Podcast 17 – Gabrielle Powell and the People of the Sun

Gabrielle Powell is one of those familiar faces around Bega, but she has just had an experience that took her way beyond her Pedan Street base.

For almost 11 years Gabrielle has been the manager of the town’s Women’s Resource Centre.

With long service leave in her sails, Gabrielle took off for Malawi in South East Africa, a country of 18 million people bordered by Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

There are no banana lounges or pina coladas with this getaway, Gabrielle was there for two months as a mentor to an artist’s co-operative.

A basket maker herself, Gabrielle had to put her art on the back seat, it was her management, admin, and leadership skills that were put to work with ‘People of the Sun’.

I got talking to Gabrielle about this experience of a lifetime just a few days after she returned…

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Thank you to the About Regional members that made this podcast possible – investing in local stories.

People like Julie Rutherford Real Estate at Bermagui, the Bega Valley Regional Learning Centre at Merimbula, Deborah Dixon, Robyn Amair, and Patrick Reubinson.

Photos used in the slideshow from Gabrielle Powell and People of the Sun.

Thanks for listening.
Ian

About Regional, Podcast 11 – The Great Southern Forest

The Great Southern Forest, photo by Richard Green
The Great Southern Forest, photo by Richard Green

The National Folk Festival in Canberra is underway and there is somewhat a South East take over happening with a bunch of artists from this side of the mountain performing.

People like Heath Cullen, Kate Burke, Mike Martin, Sam Martin, Stonewave Taiko and the Djaadjawan Dancers are all taking centre stage.

In the week’s leading up to the National, South East NSW provides a warm-up space to many of the performers booked to play in Canberra.

The Cobargo Folk Festival is one of those warm-up events and always makes the most of the international artists who fly in for the National – it’s often the case that Cobargo is the first gig in an Australian tour for musos from the UK, Europe and America.

Apart from music, folkies enjoy a chat and a lively speakers tents is part of every folk festival.

At Cobargo this year, festival goers heard of an ambitious idea to change the way forests in South East NSW are managed and used.

Stonewave Taiko by Ben Marden
Stonewave Taiko by Ben Marden

The push to establish The Great Southern Forest aims to turn State Forests in the region into carbon sinks – creating jobs and economic opportunities through land management, restoration, and tourism.

Those driving the campaign see the end of the current Regional Forest Agreements in 2019 and 2021 as the chance to end native logging and move to a new economic model.

Dr Bronte Somerset, comes from a career in higher education, she has five children and 12 grand-children and is one of the advocates for The Great Southern Forest, she detailed the idea in a crowded speakers tent at the Cobargo Folk Festival.

Thanks to my partners in this podcast – Light to Light Camps, rolling out the red carpet on the 31 km track between Boyd’s Tower and Greencape Lighthouse south of Eden.

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Thanks for tuning in, see you out and about in South East NSW.

Cheers

Ian