The Book is Here!

The MIPIK book features 25 local stories which celebrate the skill, tenacity, courage and bloody good yarns of our Coffs Coast community.  All profits from the sale of this book go to CanDo Cancer Trust which provides assistance to local cancer sufferers and their families.  Local stories helping local people!


Local Stories helping Local People

Life can dish up unexpected challenges and sometimes we need a bit of help to meet those challenges.  The CanDo Cancer Trust provides financial support to patients and families attending the North Coast Cancer Institute.  It's a way for our community to lend a helping hand to friends and neighbours facing tough times.

We are delighted that our local stories will be helping local people.  You can lend your support by buying a book or attending the live show.

Join the Fun

Don & Charlie Saunders

From the moment Don and Charlie Saunders begin to tell their tales it is apparent that these stories must be told in their own words.  A big city Sheila like me just couldn’t translate.  Listen to their voices and feel yourself transported to another place and time.

We start with growing up in Warren, a small agricultural town west of Dubbo.  Much of this world is long ago lost.  Don and Charlie’s tales of adventure, rivers and hard times are reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn...different river, different accents, same narrative of boyhood exploits and discovery.

Click to read more ...

Sister Anne Henson

So Many Stories

I meet Sister Anne Henson at the café in the Sawtell RSL.  Over the hum of retirees convening for their morning tea, this bright eyed, white haired 82-year-old woman recounts her life and times.  At the conclusion of the interview she wonders aloud how I will cope with her story.  “There’s not just one story,” she says.  “There are so many stories.”

Now sitting at my desk, reviewing my notes, I realise that she is right.  How am I going to do justice to her many stories?  There’s the small child growing up in a hotel in Lismore watching young men go off to War; the young nun who entered an enclosed religious order at 18; the enlightened teacher and hard-nosed school administrator;

Click to read more ...

Dennis Meagher

Slivers of History

It needs to be said that I fall a little bit in love with Dennis Meagher and his wife Lynne.  In their 70s they look fit and healthy, but have an older person’s love of looking back.  We sit around the kitchen table and I don’t need to ask questions.  Dennis launches right into his history.  “I was born in 1939 just before the war started,” he begins and it’s not long before Lynne is chiming in with her own bits of the story.  We wade through old photo albums: telegrams, letters from long dead relatives, letters from Dennis to his mother, wedding photos and pictures of their three boys.

Click to read more ...



The dogs bark loudly as I drive up to the house with it’s broad white verandah and sweeping views down the hill toward Moonee Beach.  Willis has forgotten I am coming, but his partner Sharon pretends otherwise and gets me a cup of tea.

I’ve googled JP Willis before I arrived.  I know he is an accomplished artist.  That he has works in the collections at the Tate Gallery in London and the Gallery of NSW.  His online profile says that his art displays “a preoccupation with human nastiness.”  So I am not surprised to see neon coloured images with fighter planes, bombs and parachutes on the living room wall.  What is surprising is the complexity and the strange appeal of the pieces.  The brilliant backgrounds are somehow joyous and welcoming, yet the layers of glass cast eerie shadows and hide menacing clouds of destruction.

Click to read more ...

Allan Sparkes

All The Kings Horses And All The Kings Men

When Allan Sparkes stands to greet me on the terrace of Latitude 30 there is no sign that he was once a broken man.  His broad frame is commanding; his handshake is finger crushing; his smile is relaxed and welcoming.   As his story unfolds I am not surprised to learn that Allan was the recipient of Australia’s highest civilian award for bravery.  He looks like a hero.  What’s hard to believe is that this strong man’s life was once shattered.  “Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall,” he tells me.  “Everything just broke.”

Click to read more ...

Rob Lyons

The Laid-Back Surfer Dude

I am worried as I head off to meet Rob Lyons at Split Café in Sawtell.  Can a laid-back surfer dude recommended by a stuffed bear really be interesting?  As he slides into a chair beside me, Rob echoes my concerns.  “Mr Scribbles needs to find new friends if I’m the most interesting person he knows,” he says, as my heart sinks. 

But I am somewhat buoyed as I surreptitiously give this surfer dude the once over.  Tanned, lithe and muscular.  Rob’s sparkly blue eyes and tight curls suggest his Irish heritage.  Not bad for an old surfer!

Click to read more ...

Sara Bowen

Making Sense of Life

Sara Bowen is an atheist.  “There is no justice,” she tells me in our second interview. “Shit happens and then it happens again.”  Art, she tells me, is her way of making sense of a world that doesn’t seem to fit together.

This is not the adrenaline charged, carefree creative that I had envisaged. I realise I’ve got it all wrong when I first sit down with Sara in Cocoa’s.  With her short-cropped straight brownish hair and wire-rimmed glasses she looks more like an academic than a carefree creative.  Her clipped Oxford English accent highlights her obvious intelligence.  She seems serious and intellectual.  But even after two interviews I’m not sure I’ve got to the bottom of this complex woman.

Over the drone of Cocoa’s espresso machine Sara tells me she was a difficult and unhappy child.  But it’s not until our more private second interview that she tells me about the assault. With some of her schoolmates looking on, 16-year-old Sara was seriously sexually assaulted after a party. “I had nowhere to hide,” she says.  Already a social misfit, the trauma of the assault and the horror of being taunted afterwards by her peers tipped Sara into dark depression.

Click to read more ...

Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 10 Next 7 Entries »