LC Piano

Sunshine Sugar is proud to support the 2018 Lower Clarence Music Eisteddfod and sponsor the primary and small school choir competitions – 16-23 June.

Competition categories include piano, instrumental, vocal, choral, speech and drama. Now in its seventh year, this week long event gives performance and learning opportunities to amateur musicians from across the Clarence Valley region and beyond.

Commencing Saturday 16th June through until Saturday 23rd June. Competitive events are held at the Maclean Civic Hall, River Street Maclean and the public are invited to attend, support and enjoy.

For more information on this event visit:

Empire Vale logo

Congratulations Empire Vale Primary School, winner of the inaugural Northern Rivers Green Innovation Awards - Primary School category.

Learning how to turn sugar cane into biofuel in primary school is one thing, but running the school's lawnmower with biofuel is quite another.

Yesterday, Empire Vale Public School raised the bar in innovation and sustainability by taking out the Northern Rivers Green Innovation Awards primary school category. The entry that got them over the line was creating an ethanol-based biofuel made from sugar cane to run a lawnmower, with the vision to run cane trucks on sugar-based biofuel in the future.

Politicians, industry leaders, and scientists gathered at Trinity Catholic College for the first Green Innovation Awards where presentations were made by finalists from St Ambrose Primary School Pottsville, Mullumbimby Public School, Wyrallah Road Public School, Empire Vale Public School, Trinity and Woodlawn.

Recognising innovation, team work, business planning and environmental science, the awards aimed to encourage students to innovate in a 'green' way and to carry this passion throughout their lives.

Empire Vale Public School teacher Karen Rantissi said the school was determined to utilise the sugar cane surrounding the school for their entry.

"After visiting the local Sunshine Sugar's Broadwater Mill the kids from our senior class, myself and a local cane farmer and scientist Mick O'Connor created the biofuel out of glucose, water, a activated yeast and sugar cane,” she said.

"We let it ferment until it became an ethanol ... and the fuel was good enough to run the school's lawn mower, which is amazing considering we are working with nine, ten and eleven year-olds.”

Following their achievement, Ms Rantissi said the school would continue to work with Sunshine Sugar to inspire each other with what they could come up with next.

It's really exciting,” she said.

"We are a little school of about 30 kids and for them to have the opportunity to work with local industry and help to find a solution to an environmental problem is really great.

"From yesterday's achievement we've been asked to present our findings at the next Cane Growers Association meeting later in Wardell.” Northern Star: Francis Witsenhuysen

Watch their project video here:

Uki Pythons.Grade 6 team

Sunshine Sugar is proud to sponsor the Uki Pythons 6 and 7 year old teams.

The Uki Pythons Soccer (Football) Club was established in 1994 to give the children of the district the opportunity to play "the world game".

The club now caters for teams ranging from Under 6's through to Youth League and Seniors, including women's and girl's competition teams.

The club is is focussed on its families and their health and well-being.

Peter Rose.vimeo3
Peter Rose is a NSW sugar grower and Director on the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative Board.

Nearly 20 years ago Peter packed up his life in Bondi and purchased a sugar cane farm on the Lower Clarence River between Yamba and Maclean.

Wet conditions and variable soil quality can at times make it make it a difficult place to farm, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. Variations from one season to the                                  next means he’s got to be adjusting his farming practices to suit the conditions. Managing the health of the soil is one of the primary ways Peter can influence his output                        each year and partnering with Incitec Pivot certainly makes this easier.Despite all the challenges, Peter doesn’t regret for one minute trading his corporate life for life on the farm.

Peter was invited by Incetec Pivot to participate in a promotional campaign showcasing their fertiliser products. Watch Peter's story here:

Work Experience3.Harwood2018

Two local Year 11 students from Maclean High School recently spent a week undertaking work experience at the Harwood Mill & Refinery.

Hayden Moss, son of a local cane farmer and Michael Kempshall spent a week working in the Agricultural Services and Cane Supply departments. From inspecting cane, to performing soil testing and reviewing farm maps; both Hayden and Michael were kept busy on the site and out in the field. Currently studying Primary Industries at secondary school, both are keen to pursue further aspects of Agriculture in the future.

Both young students enjoyed the time with the local sugar industry and were impressed by the use of technology employed to forecast and manage the cane supply aspect of the business.

Sam Brandon 1

Samuel Brandon of Maclean will commence study at Monash University in Melbourne in March.

Sam has been offered a place in the Bachelor of Advanced Science – Global Challenges (Honours) course. With just 50 places offered in this program, Sam’s successful entry has been gained based on a combination of his academic performance, along with social skills and leadership potential.

More than just a Science Degree, this exclusive stream of study specifically looks at science in the context of how it can be of relevance and benefit to businesses and communities.

As the recipient of the Maclean High School inaugural ‘Professor Warwick Anderson STEM Award’, Sam recently received a $1,000 cash prize from sponsor Sunshine Sugar. In a meeting with Sunshine Sugars’ Harwood Mill Operations Manager, Mr Grant Kaczorowski this week, Sam said; “This cash prize has been a real boost. It has already helped fund travel to Melbourne for my University interviews, as well as accommodation and text book expenses.”

Sam has been actively involved in a number of school and community initiatives over the past few years, including attendance at the National Youth Science Forum, participation in Rotaract, work on a local Council malicious damage awareness program and he even found time to play a regular game of squash, perform in the School Musical and help with the Chess Club at Gulmarrad Public School.

This great all-rounder is set for a bright future as he embarks on the next stage of his education and his life.

Harwood School letter
Staff and students from the Harwood Island Public School walked from their school to the Sugar Mill today to see just how the local Sunshine Sugar is made. From watching the cane trucks tip their 22 tonne loads of billets into a giant shredding machine, through to the 100,000 tonne capacity raw sugar shed and into the refinery and packing station – the students were amazed by every step in the journey sugar makes from the paddock through to the final pack. The NSW Sugar Industry prides itself on being a business that regularly engages with the local community. As well as being a major employer and contributor to the local economy, in the past 12 months alone, Sunshine Sugar has hosted numerous school groups, sponsored over 30 local community groups and donated combinations of cash, product and prizes to many more throughout the Northern Rivers.
Read more of the wonderful thank you letters from students.
Harwood Island Public School - Thank You Letters


Bill Scales

99-year-old Bill Scales was a very special guest at the Harwood Sugar Mill and Refinery today.

The former Grafton Ophthalmologist and current resident at Mareeba Aged Care in Maclean, only recently lost his beloved wife of 73 years. It was then that Bill decided to make a list of goals for himself to achieve in the next year.

Bills goals are to 1. make it to 100 years of age, which he will do next February; 2. participate in another ANZAC Day March; and 3. visit the Harwood Sugar Mill.

Operations Manager, Grant Kaczorowski and Engineer Peter Coram were only too happy to help Bill realise his goal of touring the Sugar Mill.

Accompanied by his daughters Deb and Bel, a thrilled Bill remarked that the steam engine and raw sugar shed capable of storing 100,000 tonnes of raw sugar were amongst his highlights.

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