What's On






Your Committee

The Macdonald Valley Association Commitee is made up of four office bearers and five ordinary members.  Together, these nine positions work at understanding the needs and desires of the Valley community and strive at setting and achieving the goals and aspirations of the Association.

The positions are filled by vote once a year from the members of the Association at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).


The Four Committee Office Bearers

Stephen Brown




Jane Blacker


Jane has been in the Valley for a long time, growing Pecan nuts on their property bordering the river about 10kms from St Albans.  She has spent many hours on the Committee working to improve the lives and lifestyles of the residents.

Veronica Hunter


After growing up and spending most of my life in country areas, I moved to the Central Coast with my then partner Peter. After living there for ten years, it had gotten way too hectic for me! Then began the arduous task of finding land in a quiet area that was affordable for us! We looked at several acreage parcels and then finally looked in St Albans.  Bingo – we found our space! After deciding to be owner builders, the task of building began – and what an adventure. All has a happy ending as we are very happy in our home. We are probably considered newbies in the valley – although it is 7 years so far.

I have been employed in small business throughout my working life and always been an integral part of those businesses. Currently working as a Sales & Operations Manager, my current role has seen me at this business for the last 16 years. Both roles require input into the business financials to ensure cost effective activities. The challenges that I meet on a daily basis have equipped me with the skills to think on my feet to get things to happen. I bring this experience to my current role of Treasurer with the MVA.

I enjoy community work, relaxing by a river somewhere in our caravan when we get the opportunity, playing golf, physical culture and of course spending time with my granddaughter along with a few other hobbies.

Peter Hunter


I have a long history of corporate and small business experience, especially in IT related matters.  I was living in central Sydney when I met Veronica and, after a trial living arrangement in Elizabeth Street, we started moving north looking for a permanent place together.  We purchased on the Central Coast and lived there for eight years but decided that we wanted acreage and more of a “peace and quiet” lifestyle.  We bought our property in the St Albans area and built our retirement home.

Over the last six years, whilst working full-time, I have become a volunteer member of the local fire brigade, helped develop an internet presence for local businesses and helped individuals and the community where and when I could.  Last year, I joined the MVA and this year, was voted in as Secretary.  I am currently working as a casual ferry driver and am devoting time to upgrading the use of technology used in the fire brigade and MVA activities.
I am committed to helping the Valley improve its facilities and way of life.


The five ordinary Comittee members

Gillian Jessup

I’m Gillian Jessup, a passionate member of our local community fuelled by curiosity, the potential around us and a dissatisfaction with the status quo.

I grew up in rural Victoria in an area not unlike the beautiful valley we live in today and was fortunate to have a carefree ‘country style’ childhood filled with lots of outdoor adventures.

My husband (Peter) and I moved to the valley 10 years ago, and after a short stint as weekenders we made the decision to move here permanently and to commute for work. The commute for me was legendary, but well worth it every night we came home and drove onto the ferry. Bliss!

Prior to retiring two years ago my career encompassed all facets of business management & sales leadership, training and people development, with roles taking me overseas on two extended assignments.

I feel privileged to have had a very fulfilling and successful career and my retirement goal was always to find activities that would enable me to use my experience and energy to give back and contribute to my community wherever that may be.

Dianne Chambers

I have been a valley resident for the past 15 years. Although I grew up in Sydney I have lived and worked in many places including country Australia and UK and continue to be privileged to work in remote Arnhem Land.

When we arrived in St Albans James and I wanted to develop our interest in gardening and, wanting to meld this with the beautiful bush around us, we developed a small bush tucker nursery – learning and experimenting as we spent more and more time in St Albans.

I am in St Albans usually 3 days a week and am involved in a community book club, music group, choir, a local church, the local RFS and the St Albans Common.

I would like to use my training as a GP to contribute to the community.  I would like to strengthen our valley's “Can do” ethic by improving our preparedness for emergencies and credentialing St Albans as a heart smart region.

As a regular commuter in and out, I am also interested in properly maintained roads and mobile phone access to support emergency provisions.

Tom Williams


Tom has retired to the Valley to lead a quieter, more simple life and enjoy his children and grandchildren.  He was recently quoted as saying "I've never been busier" and that sums him up quite nicely.

Pieter van Straalen

For those who don’t know me, my name is Pieter van Straalen and my partner is Sharon Hall.  I have been coming up to the valley since 2005.  In 2010, I bought the old Post Office at 1975 St Albans Rd (previously known as Melba’s Place) which is the last building just before the turn onto the bridge.  After I began to renovate it, the building seems to have been named “the Shack”.

Throughout most of my adult life, I have always had a desire to help people in need and try to put this into practise wherever I am.  Earlier this year, I was voted onto the MVA Committee and looked at how I could contribute to the people in the Valley.  I have decided to start up a Community Help Line as I believe we have a growing number of older people who could do with a hand now and then. 

My plan is to have a group of people willing to lend a hand when and where needed.  Some examples would include heavy lifting, chopping fire wood, fixing leaking taps or an electrical problem, especially where there are those who are sick or injured.

Steve Kavanagh


Steve can be found most of the time in the Settlers Arms Inn .... behind the bar.  He enjoys a good yarn and is proud of his involvement in the St Albans Vintage Vehicle Club.