Felton Food Festival: Meet the Committee

Over the coming months we will be introducing you to the hardworking people who make the Festival happen. First up, get to know the executive group, who meet regularly to ensure all planning and governance for the festival is on target.


Debbie House

Debbie House

Vicki Whan

Vicki Whan

Hugh Reardon-Smith

Hugh Reardon-Smith


DEBBIE HOUSE – FESTIVAL COORDINATOR

Debbie was born, raised and continues to live in the Felton district and has been involved with the Festival since its inception in 2012. As a child, her family ran a dairy farm and she was always out helping her parents with the cows and other farm work. She married the boy next door and together they continue to farm his family’s property growing a large variety of crops and cattle. Debbie is passionate about the Felton community, the Festival and educating people on where food comes from. 

Top tip for people visiting the 2016 Festival: Bring a hat, sunscreen and a good sense of humour!

What is the #1 thing people should do when visiting the region for the Festival: Visit Harrow Homestead and have a meal at the Bull and Barley Pub in Cambooya.

VICKI WHAN – OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

Vicki’s love of the bucolic scenery and the committed and friendly community prompted a green-change retirement in Felton, where she had enjoyed rural escapes for many years. She has been involved with the Festival since its inception, with some of her favourite aspects being a gourmet lunch in the relaxed venue; the passionate stallholders selling interesting and innovative food products; the informative talks and demonstrations and, of course, Costa!

Top tip for people visiting the 2016 Festival: Learn what you can about farming and why preserving our good quality agricultural land is so important!

What is the #1 thing people should do when visiting the region for the Festival: Enjoy outings to the historic Harrow homestead and Darling Down’s Zoo

HUGH REARDON-SMITH – SECRETARY, MC

As a resident and local agronomist, Hugh has been involved with Friends of Felton since its inception and the Felton Food Festival since its 2012 beginnings. He loves Felton for its community, farmland and the people. As for the Festival itself, it’s connecting people to farming and agriculture that he cites as the thing he most enjoys about it.

Top tip for people visiting the 2016 Festival: Make time to visit the Q+A tent, take in the crop tour and ask questions of the volunteers to learn about Felton.

What is the #1 thing people should do when visiting the region for the Festival: Sample the local food – there are good suggestions on the website where restaurants and pubs are putting on special Felton dishes


Jen Nielson

Jen Nielson

Iris Bryce

Iris Bryce

Lisa Hanlon

Lisa Hanlon


JEN NIELSON – STALLHOLDERS COORDINATOR

Jen lives 25km from Felton and joined the committee in January 2015, after being a visitor to the Festival every year since it started. She is inspired by the Felton community’s passion for the land and what they produce, and believes this is worth sharing. Jen loves how the Festival showers visitors with country hospitality, its authenticity, and that everyone is made to feel welcome.

Top tip for Festival visitors 2016: Make a day of it. Don’t rush. Taste something new, chat to the farmers, catch up with friends, play with your kids, soak up the atmosphere. Enjoy!

To do in the region when visiting for festival: Take a country drive at sunset. The Felton valley is jaw-droppingly beautiful at dusk. Afterwards drop in at one of the many country pubs for dinner and chat to the locals.  

IRIS BRYCE - FINANCE COORDINATOR

Iris’s connection to the Felton Food Festival is a particularly personal one: in 1908 her grandparents bought the property on which the Festival is held today, and there have been Bryces in Felton ever since. Her two sisters married farmers and moved onto properties at Dalby and her two brothers are still farmers in Felton. A teacher who retired to look after her parents until their deaths, Iris now lives in their old residence. She loves the country and the Felton area and has been the treasurer of Friends of Felton since the group was formed and involved with the Felton Food Festival since the very beginning.  

LISA HANLON – FINANCE COORDINATOR

As a local business owner and resident from a sixth generation family farm, Lisa has been involved with the Festival since 2013. Like others she loves the community and the landscape of Felton and particularly enjoys the ‘welcoming, relaxed, cheerful, entertaining and fun atmosphere’ of the Festival.

Top tip for people visiting the 2016 Festival: Take time and soak up the atmosphere of the Festival and the beauty of the Valley

What is the #1 thing people should do when visiting the region for the Festival: Visit a National Park and spend a night in the country to experience the amazing sunset, night sky and sunrise.

Cristy Houghton

Embarketing, 48 Johnston Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW, 2650

Cristy's unique career has taken her from country NSW to the city lights of Clarendon Street South Melbourne and back again. With an early career in radio as a copywriter and creative strategist, she is now a Jill of all trades as a graphic designer, website builder, blog writer, video editor, social media manager, marketing strategist and more. 

In fact, give her any task and this chick will figure out how to do it! Go on, we dare you!

No, really, we DARE you!!

Cristy has won two Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) for Best Ad and Best Sales Promotion, and even has an 'Employee of the Year' certificate with her name on it.

Cristy and her husband James have traveled extensively through Russia, China and South East Asia, and have two fur-babies, Sooty (cat) and Panda (puppy). Cristy loves drinking coffee, meeting people to drink coffee, coffee tasting and coffee flavoured cocktails. She also enjoys road trips, TED Talks and watching cat videos on youtube.