Pore­punkah au­thor to share her pas­sion for sto­ry­telling

Cham­ber wants her­itage tourism fo­cus

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Regional News -

AS a girl, Laura Simp­son (pic­tured) loved novels like Anne of Green Gables and Lit­tle Women, which sparked her love of ro­mance.

She pub­lished her first story, which was about the bush­fires which rav­aged the Dan­de­nong Ranges near her home, at the age of 11.

How­ever, de­spite her early pas­sion for sto­ry­telling it was some time be­fore she de­cided to make a ca­reer out of writ­ing.

“Through work­ing and study­ing, I re­alised that be­ing a lawyer wasn’t for me and that there are other ways to win hearts and minds,” she said.

“I have spent the last 14 years as an ad­vo­cate against poverty, but the de­sire to change the world through sto­ry­telling has only got stronger.”

Ms Simp­son now lives in Pore­punkah with her hus­band and daugh­ter.

“When I am not do­ing the whole mum thing, work­ing, ren­o­vat­ing our farm­house or try­ing to do laun­dry blearyeyed at mid­night, I am writ­ing,” she said.

Her novel, ‘Be­yond To­day’, set in the Alpine Val­leys, is a love story but does not shy away from big so­cial is­sues such as fam­ily vi­o­lence, men­tal health and con­fi­den­tial­ity.

Ms Simp­son will pre­sent a talk on her lat­est book at the Bright Li­brary on Tues­day, May 22, Mt Beauty Li­brary on Wed­nes­day, May 23 and Myrtle­ford Li­brary on Tues­day, May 29.

All three talks will take place be­tween 5pm and 6pm.

BEECH­WORTH and Dis­trict Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try has sent five key her­itage top­ics as “ur­gent” mat­ters for In­digo Shire Coun­cil to con­sider.

The cham­ber met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from coun­cil last week, ahead of the new tourism strat­egy to be re­leased by the coun­cil on May 24.

BDCOC has been lob­by­ing coun­cil to re­turn its tourism fo­cus to her­itage and his­tory, rather than pro­mot­ing the his­toric shire as a food and cy­cle tourism des­ti­na­tion, which BDCOC pres­i­dent Elis­a­beth Mason says al­most any town can claim.

Ms Mason lat month said that the town’s busi­ness and tourism sec­tor was suf­fer­ing from a lack of pro­mo­tion about Beech­worth’s her­itage build­ings and gold min­ing his­tory.

She said those con­cerns were again raised at the meet­ing along with ar­gu­ments against the ‘Game Changer’ 2023 con­sul­tant’s re­port com­mis­sioned by In­digo Shire late last year.

“We are now at cri­sis point and we have a list of re­pairs that ur­gently need to be made to the cur­rent tourism strat­egy be­fore more busi­nesses cease to op­er­ate and more empty shops and ac­com­mo­da­tion places come up for sale,” Ms Mason said.

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