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

Wheat bag warning following Sunshine Bay fire death
A house fire near Batemans Bay last weekend (August 18) which claimed the life of an elderly man was caused by a wheat bag which combusted in the man's bed. Wheat bags, which are heated in a microwave to provide pain relief and warmth, are commonly homemade but following a 2017 coroners report into the death of a Sydney woman...
Monaro part of “industrial scale” green carbon biz of the future – Landcare talk in Cooma Friday
Those who live in, or regularly pass through the Monaro often find the landscape arresting - stark perhaps, but delicate and beautiful all the same. Professor Justin Borevitz from The Australian National University is no different. "The Monaro is my backyard and there's so much more to it than what you can see from the road, once you get onto...
Wallagoot Lake shrinking as the hot days of summer get closer
Concerns for the health and future of Wallagoot Lake have arisen following February's large fish kill, with water levels in the lake now at their lowest since 2010. Doug Reckord, Principal of the Bournda Environmental Education Centre, says that marine scientist, Luke Brown, noticed the low levels while with a group of students last week. "In 2010, Jack Miller, who...
From eggs to meat – the next step for pioneering Bega Valley Eggs
They've only been on their 300 acres near Quaama for a few years but Dan and Lyndal Tarasenko of Bega Valley Eggs have already achieved so much. "I don't think we've had a typical day yet," Lyndal laughs, running after the couple's toddler son, Leo, "the business has been in a constant state of growth since we started in 2016." With 5000...
Cooma’s Imants Tillers stars in documentary screening this Saturday night
Arts & Culture
It's been shown at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Sydney, at Parliament House in Canberra, The University Of Melbourne, and in the Latvian capital - Riga, now the feature-length documentary Thrown into the World will screen at Cooma's Little Theatre.  Cooma happens to be the hometown of Imants Tillers, one of Australia's best-loved contemporary artists and the film, directed by...
Candelo’s Melanie Horsnell adjusts to being “cool” with new album
Arts & Culture
Singer-songwriter Melanie Horsnell's new album, Trobairitz, has debuted at number six on the Australian Independent Record Labels Association chart. "This album is my ninth and it's also my first solo record, my first true statement of myself, so it's wonderful that it's also an album that people are responding to as well. These are songs served straight up," Melanie says. Trobairitz...
Bermagui’s nature camp ‘The Crossing’ celebrates 21 years
When they arrived on their recently purchased 58 acres on a curl in the Bermagui River 21 years ago, Dean and Annette Turner were driving a teal bus, which they planned to live in while they established a nature camp for young people. "We started really small," Nettie laughs, while Dean chimes in "it was either going to make...
Bega local one of 72 arrested during Brisbane climate protests this week
"Civil disobedience is where things change," says 19-year-old Hannah Doole from a Burly Heads beach, where she is recovering from a night in a Brisbane watchhouse on Tuesday. "If you look at history, nothing has happened until people have put themselves on the line. If it wasn't for civil disobedience, women probably still wouldn't be able to vote." Hannah, a...
Fling yourself into dance, stunts and connection with My Black Dog
Arts & Culture
When I sneak into the Bega Showground Pavillion, light is streaming through the high windows and the fLiNG crew are sitting on the floor, listening attentively to creative director Kate Denborough, who is taking them through a play-by-play of their new production, My Black Dog. The production is part of a two-year project by the Bega-based physical theatre company which tackles...
Bega’s Soup Ute provides warmth and company each Thursday night
I'm waiting for Chris Groninger at the bus stop opposite Centrelink in Bega on a chilly evening. Although dusk is falling, there is no sign of Chris or his Soup Ute until he suddenly pulls up alongside me and unceremoniously begins unloading a few boxes. "This is it, this is the Soup Ute," Chris says with a broad smile. "We...
Old family determined to serve customers after Jindabyne blaze
A fire that burnt through most of Saturday night has destroyed a longstanding Jindabyne business, Leesville Laundromat, which services many of the region's tourist providers. Despite the setback, the owners say it will be business as usual this week. In a post on social media, owner Kylee Old says "We have outsourced the laundering of your linen to another laundry...
High-schoolers ‘Bournda Rock’ scoop unique regional award at Sydney YouthRock Comp
Arts & Culture
Every Monday for the last year, high school band Bournda Rock has met up for band practice and this week, the talent and commitment of the five members paid off. Jeremy Koenigkamp, Sarah Lingard-Sinclair, Jake Hansen, Malachi Mills-Hindle, all Eden Marine High students and Angus Ashcroft, a Bega High student, this week competed in YouthRock in Sydney and won a...
Cooma Challenge opens Jindabyne office to expand disability services
The Snowy Monaro's largest locally based disability and aged care provider, Cooma Challenge, has announced the opening of a Jindabyne office, located in the Snowy Mountains Neighbourhood Centre. "We saw a significant need for a local service in Jindaybyne," says recently appointed CEO Darren Carr, "and the community has been very welcoming." Currently, Coordinator Peter Wilson works from the Neighbourhood Centre...
Bega Valley Youth Frontiers canvass mountain biking, youth depression and Lyme disease
Students from Bega Valley high schools have been asked to come up with an idea which addresses a problem they see in their community and after three months of working on their plans with adult mentors, the students pitched their ideas this week to members of the community at Bega's University of Wollongong Campus. The program, Youth frontiers, is run...
With only three previous owners since 1860, Bega’s ‘Brianderry’ offers beauty and history but also a future
Are you looking for an idyllic rural property with income potential from 35 paddocks and no worries about water sourcing? 'Brianderry' a beautifully restored 1870's farmhouse, is set on 330 acres which includes 2.5 km of Bega River frontage and the associated generous water licence which would allow the ex dairy farm to be run as a working farm again....
What are we waiting for? The lost art of empty moments
I was waiting for a friend to arrive at a cafe recently and I  felt fidgety. The cafe was busy, with plenty of people to watch and details to observe, piles of pretty cakes and jars of biscuits and cute little succulents growing in random vessels but I felt at a loss, my attention drawn again and again to the...