Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Travellers turn green with envy

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The Silo Art Trail (SAT) continues to evolve, and is well-regarded as Australia’s largest outdoor gallery, connecting many communities across the Wimmera Mallee. 

The Wycheproof community may not boast a silo featuring a permanent painted artwork; however, it does host silo-trekking visitors who regularly stop-over to climb the world’s smallest registered mountain – Mount Wycheproof, located less than 1km from the town centre; it’s an easy walk (or ride/drive) to the 43m summit.

Many plan to explore the SAT and include a visit to Wycheproof, further enjoying fine country hospitality, retail therapy, relaxation at Centenary Park alongside their caravans, and gastronomic delights.

Railway place comes to light

As many Buloke communities commence displaying Christmas lights prominently, back a few weeks ago Wycheproof’s historical Grain Elevator Board Silos (now Graincorp), officially became illuminated green in a modest, yet effective unique lighting activation.

The activation acknowledged the return of “Elders Mt. Wycheproof Cup Day – Derby Day in the Country”, after three long years without racing fans on course, and it certainly achieved what it set out to do; it got people talking, creating widespread event awareness.

The Calder Highway façade of the silos, located in the unique Railway Place precinct, was illuminated in the distinctive Country Racing Victoria (CRV) green theme leading into and over the Spring Racing Carnival event weekend.

Travellers and onlookers were amazed at what was an impressive and distinct Mallee art installation akin to something one may witness on a building in the trendy suburbs of metro Melbourne.

Local event PR – money can’t buy media

Keeping it clean and green is an important feature of the CRV visual identity, with the colour palette consisting of two main colours – being heritage green and storm grey, both aligning well with the Buloke Wimmera Mallee demographic.

There were over 100,000 eyes measured on various social media pages checking out the installation images, not to mention the local visitations, on-shared media, and plenty of “pub-talk” too.

The Mt. Wycheproof & District Racing Club volunteer committee was thrilled with the awareness the initiative created, adding that it was fabulous to hear of so many people enjoying and talking about the no-nonsense installation ahead of Cup Day.

Bowled over!

One of the most pivotal and humorous pieces of feedback received came via the local bowling team, which had arranged to play their competition round against Wedderburn earlier in the week to avoid a Cup Day clash.

On the trip home from Wedderburn, the small bus travelled safely, full of bowling passengers and with little fuss along the Calder Highway; that is, until it reached the home-straight bend towards Wycheproof.

From all reports there were comments flying left-right-centre (many of which couldn’t be printed!), in response to the beaming bright green-lighting ahead.

One passenger exclaiming “This is it!”, someone up the back of the bus yelled “We’re gone!”, alluding to an extraterrestrial experience.

Another quipped, “What on earth has happened in little old Wyche tonight?”.

If only such responses could have been recorded live – the footage may have proved an award-winning hit in the cinemas, or given the Seinfeld TV program script writers a run for their money.

A tourism winner

The exercise was a brilliant example of how event and business bodies across Buloke should look to further promote identified landmarks; that is, historic, cultural, and event assets.

Many of our buildings, historical and cultural landmarks, are indeed among our most prized assets. They enhance our brand, our reputation, and our value as a tourism business collective.

“The immense positive feedback illustrated this,” said Jackie Noonan, on behalf of the small volunteer group of individuals who brought the project to life.

Special acknowledgment to Sam and Cam

Thanks to Sam Goldsmith of DiscoGold fame and Managing Director/Founder of  Esoteric Donald, together with Cameron Arnel of Graincorp, both of whom invested significant hours, equipment, and entrepreneurial expertise to ensure the end result was a memorable one for all, whilst further demonstrating the value of how collaborating across communities can equal significant public relations tourism recognition for Buloke events.

  • Wycheproof is also home to the million-bushel silo complex on the Calder Highway, at the opposite end of town – currently a hive of activity during the harvest period.
The Buloke Times, 15 December 2023

This article appeared in The Buloke Times, 15 December 2023.

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