Todd
Hospitality Entrepreneur

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to the Coffs Harbour area…

My very earliest memories are of sneaking around commercial kitchens and bars of a pub my parents Shane and Cindy were running in country Victoria. The majority of our Victorian based family made the move to Coffs Harbour between 1985 and 1992 creating roots in local hospitality. My grandparents took on the Arosa motel on the Southern fringe of town and my parents established the Tide & Pilot, the current site of Latitude 30 and Attitude Burgers.

I finished my schooling at John Paul College in 2005. In 2007 I made the inner-city Sydney suburb of Redfern my home. While studying audio engineering and sound design I was working at a cafe close to home where waiting tables paid my rent and got me through university. It felt like I wanted to break the family mould, to move away from hospitality and into the much less ventured world of music. I should have been thinking about what live sound job I had to get to? Or what band did I have to record? Instead I found myself thinking harder about going to work at the cafe, and more specifically the coffee that I would be serving the next morning.

So I finished up at university and set off working for Australia’s specialty coffee power house, Campos Coffee where I spent 2½ years working as a barista and in quality control. From there I moved over to Reuben Hills as a coffee roasting production assistant and realised the meticulous precision of roasting suited my personality.

I moved back to Coffs Harbour in 2014 not expecting to be around for long. After working at a local coffee hotspot I realised there was a more discerning population here when it came to coffee. A lightbulb(ish) moment occurred! Other ideas took a back seat and a full resettle in Coffs Harbour became more exciting than ever. Then Supply was born…

What do you love about living in the Coffs Harbour area?

I love the access that we have to such diverse settings. From the world-class coastlines and our Solitary Islands marine park, to the rich rainforests of Dorrigo and Bongil Bongil. All such different ecosystems all within half an hour of each other. The individuality of Woolgoolga and Bellingen areas, so incredibly unique to one another and only a short drive away. This diversity is a haven for tourism. It brings new faces and new conversation. That’s what I love the most.

How do we make Coffs Harbour even better?  What are the priorities we should focus on as a community?

Tourism is huge for Coffs Harbour. The improvement of infrastructure around our beautiful foreshore to attract more locals and visitors alike is great, and we all need to make the most of it! There is still so much under-utilised space. Let’s use it to promote a healthy lifestyle to enjoy and to share with our visitors and to show them that we care about ourselves and our future.

How about an outdoor public gym area, outdoor ping pong, rope climbs and other activities for all ages? More recycling areas, rubbish bins and car-parking. Let’s look at a Performing Arts Centre to attract more events to our town during our quieter months and to act as a hub between Sydney and Brisbane for some more amazing shows to complement the incredible work the Jetty Theatre does. 

Clark
Proud Gumbaynggirr Man

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to the Coffs Harbour area…

I grew up on the Coffs Coast. I have a passion for education and improving the future for my local community. I’m also passionate about preserving the Gumbaynggirr language and showing young Aboriginal people they can achieve success in anything they set their mind to.

I was raised in Nana Glen, and my parents always made sure  I knew my connection to the whole of the Coffs Coast as a Gumbaynggirr person, especially Red Rock/Corindi, Moonee Beach, Nana Glen, Coffs and many other local areas. My grandmother was born in the sand dunes at Red Rock.

What do you love about living in the Coffs Harbour area?

The first thing that comes to mind is; what is not to love? We’re still a quiet country town, but there’s so much to do in the area. We can enjoy the beach, as well as the bush, and there are heaps of sporting and social clubs that you can join.
We’re also lucky enough to be home to one of the oldest cultures in the world, as well as many other different cultures and people from all walks of life. We’re becoming an increasingly multicultural town and we can all learn from each other. That’s what I love about Coffs!

How do we make Coffs Harbour even better?  What are the priorities we should focus on as a community?

I’d like more people to have a say in the future of Coffs Harbour. We have all these beautiful untouched areas and I’d like for all people on the Coffs Coast to have a say and to really love the place so much that they really want to make a conscious effort to protect our cultural and environmental assets.

I’d also love for us all to love the culture of the area. You know when you go to different places around the world, to NZ or Hawaii there’s a real love for the Indigenous heritage and I’d love to see us get to that level, where all residents of Coffs Harbour love the town and the cultural heritage so much that they do whatever they can to protect it. One way for that to happen is for people to get together more – we’d love to welcome more non-Aboriginal people to NAIDOC Week celebrations – more people from all different cultures. When people get more involved with each other, then positive change happens.  That’s a goal that I’d love to see for Coffs Harbour’s future.

Zarifa
Honoured new Coffs Resident

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to the Coffs Harbour area…

I am Afghani and I came to Coffs Harbour just over two years ago from Pakistan where I was a refugee. I came with five sisters, one brother and three nieces/nephews. I am 17 years old and go to Coffs Harbour High School. I have been actively involved in the STARTTS (Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors) Youth program and have been in plays, dances and done my own digital story which has been shown to the entire school. Coffs is my new home and my opportunity to start a new life. My goal is to be a pilot.

What do you love about living in the Coffs Harbour area?

Lots of opportunities, feeling safe, being supported to grow, learn and realize my full potential. People in Coffs Harbour are friendly and kind. It’s easier being in a smaller city, you get to meet more people and feel at home. Coffs is my home now. I am also able to positively promote refugee awareness.

How do we make Coffs Harbour even better?  What are the priorities we should focus on as a community?

Better job opportunities – it’s hard for young people to get work. It would be good to not have to go to a big city and leave family and friends.  Because I wear a scarf I don’t get work even though I try hard. Therefore we need to educate employers about how hard working and enthusiastic we are. Also, I would like to see better public transport.

Sandy
Nature Lover

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to the Coffs Harbour area…

I have lived in this area for most of my life, and my husband and I have raised our three children in Moonee Beach, a great small friendly community with a near pristine estuary and a great beach right in our back yard.

I have an “outdoors addiction” and like to spend as much time outside as possible, canoeing, swimming, stand-up paddling and just sitting on Green Bluff headland watching our beautiful rich array of marine animals and birds.

I really feel connected to our amazing Marine Park, the Solitary Islands and its estuaries, headlands and rocky shores and I am extremely fortunate to work as a ‘conservation educator’ over the last 20 years and spend many sessions with school groups,  locals and visitors sharing my knowledge about this unique coastal environment.

How do we make Coffs Harbour even better?  What are the priorities we should focus on as a community?

By learning about why this ‘place’ is so special it can help us protect it better, especially with a growing population and I think the BIGGEST reason why folks choose to live here is because of this beautiful environment.

By understanding that a healthy environment equals a healthy self.

Barney & Kate
Wellness Advocates

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to the Coffs Harbour area…

Barney

I moved to Sawtell in Dec 1990 with my Mum. Being a surfer I loved this place and have now made it my forever home! I was involved in a car accident in 1999 breaking my neck. I’ve been on a journey ever since learning to walk again and have had the greatest support ever from the Coffs Coast community.

Kate

I moved to Sawtell almost 10 years ago after holidaying on the Coffs Coast with family my whole life. I fell in love and never looked back!

What do you love about living in the Coffs Harbour area?

Look around! The best beaches, the rainforest and the climate!

How do we make Coffs Harbour even better?  What are the priorities we should focus on as a community?

Taking advantage of our beautiful beaches and surrounding area by allowing the Jetty to make the most of its beachfront access.

By all becoming better educated in how to be more sustainably focused towards our environment.

Geoff
Adult Education Leader

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to the Coffs Harbour area…

I arrived in Sawtell with my parents in 1946 following Dad’s discharge from the Airforce.  I spent my formative years in Sawtell, before leaving school and home in Christmas 1958. My parents continued to live here. Later when our two older kids settled here, in 1999 we found an opportunity to return. That has been one of the best decisions of our life. My current community involvement includes the role of Vice President, Coffs Harbour University of the Third Age (approx. 500 members). I’m also a Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter and Trainer.

What do you love about living in the Coffs Harbour area?

We are within 15 minutes’ drive from home, or in some cases, less than five minutes’ walk to great beaches, coffee, shopping, hospital, university, schools, movies, theatre, airport to major cities (I can be ‘in’ the City of Sydney quicker than when I lived there!) and we are close to our family. What’s there not to love?

How do we make Coffs Harbour even better?  What are the priorities we should focus on as a community?

Ensure development enhances the positive aspects above and doesn’t destroy them, and grow opportunities for school leavers.

Karen
Adventure Racer

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to the Coffs Harbour area…

I am married with 2 young boys living on the Northern Beaches of Coffs. I grew up in Coffs Harbour, and my great grandfather was one of the first settlers to the area (Boambee). My grandparents (aged 95 and 99!) are still alive and living on the original property in Boambee. I have a lot of memories here! I left Coffs to go to Uni in 1986, and ended up traveling to the US for work, (I’m an Occupational Therapist) where I met my husband and ended up living there for 17 years. I missed Australia, and especially Coffs, and knew it was the best place to raise the boys so we moved back in December 2012. I love exploring my area through mountain biking, trail running, ocean paddling including SUP, and surfing. I have started a few social groups on Facebook to help spread the love; I teach mountain biking skills to kids through Coffs Mountain biking club, and SUP lessons too through Solitary Islands Surf School.

What do you love about living in the Coffs Harbour area?

It provides a wonderful lifestyle with beaches and mountains at our doorstep. The area has experienced a lot of growth in 20 years! But it still has the friendly community atmosphere that I grew up in, but with more diversity and activities, and opportunities. I can surf in the morning, ride amazing trails in rainforest in the afternoon, all from my backdoor!

How do we make Coffs Harbour even better?  What are the priorities we should focus on as a community?

Embrace the diversity and lifestyle and make it a key feature for Coffs’ future. Although our roots were in agriculture and logging and these industries are important, we need to focus on our amazing environments of our ocean and forests. Eco tourism and adventure tourism could be a massive industry for this town. I’ve seen towns in America that were closing down when the factories closed, become transformed with mountain biking and outdoor tourism. The same has happened in NZ, and is starting to happen in Tasmania. Tourists come for the beaches. But there are mountains with beaut diverse forests that would bring another growing group of outdoor enthusiasts.

Alison
Business Woman & Happy Mum

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to the Coffs Harbour area…

My parents moved here when I was less than a year old in the mid 1970s and so I grew up in Coffs, attending primary school and high school here. When I was 18 I moved away to study at Uni and ended up living in a few different places around Australia and doing a fair bit of travel around the world. It was around 13 years ago I was visiting my family here after flying back to Australia for a friend’s wedding and it hit me. There was no place I’d rather be than in this beautiful town, raising a family, being so close to the beach, the sunny lifestyle and the amazing community. So I moved back. My 2 sons were born here and are now 11 years and 7 years old.

I set up Coffs for Kids website & Facebook page almost 6 years ago. I am also the organiser of the Made with Love Handmade markets and started earlier this year as manager of Red Sparrow Tea Company. I am a very firm believer in supporting local business and our community. I love working with local business to promote and support them whenever I can.

What do you love about living in the Coffs Harbour area?

I love the outdoors. I love that – despite visiting some of the most famous beaches in the world – nothing can compare to the natural beauty of our beaches and the fact you can visit and not be inundated with crowds. Sometimes you can be lucky to visit a Coffs Coast beach and not even see another soul! And that’s not to forget the rainforests and the waterfalls.

I also love that there are so many interesting little communities to visit close to Coffs such as Bellingen, Red Rock, Nana Glen etc.

The events and activities for families are fantastic in Coffs and I would love to see more events like the Sawtell Chilli Festival, Woolgoolga Curryfest etc. Maybe a blueberry festival!

How do we make Coffs Harbour even better?  What are the priorities we should focus on as a community?

When I was growing up I remember the Civic Centre in the CBD. I remember going to countless eisteddfods, physie competitions, school presentations, ballet lessons and even my deb ball in Yr 10. Not many people know that INXS played at the Civic Centre in 1985! Whenever there was a community or school, sporting club, etc event it would be held at the Civic Centre. The Civic Centre went 20 years ago and sadly we don’t have a similar replacement. 

As the organiser of a major event I sorely feel the lack of a decent size community space in Coffs Harbour. I think some sort of community centre would bring a major focus point to our town and benefit not only community groups but other events and gatherings such as markets, musical events, plays, presentations, competitions etc.