Paul Weekley

My wife and I came to the Nambucca Valley after living in a fair array of places. You could say we have lived from here to Timbuktu. From the late 70’s my family and I enjoyed 14 years of life with the Fulani nomads of northern Burkina Faso West Africa. We lived about 200 Km south of Timbuktu in Mali. Prior to heading off to Africa we spent 9 months in France learning French so that we could interact with officials in Burkina Faso. After arriving in Burkina we started learning the local Language (Fulfulde) so that we could understand and work with the Fulani. We have memories of being fluent in 3 languages.

Being from an agricultural background I worked with the nomads to help alleviate the chronic food insecurity in the area. As well as famine relief I provided support for locals setting up sustainable lakeside gardens in several Fulani communities. I also facilitated the formation of a cooperative with the people involved. During a trip back to Australia in the late eighties I was persuaded to give a presentation of my work to a conference at the University of Western Sydney – Hawkesbury. This resulted in a scholarship for a PhD that focussed on the social aspects of famine or the ways that different social networks interact during times of food insecurity. So that is why I sometimes put Dr. in front of my name.

We arrived back in Australia at the end of 92 and settled in the Blue Mountains. I finished off my thesis, lectured for a while and then got involved with an Overseas Aid NGO and travelled frequently overseas to monitor and evaluate projects in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. In 2012 after a few months travelling around France in a campervan we settled at Missabotti and set about developing a rather run-down property. While at Missabotti Ceri Wrobel ‘persuaded’ me to get involved with 2NVR. We sold the ‘farm’ in 2019 and moved to Valla beach.

The story above gives you an idea why the WEEKLEY FIX has a world music dimension to it and why I play a fair amount of South and West African and French music. Apart from that I mainly play 70’s and 80’s music and sneak in the odd ‘baby boomer’ track. 

In my ‘spare’ time I volunteer as Secretary/ researcher at the Bowraville Folk Museum. I have a role in Admin and help the Museum fulfil its governance and administration responsibilities as well as helping families explore their historic links to the Nambucca Valley.