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Wolgan Valley Association

About Us

On Saturday 16 January 2021, just over one year on from the devastating Gospers Mountain megafire, our community of Wolgan Valley came together to officially form the Wolgan Valley Association.

The formation of this community group came about off the back of the Wolgan Valley Community Bushfire Recovery Group, an informal email group that was formed to assist our community during the important stage of recovery post bushfires. Whilst the recovery group played a critical role in increasing the profile of our community to all levels of government and several government agencies, it was felt that much greater progress would be made if the group became an Incorporated Association.

On the 27 January 2021, the Wolgan Valley Association was officially registered with the NSW Department of Fair Trading as an Incorporated Association. As an Incorporated Association we function under a constitution, WVA Constitution which sets out the following objects:

To provide an organisation by which landholders and residents in the Wolgan Valley can take collective action which they believe is in the best interests of protecting and promoting the natural, scenic, cultural, economic, and social values of the Valley for current and future generations, (the Principal Object).

In pursing the Principal Object, the Association shall endeavour:

  1. to build collegiality and goodwill amongst its members, as well as other landholders and residents in the Valley,
  2. to operate in a manner that respects the rights of members, as well as that of other landholders and residents, to make decisions in their own best interests,
  3. to advocate to government and others for services to the Valley, such as in relation to the maintenance of reliable road access, which promote the Principal Object,
  4. to co-ordinate land management initiatives between landholders, including seeking funding and support for such initiatives, especially where those initiatives involve multiple properties,
  5. to work respectfully with the traditional owners and other Aboriginal people who have a connection with the Valley,
  6. to advocate to government in relation to existing or proposed planning controls and other regulatory measures that promote the Principal Object,
  7. to advocate and promote the natural, scenic and cultural values that make the Valley so unique,
  8. to work constructively with local, State and Federal governments, including agencies such as Local Land Services, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Rural Fire Service, and Forestry Corporation,
  9. to be a model of community led effective conservation and land management excellence, and
  10. to act as a trustee of any charitable fund established to promote one or more elements of the Principal Objects.

Committee Members

President | Andrew Chalk

The Wolgan has held a lifetime of attraction for me. Some of my earliest memories of cold derived from winter camping at Newnes (and Glen Davis) as a pre-schooler. Later, the joys of occasional terrors of exploring the cliff faces and canyons of the valley down the Colo wilderness. The forests and pagodas, the gorges and canyons, towering rock faces, mesas and labyrinths, the rock art and ruins, and the pastoral stillness on a summer’s afternoon on the Valley floor; it’s as magical as any place can be.

Our family feels both the privilege and responsibility for our little part of heaven. One exciting thing about the Association is knowing that this feeling is shared with so many others, and that collectively we have the ability to protect and care for the place for current and future generations. It is the desire to ensure that the Valley remains a wonderful place for everyone to enjoy without being spoiled that is driving the Association and makes it a really worthwhile venture.

Andrew Chalk wearing a long sleeve white checked shirt with a tall large tree and towering sandstone cliffs in the far distance
President | Andrew Chalk

Vice President & Public Officer | Paul Bower

Dawn and I purchased Cape View in 1989. The relative isolation and rural lifestyle appeals to us and with Lithgow only half an hour away the area provides is with a comfortable lifestyle.

I believe Wolgan Valley in particular and the Lithgow LGA generally have a spectacular potential which, carefully managed, will provide a sustainable and beneficial future lifestyle for generations to come.

Public Officer & Committee Member | Paul Bower
Public Officer & Committee Member | Paul Bower


Treasurer | Sarah Denmead

Wolgan is the perfect place to grow up. As kids Mum and Dad let us roam safe in the knowledge that eventually we would be stopped by a cliff… most of the time. Generally, we found it easier to climb up than down, but knew a family member would rescue us by dinner (if we yelled loud enough). We learnt to drive Curly’s (Ian Coates) ute the minute our toes could touch the peddles, named the cattle and ate chicken chips at the Newnes Hotel. At the end of the day we all slept in the Hut at the Corn Paddock listening to a chorus of snoring.

Darren and I have lived from Margaret River to Cairns but when it came time to start our own family, we returned to Wolgan to provide our children with similar opportunities, experiences and values, that Mum, Dad and Wolgan, have gifted to me.

President | Sarah Denmead
Committee Member | Sarah Denmead


Secretary | Martin Krogh

My name is Martin (pictured), and I am the Secretary of the Association.

I am a relative newcomer to the Valley but I was inspired by the efforts of the WVA members following the bushfires and the way they kept the community informed and organised through their email group and website. How could I not offer to help when others were doing so much for the Valley and its residents and visitors.

The Wolgan Valley does not need a sales pitch it’s simply a wonderful place to spend time. The welcome, openness and friendship of the people in the Association makes you feel like you are a part of something really special.

As soon as I drive down the hill from Wolgan Gap, I feel a sense of calm and awe at what nature has on offer.

In one of those strange twists of fate my grandmother used to live at Newnes in the early 1900’s. She was married to a coal miner and she used to look after the horses at the mine. When you visit Newnes now it’s hard to put it in perspective of those earlier times, how remote the area once was and how difficult life must have been. Nature is gradually healing itself at Newnes and that is an optimistic symbol for our future.

Vice President | Martin Krogh
Secretary | Martin Krogh


Committee Member | Dawn Bower

My connection to the valley was through Michael Coates, Ian and Gail Coates eldest son. We visited the Coates in 1989 and they brought us down to the valley. Ian thought that there might be an unsold block in the subdivision which included their property. We contacted the owner, Vic Bates, and purchased the property in 1989.

We came from Avoca Beach. People came from everywhere to live in Avoca Beach and the Central Coast, whereas it seems the majority of people have lived in Lithgow for generations. There is a sense of community. I joined the committee because I agree with the Objects of the WVA. I don’t want the amenity of the Valley to change. I hope that the combined strength of an organisation will have greater influence than that of an individual when it comes to approaching government authorities and the like. I love my splendid isolation in the ‘right end’ of the Valley – could be a million miles from anywhere but is only thirty minutes from town.

Treasurer | Dawn Bower
Committee Member | Dawn Bower


Committee Member | Bill Lawler

We discovered the Wolgan Valley in 2000 when my wife Julie and I brought our young family down to Newnes for an Easter of camping, bushwalking and exploring. We were awestruck by the natural beauty and grandeur of the valley and vowed that weekend to buy some land in the valley. A year later we did exactly that.

Since then we have built an off the grid place and the valley has become our second home…and sometimes our first home. The magnificent escarpment walls, the open paddocks, the dense woods, the wildlife and the changeable weather act as a magnet to our hearts and soul.

It is now time for me to return something back to this wonderful place through the committee of the Wolgan Valley Association. Of all the destruction and sadness of the bushfires one beneficial thing emerged – a strong valley community now working together to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of the valley while making it a safe and enjoyable place to visit. I’m all for that.


Committee Member | Bill Lawler
Committee Member | Bill Lawler


Committee Member | Vacant

Consider becoming a committee member with the Wolgan Valley Association. It’s not just a position; it’s an opportunity to influence and shape our community’s direction. As a committee member, you’ll have a hand in crucial decisions and play a role in important initiatives. Take the chance to be a part of meaningful change. For more information contact the Wolgan Valley Association via email .


A regular newsletter is published to keep members updated on the work of the Association as well as information relevant to the valley.

February 2021 Newsletter

April 2021 Newsletter

July 2021 Newsletter

September 2021 Newsletter

November 2021 Newsletter

January 2022 Newsletter

Become a member

We encourage everyone who is eligible under the constitution to join the Association. We are incredibly privileged to have custodianship of such a wonderful area and the Association is an important means of ensuring that all can participate collectively in protecting and advancing what makes the valley so special.

The Committee has been struck by the spirit of collaboration and comradery that exists and the desire of everyone to work respectively for the common good.

If you have any questions about membership or the Association, please do not hesitate to contact the President Andrew Chalk on 0427 270 555 or , or any of the other members of the Committee.

Membership Form


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