Wingham is getting a make-over. The most important thing we should remember is – Wingham is a HERITAGE town!  The tourist brochures and websites describe Wingham as –  “The oldest town in the beautiful Manning Valley, a lovely historic village on the banks of the Manning River. The village green  (correct expression, not Central Park) […]



Christmas was such an exciting time. We were accustomed to making our own fun, a toy was indeed the culmination of best behaviour.  Celluloid dolls, matchbox cars, all too often new school shoes, pencils and an occasional red string bag of unshelled peanuts. A few days before Christmas Santa would visit the Darawank Dance Hall […]

Beyond the ValleyHistoryPeople


Gaby Klika In late 1893 a young, emerging Australian artist without formal artistic training set off from an artists’ camp at Sydney’s Little Sirius Cove, to go bush.   After taking the train to Taree he explored the challenging terrain of the Manning region on horseback in search of subjects to paint. After two weeks […]



Shakepeare said: “Tis the sport to have the engineer hoist with his own petard.” And indeed, there is some satisfaction in seeing the petard that hoisted the Juukan Gorge also sending some of Rio Tinto’s top brass flying out of the executive wing. The three chief miners had already lost their bonuses in the usual […]


We continue to lose our past

So Reconciliation Week has come and gone – and also gone is 46,000 years worth of priceless history pulverised by Rio Tinto in the Juukan Gorge.  An unfortunate error, apparently – the merciless miner didn’t really know what it was doing, and although some of the indigenous locals asked it to desist, it had already […]



Almost six months have now elapsed and the residents of the Wingham and indeed the broader MidCoast community, particularly those who have family in cemeteries throughout the LGA, are still no wiser as to how such a desecration of their cemetery, with over 60 headstones callously “laid down” could have occurred and indeed who was […]

Beyond the ValleyHistory

The 900 year journey to press freedom and the right

Let’s face it: the natural state of government is secrecy. It is also the most cost effective, lacks red tape and is capable of immediate results.  What’s not to love about secrecy? Indeed, even the great society, founded to have a government ‘Of the People, By the People, For the People’, and despite the First […]

Beyond the ValleyHistoryPeople


Boris Janjic (partner to our editor Di Morrissey) is a member of a very exclusive club – he climbed down Ayers Rock (Uluru) but never up the majestic sacred site. ‘Actually I was half carried down in a daze,’ he says remembering March 5, 1968 when the helicopter he was in filming a scene for […]

Beyond the ValleyHistory

A Memorial for the whole of New South Wales

Bernadette Foley takes a special tour of a special memorial  In recognition of Anzac Day this month, let me tell you of a walk I took recently through the striking new additions to the Anzac Memorial, New South Wales’ most important and prominent monument to the men and women who served in the wars. My […]


Picnic train atrocity in Broken Hill

New Year’s Day, 1915 A Tuncurry resident unearths some family history! January 1, 2019 marked the 104th anniversary of a fatal attack on a picnic train at Broken Hill, in outback NSW, which was the scene of the first terrorist attack on Australian soil. On the morning of the attack excitement was mounting among the […]

Beyond the ValleyEnvironmentHistory

Where are the Jack Mundeys of today?

Jack Mundey became a national figure in the early 1970s when as Secretary of the NSW Branch of the Builders’ Labourers Federation (BLF), he led the union’s famous ‘green bans’. This extraordinary conservation campaign redefined the development of Australia’s major cities by saving iconic heritage areas like The Rocks in Sydney. The BLF refused to […]