Clarence Valley’s most influential people #26-23

Here's who was #30-#27 yesterday. On with the countdown:


26. Sr Anne Gallagher

SR ANNE Gallagher is undoubtedly the face, and the lifeblood of music in the Lower Clarence and afield.

A teacher in the Clarence for 45 years, 35 of them spent in the convent rooms at Maclean which she learned piano herself.

And the music school she started from one little room in the convent has grown to one of the largest in the area, expanding across buildings and through the old rooms.

She was recognised with an Medal of the Order of Australia in 2015, but even this great honour seems to pale with her dedication to teaching and spreading music within the area.

ON any given week she can be called upon to play the organ at St Mary's church, accompany her students and travelling musicians, lead and play with local orchestral and choral groups, help organise the local music eisteddfod as well as teaching duties to both aged students, and those barely young enough to hold the instrument.

She has extended her original music training towards musical therapy and has offered classes for babies and has said that music was meant to be fun.

"We always say we play music, so why not let them play," she said in an interview in 2015.

"Playing is all about having fun and I think that's what they respond to."


25. The Henwood Family

YAMBA's Henwood family have done more than most local businesses to showcase the beauty of their home town to the world.

In October 2008 they brought to life their pet project opening a backpackers' hostel in Yamba. More than 11 years later Yamba Backpackers is a destination for travellers from around the world.

After more than a decade of work "Chook", Justin, Kellie, Shane, Melissa and Chris have not finished, with even more attractions on the backpackers' drawing board.

One of those, the subject of a DA to Clarence Valley Council in June, proposes a brew pub at the hostel. It is still being assessed.


24. Tim McMahon

CRICKET on the Lower Clarence would be unrecognisable if not for the efforts of long term Lower Clarence Cricket Association president Tim 'Ferret' McMahon.

Tim's success in developing cricket is closely linked to his playing days, where his will to win incorporated both a long-term development strategy and cagey on-field tactics.

While he has passed the baton of on field leadership of his beloved Harwood team to son Ben, his role off the field continues. His presence at all levels of the game has attracted popular recognition as the banner across the back of the stand proclaiming the Harwood Cricket Ground as Ferret Oval testifies.


23. Gary Martin

AS A Lifeline telephone counsellor, Gary Martin has an intimate knowledge of the problems that can become overwhelming for so many people.

But Gary realises there are other ways to tackle these issues and has thrown himself into several organisations that offer grassroots solutions.

He is an active member of Our Healthy Clarence, works with Standby, a suicide support service, as well as working full-time with Clarence Valley Council.

He has also been a powerhouse in the successful youth intervention program Midnight Basketball, which has morphed locally into Rebound 2460.



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