Video of adventurer Hayley Talbot explaining what she loves about the Clarence Valley

YouTube video

Having a conversation with Clarence Valley local Hayley Talbot is like seeing the sun shine again after days and days of rain. You can’t help but feel invigorated and inspired by this passionate adventurer, writer, mother, business owner and mentor.

As she recounts her 400km solo kayak trip down the Clarence River, explains her efforts to protect local waterways from pollution and expounds the potential she sees for innovation in the region, Hayley speaks with conviction and humility.

Growing up in the village of Wooloweyah near Yamba, Hayley couldn’t wait to leave. As a teenager she was determined to move to the city, pursue a career in music and score a record deal.

Hayley vividly recalls high school days spent staring out the window at the Clarence River, thinking she lived in the most boring place in the world. “Years later, I ended up on that same piece of water and had the adventure of a lifetime,” she laughs. “It was under my nose all along.”

In her twenties, Hayley and her husband Mick and two boys Archie and Phoenix, oscillated between Yamba and Sydney, trying to find their people and their place.

“I always wondered how I could live in this paradise and enjoy it for what it is but still feel dynamic and like I was changing and challenged,” Hayley says. “There was a lot of back and forth for years!”

Now well and truly settled, Hayley and Mick recently opened a co-working space in Yamba called Blanc Space.

Hayley says it has brought together some of the Clarence Valley’s best minds and talent. “I believe that the people we attract can be the ones to make great decisions for this Valley and for our world,” she says. “I now know that there’s nothing I can’t achieve from here.”

This is one of the messages Hayley passes on when she shares her story locally and further afield.

She has been invited to present countless keynote addresses at leadership summits, conferences and corporate events, yet she still finds time to lead wilderness Rites of Passage experiences for girls.

Hayley supports and guides these young women as they learn to forage, find water, seek shelter, chop wood and light fires. In Wooloweyah, she hosts weekly meet-ups for local girls and encourages women of all ages to share their wisdom and insight.

 With a strong presence of mind, Hayley is embracing life’s challenges and allowing herself to learn and grow as she commits herself to the service of her community and the environment. The lessons learnt on the river flow on.

Read the full article on Hayley Talbot here