It's all about Boggabri

The Courier, the newspaper of the Narrabri Shire, is proud to present this feature about businesses in Boggabri. Known as ‘the little town with a big heart’ Boggabri has seen it all in its history, in recent years having transitioned from a purely agricultural centre to coping with the challenges brought about by the arrival of the resources industry. Through it all, it has maintained a strong sense of community, which was evidenced once again on Sunday as it coped with the effects of a large grass fire on the town’s southern outskirts. We hope you enjoy reading about the businesses on the following three pages, and urge you to support them.

It's all about Boggabri
It's all about Boggabri
It's all about Boggabri
It's all about Boggabri
It's all about Boggabri
It's all about Boggabri
It's all about Boggabri
It's all about Boggabri

Serving Boggabri for 122 years

There’s no doubting the local credential of Jacob and Anderson real estate - it has been proudly serving the Boggabri community since 1895.

And that tradition continues to this day. The agency has been owned by the Gallen family since 1969.

Principal Guy Gallen, whose father Frank bought the business 48 years ago, said it provided the “whole gamut” across Boggabri, Baan Baa and Gunnedah - livestock, rural property, town real estate and rentals.

Mr Gallen is supported by three other staff - Charmaine Berding (residential sales), Kamilla Stuart (livestock) and Renee Burge (property management).

Jacob and Anderson’s Renee Burge, Kamilla Stuart and principal Guy Gallen.

“We’re the only agency in Boggabri,” Mr Gallen said.

“Others have come and gone, but we’ve been able to survive. We’re extremely competitive as far as livestock goes as well with anyone from the bigger towns.

“We’ve got an extremely competent staff here who are only too happy to work with you, seven days a week if necessary.”

And while it has been a tough time for real estate in the area since the big changes that came with the arrival of the coal mines (and more so after the end of the construction phase), Mr Gallen said rental yields on residential properties were better than Narrabri or Gunnedah.

“It might not be so much with capital gain but you will get a good return for your investment here,” he said.

For more information phone Jacob and Anderson on 6743 4322 or see the advertisement on this page.

All you need in a pre-school

Ooranga a long-time provider of quality early years learning

Ooranga Family Mobile Resource Unit has been operating in Boggabri for more than 30 years, delivering early childhood education and care.

The Ooranga Boggabri Preschool, for children aged from three to five years, operates two days each week, on a Tuesday and Wednesday, during school terms.

The preschool is located on the corner of Laidlaw and Caxton Street, adjacent to the Sacred Heart Primary School.

The preschool program is delivered by qualified early childhood staff and is based on the developmental needs, interests and experience of the children enrolled, as described in the Early Years Learning Framework.

In learning through play, the preschool program aims to boost children’s cognition and motor development in addition to enhancing social skills.

These foundations for school readiness enable a smooth transition for children to primary school.

Ooranga also deliver a playgroup session at the same location for two hours every second Monday during school terms.

The playgroup provides both creative and structured learning activities for young children, helping them to explore and understand their world.

Playgroup helps children develop their social skills, make friends and get ready for preschool and school.

Playgroups enable parents and carers to develop social networks in their community, making friends and sharing ideas and experiences while spending quality time with their children.

The Ooranga playgroup also

provides a mobile toy library to enable families to access quality resources and toys suited to young

children, supporting parents in their role as educators.

Ooranga FMRU is a community-based, not for profit service with a vision where young children flourish in their local community.

More information about Ooranga services can be found at or you can find it on Facebook.

Alternatively contact the Ooranga office on 6742 0603 or drop in to the preschool in Boggabri.

From Chicago to Boggabri - why?

Boggabri teacher Paul Williams’ journey has brought him around the world to Boggabri Public School and a life he will do “forever.’’

Mr Williams joined the teaching staff at Boggabri Public last year and is now embarking on his second year at the school.

Paul Williams

He makes the journey from his home in Gunnedah each day to the job he loves - teaching his class of 22 Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils.

Mr Williams met his wife, Gunnedah girl Marina Maas, in Norway.

“I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Los Angeles when I was stationed there in the military,” he said.

“I decided to stay in LA and taught for 16 years there and moved to Gunnedah where I have been teaching for about three years.”

Now he’s at Boggabri.

He likes the small schools.

“The smaller schools mean you are more involved with the kids, the classes are smaller, the school is smaller, you get to make more of a difference with the kids I think.

“I teach across all subjects, reading, writing, maths, history, art, the lot.”

How did Paul Williams come to Boggabri from LA?

“I was on holiday in Norway from teaching school in the US and Marina Maas, daughter of Mikie Maas, from Gunnedah, was on holiday in Norway as well.

“We met while we were on two different tours.

“We were seeing the same sights and our paths crossed three times and the third time we exchanged phone numbers and talked briefly.

“When my holiday ended I was back in the US and she was in Amsterdam doing a tour and called me up and came over to visit and after a week we got married.

“I realised after that week that this was the woman I had been looking for all my life.

“I asked her to marry me, she said yes, we went to Las Vegas the next day and got married in the Chapel of the Bells.

“That was in 2006.

“We lived in the US for about five years but knew that eventually we would be living in Australia and I came over in 2012 and applied for residency, getting permanent residency in 2013 and I have been teaching ever since then.

“Living in the country towns kind of reminds me of Chicago.

“When I was living in LA you could live next to your neighbour for ten years and never know them.

“Chicago, in the mid West, is a big city but in the middle of the farm belt and the people there are friendly, you meet somebody at the bus stop and the station and get to talking, next thing you’re having dinner with them and meeting the family.

“And that’s what I am reminded of here, the friendliness, I meet people, they talk to you, have a yarn.

“I found my niche in teaching. I really love teaching.

“I’ve bounced around doing several things, I was a carpenter, worked in construction, the courts and banks and went back to study with the aim of becoming a psychologist but I ended up getting involved with casual teaching to put myself through school and it really was a niche I enjoyed, making a difference - it was a natural fit.

“I try to make education fun for my pupils. I may be considered by some to be strict, but I think the kids say ‘he’s fair and he’s fun and we learn a lot.

“I try to make learning fun because sometimes when I was growing up I found it could be kind of boring at school.”

Mr Williams is hoping to be at Boggabri for a long time.

“I love it here its a great school, a great town and my class is just the best.”

Eye-catching clothes at discounted prices - the only question is ‘why not?’

Hassab’s Fashions and Giftware is a female fashion retail business located at 159 Merton Street, Boggabri.

Part of the business is also Wadette’s Hair Design.

It is a store where you are guaranteed to walk out with something incredibly beautiful, that fits perfectly, and that you simply love wearing.

And now all of that can be done at a discounted rate.

Hassab’s Fashion and Giftware is currently running a huge sale.

It has seen all summer stock slashed to discount prices, as autumn and winter collections begin to arrive for the coming seasons.

Hassab’s Fashions and Giftware offers some of the most exquisite clothes, shoes, accessories and giftware that the Narrabri Shire has to offer.

Wadette Shaw runs Hassab’s Fashions and Giftware, which she has done for about 15 years.

She said that she catered for females in their late teens, all the way through to mature ladies.

Proprietor of Hassab’s Fashions and Giftware and Wadette’s Hair Design, Wadette Shaw

What makes the store so unique is that clothes both casual and smart, and also those for special occasions can be found.

Hassab’s Fashions and Giftware has been in the family for as long as Mrs Shaw can remember.

In fact, it had been family-run and owned for 75 years.

She said that was part of the reason that she cherished the business so much.

Before Mrs Shaw took over the running of the store it was done so by her sister, Cec Hassab, before she moved to the Gold Coast.

Before that it was run by her parents, Tony and Genevieve Hassab, who initially started up the business.

Mrs Shaw said that she looked forward to conversing with customers new and regular each day.

“[The best part of running the store] is the interaction with people”, Mrs Shaw said.

“I enjoy seeing people walk out with something that they have just purchased.

“And it’s even better when I see them wearing it.”

For more information on stock and sales, contact Wadette Shaw at Hassab’s Fashion and Giftware and Wadettes Hair Design on 6743 4350

Great dining the key to the Vault

Vault Restaurant and Accommodation in the centre of Boggabri reflects another era of Australia’s history.

Built in 1913 as the pre-eminent bank building in town, it has art noveau features and an ambience of quality and detail missing from many of today’s modern conveniences.

Re-opened in 2015 and operating as a fine dining restaurant with five star luxury accommodation, the Vault provides a haven for those seeking a little bit more from life; a menu reflecting modern culinary tastes with quality service and five ensuite luxury rooms.

Vault Restaurant operates Wednesday to Saturday night from 6pm to close, seating in air-conditioned comfort 40 persons in the main restaurant room, 20 on the collonaded verandah, with a further private dining room available on request.

Throughout the building the rooms are fully restored to their original grandeur, featuring marble fireplaces, 13 feet high elaborate pressed metal ceilings, and original timberwork.

Tuesday to Friday the Vault operates as a cafe with a comprehensive menu open from 7.30am to 2pm and on Saturdays from 7.30am to noon.

Accommodation is provided by five restored luxury rooms, each ensuited in the same period style, with modern facilities, including an accessible downstairs room of 60 square metres. The upper floor has verandah access for the original grand bedrooms. Off street parking is available

Awarded 10 stars by and winning the Australian Good Food Guide reader’s choice for Best Modern Australian Restaurant for the New England and North West, the Vault is the outstanding venue for our region.

Bookings, group functions, and enquiries can be made by calling Christine on 0267 434 400 or 0429 343 743.

The magnificent former bank building in Boggabri, the Vault is now home to a high-class accommodation and fine dining experience.