About Elka Wood

Elka Wood is a freelance writer, parent to two young kids and has a deep love for her home community of the Bega Valley.

Circumstances dictate that Elka and her family move between the US and Australia and she rediscovered a childhood love of writing and storytelling working as a reporter at a small newspaper in Montana, her husband's home state.

In between writing jobs, Elka has worked in the non-profit sector, as a caterer and as a fisheries technician, taking DNA samples from trout in a freezing stream in the middle of the night.

During long winters in Montana, she blogs at Aussiemerica.com.

Elka loves meeting new people and believes in the commonality of the human experience - and that everyone has a story to tell.

All Articles

Eurobodalla artists invited to get busy with entries for ‘the Bas’ exhibitions in 2021
Arts & Culture
Moruya's Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre is calling for submissions for its 2021 exhibition program. The arts centre, which opened in February 2019 and is affectionately known as 'the Bas', is currently closed until June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this period of enforced social isolation provides an opportunity for artists to view it as a quasi artists-in-residence program. Eurobodalla...
Former Bega local’s fun face-masks a crafty response to COVID-19
Arts & Culture
Last week, Bronwyn Napiorkowski went to her local doctor to get a script filled. "I sat in the waiting room feeling really vulnerable," she says. "I wasn't showing signs of being sick but I knew people around were and I wished I had brought a face mask with me." When Bronwyn – a qualified art therapist who grew up in Bega and...
TAFE NSW ‘paused’ but state school teachers still waiting for closure
TAFE NSW has announced it will 'pause' all face-to-face classes from Monday (30 March), except for those which are healthcare-related such as enrolled nursing and aged care. A statement from TAFE NSW said the health of their students and staff is the priority and that a Crisis Management Team has been operating for several weeks to oversee the agency’s response to the...
Bushfire royal commission fails to address climate change, says 350 Eurobodalla
A Mossy Point local who, last Wednesday, attended a royal commission community forum into the bushfires in Batemans Bay during the recent summer says the commission is reactive, not proactive, and does not take into consideration the wider context of a changing climate. "It is disappointing that the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements will not include the role of...
COVID-19 and school closures – if not now, when?
Health & Wellbeing
It's the question on everyone's lips: when will schools close in response to the virus which puts our elderly population and those with low immunity at risk? Today, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is urging parents to keep their children at home if possible but no official shutdown has been announced. Last week, Mumbulla School for Rudolf Steiner Education, a small...
Fires and COVID-19 are here to show us that change is inevitable
One thing I know about humans is that we don't love change when it comes via an external tide. If we favoured flexibility, we'd have already looked at each other and said: "you know, there are billions of people in this world, pandemics are inevitable, so let's integrate safe handwashing into our cultural practice." If we welcomed change, we'd stop...
Still dire need for permanent post-fire housing in Bega Valley
Although the South Coast is green again, a way forward is still unclear for many victims of fire, as the organisations on the frontline are seeing. John Oddie is new to his position with Convoy Missions Australia but says it all feels strangely familiar. "I had no idea who Convoy Missions were until just before Christmas but the work I've been doing...
Bega woman celebrates year of weekly climate strikes
"It's funny, but the thing that scared me the most when I started a year ago - talking to strangers - is now the thing I like the most," says Bega resident Vivian Harris, who has recently celebrated a full calendar year of weekly climate strikes at Bega Farmer's Market on Fridays. Her boldly painted sign, Happy To Talk About...
9th annual Broulee Bay to Breakers draws a record crowd
In yet another step towards bushfire recovery, 340 swimmers powered into the sea at North Broulee beach last Sunday for the 9th annual Hotondo Homes Broulee Bay to Breakers Ocean Swim. The days of black sky and ash-ridden beaches after a summer of bushfires are still close enough that swim coordinator David Butt commented especially on the water clarity. “It was...
Eurobodalla photographer featured in Loud and Luminous women’s exhibition
Arts & Culture
For Bateman's Bay resident and photojournalist Elise Searson, the hardest part of being a female artist is pursuing her art while being the sole parent of her two-year-old son. "Taking great photos often relies on spending hours in uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous situations," she says "I found it very tough being a mother and trying to cover the recent bushfires."...
Mogo and Moruya businesses forge on
Even before fire consumed 10 out of 25 main street shops in the village of Mogo and numerous other businesses, the business community were developing the kind of camaraderie that would see them through the disaster - they just didn't know it. "We do have regular meetings but they aren't formal," chuckles chamber of commerce president Richard Adams "we usually...
Uber expands its service area across regional NSW
Ordering an Uber is part of daily life for many city dwellers and now the company, which links registered private drivers with nearby passengers via an app, has announced it will roll out across regional NSW just before the Easter long weekend in April. "Uber has decided to bring these plans forward to help fire and drought-affected regions get back...
Opponents of Kosciusko brumby cull demand post-fire recount
NSW Minister for Environment Matt Kean hs announced that brumby numbers in Kosciusko National Park will be reduced substantially, with as many as 4,000 out of an estimated total of 20,000 horses due to be rehomed or culled. The move comes as a bushfire recovery measure, with a NSW Government spokesperson confirming that advice from the Community Advisory Panel and the...
Merimbula pulls out all the stops for EAT and new craft beer fest
What's On
Autumn events along the South Coast have taken on new importance this year after businesses lost essential holiday revenue during a long and destructive fire season. The South Coast needs you to show up and help get our local communities back on their feet - and they'll make it worth your while! From 6 to 8 March, EAT Merimbula, an...
Can South Coast tourism businesses reclaim a summer lost to fire?
'Bushfire affected' has become an all-inclusive term since fires broke out along the South Coast in December. Haven't we all been affected? Some of us have lost houses, pets or stock, our summer holiday, our innocence or large chunks of annual income. The local economy has certainly been slammed, with the retail sector taking the biggest hit. When the Merimbula...
ACT nudist club helps fire-affected Bermagui nudists have fun in the sun
It hasn't been a great beach season on the Sapphire Coast, with heavy smoke, fires, and ash on the sand and in the water still detering many swimmers. But autumn is known to locals as having the best beach days, with clear blue-green water, warm ocean currents and plenty of sunny days. It's not too late to capture the last...