Clarence Valley's most influential people #30-27

30. Kade Valja 

ONE of the youngest entries in this year's Power 30 artist Kade Valja began his artistic career virtually under a bridge.

The street art advocate started painting colourful works on the ageing railway piers under Grafton's iconic piece of infrastructure in 2014, a lone landscape the catalyst for what has now grown to include more than 80 works by various talents including internationally regarded street artists.

Since then Kade has been commissioned to install large mural-style works in commercial sites and had his work featured in the Grafton Regional Gallery.

His drive also saw him take the plunge into business by opening his gallery Flow Space in South Grafton late last year.

That community hub has brought visual arts out of institutionalised settings by showcasing work by passionate and young artists whose mould-breaking ideas are helping redefine art in the Valley.

Kade's ability to draw young people from all walks to explore their creative possibilities has benefits that stretch well beyond his gallery's walls. 


29. Rob Sinnamon

With the support of his wife Lorraine, Rob Sinnamon has been at the helm of one of Australia's most historic pastoral properties, Yulgilbar, for almost 18 years.

As general manager, he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the premier station established in 1840 and home to the famous Castle. Owned by the Myer family, it encompasses 14,000ha, running more than 7000 head of beef cattle.

The award-winning sustainably-produced Yulgilbar beef is sought after around the country and the world, its famous cattle sales eagerly awaited by producers, its top bulls fetching figures in the tens of thousands.

Rob and his team's stamina was put to the test recently when Yulgilbar was surrounded on three sides by raging bushfires with a separate fire taking off in the middle of the property.

They worked day and night to agist thousands of cattle while trying to hold the fires out of what country remained unburnt.

In his station blog, he said he was "very proud of the huge effort the men and women of Yulgilbar" having fought hard to save the historic station from 50km of fire fronts.


28. Tyson Donohoe

THE manager of Grafton's long-awaited PCYC, Tyson Donohoe has experienced the redemptive power of sport and physical activity.

A Grafton Ghosts player and grandson of Australian rugby league star Rees Duncan, Donohoe has big plans for the PCYC when it opens next year.

His working background in juvenile justice makes him aware of the pitfalls that exist for young people in the region.

He says the PCYC can interact with young people and encourage them to interact with the community.


27. Melanie Lamb

ALTHOUGH she's a relative newbie, the centre manager of Country Universities Centre Clarence Valley Melanie Lamb has found herself at the helm of something the region cares about closely.

It's a widely held suspicion the Clarence rejected proposals for a university in the past and now we have the chance to overcome that drawback, we want it to succeed.

As the front person for the university, Melanie provides an example of enthusiasm, confidence and know-how that has the Grafton CUC campus buzzing.

Enrolments for the first semester of study exceeded expectations and Melanie's role and enthusiastic example in spreading the CUC message has been central to that. 


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