About Me

Paul Hemphill – Candidate for Councillor 

I’ve been connected to Bellingen Shire since I first came here as a musician in 1984

Here are my professional credentials:

  • Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a few letters after my name: Certified Practising Accountant; JP; Master of Dispute Resolution (UTS); Master of Commerce (UNSW); MA (School of Oriental and African Studies, London); and BA (University of Reading)
  • I am an experienced accountant and manager with strong technical, communication and people skills
  • I am a long-time CPA with project management, change management, training and mentoring experience
  • I’ve enjoyed a lifetime of academic study and of employment in a variety of organizations both public and private
  • As a mediator, I have managed convict situations at all organizational levels
  • I have worked with, trained, supervised and mentored young people, including many from different cultures

But my life has not been all work and no play.

I have been a songwriter, a singer and a poet, with many songs on SoundCloud and YouTube and seven volumes of poetry and verse that can be read on my blog In That Howling Infinite,.

After playing at Coffs Harbour RSL (long before it became the C.eX), our band, HuldreFolk, was invited to Bellingen and we were the first musos to play at the café that is now Number 5 Church Street – back then, it was a converted garage called La Bohème. In my former performer days, having toured all over Australia and the UK, I played at Thora Hall, the Butter Factory, the CWA, The Memorial Hall, Number Five, and even the Federal Hotel.

Paul Hemphill performing in “John Howard On Trial”, Bellingen Memorial Hall. 10th February 2007

As a lifelong historian, and in recent years, author of the blog In That Howling Infinite, I write and share articles about people, places and perspectives from all over the world. I have also chronicled stories about our own little corner of Bellingen Shire – the South Arm, once called the Odalberrie and now known as the Kalang River, including the story of the old Tarkeeth quarry, of  Anzac sailor and farmer Chris Fell and the story of Twin Pines, and the history of the schools of the Tarkeeth and Old Bellingen.

My wife and I have long been actively involved in environmental matters. We live on a  rural property which we have regenerated from degraded farmland. Our native forest has been officially designated a wildlife reserve, and sections of it have been identified as prime koala habitat..

I’ve had a forty year passion for the the history, politics and people of the Middle East, and over the years, through study, travel, and continuing learning, have acquired a practical  knowledge of standard, colloquial and written Arabic.

Currently, I use my varied skills and interests as a volunteer with Settlement Services International, helping refugees to settle in the Coffs Harbour region, and also, for STARTTS, the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors. In 2020, I was recognized in SSI’s anniversary Community Service Awards which acknowledged individuals and groups whose actions have made a profound and sustained positive impact on the lives of the communities we work with.

I’ve a long connection with Bellingen Community Radio 2BBB – I’m its voluntary accountant and do occasional programme production. In the past, I was treasurer of the Village Community Centre which ran the famous Paddington Markets in Sydney, the proceeds of which funded a drop-in centre and free meals, and subsidized many community services for the homeless and the needy. 

I believe I have the experience, credentials, skills and commitment to serve our community:

  • As a mediator, I believe in consultation, communication, accessibility, resolving conflict and division, and in reaching out to and representing all residents.
  • As an accountant, I believe in sound financial management, fiscal responsibility and accountability.
  • As a former manager I understand the dynamics of administration, of processes and of procedures, and will apply my knowledge and experience to the benefit of council.
  • As an environmentalist, I believe in protecting and restoring our ecosystem and biodiversity.
  • And as a life-long social democrat – I got my break in life through public housing and free healthcare and education – I believe in the importance of social services, community, equality and social justice.

As a member of the Australian Labor Party and the current president of the party’s Bellingen Shire Branch, I believe that Labor voters in the Shire deserve to have the opportunity to elect Labor Councillors.

I believe that our whole community would benefit from the election of a fresh, strong and professional Labor team which possesses the qualifications, the skills and the experience deliver on its promises. Our team is committed to a council that prepares for the future and protects what’s important to us

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