A ROAD LESS TRAV­ELLED

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Front Page -

TONIGHT Heather Ewart ex­plores the vi­brant coastal com­mu­nity Wool­go­olga in north­ern New South Wales. As Ewart says it’s a hard name to say but a great place to stay. To the lo­cals it’s af­fec­tion­ately known as “Woopi”. It’s where former banana-grow­ing lo­cals are rid­ing a blueberry wave of pros­per­ity, with beach­front shacks giv­ing way to mil­lion-dollar man­sions over­look­ing spectacula­r ocean views and ma­rine parks. East cer­tainly meets West in the stun­ning spot and lead­ing the town’s eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion is the lo­cal In­dian Sikh com­mu­nity, who’ve called Wool­go­olga home for at least four gen­er­a­tions. Their stun­ning tem­ple on the hill has be­come a lo­cal icon to ri­val (well, al­most) the Big Banana in Coffs Har­bour. And it’s a sym­bol of a com­mu­nity that’s reap­ing the ben­e­fits of em­brac­ing cul­tural dif­fer­ences. Key to the Sikh com­mu­nity’s suc­cess is its be­lief in the con­cept of shar­ing. On Sun­days, there’s a standing in­vi­ta­tion to the en­tire town, in­clud­ing vis­i­tors, to join their Sikh neigh­bours in a de­li­cious, tra­di­tional feast at the mag­nif­i­cent tem­ple. Then there’s the beach­side mar­kets. Third­gen­er­a­tion Aussie Sikh John Arkan (pic­tured above with Ewart and his wife Surinda Kaur) sings ‘Hurry, hurry I’ve got curry’, ban­ter­ing good-na­turedly with his cus­tomers. This good na­ture is central to the ethos of the wider com­mu­nity with neigh­bours look­ing out for each other in ev­ery way.

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