Alexandra Seddon and Olivia (an Olive Python)

Alexandra Seddon, the founder and patron of Potoroo Palace, has a background of community, conservation, education, farming and the arts.

She came to the Bega Valley in 1975 from Papua New Guinea, where she had been working with PNG teachers, mostly in drama and creative writing. She began farming with her brother in Candelo, and so Cowsnest Community Farm came into being, with a kibbutz type structure: to each according to his/her need, from each according to his/her ability.

The idea of Cowsnest was to set up a community farm where anyone could come and contribute their skill and labour even if they had no money to buy land. This has now been incorporated and now officially comes under the auspices of Potoroo Palace.

Out of Cowsnest, in 1985, grew the Candelo Arts Society, which continues to flourish.

There is also a 57 acre feral-animal-proof Sanctuary at Cowsnest, a half-way house for injured and orphaned native animals who are on their way to soft release.

In 1996 Alexandra initiated the Waterbird Sanctuary in Pambula, which has become Panboola, Pambula Wetlands and Heritage Project (over 200 acres right in Pambula)

In 2000 she began the Pambula Flying Fox Hospital and Conservation Area (34 acres protected by Voluntary Conservation Agreement).

And on September 25th, 2006, a senescent Yellow Pinch Wildlife Park was bought, and slowly rejuvenated to become Potoroo Palace, Native Animal Educational Sanctuary.