Coffs Coast Advocate

Coffs Harbour's Most Influential - Part 3


Many desire it, only a select few command it and measuring it is a precarious task.

The Coffs Coast Advocate is doing exactly that, naming the men and women who in 2018 are influencing the future of Coffs Harbour.

It is, of course, highly subjective and will be debated in households from Bonville to Sawtell, Park Beach to West Coffs and right through to Woolgoolga.

Chins will wag, glass jaws will shatter and the only certainty is that no one will agree.

This online series will provide a unique snapshot of the way power is wielded in our great area.

And it comes in all sectors, business, politics, the arts, sport and health.

The one thing everyone on the list invariably share is a passion for our city and a drive to effect change in Coffs Harbour.

Indeed many are on the list on the strength of the work they have done to better the community and the wider Coffs Coast.

Much of this work is done without expectation of kudos or a "return on investment".

It's about civic pride and the desire to give back.

Here's the next instalment of our list as nominated by our committee.



The Coffs Harbour 2030 Plan forum was held at CHEC. Jan Strom speaks on Cultural Creativity.Photo: Rob Wright/Coffs Coast Advocate
Jan Strom speaks on Cultural Creativity. Rob Wright/Coffs Coast Advocate

28. Jan Strom

Coffs Harbour City Councillor

Councillor Jan Strom has had an enormous impact on the local community since she arrived here in 1982.

She was a Councillor, then Deputy Mayor, at Coffs Harbour City Council, and contributed to the Coffs Harbour Health Initiative - a collaboration that resulted in the establishment of the Coffs Harbour Cancer Serve and the University of NSW Rural Clinical School adjacent to the Coffs Harbour Hospital.

She was also appointed to the state Regional Development Board, now a joint federal and state program called Regional Development Australia, where she helped shape the regional projects that receive federal and state funding


Council meeting discussion on intensive agriculture with blueberries in Coffs Regional.Cr Jan Strom. 23 march 2017
Cr Jan Strom. Trevor Veale

In 1983, she founded Bootlace Productions and was active as an actor, director, and producer for many years.

For the past five years, Jan has been Secretary of Short Sharp Digital Incorporated, a not-for-profit organisation that hosted the annual international Short Sharp Film Festival. She currently runs yoga and meditation classes, and is a freelance community engagement facilitator.



Coffs Harbour city councillorCr Tegan Swan. 22 March 2018
Cr Tegan Swan. Trevor Veale

27. Tegan Swan

Coffs Harbour City Councillor, Woolgoolga Chamber of Commerce

Tegan Swan is an innovative thinker whose passion for her community has seen her become an influential and forceful local councillor.

Earlier this year, Cr Swan was awarded the Ministers' Award for Women in Local Government for an Elected Representative of a Rural or Regional Council.

Since her election to Council in 2016, Cr Swan has been a vocal supporter of local environmental issues.


Tegan Swan.16th September 2016.
Cr Tegan Swan. Trevor Veale

Cr Swan was also an energetic former president of the Woolgoolga Chamber of Commerce and has been involved in the rise of Curryfest.

Under her guidance, Woolgoolga Chamber of Commerce has launched several new initiatives which have seen the organisation assist many local business to grow and flourish in Woolgoolga.



Cr Paul Amos..17th September 2016.
Cr Paul Amos. Trevor Veale

26. Paul Amos, Coffs Harbour City Councillor, Manager Bailey Centre Liberty

Since being elected to Council in 2016, Paul Amos has been a vocal advocate for the Coffs community.

Mr Amos has been instrumental in shaping many of the Council's recent environmental policies, and is also committed to ensuring residents are not adversely impacted by the bypass.

Born and bred in Coffs Harbour, one of the original Sunnysiders, Paul has been involved in the community since he was a teenager.

He was also the most popular elected councillor in Coffs Harbour at the Local Government elections. 

Council meeting discussion on intensive agriculture with blueberries in Coffs Regional.Cr Paul Amos. 23 march 2017
Cr Paul Amos. Trevor Veale

A generous community benefactor, Paul usually prefers his generous work behind the scenes - often hearing of a worthy cause and quietly stepping in to help.

However, when it comes to issues that are important to the community, Paul is not afraid to speak up, and has become a valued voice in the community.


See the next three personalities on our list tomorrow night.