Coffs Coast Advocate

Coffs Harbour's Most Influential - Part 9


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 start of the list as nominated by our committee.

 Barbara and Ian Hogbin at the opening of the Coffs Creek cycleway.
Barbara and Ian Hogbin at the opening of the Coffs Creek cycleway. Leigh Jensen/ Coffs Coast Advoca

10. The Hogbin family

WHEN it comes to giving back to the community, few can match the generosity and commitment of Coffs Harbour's beloved Hogbin family.

The Hogbins have been active and dedicated members of the Coffs community for decades.

Barbara and Allen Hogbin have passed on their commitment to community to their son Ian, a former councillor and partner of HQB.


Barbara Hogbin, Citizen of the Year.

Photo Rob Wright / The Coffs Coast Advocate
Barbara Hogbin, Citizen of the Year in 2011. Rob Wright/Coffs Coast Advocate

The Hogbin's philanthropic endeavours include the extraordinary donation of $750,000 to upgrade the Coffs Harbour War Memorial Swimming Pool in 2010, where Barbara used to teach swimming lessons on top of donations to complete the Coffs Creek Cycleway upgrade.


Barbara Hogbin donates to coffs poll upgrade.

Photo Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate
Barbara Hogbin attends the opening of the Coffs Harbour Memorial Swimming Pool. Photo: TREVOR VEALE

Hogbin Dr, the link road between Coffs Harbour and Sawtell of course shares the family's name.

At the time of the pool opening, Mrs Hogbin said Coffs had always been good to her family and the donation is one way to give something back to the community.


C.ex Coffs ,John Rafferty and David Doyle..05 OCT 2017
C.ex Group Chief Executive Officer John Rafferty with the club group's President David Doyle. Trevor Veale

9. John Rafferty, C.ex Group CEO

JOHN Rafferty, CEO of the C.ex Group and head of the not-for-profit community based Club Group, has a strong focus on working his Board of Directors to ensure C.ex is both a viable and sustainable organisation, and an invaluable part of the fabric of the Coffs community.

Under John's guidance, C.ex has gone from strength to strength and has cemented its place as a vital part of the local community.

Supporting the community through both monetary and in-kind support, C.ex has partnered with many community groups, charities and sporting organisations, donating in excess of $700,000 to worthy organisations each year.


John Rafferty, CEO of Cex group and George Cecato, president of the Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce are ready for the C.ex Community Crew Sleep out.
John Rafferty, CEO of Cex Group launches the C.ex Community Crew Sleep Out. Rachel Vercoe

There are hundreds of local organisations who are supported by C.ex, from Surf Life Saving Clubs, to the local women's business network to schools, to health facilities, wildlife organisations and more.

C.ex through its Community crew organising the annual Sleepout at C.ex stadium raising funds and awareness for homelessness while the club group with McDonalds also came to the rescue of the Coffs Harbour City Rotary Club in taking on the naming rights sponsorship of the Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge.


Australian actor Russell Crowe arrives at the Australian premiere of The Mummy, in Sydney, Monday, May 22, 2017. The Mummy opens in Australian cinemas on June 8. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING
Russell Crowe has been a generous benefactor of the Coffs Coast community. DAN HIMBRECHTS

8. Russell, Terry, Jocelyn and Alex Crowe

YOU might know him largely as a big old movie star, but to the local Coffs community, Russell Crowe is so much more.

Russell his older brother Terry and parents Jocelyn and Alex have been valued members of the Coffs community since purchasing their 320-hectare property in Nana Glen in 1999 (and, in doing so, putting Nana Glen on the international map).

The Crowes have further cemented their position as locals here to stay by purchasing nine surrounding lots that span hundreds of hectares across the region.


Russel Crowe, Alan Doyle at the Jetty Theatre with The Garden Party.Photo: Leigh Jensen/ The Coffs Coast Advocate
Russell Crowe's Garden Party at the Jetty Memorial Theatre. Leigh Jensen

However, it is their dedication to helping better the community that has earned them the love and respect of the locals.

Russell's generous donations to the Coffs Coast community include paying $200,000 for a swimming pool at the Nana Glen Public School after a young boy tragically drowned in a local river.

The family also donated a disabled hoist for Coffs Harbour Swimming Pool, and has been a generous (and anonymous) benefactor to many worthy causes on the Coffs Coast.

Whether enjoying a beer at the local pub, attending the Anzac Day Dawn Service, or donating money to worthy causes, Russell and his family have won over the locals and become a treasured locals of the Coffs Coast community.

See the next three personalities tomorrow night.