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

Bega District Band celebrates 120 years with Canberra brass back up
What's On
When Jane Woolacott moved back to the Bega Valley fourteen years ago and joined the Bega District Band, she was the only female and the only person under sixty. "It was definitely declining then but we seem to be going through a really good phase now," she says. The band has seen its share of highs and lows since its inception...
Moruya High’s coast to country field trip used as model for inland schools
For the past five years, Moruya High’s HSC students of agriculture, earth and environmental science and food technology have travelled inland to visit farms, national parks and rural communities on an annual week-long field trip. Now the popular trip, known affectionately as "the top blokes and Sheilas tour," which provides real-world examples of some of the theory students have learnt at...
Candelo pool closed for repairs until late January
Candelo's famous Olympic-sized swimming pool will remain closed until late January after Bega Valley Shire Council discovered that the render was failing and the pool was leaking. The failing render was discovered when staff began preparing the pool for its seasonal opening this month. A press release issued by Bega Valley Shire Council on 19 November reports that major work will...
Goulburn and Moruya TAFE Spring Fling plant sales this week!
TAFE NSW will host its second annual Spring Fling plant sale on this Thursday (November 21) at it's Goulburn campus, and for the first time, at the Moruya campus on Friday (November 22). Head teacher of horticulture, Gabriele Harding, who manages both campuses, says that students are keen to showcase their propagation work. "We have had small plant sales in...
Eurobodalla mayor ‘disappointed’ after Rural Lands Strategy development knocked back
Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes is disappointed a small number of local property owners who hoped to build on their properties won't be able to develop their land after NSW Government changes to the Rural Lands Strategy Local Environment Plan amendment (LEP). “The document Council had endorsed is not the document the Minister signed off,” Cr Innes wrote in a press...
Climate change is making preppers out of all of us
While living in my husband's homeland in Montana, USA, I became aware of the concept of 'preppers,' people who think that the world will end imminently and are getting prepared by moving to a remote area, learning survival skills like hunting and stockpiling goods they think will be useful at the end of the world. Yesterday, after seeing emergency preparedness checklists...
From Braidwood to Mogo, helping NSW farmers with Christmas cheer
Two old friends have joined a new national movement to spread a little Christmas cheer to rural women doing it tough around New South Wales. Helen Farley, of Braidwood and Theresa Matthews, of Mogo, are both collecting parcels for distribution by drought-relief organization Ladies of the Land, which delivers parcels of treats to women living and working on farms during...
‘How Good is 2019!’ – Canberra political satire at Tanja this Sunday
Arts & Culture
We've almost survived 2019 and if you have spent it pouring over news stories full of angst and sadness, it might be time for a look in the rear vision mirror through the lens of comedy, because sometimes all you can do is laugh! Long-standing Canberra comedians John Shortis and Moya Simpson, who specialize in political satire, are coming to the...
Relying on REX for regional lifestyle, city career
Rising out of the dust of the 2001 collapse of beloved Australian airline Ansett, Rex has a key role in the growth of our local shires, allowing more people to live regionally and still commute regularly to business centres like Sydney and Melbourne. Adelqui Rizzotto, whose family know him as Junior, is an easy-going surfer and Brazilian native who married...
Switchfoot Boardstore continues Pambula’s epic surf culture history
"Surfing is a young sport in Australia," Bournda-based board shaper Jed Done says thoughtfully. "The first foam boards were being made in the early 60s. Before that, it was all timber." Jed has been catching up on surfboard technology since he first began building boards when he was 15 and is now one of a handful of hand-shapers in the...
Merimbula Aquarium’s accidental breeding program the result of happy critters
Merimbula Aquarium curator Harrison Vermont has an eye for an unhappy fish. "You get to know them and you can spot it when they're not happy," he says. "It's hard to explain but everyone who spends time here can tell." Merimbula is the only temperate aquarium in Australia after Manly Aquarium in Sydney closed its doors in 2017, and the...
Summer price rise for Bega Cheese suppliers but future not secure
Along with the water in our dams and rivers, Australia's milk pool is dwindling, leaving processors like Bega Cheese in the position of having to pay more in an increasingly competitive market. "The price for milk fluctuates throughout the year," explains fifth-generation Bega dairy farmer Rob Russell "so we usually get paid more over winter when it's considered harder to...
Want to know more about local koalas? Tanja on Wednesday is the place to be
Wondering how the Far South Coast's fledging koala population is going? A workshop tomorrow, November 6 at Tanja is a good place to get answers and join the conservation effort. "There was a koala sighting on Doctor George Mountain Road about two months ago," says National Parks Threatened Species officer, Chris Allen, who has been studying koalas for about 25...
Bega Valley draft climate resilience strategy open for comment now
The highly anticipated and widely debated Bega Valley Shire Council draft Climate Change Resilience Strategy 2050 is available now and is open for public comment until December 15. The draft document is not exhaustive but is not supposed to be at this stage, council’s Director of Community, Environment and Planning, Dr Alice Howe, says. "The strategy is currently a high-level...
The story behind ‘Stitch’ playing in Bodalla & Tilba this weekend
Arts & Culture
It's an unlikely success story - a tale of two musicians from opposite ends of the spectrum who ended up next-door neighbours and before they knew it, had bonded over a shared love of sewing and banded together as the popular duo, 'Stitch'. "I moved from Melbourne to Tilba 18 months ago, looking to escape the city" Zoey Pepper explains...
Cooma’s new multicultural centre serves up DiversiTEA
Yvi Henderson has made her home in Australia. She left Switzerland in 1990 but she still remembers arriving in Cooma with her husband, a Yaouk local, as the young mother of a one-year-old daughter. "I was ... pretty devastated," she laughs "it was the simple things that threw me, like not knowing the difference between playgroup and preschool or when...