Wednesday, November 29, 2023



Tree Day planting a success

Narrandera Landcare had a rewarding National Tree Day planting morning at The Wetlands on Sunday when more than 40 volunteers helped plant the seedlings the group's volunteers started propagating late last year ... Over 600 seedlings were planted on the morning, adding to the 150 local schools had already planted this year.

Driven to help local farmers

Emma Pritchard. Aussie Hay Runners have partnered with Feed for Friends and the Rotary Club of Melton to transport 1000 bales of hay and several pallets of hard feed from rural Victoria to the Clarence Valley in support of local producers and small hobby farmers who have been adversely affected by the unprecedented flooding which devastated communities throughout Northern NSW earlier this year. A convoy of 31 trucks arrived in Grafton over the weekend.

Community Generation

Maldon residents Lauren Adele Stevens and her Dad, Ian Stevens, have once again headed off to Cambodia to continue working at Lauren’s Phnom Penh office with her local Cambodian team ... Alongside our WASH projects, Community Generation will commence a new project delivery of up-skilling and training local Khmer peoples with life-changing plumbing and maintenance skills delivered by fully qualified Australian plumbers,” Lauren said.

New festival format works well for artists, audiences

Serena Kirby. Festival of Voice organisers report good attendance for the start of this year’s extended program, traditionally held over three days of the WA Week weekend. This year’s program is spread across the month’s four weekends.

Vinnies helper for 50 Years

Kristin Nicholson. 50 years is an impressive length of time to be associated with one organisation. That's how long Barham’s Phil Mertz has been involved with the St Vincent de Paul Society, better known as Vinnies. Last month, Phil was recognised for his years of service. Phil began his association with Vinnies in the 1960s when he lived and worked at Hay.

ADF vehicles give SES boost

Three state of the art High Clearance Vehicles are now in permanent operation for the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), expanding flood rescue capability by helping volunteers get to hard to reach places. The vehicles, known as Unimogs, have been handed over to the SES by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) after being used on deployment in military operations.

Regional Community Vet Clinic neuters 31 cats on inaugural de-sexing day

In an ambitious endeavour, a group of Central Victorian residents have come together to establish a Regional Community Vet Clinic (RCVC). The goal of this clinic is to support people who are experiencing dire financial situations to care for their companion animals, to run neutering programs and to support and promote the value of companion animals in the community.

Maldonites are Maldon’s biggest asset

Mark Blythe. This Sunday will see another Maldon Swap Meet held at the Maldon Racecourse Reserve; the resurgence of events post COVID speaks volumes for the resilience and dedication of Maldon’s army of organisers and volunteers. A lot of rural and regional towns are very busy trying to pick up the pieces of their event industries after the wilderness years of COVID, but Maldon has managed to keep all of their events ticking over during the last two years, in one form or another, even if they were just on life support.

Is rural sport on death’s door?

Kendall Jennings. Unfortunately, my mind always takes a wander; I tend to overthink things and get stuck in my head. Hello, mental illness. One thing that has been on my mind recently is the decline in participation in community sport ... Over the past 12 months, I have realised that local football is not like it was 20 years ago.

The Winsome Soup Kitchen, a vision of hope at Lismore

John O'Donnell. After a walk along the Wilson River and Leycester Creek near their junction at Lismore, I called into the Winsome Hotel, thinking there might be a drink on hand, as it was close to lunchtime and there was no signage on the hotel indicating any changes in management.  No luck with any drinks, but I met Mieke Bell and she generously donated her time showing my wife and I what was happening on the ground floor after the floods.

Volunteering for love

Josie Emery. ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a country town in possession of an event, must be in want of volunteers,’ so said Jane Austen ... in 1812 ... And 210 years later, Clif Edwards and Valentina Tansley are discovering the same universal truth as they work towards the unfolding of Maldon In Winter and Goldfields Gothic during June and July 2022.

Arts project ‘weaving country whole’

Reclaim the Void: weaving country whole is a collaboration between Vivienne Robertson and the Leonora-based Ngalia Heritage Research Council (Aboriginal Corporation) ... Vivienne ... asked: "What is your deepest pain?" One of the Aunties replied: ”Those gaping mining holes left all over our country”.

Positives from adversity

Wayne Hawthorne. Rodger Todd’s family farms, 13km apart, were both burnt out in the “Poolaijelo fire” of New Year Eve ... The fire started in SA, 200m from the Vic border.... When the fire hit border lane, it exploded in 3.3m high Phalaris... Further east, ‘Nataparra’ lost all 1500 acres.

More Australians can’t meet basic living expenses

Research conducted by The Salvation Army has highlighted that the most vulnerable in our society are struggling to make ends meet, with 84% of those surveyed finding it a challenge to meet basic living expenses, including housing, utilities, food and health care in the past 12 months ... After paying for housing costs, many households were left with little disposable income – respondents in paid employment were left with just $29 a day to live on after paying for housing, and those on government support payments were left with only $22 a day.

New tanker for Newstead

In addition to a 2,000 litre tank, the new tanker contains 650 litres of water set aside for crew and vehicle protection sprays in the event of a burnover. It also includes brackets to hold breathing apparatus cylinders as well as a cabin that allows a crew of five to travel safely together.

East Timor 20 years of independence celebration

The Australian Timor Leste Friendship Network was established in 2009, and in the same year, Mount Alexander Shire entered into a Friendship Relationship Agreement with the sub-district of Lolotoe, Timor Leste and Friends of Lolotoe Timor-Leste Incorporated. This friendship is based on mutual support and respect for each other’s culture. The Friendship group started work raising funds for school infrastructure, school resources, scholarships and gardening programs.

Recognising our local firefighting heroes

“The first brigade was established following the bombing of Darwin during World War II, making the NTFRS the only Australian capital city fire service to serve under enemy fire. At this present time, our thoughts are certainly with the courageous efforts of firefighters in Ukraine, their dedication and commitment is a true testament of what a firefighter is when protecting the community”: Chief Fire Officer Mark Spain AFSM.

Non-profit veterinary service for Mt Alexander

The founding members of Regional Community Vet Clinic (RCVC), Dr Yvette Berkeley, Robyn Slattery and James Mack, were delighted to receive official confirmation from State Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, on the success of their grant application ... RCVC, as a Not-for-Profit community veterinary clinic, will support the elderly, socially and financially disadvantaged in our community, by providing them with access to affordable preventative veterinary care for their companion animals. This will enable the most vulnerable to continue to live in their own homes with their pets.

Help with hugs

Kirstin Nicholson. There has been a buzz of activity amongst the Cohuna Lions Club’s Leos and Cubs. The Leos and Cubs, which comprise children aged 9 to 18, have been busy sewing items for children in flood-affected Lismore, New South Wales.

State awards for Wakool Show

Joan de Bondt. Each year, the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW (ASC) recognises the excellence, dedication, resilience and innovation of agricultural show volunteers across the state. The joint winners of the ASC Dedication Award for 2022 are June Lowry and George Rathbone from Wakool Show.

Recipe for community success

Emma Pritchard. While discussing how they could help locals affected by the recent floods during the past several weeks, members of the Clarence Valley Community Church and the Lower Clarence Presbyterian Church embraced the idea of opening a community kitchen in Maclean. The two congregations promptly started researching and organising recipes, scouting for a suitable location within the township, and drawing up a roster of volunteer cooks. 

Displaying their dedication at the Grafton Show

Emma Pritchard. Chief Steward of the Pavilion Yvonne Robards said an average of 15 volunteers worked tirelessly together in The Barn for upwards of eight hours a day in the fortnight leading up to the 2022 Grafton Show, and their wonderful contributions help to make the event a success year after year. “They all work very hard,” she said.

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