18 - Danny Wicks
18 - Danny Wicks Adam Hourigan

POWER 30: Clarence Valley's Most Influential 15-18

We continue our reveal of the Power 30 - The Most Influential People in the Clarence Valley, with places 15-18.

Each day four people will be revealed until we reach the Top 10, which will be announced, along with the full list, in a special eight-page feature in this Saturday's paper.



GRAFTON Ghosts' first grade rugby league captain-coach Danny Wicks has turned around a real low point in his football career to become a role mode for all sports people.

Rather than let an 18-month jail term for drug dealing and a premature end to his NRL career define his life, Danny has thrown himself into a leader's role at the club which gave him a start in the sport as a junior, taking it to an undefeated Group 2 Premiership earlier this year.

Off the field, Danny has been just as impressive.

Club officials have spoken about how pleasantly surprised they were to see Danny working behind the scenes with younger players, passing on tips on how to handle themselves away from the game.

Danny Wicks has shown how sport can positively shape young lives from any starting point and for that reason he has earned his spot in the Clarence Valley's Power 30.



CLARENCE Village board chairman Geoff Shepherd comes across as a favourite grandfather, but his kindly demeanour is paired with a sharp mind, making him a leader in his field.

His training as an accountant and running a successful travel business seem to have prepared him perfectly for his current role heading up one of the leading aged care providers in the region.

Geoff took over the chairmanship at Clarence Village in 2009 from Clarence Valley patriarch Bill Dougherty OAM and has not looked back.

At this year's annual meeting, it announced a $1-million net surplus for the year, the first time all the group's facilities have operated at a sufficient surplus to meet the forecast need for long-term refurbishment and replacement costs.

Looking ahead, Geoff has noted the growth of the industry in the Valley and is relishing the prospect of competing with new arrivals to the region.



STEERING the Grafton Regional Gallery for almost half its existence, its director Jude McBean has brought a steady but effective hand to the 30-year-old institution.

The arts graduate has overseen a remarkable expansion of its collections of local, national and international significance.

Apart from acquiring the complete works of the local legends the O'Grady sisters and the entire back catalogue of gallery patron's Ken Done's screen prints, there is the rise and rise of the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award. This translates to our gallery now being in possession of one of the most important collections of contemporary drawing in the country.

But perhaps the most significant addition to the collection room are the rare JW Lindt photographs. Bought at auction by Sydney's Cullen family in 2008, they had never been to Grafton before their meeting with Jude but chose the gallery as the benefactor ahead of other interested parties including the Mitchell Library and the Art Gallery of NSW.

This collection has transcended its artistic and cultural significance to also become a powerful conduit in fostering a strong relationship with the first nations people of the Clarence.



DANIELLE Adams is one of the few female industry bosses in the Clarence Valley. Even more unlikely, the industry she is in charge of is also one of the blokiest - fishing.

Coming from another male-dominated field, the car industry, may have stood Danielle in good stead as when she was appointed the General Manager of the Clarence River Fishermen's Co-operative in Maclean in 2012, the first female general manager in the co-op's 72-year history.

In her short time at the helm, the former Central Coaster has gained the trust and respect of the industry through her shrewd thinking, confident direction, and strong work ethic.

Her commitment and loyalty to her shareholders means the co-op has one fierce ally on their side which is particularly salient during this tumultuous time in the industry. Not one to suffer fools, Danielle's determination to ensure fishermen's rights are protected has been proven time and time again.

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