career and his environmental outlook. “I was right into this concept of needing to educate yourself and to free up education, do whatever courses you can as long as they don’t cost too much money”, says Jim. Contracted to take up a teaching post after graduating, Jim ended up in Bathurst, where he taught …

Lauren Campbell | Potter

In a weathered, open-sided shed behind an old house in the middle of Clunes, Lauren Campbell is in her favourite place. A mud-strewn pottery wheel sits at one end, at the other are shelves laden with vessels in various states of undress. Finished mugs, bowls and platters glisten in the afternoon light, brightly coloured glazes dripping sea blues, lilacs and speckled creams over their earthy bodies. “Getting my hands dirty, sitting on the wheel, it’s just a place of calm,” says Lauren. Lauren discovered pottery about 5 years ago after being captivated by some beautiful ceramics while on a work experience placement with furniture designer, Mark Tuckey, in Sydney. “He had a big shop and had this ceramicist’s products in there and I fell in love with them”, she says.  Now in her second year of TAFE, studying the Advanced Diploma in Visual Arts, majoring in Ceramics, Lauren divides her time between classes, throwing clay on her wheel, teaching pottery workshops and taking care of the hidden necessities of being a self-employed businesswoman, under the …

Kylie Bridges | Artist and Collaborator

“We were all set up in Sydney,” says Kylie Bridges, shaking her head in slight disbelief at what she’s about to say. “I really didn’t think he’d walk away from it all, but he did and we’re here and we love it”, she says, referring to her husband, Mark, a self-employed bathroom renovator and musician, and their decision to move to Clunes 13 years ago. “I still actually go ‘wow, we really did it’, because we were in a really nice situation, in a little house, great friends, great street”, Kylie explains. A chance encounter between their son Josh, a toddler at the time, and a stranger’s playful dog on a Byron Bay beach changed their lives. The dog’s owner told them how he’d lived all over the world but had now settled in Clunes. “‘It was God’s country’, he said, and he told us to ‘do yourselves a favour and just go out into the hinterland while you’re up here’”, Kylie recounts. She never did learn his name. Now primarily a self-employed graphic designer, …

Peggy Young | Clunes

“There’s not a lot to tell about my family, I don’t think”, says Peggy, modestly. “Thanks very much!” replies Malcolm, her eldest surviving son. A sheepish smile emerges on Peggy’s face. “Well, there is a little bit to tell.” We are sitting in Margaret “Peggy” Young’s living room on a chilly winter day in Clunes, the reverse-cycle air-conditioner blasting welcome warm air over the three of us. “My great grandfather’s name was Hely,” Peggy begins. “His father, Frederick Augustus Hely, came out in 1823 to be principal superintendent of convicts.” The tale goes that Peggy’s great grandfather, Hovenden Hely, just an infant on the boat trip, became an explorer who accompanied Ludwig Leichhardt on his second expedition through Queensland. “They clashed. So Hovenden was in Leichhardt’s bad books. But Hovenden didn’t think much of Leichhardt either,” Peggy jokes. When Leichhardt set off for a third time in 1848 and vanished with his entire party somewhere west of the Darling Downs, Hovenden led the expedition to search for them. “So that’s my claim to fame.” Peggy …

Julie Casey | Milliner

The idea of leaving her career in banking had been floating around in Julie Casey’s head for some time. More time with her only son, Ben, and a change of direction were top of her list. Looking for something to do from home, Julie began testing the waters with a few millinery courses in Melbourne, the epicentre of the trade in Australia. She had begun to enjoy her new creative outlet, but it was a family accident eight years ago that finally forced her hand and cemented her decision. Aged seven and a half, Ben’s right foot got run over by the family’s ride on mower. It had to be amputated, and a prosthetic limb put in its place. Julie took three months’ leave to care for Ben and her mind was made up. “I said, ‘yep, that’s it.’ I wanted to be at home. It’s only a short time that your kids are with you, and I’ve only got one.” Growing up in Byron Bay, Julie and her husband, Paul, met at high school …