The Committee is proud to announce the 2016 Festival Ambassadors and would like to congratulate them on their contribution and assistance to our festival. The chosen ambassadors align with the objectives of the festival, whilst they may not be 'famous', these people have been selected due to their contribution to our community and their passion for our amazing farming community. Ambassadors will assist the committee by promoting its values and encouraging people to attend the October festivities.
Caroline Touhey - Poet and Author Caroline's main interest is writing children’s poems, stories and bush poetry. She has a new rhyming picture book ‘Forest Wonder’ which tells the tale of Australian native creatures (and others) enjoying a forest party on a moon-lit night. It’s a celebration of nature, magic and imagination. Her other rhyming picture book called ‘Climb’ is a celebration of adventurous play and childhood imagination and is for children aged up to six. ’Climb’ was named a finalist in the Children’s Picture Book: Softcover Fiction’ category of the 2014 International Book Awards. The well known local also has an original bush poetry book called ‘Riverina Rain And Other Poems’ and her performances are sought after in the Riverina and beyond. Caroline and husband Peter are instrumental in the agricultural sector with irrigation farms and related businesses. She is keen to promote the festival and will be coordinating the new Poet's Breakfast on Sunday 23rd October 2016.
Helene & Justin Mortlock – The Creative Freak and Computer Geek Helene & Justin love country, food and creative thinking and doing their bit to ensure all remain healthy for future generations. They enabled themselves to do so by moving out of a burgeoning city to come back to the country 3 years ago with their 3 mini Mortlocks, and have thrown themselves into making life in the country work. And as work is what most of us do with our lives, in their move to the small rural town of Jerilderie, Justin & Helene decided it was time to work with what they love and value. Helene opened her studio in the main street of Jerilderie. Jumptree Studios is a space real and 'virtual via social media' from which Helene is an advocate for; local produce and creatives, country-living, people & place, the Billabong Creek (water) and undertakes a breadth of creative activities herself. Justin transferred his 20 plus years of I.T. expertise from ‘Collins Street to the crops’ offering information technology services to the Agriculture Sector enabling further understanding of Precision Agriculture practices that will increase efficiencies into the future in productivity and produce for Australians and the world.
Dr Marion Reeves - Longtime Local
Coleambally is proud to claim Marion Reeves as one of our own. Born and bred in Coleambally, schooled locally, she went on to be an ambassador for women in medicine and rural health.
Her outstanding contribution to the improvement of Riverina facilities and training of health professionals has been widely appreciated. Her grass roots and love of sustainability make her the perfect fit as an ambassador of the Festival.
Tanya Slater- Former Resident
From one of our pioneering families, Tanya-Lee Slater came from Leeton to Coleambally area in 1961 with her parents Bill & Sas Clayton, to provide a service to the first eleven farms in Coleambally. From a small building on the property of Pat and Harry Burge on Farm 8, the family managed a branch for the Leeton Fruit Growers. This proved to be very beneficial to local farmers, as one could purchase anything from a loaf of bread to farm machinery and fencing equipment.
The family also provided a weekly grocery delivery service to farmers and during winter they were often pulled out of axle-deep bogs as the roads were not surfaced. As the district grew Tanya’s father started a school bus service and moved from Egansford to Stanmore Station to be in a more central position to service the district. Tanya saw the town grow over the years, completing all her schooling in Coleambally and was involved in many sporting and town committees including the 10, 20 & 30th Birthday celebrations. Tanya married Gaven Slater, who was from another pioneering family that drew a rice farm in the 1965 ballot. Life on Farm 177 Coleambally will always hold the fondest memories. Tanya was also involved with the Coly-Point Observer and was a local photographer for many years covering weddings, deb balls and school photos. The family now lives in Albury. Tanya feels honoured to be asked to one of the Ambassadors for Taste Coleambally Food and Farm Festival.