Recent events

2019 – JULY

Plastic Free July in Dungog was launched on Sat 29 June. Enter the competition and show/tell us of your plastic-free alternatives.


2019 – May


FREE event
Friday 17 May CWA Hall Dungog

Australia’s National Gem • How is it formed? What makes a good one? • Myths & mysteries

Psychologist turned opal miner and cutter, Toby Solomon will talk about her transition from the office to Grawin Opal Field where she and her partner owned several opal mines.
Wielding a jack hammer, pick and shovel, and eventually learning how to cut and polish the elusive gemstone over 12 years, the two of them carved out a “beyond the Black Stump” life.

With slides and stories, she will briefly talk about the history, and then guide you through the different kinds of opals in the various fields of Australia, with a focus on the fields she mined in and knew best. Finally she will have several stones for you to view, talk about what makes an opal valuable and answer questions you might have.

Sustainability Spotlight on Dungog Shire

FREE event in association with Sustaining the Williams Valley Inc & Single Use Plastic Free Dungog
Sunday 26 May James Theatre Dungog

Series of short talks showcasing sustainable practices in businesses and community groups in our shire.

A series of short, fast and punchy (‘Pecha Kucha’ style) talks from those who have sustainability as a core component of what they do.

Join us for FREE drinks and nibbles after the show!

FREE EVENT Everybody welcome.

Some of our speakers & stalls include: Tin Shed Brewery, HannanBuild, 4 Acre Farm, Wangat Lodge, Australian Sustainable Timbers, Fosterton Farm, Local Growers Market, The Magpie, Westwood Providores + others
The final list of speakers & stall will be announced soon.

Thanks to: Lovey’s Grocers, Stella Bistro, Boomerang Bags, Dungog Shire Council, Dungog Shire Community Centre

2019 – April

Fungi Foray

FREE event in association with the National Parks Association (HunterBranch)
Sunday 7 April Upper Allyn River
9am to mid afternoon

Learn about fungi and participate in a community survey in the picturesque Upper Allyn and Paterson Valleys.

This is the second Fungi Foray in the area. The first survey was held last year and this follow-up survey is important to document variations.

Fungi are at their best in Autumn. Recent rains and warm weather promise to make this an ideal time to see and learn about a range of these often overlooked organisms, a vital part of our natural ecosystems.

There will be experienced and knowledgeable guides very familiar with the area. Anyone with an interest is invited to attend, and the day is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Participants need to bring suitable clothing, footwear and food, and be prepared for some walking off tracks.

The day starts at Peach Tree Picnic Area in Chichester State Forest at 9.00 am finishing by mid afternoon.
For more information, please contact Martin Fallding on T 6571 1208
E Note please RSVP to Martin Fallding by Wednesday if possible to help with organisation on the day.

The National Parks Association is conducting Koala surveys in this area the following weekend 13/14 April 2019. Contact John Simpson if you would like more information at or Mobile 0400 364 080.


2019 – March

Talking DNA

FREE event – 5pm Saturday 16 March James Theatre Dungog

DNA is the blueprint for building all life on earth including humans, but what is it made of and how does it work? Why do some of us look like our fathers yet different to our mothers? and how did our knowledge of unique traits form the basis of genetic engineering, leading onto things like longer lasting apples and seedless watermelons?

Laura Greco (Newcastle University) will be doing an introductory talk on genes and DNA, and how our ability to edit and reprogram genes could cure diseases, character select our own children and result in a real ‘Jurassic Park’.

And Alex Kelly (Biofoundry) is the manager of Sydney first PC-1 compliant community science lab which is making insulin affordable with a citizen science approach to medical research. He will discuss the ‘Open Science’ movement, DIY genetic engineering, biohacking, synthetic biology and CRISPR/CAS9 kits.

FREE event

2018 – Aug-Nov

Native Bee Workshop

Paterson Allyn Wiliams Science Hub & Dungog Bee Rapt presents the Native Bee Workshop.

Are you interested in keeping native stingless bees for fun, honey production, conservation or pollination? Or are you curious about these wonderful, beautiful insects? This one-day workshop will give you the facts, get you started on becoming a stingless beekeeper, and open up a world that too few know about. The day will include hive and colony splitting, honey extraction … and tasting!

Entomologist Dr Tim Heard keeps over 400 hives, many rescued threatened hives, and has been running native bee workshops since 1995.
Ecologist Dr Tobias Smith has been fascinated by bees since childhood and is a director of Bee Aware Brisbane.

This was a popular workshop and was booked out. We are looking to hold another one in November 2019. Contact us if you would like to be put on a waiting list.

FREE event for National Science Week
Saturday 11 August, 3–5pm
James Theatre Dungog

C.O.R.E! Community Owned Renewable Energy
Expert panel discussion with Q&A

Many communities around Australia are realising the opportunities of localised power generation and distribution to benefit their communities. CORE is a way for communities to come together to initiate, develop, operate, own and benefit from their own renewable energy projects.

A panel of experts has been invited to present to the community at the event: Jarra Hicks of Community Power Agency, David Marston of Energise Gloucester and Sandi Middleton of Enova Community Energy will explain what it is, why now and could it be part of Dungog’s energy future. MC for the event will be Christopher Saunders, General Manager of Renew Newcastle.

Community Power Agency define Community Owned Renewable Energy as being developed in response to the fundamental challenges of climate change, regional economic development, energy access and affordability. CORE presents an opportunity for communities across Australia, particularly in regional areas, to create a steady income stream to fund community development projects over the next 25+ years.

The panel will use examples of existing projects to discuss the concept, the environmental, social, economic, technological and political benefits that can result. We will explore the hurdles that may need to be overcome and share information on where additional help can be sourced should communities in the Dungog region wish to undertake such a project.

Some of the community benefits that have been attributed to CORE projects include • Local ownership and decision making • Community building and empowerment • Renewable energy education and training • Renewable energy industry development • Energy self sufficiency • Regional development and income diversification • Community assets • Local jobs • Shareholder income • Community income • GHG emissions reduction • Increase in environmental values and behaviour

Presented by the Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub and Sustaining the Williams Valley inc. This initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.


FREE event for National Science Week
Saturday 11 August, 7 pm
James Theatre Dungog

The BEST of SCINEMA: International Science Film Festival 2018 (M)

The film program is recommended for film and science lovers – featuring 9 International Award Winning films presented by the Science Channel and BBC Earth. Special guests at Scinema in Dungog: Meet Frank Oly and Tegan Nock who produced the Grassroots documentary, & Agronomist Guy Webb

Virtual humans (Spain) 6:00 mins This film is a technically stunning example of the power and versatility of supercomputers, helping us to see our body in ways we never have before.

The Secret To Making Better Decisions – Catalyst (Australia) 1:30 mins (excerpt only) To make the most abstract of mathematical concepts and logical reasoning both accessible and informative while still remaining humorous and relatable is an extraordinary effort.

Grassroots (Australia) 19:10 mins This story of farmers turned accidental activists is one you want to share with everyone
you know.

Astroturf (UK) 1:00 min This clever film takes the old adage ‘in space no one can hear you scream’ and turns it on its head.

Timelapse (Spain) 11:00 mins The Director has crafted a compelling, yet harrowing world in this imaginative portrayal of the future of work, a discussion we need to have now as a society… before the future arrives.

KCLOC (USA) 2:30 mins With exquisite animation this film manages to take something common to all of us that we don’t stop to think about into something fun, witty and nuanced.

iRONY (Australia) 8:00 mins An incredibly confronting and powerful discussion of technology, showing how emotive a science documentary can be. This film contains adult themes.

Planet Earth II – Grasslands (UK) 1:30 mins (excerpt only) Visually stunning, with writing to aspire to, BBC Earth and the stories they tell are truly one of the jewels of documentary making in the world. This wonderful effort is no exception.

The Kingdom – How Fungi Made Our World (Australia) 52:00 mins This film takes us on a wonderfully creative journey from the beginning of time to the present, revealing the hidden world of fungi with beautiful cinematography.

Presented by the Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub and Australia’s Science Channel. This initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.


FREE event for National Science Week
and Dungog Boomerang Bags 2nd Birthday
Sunday 12 August, 3 pm
James Theatre Dungog

BLUE the Film

“BLUE is a cinematic song for our oceans; beautiful, intimate and grand. Fearlessly truth-telling, yet passionately hopeful. See this film and you will want to rise up with the waves.”
Greenpeace Australia

Our ocean has been the guardian of life on earth but half of all marine life has been lost in the last 40 years. The tide has come for change. Now it is our turn to be guardians for the ocean. BLUE is a provocative journey into the ocean realm, witnessing this critical moment in time when the marine world is on a precipice.

There will be a Q&A panel with scientists/conservationists following the screening with drinks and nibblies provided. We invite all in the community to this free event as we celebrate working together for Reduce ReUse Recycle.

Presented by the Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub and Dungog Boomerang Bags. This initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.


FREE event for National Science Week
Friday 10 August, 6 pm
Hotel Beatty, East Gresford

Koalas in the Pub
Find out about our local Koalas – A talk with Q+A

Local ecologist John Simpson and Martin Fallding from the National Parks Association will be at the Hotel Beatty to talk about koalas, their upcoming koala survey and to answer your koala questions. Then stay on for the Gresford Community Dinner and meet some other locals! This will be an entertaining night at the Beatty. If staying for dinner give Bernie a ring on 49389451 to make catering easier.

FREE event for National Science Week
SAT 18 & SUN 19 Aug
Upper Allyn River area

Koala Count – Surveyors needed for Community Koala survey
You don’t need to be an expert learn from professional ecologists.

The survey is being conducted by the National Parks Association of NSW. The weekend provides an opportunity to visit and learn about this beautiful area, generate important scientific data and have fun in the bush. Come for one day or the whole weekend. Free camping at the Allyn River.

To register for the survey: John Simpson 0400 364 080 or Martin Fallding 6571 1208 before Mon 13 August.

Get the participant info and map.

Presented by the Paterson Allyn Williams Science Hub and National Parks Association of NSW, Hunter Region. This initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.