COUNTRY LIFE: Jojo Newby on her property.
COUNTRY LIFE: Jojo Newby on her property. Adam Hourigan

'More warmth' in community just perk in staying regional

ACCORDING to JoJo Newby, there are far more advantages to working in the Clarence Valley than there are elsewhere.

"Where else can you throw a boat in of an afternoon after work and go for a ski?" she said.

"It certainly beats being stuck in peak-hour traffic for two hours."

Born and raised in the Valley, Ms Newby said she was grateful to have experienced a country upbringing.

"We lived on small properties around the area and did the typical outdoorsy kids' things like learning to drive the paddock basher in the paddock when we were 8-to-10 years old or taking the tinny out onto the river," she said. "I guess it gives you a better grasp for the greater things in life."

While most young people head off to university or for the hustle and bustle of city life, Ms Newby said she wanted to remain in the Clarence Valley.

"University is certainly the way to go for a lot of people and some of my friendship groups continued on to university to become engineers or doctors, but there are a lot more lifestyle advantages to working in the Clarence Valley and at that point in my life I really had my heart set on photography," she said.

After a brief stint working as a photo journalist with The Daily Examiner, Ms Newby later settled on a career in real estate - and she hasn't looked back.

"In my current role, most of our vendors are country folk and I've always found a little bit more warmth from people with a country background," she said.

While she can understand the difficulty in pursuing a full-time career in the Clarence, Ms Newby said a little preparation should set future generations up for a successful working lifestyle.

"Take full hold of any opportunities for work experience in your chosen field," she said.

"If you put yourself out there and try really hard, you will most likely come away with a reference which will help in your next endeavour; it's easy to talk yourself up to a potential employer but if someone else can talk you up on your behalf, you'll find people are more attentive to that."