About Narooma Rocks

Narooma Oyster Festival Limited was established in 2019 and started trading under the business name Narooma Rocks in late 2020. A not-for-profit company, Narooma Rocks seeks to drive food tourism on the NSW South Coast – Rock Oyster Country.

Narooma Rocks delivers the much-loved Narooma Oyster Festival as well as year-round bespoke food events and experiences. Our focus is obviously oysters – it’s the classic indigenous food of the NSW South Coast and the defining product in the region. South Coast oysters are of the highest quality, grown to the best environmental standards and have captured the imagination of the world’s best chefs. We are also spoilt with a region offering the best of all produce – and we want to share this.

Our events are immersive, small-scale and in magical locations. Best of all they are designed with taste of place in mind.

Our Vision

That Narooma is recognised as the premium rock oyster destination, celebrating Australia’s most pristine environment, its world-class produce and intimate visitor experiences.

Strategic Direction

Narooma Rocks has developed plans and strategies to deliver events that help create a long-term, distinctive competitive advantage for industry in Narooma, Eurobodalla and the NSW South Coast.

This will be achieved through a collaborative approach to events and tourism coupled with strategic partnerships to help build the profile and reputation of Narooma as a serious food destination and the NSW South Coast as unmistakably Rock Oyster Country.

These tourism events will help grow the local economy by shifting current visitation patterns from the peak summer season to a more sustainable year-round visitation for Narooma and region. This also ensures that Narooma Rocks is sustainable into the future.

Board of Directors

Cath Peachey, Chair

Cath has been involved in the delivery of the Narooma Oyster Festival since 2012 and was a founding Director of Australia’s Oyster Coast Ltd. Cath has also been a member of the South Coast Regional Tourism Organisation Board and the Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Tourism Advisory Committee. Cath brings broad industry and government experience including working in Federal Minister’s offices, various roles as a Senior Executive in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and in the Health portfolio, focused on developing and marketing health promotion campaigns. Most recently she was the CEO of alcohol industry funded body DrinkWise Australia. Cath holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Niels Bendixsen, Vice Chair

Niels has been involved in the delivery of the Narooma Oyster Festival since its inception. Niels brings over 25 years’ experience in the design industry and has a postgraduate degree in design from UTS Sydney. Prior to establishing Three Squared, he consulted to a variety of corporate clients and held lecturing positions with UTS and TAFE in their highly regarded Enmore School of Design. Niels is a member of the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) and the Design Institute of Australia (DIA). He specialises in brand and communication strategy, creative direction, marketing, graphic design, project management.

Lindsay Brown, Company Secretary

Lindsay Brown is a long-time Narooma resident, retired businessman, emeritus mayor of the Eurobodalla Shire Council. Lindsay currently serves as a councillor with the Eurobodalla Shire and is an experienced company director for several not-for-profit and non-government organisations in Finance, Arts and Aboriginal Health. Lindsay is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees.

Tim Gilbo

Tim Gilbo is an engineer and economist and a former World Bank Representative to Malawi and Botswana. Tim is currently Managing Director of South Coast Seaplanes which provides a range of tourism experiences to Narooma and on the South Coast more broadly, particularly targeting high value international and domestic visitors.

David Maidment

David Maidment has been farming oysters in Wagonga Inlet, near Narooma, on the south coast of NSW since 1979, retiring in 2018. He has a Diploma of Agriculture, post graduate diploma in Aquaculture, is a Churchill Fellow and has been heavily involved in the oyster industry at both strategic and operational levels. He operated an on-farm hatchery which has been instrumental in reintroducing flat oysters (Ostrea angasi) to NSW, on which he is regarded as a global expert. David was also a founding Director of Australia’s Oyster Coast Ltd retiring from the Board in June 2019.

Michael Gardner

Michael has been involved in the delivery of the Narooma Oyster Festival for several years and is currently Treasurer of the Narooma Chamber of Commerce. Michael and his wife Rochelle, own and manage the Motel Farnboro in Narooma. Michael also takes an active role in bringing car clubs to Narooma for events and has recently partnered with Narooma Charters to promote and run tours to Montague Island.

Patricia Ellis

Patricia is a proud Brinja Yuin woman, a mother, a grandmother, an aunty, a sister, a life partner, a knowledge holder and a highly respected but reluctant Elder. Trisha realised early in her career that she preferred to work within, and for, the local Aboriginal community and has held positions such as coordinator of the Cobowra Local Aboriginal Land Council, CEO of the Community Development Employment Program, joint management coordinator for the handback of Bimmanga and Guluga Natinal Parks, coordinator of the Aboriginal Unit of TAFE NSW Moruya Campus and in 2018 she started her own company, Minga Aboriginal Cultural Services. Additionally, Trisha has held many positions on various committees and boards, has taught the Dhurga local Aboriginal language for the past 11 years and co-authored the Dhurga Dictionary and Learners Grammar: A South-East Coast NSW Aboriginal Language, with more books to follow. Trisha has a Bachelor in Community Management, a Masters in Indigenous Languages Education and is a ministerial appointment to the NSW Aboriginal Languages Trust Board.

John Motyka, Board Member (Financial)

John is the principal of a busy, local accounting, tax agency and SMSF practice in Moruya and has specialist knowledge and expertise in accounting, taxation, superannuation, business advice and financial planning. He also brings skills and corporate experience gained over many years working in investment banks in London (Citibank; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and with fund managers in Sydney (UBS; Fidelity Investments) and Canberra (Australian Ethical Investments). He recently served as the Treasurer on the Board of Yumaro for two years. John holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and is a member of the Institute of Public Accountants. He also holds a Diploma in Taxation and Advanced Financial Planning.

Ambassador

South Coast based Paul West is an acclaimed chef, author, TV presenter and passionate advocate for sustainable farming and regional living. Paul’s love for produce-driven food and NSW South Coast oysters makes him the perfect face of the Narooma Oyster Festival.