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    Community Frivolity at Kingstown

    PXL 20210619 At Play 320

    ‘Just Add Water’ was a fantastic community get-together, held at the Kingstown Hall on Saturday 19 June, providing social support for residents of the Upper Gwydir and neighbouring areas, including Balala, Brushgrove, Retreat, Watsons Creek, Kingstown, Torryburn, Yarrowyk and Bundarra, in the wake of drought, fires and Covid.

    "Our enthusiastic local organising committee planned an afternoon and evening of family and neighbourly fun, " said Suzanne Wright the event co-ordinator.

    Suzanne commented, "The effective marketing program caught the attention of residents, with promotion by posters, letterbox flyers, newsletter articles, and a new Upper Gwydir Community Facebook page." 

    "We wish to acknowledge our supporters including to The Ascent Group (for printing), local area Posties who delivered the flyers, and Wordsworth, Bush Telegraph, Kingstown School newsletter and ABC radio for their media assistance", she said.

    More than 120 people attended the much anticipated event, at the beautifully decorated comunity hall, which was festooned with fairy lights and paintings - thanks to the wonderful talent of the Kingstown Primary School students.

    Local Aboriginal Elder and Anaiwan Woman, Aunty Pam, greeted the communities with a “Welcome to Country”. This was followed by a colourful and stylish High Tea, provided by Jill Moore-Kashima and her band of helpers, that encouraged people to gather inside the hall on the very cold day.

    Team-based yard games saw young ones and grown-ups engage in friendly competition and play. Volunteers from Kingstown Preschool supervised activities such as face-painting, cardboard castle building and storytelling. 

    Adults were kept entertained (and supported) with a “Colour My Mood” activity conducted in the Art Expression marquee. This was based on the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program “How Are You Going?” checklist, and backed up by the local RAMHP Counsellor, Andrew Daley with a “Listening Tent”, that provided opportunities for residents to visually and verbally express their current state of wellbeing, after enduring long periods of drought and bushfires.

    The DPI Bushfire Support officer also walked the talk. At sunset, local firies from Balala/Kingstown fed the masses with a BBQ and salad feast.

    Into the evening, people danced and listened to band, Crooked Tree, whilst the firepit outside provided an atmosphere for introductions, catchups and conversation.

    Suzanne was excited to share that, "Going forward, an idea to establish a Play Group at Kingstown was seeded. And a “bucket list” survey captured the community’s wish list, with ideas including an annual meet and greet (suggested by a new resident), a local dance, renewal of the community tennis court and hall (Kingstown); Mums and Bubs activities, and a weekend hobby workshops eg furniture restoration, art classes, framing, craft and family history."

    Auspiced by Southern New England Landcare, the event was made possible due to a NSW Government Drought Resilience grant of $3000 for the local community, together with Uralla’s Pursehouse Rural as a valued sponsor, and generous gold coin donations from entrants. 

    Southern New England Landcare wishes to congratulate Suzanne Wright and her organising committee for their hard work in pulling off a very successful event. 

    Photos supplied by S. Wright

     IMG 5100 punter 320IMG 5102 band 320 IMG 7707 kids 320 IMG 5099 320 

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