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

Rare snap has Yass photographer flying high
Rhonda Corcoran reckons she was just in the right place at the right time. Other photographers and bird lovers beg to differ. The Yass photographer, who has only "seriously" been shooting the abundant birdlife of Yass since the beginning of the year, last week caught a rare Peregrine Falcon with three babies in the nest. Although the powerful bird of prey...
The woes of the computer illiterate in an online world
I think I'll start up a new little project. Something suitable for a middle-aged woman that won't interfere with her knitting. I'm going to rid the world of computers. While I'm at it, I might also round up and hide, temporarily of course, those four-year-old children who give you that look when you ask them a perfectly reasonable question like -...
After 50 years, Bookham’s Barb Shannon is still comforting generations of babies
About 50 years ago, countrywoman Barb Shannon was asked by a friend to make her a baby's heirloom blanket as something special for the newborn. Today, the children of these children are still asking Barb, who lives on her family's NSW sheep farm just outside Bookham, near Yass, to make baby blankets for the next generation. No two of the...
Children’s book that goes to the heart of life on the farm
The machinery shed is a sacred place for many people on the farm. It's the place where you might hear some swearing, but more than likely it's the place where knowledge is passed down from father and mother to son and daughter. It's usually the heartbeat of a farm, where all the parts that make things happen live, and mostly...
It seems romance writing is not for the faint-hearted
Arts & Culture
I wrote a romance novel once. OK, I wrote away to the company that publishes romance novels to get their guide on how to write one. The fact they actually produce a writing guide should have warned me off, but no, I was already so in love with my potential hero, I was blind to everything else. I thought I...
For Dee Bush, nothing but the best is a recipe for success
Back in the early 1970s when Dee Bush and her team ran the Lazy Larder, they were the Yass Valley region's 'it girls'. The business provided some of the best food you could buy, take home and – if you were smart – pretend you made it. From entrees such as country pate for $1.20 a serve, to 'beef Caldean' – named after...
When it comes to old remedies, who can you trust?
We know the National Trust of Australia as a trustworthy organisation, a beacon when it comes to protecting our history. But did you know it also advises humans as well as buildings on how best to look after themselves? It's all in a treasure of a book, Take it on Trust, which although published in 1978, still very loudly rings...
Can you help unravel this knotty nautical mystery?
Amid the piles of used clothes, china and books in the Vinnies op shop was, from the back, simply a large wooden frame. It had a bit of age to it and, logically, we were to discover later, it had suffered a little water damage. It was a frame, measuring 58cm by 42cm, showing examples of what looked to be...
Yass Valley Council adopts draft dumping policy, but could review it after election
Yass Valley Council has agreed to adopt a draft landfill policy for the region despite opposition from the community, but has asked the next council – following the election on 4 December, 2021 – to review the policy. Prior to its meeting in September when it adopted the policy, council had received 12 submissions opposing its landfill policy, including two...
Wayne’s chainsaw collection will never get the chop
In the collecting world, Wayne Sainsbury is simply a cut above the rest. About 100 cuts above the rest, literally, if you count the number of chainsaws neatly stacked across the shelves of his shed. From monsters which weigh almost half as much as him, to sleeker newer models, they include the well-known names, like Stihl, to the lesser known...
Why we just can’t help falling for rain
It's not like you need another reason to listen to Paul Kelly but ... who else can put a recipe for gravy in one of his most brutal songs and make it sound so sweet? Or who, always, takes himself To Her Door. But then there's Petrichor. It's a made-up word that goes straight to the heart, and nostrils, of...
In Gunning, the show must go on – online
Arts & Culture
While COVID-19 has forced the closure of shows and festivals in many of our cities, it has put the village of Gunning on the virtual map. Last year was to be the first for the Gunning Arts Festival, a coming together of all that was culturally good in the small rural community about 30 km from Gundaroo and a bit further...
Pandemic? Wild weather? Virtually nothing will stop Goulburn’s Lilac Festival
When it comes to tradition in Goulburn, the show must and will go on - even if the masses won't be able to stop and smell the lilacs. To maintain the 70 years of tradition that is the Goulburn City Lilac Festival, the show will go ahead this upcoming long weekend, just a little differently to the 68 years that...
Stay safe this long weekend, Yass Mayor urges locals, visitors
The Mayor of Yass Valley Council, Rowena Abbey, is urging local residents to do the right thing when it comes to travelling outside the region during the upcoming October long weekend. While she welcomed the lifting of the Yass stay-at-home order earlier this week, she said there was a danger of people travelling to areas which were still under COVID-19...
When it comes to bargain hunting, Claire and Ben O’Keefe just take their pick
Claire O'Keefe, originally from Coleambally, has a love of history - and a degree in it. Her husband Ben also loves history, particularly that with a military bent - and he spent much of his youth at flea markets. Together they boast the best of skills for how they now earn a living - picking, visiting other people's homes by...
New portal makes it easier for regional communities to access $64 billion in government grants
It has just become easier for community groups, schools, not-for-profits and businesses in regional and remote areas to access billions of dollars in government funding. Using Regional Development Australia's Grant Funding Finder portal, community groups can apply for more than 1000 Federal Government and state government grants, rebates, concessions, awards and scholarships worth $64 billion. Local councils including Yass Valley Council,...