Friday, July 1, 2022

Sights on tourism trail

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What do you look for in a tourist attraction? An exciting new project is in the planning phase that will tell a story of a community, showcase our history and add the local region to the insanely popular silo art trail.

The steering committee met with Andi Mether to discuss the design.
Photo: The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper

Plans are afoot to turn the Barham water tower into a 20m high billboard that will attract tourists for an overnight stop to experience everything our towns have to offer.

This week saw Andi Mether, chief ARTchitect and founder of Zest Events International onsite to look at the proposed project with the members of the steering committee. The committee includes Barham Consolidated Inc, Barham Women’s Group, Barham Lions Club, cluBarham and the Barham RSL.

Andi brings with her over 25 years of experience in arts and events and is dedicated to her vision for the role art has to play in social, environmental and corporate settings, coupled with decades of experience with large scale projects, backed by a BA in design.

“I can tell you now that there are a few hundred silos and water towers that have been done. The most successful ones are the ones that have a personal connection to the communities, which is huge,” said Andi.

“While a lot of it is about driving tourism to town, attracting people to stay longer, the creation of the work really involves everyone in the community.

“We’re sharing a story that relates to people in the community. It’s also going to become a new story through the creation of the work, and that’s pretty powerful.

“It’s not just a pretty picture at the end, there’s a lot of layers to it. I would expect that community pride usually rates very high at the end of the project.”

The theme for the water tower will be one of celebrating the iconic Anzac march that spans two states and the iconic lift span over the Murray River.

George Rathbone and the trusty steed, Tuff, who front up to lead the Koondrook Barham Anzac march are both thrilled with the prospect of being included.

“I feel very, very honoured,” said George, who is a member of the Australian Light Horse Association.

“It’s [the project] very good when we get it going, I’m very excited about it.

“It’s about our march. This is the only one where we, as far as I know, go between states.”

With collaboration between the community groups and Murray River Council, it is hoped the project can be an exciting destination with a viewing platform, safe parking area, storytelling, and information about what is on offer in the area.

cluBarham CEO, Jason Wallace, is excited by the opportunities in tourism and how the theme will show our history, but also some of the area’s iconic features.

“It’s definitely a tourism piece and it’s really the overnight visitor strategies that Destination New South Wales is really pushing for.

“cluBarham and the whole community would benefit greatly by having the artwork on the tower.

“I like the theme; I do want to probably focus on what’s iconic to the area, make sure we capture that. It is really good for the town, and we have the history, but we really need to focus on what is iconic.”

From Light Horse to a Lancaster bomber, we will have to wait and see where the design phase leads on this exciting project.

The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper 2 June 2022

This article appeared in The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, 2 June 2022.

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