Profiles of local people and businesses


A good life – Ann Rowsell at 100

You see an older person, and perhaps only notice faltering footsteps, a distant gaze and rumpled skin. Whether family or stranger, do we take the time to sit and ask what events, what pain and joy have marked their life? I sat down with the delightful Ann Rowsell just before her 100th birthday this month […]

Beyond the ValleyPeople

The creatives in our community are necessary

 This is an excerpt from “A Lover’s War” – they keynote address by Joanna Murray-Smith at Playwriting Australia’s 2015 National Play Festival.  “What I say here, I hasten to add, is not as a spokesman for any organisation. I speak entirely as an individual and playwright. Recently, over the issue of the withdrawal of funds […]


Can you help this cricket tragic?

There’s a book about 100 years of  cricket in the Manning Valley on its way, and the foreword says “Les Eastaway has Manning water in his veins, not just blood”. Les Eastaway grew up in Taree, and his grandfather spent his life in the Manning.  His father, too – Henry Murray Eastaway – was a seafarer […]

Beyond the ValleyPeople

Just one day of the year

In June we recognise World Refugee Day. A day with little to celebrate for many. However, quietly living among us are those who have left their homeland to make a better life in Australia. And as Tin HtaNu states, ‘I owe my life to Australia, so the work I have been doing is an appreciation […]


Those were the dancing days!

We hope Manning Valley readers with long memories can help us identify some of the young women in this striking photo from Wingham in the 1920s. The picture belongs to Sue Milliken and her brother Robert Milliken, who grew up in Wingham when their parents, Thelma and David Milliken, owned the Wingham Hotel up to the […]


Doing dinner

Three friends remember… The Dinner Party Trish Rollins My first dinner party was a total disaster. Newly married, never having cooked much – my mother and grandmother were disinterested in food, their heads either buried in books or out in the garden pruning roses – but full of misplaced confidence in my ability to read […]


Horticulture as a career

Caitlin Sawyer is continuing the family tradition of a career in horticulture inspired by her grandfather Ralph Sawyer (Wingham Nursery & Florist) and her parents, Tanya and Chris. Caitlin is currently overseas on a Sir John Pagan scholarship for Horticulture as YoungHort Ambassador and working at the Chelsea Flower Show. YoungHort is an Australia-wide organisation inspiring […]


Promoting the Manning

The late Jim Revitt, ABC TV and radio correspondent, amongst other roles, was born in Wingham. He established and trained the first Aboriginal journalism cadets for the ABC, was a community activist on Sydney’s northern beaches fighting – and winning – for Pittwater to secede from Warringah Council and become the electorate of Pittwater, plus […]


One brother’s journey

Steve Posselt describes himself as an engineer, author, adventurer, eco-warrior and grandfather. Steve, aged 62, is currently paddling his kayak up the Mississippi on a personal campaign to raise awareness of global warming. Steve, from the NSW Northern Rivers, plans to continue through the Great Lakes to the sea at the top of Canada, then […]


Meet Jane Mackenzie, Mansfield on the Manning

Jane MacKenzie is a new arrival to the Manning. She and her husband Neil are the proprietors of Mansfield on the Manning Rural Retreat and many of us have enjoyed delicious food from Neils on Wheels travelling foodie van. Jane, who is English, comes from a career in marketing and promotion in London. They chose […]