Power 30: Clarence Valley's most influential #19-22
22. Karen Stafford
CLARENCE Valley residents who have broken the law will find magistrate Karen Stafford is the most influential person in their lives if they appear before her in local court at Grafton or Maclean.
Ms Stafford, who was sworn in as a magistrate in 2012, came onto the Clarence Valley local court circuit a year ago.
She has impressed Daily Examiner reporters covering court with her determination to administer the law fairly, but with an awareness of community expectations often spelled out in her decisions.
Prior to her role as a magistrate, Ms Stafford worked with the the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and had sole carriage of many serious matters from the time they were referred to the ODPP.
Ms Stafford was involved in the prosecution of convicted murderer Arthur "Neddy" Smith from 1994 until 2000.
She also appeared in matters before the Supreme, District, Local, and Children's courts.
21. Bianca Monaghan and Rachael Cavanagh
BUNDJALUNG and Minyungbal women respectively Bianca Monaghan and Rachael Cavanagh epitomise contemporary indigenous Australia here in the Clarence.
Not afraid to challenge mainstream thinking or stand up and speak out about indigenous rights and injustices, these young women are both passionate advocates for their culture and the empowerment of their people.
The pair drove the Grafton March for Elijah to mourn the tragic death of the Western Australia boy and highlight the lack of value placed on indigenous lives.
They also organised a traditional dance on the banks of the Clarence River on Australia Day to serve as a reminder of the emotional consequences the date has for Aboriginal people.
Bianca and Rachael were also the key organisers of the Tidda Queens Dinner, an empowering event that saw indigenous women and elders from across the Clarence come together to honour one another while paying respects to the women who paved the way for the next generation. Its outstanding attendance and their determination will ensure the event will be a fixture on the Clarence calendar.
Whether it's through community events or public demonstrations these young women are at the forefront of driving change, both in legislation and attitude.
20. John Shearer
WHILE "mindfulness" seems to be the buzzword of the moment, Grafton's John Shearer is well ahead of the pack when it comes to this practice.
He launched his Mindfully Making a Difference (MindfullyMAD.org) website in 2011, which to-date has more than 672,000 Facebook followers across the globe.
John wears many hats, including mindfulness master, intuitive life coach, psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, modern-day shaman and spiritual healer.
His noble goal is to see a world where mental health is managed without medication.
With a passion for educating and encouraging mindfulness in children as well as helping people overcome addiction and mental suffering, John's first-hand experience and academic contributions travel well beyond the work he does on the ground here in the Clarence.
19. John Shelton
HORSE trainer John Shelton has become an institution of the Clarence Valley sporting scene in his own right.
From his early days as a jockey riding for veteran trainers Bob Gosling and Hunter Kilner to taking up his own trainer's licence, success has always followed the little maestro.
Known in the racing community as Rambo, Shelton has a take-no-prisoners approach to his craft, always getting the best out of his horses and his jockeys.
It is the reason he is the most successful horse trainer in the region, taking out the Clarence River Jockey Club's trainer's premiership in an astounding 19 out of the past 20 years.
While he tasted major success in the 2000 Ramornie with Mother's Gift, Rambo's biggest success came this year when he won the inaugural $1.3 million The Kosciuszko with Belflyer.
Not only a master horseman, Shelton has also produced impressive jockeys under his care, including Gai Waterhouse's regular rider Adam Hyeronimous and leading Northern Rivers rider Ben Looker.