About Hannah Sparks

Hannah Sparks is a regional journalist based in the Southern Tablelands of NSW. She has eight years of experience reporting stories for print and broadcast media including Fairfax Media and ABC Canberra. Home was originally a farm in Devon, UK, where she studied a Bachelor of Journalism.

Today, she writes from a wool farm in the Tablelands where she lives with her partner and their many dogs.

Hannah is passionate about providing regional communities with a voice and always has time for a cuppa and a yarn.

All Articles

Gundaroo Colonial Inn closes for the first time in more than a century
Gundaroo Colonial Inn owner George Nicola has promised to reopen after the doors to the heritage pub closed this week (14 July) for the first time in more than a century. Aged in his late 60s, Mr Nicola has hired managers to run the Inn over the past few years but said it wasn't working out with current publican Chris...
UPDATE: Police arrest Goulburn prison escapee Ryan Wennekes
UPDATE 19 July, 10:00 am: Police have charged the minimum-security inmate who escaped from a correctional facility in Goulburn around 1:30 pm on Thursday, 15 July. Police officers found 29-year-old Ryan Wennekes waiting for a train at Goulburn Railway Station on Friday, 16 July. Mr Wennekes was taken to Goulburn Police Station and charged with three offences, including escaping from custody, attempting...
Koorawatha farmer enters Cobber Challenge, but poor Sally is out of the race
Farmer Daniel Pumpa, from Koorawatha, near Young, has been selected to take part in the annual working dog Cobber Challenge for a second time, but he won't be competing with kelpie Sally by his side. Three weeks ago five-year-old Sally dislocated her right elbow, which meant Turbo had to step up to the challenge. Perhaps it was meant to be,...
Hume Conservatorium announces Jacqui Smith as new CEO
Arts & Culture
The Hume Conservatorium (HumeCon) in Goulburn has announced the appointment of Jacqui Smith as chief executive officer following Paul Scott-Williams's departure in early July 2021. Ms Smith has worked at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music within the University of Sydney for the past seven years in strategic relations, international partnerships, marketing and communications. She was responsible for developing the conservatorium's engagement...
Eurobodalla residents trial a new approach to local government elections
There's no doubt the campaigns that broke the Liberal-National Coalition's hold on the seats of Indi in Victoria and Warringah in New South Wales inspired a new approach to electioneering. We are referring, to the movements that successfully replaced former Liberal member Sophie Mirabella with independent candidate Cathy McGowan in 2013 and former Liberal prime minister Tony Abbott with independent...
Goulburn Hospital construction site and Hungry Jack’s Marulan possible COVID-19 exposure sites
UPDATED 11:50 am: A man aged in his 70s from Sydney's eastern suburbs has become the second person in a week to die from COVID-19 in NSW, NSW Health announced this morning. A woman in her 90s died over the weekend after contracting the virus from a family member. Earlier today, NSW Health announced 89 new COVID-19 cases in the...
Justin Hemmes set to bring city chic to Narooma
Food & Wine
When Justin Hemmes joined our 11 am interview via Facetime, I expected him to be sitting inside a flash Sydney office. Instead, he appeared at ease in a sunny room at his Glasshouse Rocks property in Narooma which he purchased in 2015. Some were surprised by the hotel billionaire's recent move onto the unspoilt coastal town's bar scene, but for...
Everything you need to know about NSW local government elections
The NSW local government elections are fast approaching – mark 4 September, 2021, in your calendars – and knowing if you're eligible to vote and how to vote isn't always clear-cut. But don't worry, we've got you covered. Find all the answers to your election questions here. Is voting compulsory in a NSW local government election? Yes, you must vote in...
Mogo locals worry about the impact of logging on mountain bike tourism
Mogo locals have expressed concern about logging near local mountain bike trails which attract tourists to the fire-ravaged town. The NSW Government and Federal Government recently pledged $5 million to build additional trails where the Forestry Corporation of NSW is proposing to harvest timber. Avid mountain biker and Friends of the Forest campaigner Nick Hopkins, said forestry's proposal threatens the...
Crookwell rail bikes miss out on funding, $12 million secured for other projects
A group of rail enthusiasts trying to finance a novel way to explore the historic Goulburn-to-Crookwell railway line in the NSW Southern Tablelands has missed out on funding, but vowed to keep trying. The Goulburn Crookwell Heritage Railway group applied for funding from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund (BLER) - Stage Two to purchase a set of rail bikes that would...
Leeton entrepreneur acquires Royal Hotel and Clubhouse Hotel in Yass
The owner of Leeton Hotel in the Riverina has stepped out of the region and purchased the Clubhouse Hotel, Royal Hotel and Bottlemart in Yass, in the Southern Tablelands, for an undisclosed sum. Golden Crown Hotels, which also owns Yenda Hotel and Yanco Hotel in the Riverina, purchased the venues together and took over ownership on 22 June, 2021. The...
Veterans mount up at Maguire family’s Bowning farm
It's 10:00 am and the mist is still hanging over the rolling hills that surround the Maguire's cattle farm in Bowning, in the NSW Southern Tablelands. Marina Maguire is boiling the kettle and tending to the fire in the horse stables ready for my arrival. The beauty of this moment is that it's quiet. This is how each morning begins...
Marulan and Braidwood among 22 regional pharmacies to administer AstraZeneca
Health & Wellbeing
Marulan Pharmacy, near Goulburn, and Capital Chemist in Braidwood are among the first 22 pharmacies across regional and rural NSW that will begin administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the pilot program last week in a bid to boost the vaccine rollout, with only about 17 per cent of the Australian population vaccinated so far. “Local pharmacists...
Farmer Wants a Wife: Andrew Guthrie discusses moving in with contestant
Andrew Guthrie has had the most dramatic start to this season of Farmer Wants a Wife on the Seven Network, but the 30-year-old from Delegate, NSW, says life has been smooth sailing since finding love on the show. "We're going awesome," he says. "It's a bit hard because we've got to stay hidden. It's not like normal dating where you...
Hume Conservatorium CEO takes a bow after directing 200,000 teaching hours
Arts & Culture
For the past 11 years, Hume Conservatorium (HumeCon) CEO/artistic director Paul Scott-Williams has been leading music education in the NSW Southern Tablelands and Southern Highlands. The singer, pianist and teacher has transitioned the conservatorium from a Goulburn-based college to an institution that offers home and school-based tuition across the region. He also secured the conservatorium's future by negotiating ownership of...
Merivale to open paddock-to-plate bistro pop-up at The Whale Inn in Narooma
Food & Wine
No more than three weeks into its ownership of The Whale Inn and Restaurant in Narooma and Merivale has revealed exciting plans for the coastal venue. Later this month, The Whale Inn will play host to an intimate paddock-to-plate bistro pop-up run by Moruya locals and chefs Elsa Marie and Julian May of Chez Dominique. 'Chez Dominique at The Whale'...