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

Throw out everything you know about parenting, it’s time to learn from dog-training manuals
As a parent or caregiver, what's in your toolbox? What tactics do you use when you need to get across important information to your kids, or stop them doing something? Are there things you wish your kids would do more, or not do at all? Modern parents don't have enough tools at their disposal – so much so that my husband...
Lives on hold: how young people are faring in a COVID-19 world
What were you doing when you were 19? Or 21? COVID-19 restrictions have impacted various age groups very differently and people in their teens and 20s have been one of the hardest hit demographics. Many people are missing out on travel, socialising and employment opportunities as whole sectors that provide work for young people have constricted. Mikki Boffa is 19...
“It looked like an atomic bomb”: Eden residents seek compensation from roadworks damage
Roadworks undertaken in Eden from 10-11 June by a company contracted by Bega Valley Shire Council has resulted in property damage as corrosive lime settled on cars and roofs along Mitchell and Calle Calle streets. Sylvia Anderson lives midway down one of the streets impacted by the lime plume and works in construction herself. "What happens when you're building a road...
The heterosexual division of labour: for men to step up, women must step down
The stats on the gendered division of labour have been clear for years. Women bear the brunt of household work, including being managing director. I'm happily married and feel like I'm in a partnership but it doesn't stop my husband and I arguing about who does what around the house. Our situation is nothing new - women have been asking...
Global Foundation brings virtual roundtable to Bega Valley
What's On
Bega Valley Shire Council wants to address the public's concerns for the future and is partnering with The Global Foundation to deliver a unique, regional roundtable discussion on Monday, 10 August, featuring local, national and global participation. Council hopes the event will facilitate the region to fulfil its potential. Key speakers on the day – via Zoom video conferencing – include...
Bega Valley musicians The New Graces and Corey Legge surging the country charts
Arts & Culture
Bega Valley musicians Corey Legge and The New Graces are keeping each other company in country music top 10 charts this month. The New Graces – comprising band members Robyn Martin, Kate Burke and Melanie Horsnell – have been holding a place in the Australian Country Radio and ABC Country top 10 since the release of their debut album, "Seasons", in...
Where to source reusable fabric face masks on the Far South Coast
Although community transmission of COVID-19 on the Far South Coast appears under control for now, NSW Health recommends that anyone entering a health facility should wear a face mask to protect themselves and others from the virus. If you're on the lookout for a washable fabric face mask in a fun print, you're not alone. Demand is outstripping supply in many...
Biking booms as Tathra to Kalaru Bike Track nears completion
Justin Roscoe, a mechanic at Tathra Beach & Bike, says business has been booming in recent months as families focus on outdoor, socially distant activities. "We've sold more bikes in the past few months than we usually would that's for sure," he says. Tathra is already known for being a biking hotspot thanks to volunteers from Tathra Mountain Bike Club, who maintain...
The big swing from 1950s to modern parenting – why we need middle ground
I was talking to my friend, Nettie, last week and she told me that when she was about eight years old, she and her brother found a dead body, half-eaten by sharks, floating in the water near their home in Sydney's northern beaches. "We tried to tell an adult who told us, 'It's probably just a mannequin,'" she reflects. "So...
Jindabyne locals create fundraiser to repaint vandalised mural
The community of Jindabyne is shocked and confused by the actions of a vandal who painted over a mural of a superb fairy-wren at the Kurama Reservoir, completed recently over six days by local artist Ben Eyles. The mural was allegedly graffitied between Monday, 20 July and Tuesday 21 July. Following inquiries, officers from the Monaro Police District arrested a 40-year-old Dulwich...
CWA committee pushing ahead with plans for 2021 state conference in Bega
Members of the Far South Coast Country Women's Association of NSW are pushing ahead with plans for the five-day annual state conference – to be held in Bega in May 2021 – despite uncertainties about whether the event will be able to go ahead due to COVID-19 regulations. It is especially fitting that Bega won the vote to host the conference...
How to talk to kids about not licking everything during a pandemic
I'll never forget being in a Los Angeles airport bathroom with my son, then about 18 months old, and turning to see him lovingly running his tongue across the sink which approximately 400 people had touched since it was last cleaned. This was well before COVID-19 hit, but the memory still makes me wince, as does the thought of the...
“We’ve got to be more vigilant”: Eurobodalla businesses double down following local COVID-19 cases
Confirmed recent cases of COVID-19 in Batemans Bay have grown to eight following the past weekend, and anyone who dined at Batemans Bay Soldiers Club last week is being asked to be tested and self-isolate for 14 days, even if the test result is negative. This new development is having ripple effects throughout Eurobodalla, with some people expressing concern that...
Far South Coast Indigenous fire practitioners for hire on private land
The South Coast NSW Aboriginal Elders association (SCAE) and Batemans Bay Local Aboriginal Land Council recently conducted the first traditional burn on private land since the past summer's bushfires. The burn took place in early July on the Meringo property owned by Mark and Julie Mills. SCAE's business manager Prue Bartlett says people are worried about fuel loads post-bushfires and...
Feeling uncertain during COVID-19? You’re not alone
If I'm honest, my anxiety levels have been higher than usual lately. If you are also struggling, get hold of someone at Beyond Blue because these folks are amazing and offer everything from online anxiety forums to free phone counselling. So often during the past six months, it feels like I've been chasing peace, sometimes finding it fleetingly before descending into...
“The whole industry blown up under our feet”: University of Wollongong staff await decision on job losses
Up to 400 jobs are on the line as University of Wollongong (UOW) staff and management, including those at rural campuses in Bega and Batemans Bay, negotiate a disputed COVID-19 bailout plan represented by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU). In early June, 2020, the university said it was facing a $90 million shortfall. It...