Trevene Mattox

Crookwell Mary Gilmore Festival

She may be a musician and songwriter, with the soul of a poet, but don’t be fooled by that mild manner and gentle appearance. Trevene Mattox has often been described as a ‘mover and a shaker’ for very good reason. She’s the driving force behind one of the Upper Lachlan Shire’s most enduring cultural events, the annual Crookwell Mary Gilmore Festival.

Her dedication and tenacity have ensured that the Upper Lachlan Dame Mary Gilmore Society and the annual festival have gone from strength to strength from the first event held in 2012. Not only does the event celebrate the life and times of Dame Mary Gilmore, who was born locally, but it provides a fantastic platform for fostering and launching talented local and visiting performers.

Organising the festival is no mean feat. It’s a major event that requires months of dedicated planning, co-ordination, communication, delicate negotiation, astute marketing and the patience of a saint. Herding cats could be described as a walk in the park by comparison!

So why does she do it? It’s a labour of love, clearly, but for Trevene it’s also a way of repaying the warm welcome she received when she first moved to the shire in 2009. She says, “The Upper Lachlan Shire has such a lovely village atmosphere, with a friendly and welcoming community.”

Trevene describes herself as a “Jillaroo of all trades”. After living in the USA for many years, Trevene and her American husband moved back to Australia in 1983 and opened a café at the Entrance. Then from 1996 to 2000 they upgraded to a deer park and B&B at Terrigal. Sadly Trevene’s husband passed away unexpectedly and she gave up the deer park to move to the Southern Highlands, where her daughter was at boarding school at the time.

From there the move from Bowral to the shire seemed like a logical step. As Trevene says, “Right from the start I felt I’d landed in the right place. This is where I’m meant to be.”

Over the years, Trevene and the like-minded kindred souls making up the Upper Lachlan Shire Dame Mary Gilmore Society have supported numerous other local events and causes, all dedicated to the greater good. For example, over the years they have helped out with Kiamma Creek Music in the Park, the Binda Picnic Races, the Laggan Pig Races, the Irish Heritage Weekend, the Crookwell Garden Festival and numerous events at the Crookwell District Art Gallery.

So what would Trevene recommend you do when you come to visit our beautiful shire? She says, “Well of course, you must come and participate in our major events! But even if there is no major event happening, you’ll be in for a treat any time you visit. It’s a wonderful part of the world, so friendly and inviting, and we have fantastic specialty shops, great cafes and iconic country pubs, so make sure you come and visit us soon!”

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