TOP 70: Northern Rivers influencers as voted by you

THE community knows best the people who influence and shape their lives.

And that has become clear with The Northern Star's inaugural 70 Most Influential series released in full at the weekend.

The comprehensive, yet subjective, list called for nominations of the people who have influenced your lives and earned your respect and recognition.

So here are some more.

This week, the Star will profile the powerful people as nominated by you, so keep the nominations coming to this week, with why they should be on the list.


Sasha Welker

Sasha Welker.
Sasha Welker. Contributed

WITH her partner Rhys Minton, organic farmer Sasha Welker has grown a booming organic vegetable business, called Green Goddess.

Founded nine years ago, the organic farm comprises a 3.5 hectare property between Findon Creek and Little O'Donnell stream just outside Kyogle.

In 2015 Ms Welker - who hails from Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA - won the national 'Rising Star' Young Organic Farmer of the Year Award .

The couple run a popular stall at the Lismore Organic Farmers Market every Tuesday, where the farm's mainstay crop of garlic sells with various other organic delights.

Considered an inspiration by many on the Northern Rivers, Ms Welker is an advocate for a healthy lifestyle.

"At Green Goddess we want people to rediscover farming and connect with us," she said.

"So when they make dinner for their families to know exactly where their food came from, expanding their understanding of our food system and building community one meal at a time."


David Heilpern

David Helipern.
David Helipern. Supplied

Magistrate David Heilpern is a prominent magistrate on the Northern Rivers.

Better known for his role on the bench, Mr Heilpern is also the author of several works ranging from a guide representing yourself on a drink driving charge to a prominent study of sexual assault in prisons, For Fear of Favour: Sexual Assault of Young Prisoners and has been an advocate of prison and law reform.

He is on the record as stating the job of a country magistrate is often lonely and at times daunting, but the positives certainly outweigh the negatives.

"A magistrate cannot stop domestic violence or alcoholism or turn around the economy of dying towns," he said.

"What we can do is ensure that the law is upheld and that there is humanity and consideration in its application."

Mr Heilpern is a supporter of the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation, a charity that aims to foster mental health support and awareness within the legal profession.

In 2004 he was awarded Southern Cross University's Alumnus of the Decade Award.

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