This week on The Local Update Graham explores a collection of Australian poems. Black Ink publishers have been producing collections of ‘The Best Australian Poetry’ annually for about a decade now and Graham has managed, with thanks to our local library, to get his hands on a copy from 2010. Graham reads a few poems today, including one that mentions a name well known in the Bega Valley, Manning Clarke.

Two years after Tathra was ravaged by fire, Kalaru resident David Winkworth was starting to feel concerned by the state of gutters  in his community. It appeared, Winkworth said, as though the level of complacency in his community had returned to the concerning level it was at prior to the Easter 2018 disaster. With that in mind David organised a community meeting to talk about fire preparedness. Surprisingly there were 30 people at that initial meeting and, by the time it had finished, he tells me, they had a list of community emails and phone numbers that means the whole neighbourhood is contactable and able to ask for assistance where required.  Within months of raising his concerns with the Kalaru community the whole east coast of Australia went up in flames and Bega and Tathra were threatened again, David said.

What started as a fire awareness mailing list has now morphed into a monthly online newsletter which looks at the personalities and history of the region stretching from Jellat to Tathra and Wallagoot. Each issue of the Kalaru and District Newsletter is edited by David Winkworth and Andrew McPherson and includes stories written by a range of locals. David assures me that they are still including the latest tips and advice on local fire safety and preparedness in every months episode, but, they’re also looking for the latest stories to come out of the community. In a time when social media based community groups are all the go, it’s impressive to see a local, community based, news letter being produced on a regular basis. I caught up with David Winkworth this week to find out more about this community newsletter.



David Winkworth is the founder and co-editor of the Kalaru and District Newsletter. A new issue is released in the first week of every month, currently only available by email subscription. As Mr Winkfield said, they are always looking for new contributors and subscribers, you can find details on how to do so in the issue linked above.

After publishing this episode, Graham Farram returned with a poem that I thought was perfect for NAIDOC Week.  I published that poem separately, here.

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