Possums Tuckerbox providing a service to residents of the Valla Beach Tourist Park

Valla Beach Tourist Park resident Robin considers the food van started by Steve Hitchcock and Deb Burleigh has made a positive impact on the life of permanent residents at the park.


IMAGINE starting a business as part of your sea change to find most of your customers quickly consider your business to be a vital service.

That is what happened when retired registered nurse Deb Burleigh and former golf pro Steve Hitchcock began a business known as Possum’s Tuckerbox operating out of the Valla Beach Tourist Park.

With a love for catering and a strong sense of community the couple left their former home of Bathurst looking for the ideal rural seaside setting, what Deb describes as “the surf and turf”.

While holidaying in Valla Beach they realised this was the perfect place and became residents.

Identifying the park could really do with a food service and after getting a thumbs up from the park’s owners and management, Deb and Steve had a food van custom made to their specifications in Murwillumbah on the Far North Coast.

Now operating for three months Deb and Steve have a vast menu from home made pies and sausage rolls to full meals and barista style coffee and word has spread regarding the quality and price of the food.

News Off The Area spoke to a number of residents of the Valla Beach Tourist Park who say they now rely on the service provided by Deb and Steve for many of their meals.

Ralph Jordan, a resident of the park with some health issues affecting his mobility, boasts, “My doctor has noticed my health has improved and my weight dropped to a healthy level due to the change in my eating habits.

“Thanks to Deb and Steve I now eat properly cooked nutritious meals that I can afford and if I can’t get about real well Deb delivers them to me free of charge,” added Ralph.

Ralph echoed the sentiments of others at the park who live on their own or have health issues and have come to rely on Deb and Steve’s personal touch.

Just in front of the Possum’s Tuckerbox van are a couple of picnic tables under cover and many residents now come down to the van and meet with others over a coffee.

Deb, who has dealt with personal tragedy in her life, and Steve, who has recently overcome a significant health issue, have empathy with so many of the park residents.

Regular customer and Valla Beach Tourist Park resident Robin said, “It is not just the food that has made a difference, it is also the willingness to sit and have a chat that has cut away the isolation some of us were feeling.”

Possums Tuckerbox is open 7 days a week 7:30am to 1:30pm with extended hours in the holidays.

Deb and Steve invite everyone to come visit them at Valla Beach and check out their great food and coffee for yourself.




Valla Beach Tourist Park resident Ralph Jordan is delivered a meal by Deb Burleigh of Possum’s Tuckerbox

Leave a Reply