2020 A Year for the History Books – A year in review from reporter Sandra Moon

The year of Covid has been a humdinger but the emergence of the local paper has been the silver lining for many.


WHAT a memorable year to start an independent newspaper.

2020 was the year we all welcomed the Coffs Coast News Of The Area, a bit of sunshine so to speak.

With border lockdowns, job insecurity and homeschooling there was never a more important time for the community to feel connected to each other and the towns they live in.

As the paper emerged, all of our reporters received calls of congratulations and warm wishes, but over and over again people were so thankful that they had something that made them feel a part of something bigger.

I’m proud to be a part of the team and proud to see our growth.

As far as job satisfaction goes the absolutely best thing has been discovering the cool people in our communities doing incredible good for others and making an impact not only on our communities but across the nation.

It has been a privilege to write up Indigenous stories with some terrific and deadly Gumbaynggirr nation and other first nation peoples.

From the the Indigenous rangers protecting our forests and working with forestry to do cultural burning, to OneMob Radio launch, an internet radio showcasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories and music, Aboriginal artists such as Brentyn Lugnan making incredible art that speaks of his family and country at Urunga, to former local GP, Dr Justin Hunter who won the 2020 Aboriginal Health Award Growing Stronger Together.

Speaking of being cool, BackTrack Works is a team of young men travelling to work on community projects and we had them here building the fences damaged from the Liberation Trail Fire and I was lucky to meet them and have a chat.

Their upbeat response to work and their life situations will stay with me for some time.

Not only that but the program’s inclusion of dogs and the understanding of the benefit to the young men involved to have that animal and human friendship.

Other awesome and amazing things I came across was Coffs Harbour High School’s incredible forward thinking in their program to encourage girls into STEM careers.

The school invites graduates back to talk to the girls about what they have achieved and the program is having great success.

Isabelle Capell-Hattam, is one of those graduates currently working in STEM doing vaccine tracking in relation to COVID 19.


And another extremely cool bunch of women are the ladies behind the Lions Club’s Women’s Shed being planned.

Go-getters Lexie Clarke and Alex Miller, amongst others, to make a space for women to learn and share new skills.

Kyra Ensbey is another awesome human being thinking of others in the community by starting a Hound Hub for homeless people and their dogs so neither humans nor dogs need go without.

And then there’s all the amazing charities out there run by volunteers working hard to make these holidays an enjoyable time for others with gifts, toys and food hampers being busily distributed.

People can and do make a difference and time and time again this year I have been reminded of that.
So while this COVID year has been challenging it has also been full of stories of beautiful humans doing the right thing by other humans.

And those stories dear readers have been a delight to bring to you because we all need a tonne of sunshiney goodness to finish off a year most of us are likely never to forget.


By Sandra MOON

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