WELL-KNOWN local resident Jillian Rheinberger has left the Valley to go to New Zealand as project manager of facilities and development at the Waitemata District Health Board, Auckland.
She is completely unfazed by the fact she's never been to New Zealand and knows nobody there at all.
She is leaving the Valley where her ancestors have lived for many years, as she is descended from the German Rheinbergers who came out on the Caesar in 1855 to work at Kameruka.
Ms Rheinberger was educated at Bega Primary School then Bega High School and on leaving went to Canberra seeking a theatre career.
That wasn't so easy, but she did find employment as an administrative assistant at a private defence company, then at the Australian Taxation Office.
She was transferred to Sydney with the tax office and as this was at the time the GST was coming in, Ms Rheinberger and her fellow workers travelled around the country teaching tax professionals how to assist small business in GST reporting.
The next job was with Metro Transport Sydney, owners of the light rail and monorail, promoting the former with an expo displaying a modern version of light rail outside Circular Quay.
Ms Rheinberger enjoyed her life in Sydney especially as she was there when the Olympic Games were on, but she decided once again to move on, this time to Broken Hill.
It wasn't such an odd move as her brother and his family lived there.
In Broken Hill Ms Rheinberger worked for the University of Sydney’s Department of Rural Health, which provided learning opportunities for health students in hospitals, Aboriginal health and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Still in Broken Hill she moved to regional development promoting tourist and financial growth, and set up workshops helping small businesses with matters such as taxation.
Back to Bega was the next move as executive assistant to the director of nursing and midwifery.
However, it was in her next role as senior project officer of capital works at Southern NSW Local Health District that Ms Rheinberger took on her most important task for the residents of the Bega Valley - coordinating LHD participation in developing documentation to support the request for funding for the $170million South East Regional Hospital.
For this she consulted all stakeholders involved and her work was recognised and praised by the then Member for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly, who gained the federal funds for the project.
More recently, Ms Rheinberger had been capital works and sustainability manager at Southern NSWLHD, working on many projects including ones at Goulburn and Moruya.
She loved her job, but regretted that much of her work was held back through lack of resources.
Ms Rheinberger has had this tremendous career without a degree, although she is now studying Business Management at Charles Sturt University and will finish her course from New Zealand.
She may never have been to New Zealand before, but Ms Rheinberger has gone overseas to Poland, Ukraine and Belarus and, on another trip, to the United States.
The one to Eastern Europe was in 2008 as a member of a Rotary study group.
The trip to the US fulfilled a dream for Ms Rheinberger who has been a country music fan and singer for years.
She went to Nashville and the Grand Old Opry and had a marvellous time.
Ms Rheinberger has had gigs in the Valley, but her lovely singing voice is best known by those who attend the official openings of the Far South Coast National Show where she sings the National Anthem.
She will be much missed at the show as she has been a very active member for the Bega AP&H Society for years, most recently as vice-president.
She was also the Bega Show's publicity officer and during the show was well known to people who came in through the front gate for that was where she worked.
As well as a singer, Ms Rheinberger is also an actress and vice-president of Theatre Onset.
Along with country singing, Ms Rheinberger loves running and her goal is to do a half marathon.
Her many talents and her sparkling personality will be sorely missed in the Bega Valley.