Who will be in the Power 30 Clarence Valley's most influential list?
Who will be in the Power 30 Clarence Valley's most influential list?

Power 30: Clarence Valley's most influential #15-18

18. Phil Boughton

THERE are many registered clubs within the Clarence Valley, but few have had an impact and forward-planning like the Yamba Bowling Club.

And it is Phil Boughton, the Chief Executive Officer of the now renamed Bowlo Sports and Leisure Yamba who has been at the forefront of their push.

Recognising the instability of their traditional market, Boughton took an ambitious vision to the board, with plans to expand the bowling club facility into an entertainment centre for the town.

With them fully on board, they dealt with planning and council issues, before surging forward with an aggressive $3m redevelopment to position the club well into the future.

With a popular four-lane ten pin bowling alley, climbing wall and mini-golf course, the club provided Yamba with an outlet for all-weather fun, ready for holidaymakers and locals alike.

Combined with internal renovations to the club, the purchase of nearby Aston Motel and a hire-car facility, Mr Boughton, alongside his board, have positioned the club as one of the leaders in the valley.

17. Yaegl Community

THE Lower Clarence's Yaegl people made history when they won a claim that had native title rights granted over the ocean for the first time in this state.

A 20-year batttle, which had lands rights granted followed by the historical rights over the sea, was a huge achievement by the Yaegl people, paving the way for future indigenous groups to be successful in achieving unrestricted access to ancestral lands beyond the water's edge.

While the title doesn't affect modern commercial operators it does give the Yaegl people freedom and independence when it comes to their own personal harvesting, something indigenous people have done respectfully for the past 60,000 years.

While the Yaegl people are steeped in ancient culture, their decision-making and vision exemplifies a modern, progressive indigenous group, having instigated empowering local projects over the years from rights-based actions to the organic food bowl on Ulgundahi Island.

They are also quick to respond to anything they see threatening their lands by speaking out, including the protection of the seabed when the Yamba megaport proposals were being tossed around.

More recently Yaegl woman Frances Belle Parker spoke up when their language's future was being compromised by government decisions, her passionate plea so effective it made it to the house of parliament.

16. Jeff Smith

IT'S HARD not to notice No. 16 on the Power 30 list, especially if you have ever attended a community event in Grafton. Odds are Jeff Smith and his colourful Hawaiian shirt will be there with his ice-cream wagon.

The hard-working small business owner epitomises that saying that if you put in the hard yards you can achieve anything.

His Prince St store I-Scream has become an institution in a few short years, bringing a vibrancy to shopping strip and the Clocktower corner of the CBD.

There wouldn't be many occasions when driving past that retail zone that Jeff and his wife Robyn didn't have the store open, it's illuminating presence a boon for those who enjoy a sweet treat after dark on the weekend.

Jeff's marketing nous and dedication to his business is so good it saw his store claim a top 10 spot in international online giant Trip Advisor's Best Ice-creameries in Australia.

But it's not just scooping cones that has Jeff in this year's Power 30. He is a passionate advocate for the community, spearheading the Jacaranda Festival into the 21st century in his volunteer role as president and turning up to many community events to sponsor or support them with and without ice-creams in tow.

15. JoJo Newby

FARMER, rural property sales specialist and drought relief advocate aren't titles necessarily associated with someone as young as Grafton's Jojo Newby but she is all of those things and more.

The well-known Farrell McCrohon employee wasted no time in helping our her fellow primary producers out west when the drought decimated their properties and livelihoods this year.

The former Daily Examiner photographer continues to drive a very successful local campaign that has seen thousands of dollars raised and similar values in donated supplies collected for distribution.

Not one to sit back, she also travelled considerable distances to deliver the essential supplies to the grateful recipients.

Somehow the busy rural property salesperson also finds time to run her own property which produces livestock and crops, ably assisted by her bevy of beloved dogs, including a rescue greyhound.

Jojo's passion and drive, professionalism, and dedication to farming and its broader community deserves saluting even if her humble persona believes otherwise.

No. 18: Phil Boughton.
No. 18: Phil Boughton. Adam Hourigan
No. 17: Yaegl people.
No. 17: Yaegl people. Clair Morton
No. 16: Jeff Smith.
No. 16: Jeff Smith. Adam Hourigan
No. 15:  Jojo Newby.
No. 15: Jojo Newby. Adam Hourigan

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