Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Tamworth to Toowoomba to Tooma. We love the pubs, the people and the places that make Australia tick. But most of all, we love the amazing country musicians our regional centres produce, like Fanny Lumsden.
To get to know Fanny a little better, we’ve asked her to write up a love letter to her hometown, Tooma.
Tooma is a tiny ‘locality’ in a valley tucked up against the western side of the main range in the Snowy Mountains of NSW. Its Ngarigo country and more recently its also become known as Man From Snowy River Country, where farmers have been taking their cattle up to the high country for grazing for generations.
Tooma or Toomba as it was pronounced in Ngarigu has a population of about 100 or so, but there is no actual township, so its made up of the surrounding farming community.
I wrote the songs for my album here, we recorded it here in the stone hut and then proceeded to make all the film clips, photoshoots and work from here. We also then ended up doing the entire release from here as it came out as the world went into lockdown. So without this valley there would be no fallow album.
Earlier this year this valley along with a lot of the country was caught in a huge season of fires. Blue skies turned to haze and then to thick smoke then over three weeks we had three major fire fronts come through which ultimately joined over the hill from our house to form the Mega fire which was over 600,000HA and ended up in the New York times. It was a devastating time for our valley however fast-forward a year and the grass is again green and trees sporting their regrowth.
We launched our album fallow here at the rec reserve and donated 100% of the proceeds to the local Tooma/Maragle Bushfire recovery fund. We had 600 people travel from all over Aus to come together, we had camping and food trucks and the whole valley came alive for one weekend, which in the end was lucky because on the Monday we went into lockdown and everything was cancelled for the year.
I love this valley, I love the people the landscape and the ever changing light and I feel wildly lucky to live here.
For more of our My CountryTown series, check out here.