About Sally Hopman

Long time Canberra journalist Sally Hopman will be familiar to readers from her years at The Canberra Times, where she wrote extensively about Canberra and the Capital Region before joining the National Library.

She began her career as a cadet journalist in Nowra and claims to have worked on some of the best and worst newspapers in the country - and learned rather a lot in the process.

When not writing, Sally collects snowdomes, take photographs of trees (mostly the same one), lives and breathes life on a Yass Valley sheep farm, volunteers at Vinnies and rounds up Beswick china animals and real rescue dogs – not necessarily in that order.

All Articles

Why do we love books? Let’s ‘paws’ and reflect
There's a scene in a movie where a woman and her book take to her bed, already inhabited by her handsome partner. She looks at him, then at her book - and starts reading the book. And it's not even a new one. It's a library book, you know it is because she sniffs it just in case you couldn't...
Duke of Edinburgh’s royal spirit tipped to reign over Holbrook horse event
The Queen has honoured a group of horse and carriage drivers in rural NSW by allowing them to award a trophy, in memory of her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh, at their upcoming national show. Billed as the largest event of its kind in Australia, the three-day Battle of the Border horse and carriage show will feature the nation's...
Vintage treasures go under the hammer in online auction
Arts & Culture
It was the status symbol back in the early 1900s - the Waratah bedroom suite, carved in the arts and crafts design by Robert Prenzel and only available in the equally fancy department store of the day - Farmer and Co. Advertised for the princely sum of 350 pounds, the suite was made from the finest Tasmanian fiddleback blackwood. Such was...
When it comes to wool skills, Emma’s in a class of her own
There's not a lot Emma Lenon doesn't know about wool. She's had a passion for sheep and wool since first going into the family's shearing shed at Colinton, near Bredbo, as a child - the 6th generation to do so. She was 16 and on school holidays when she started working in the sheds away from the family farm. "I just...
Home is where the heart is, even if it is broken
I drove by a house the other day, a place I'd lived in for about 10 years but hadn't seen in almost as long. Usually there's a feeling of warmth, of fond memories when you live somewhere for a while. Not so much this place. It was more surprise than warmth - surprise it was still standing. Hidden on top...
Teapot collection causes a stir in Boorowa Community Op Shop window
There was a teapot Lyn Diskon remembers as a child. It was one of those shiny, green aluminium ones, complete with a cosy. Inside it was as black as midnight with the tannin from near-constant use. "It was my parents' teapot, and when they moved to coffee, I got it," says Lyn. "It makes the best cup of tea." Today,...
Warning issued as death cap mushrooms spotted in Yass
A Yass man who found two death cap mushrooms in a local park believes it's a timely reminder for people to be aware of just how dangerous they can be. Tom O'Dea found the deadly mushrooms in Banjo Paterson Park last week. After he photographed them, he picked them up and destroyed them. The death cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides) is...
Wanted: community spirited folk who are keen to get their hands dirty
For the members of Yass Community Garden, it's all about people getting together, learning from each other, and getting their hands dirty. Since 2012, the small group of people have been spending their free time being productive. They include bureaucrats, people with special needs, teachers, retirees, and range in ages from three to people in their 80s. They come from...
The green, green grass of home … mown
In the newspaper office, we all had scraps of paper, notes, clippings and photos attached to our desks. Our dogs, our partners, potentially Walkley Award-winning story ideas. Except for one bloke, a fellow I sat next to on Sunday nights when he was News Editor and I was his deputy. He only had the one pic. It was a photo...
Faith in humans restored as Yass community rallies to help family
Tarati Ngamotu was standing on the side of the road where, earlier that morning, someone had set fire to her car. Not only was it destroyed, but so too were the presents for her daughter's fourth birthday which was the next day. "This lady walked past as I was sweeping up the debris after they took the car away and...
Bell tower rings in start of new life for Goulburn’s old cathedral
Joy rang out in Goulburn this week as the bell tower of the city's beloved cathedral returned to its familiar place in the skyline. After almost 10 years of being covered by scaffolding, the sight of St Peter and St Paul's bell tower provided a spiritual lift for locals, many of whom have been following the progress of the cathedral's...
You won’t get it for a steal, but there isn’t another joint like this
Fancy staying in a historic sandstone residence in the heart of the Southern Tablelands with 60 rooms to choose from on a near two-hectare site, complete with tennis court, industrial kitchen, commercial space and absolutely no worries about security? Well, the NSW Government may just have the joint for you. It has just placed the former Berrima Correctional Centre on...
Restored former Boorowa Police Station to go under the hammer
When Deborah and Grant Cotter heard the old Boorowa Police Station was in danger of becoming a row of six villas, they bought it. It wasn't something they had planned for – "We didn't really have the money to buy it," says Deborah – but there was no way they were going to let it be demolished. Perhaps it was their background...
Poor phone, internet services put rural lives at risk: Ombudsman
Those who are most in need of reliable telephone and internet services in life-threatening situations are the least likely to have them, according to the Regional Telecommunications Review 2021. Unreliable service, poor coverage, lack of choice and weak infrastructure are the main problems facing telco users in remote, regional and rural Australia, despite the fact they need it the most,...
Mabel Whittaker, a wise woman and treasured friend
Once there was the wisest of women. Her name was Mabel Whittaker and she was a neighbour in Gundaroo about a decade ago. It was at a time when Gundaroo was a little rural community, a place where Mabel knew I had moved in next door almost before I had signed the contracts. Her wisdom knew no bounds. She could...
Yass dressage show puts ribbon on Jill’s lifelong love of horses
It's hardly surprising Jill Doyle can't remember not being on a horse. When your grandfather was in the 12th Light Horse Brigade and a Gallipoli veteran, chances are it's in your blood. One of her first memories is competing in the led class at the Parkes Show at age four and receiving a ribbon. It was nothing to get too...