Senior students from Carroll College and St Peter’s Anglican College at Broulee, and Batemans Bay High School were given time to address Council – including Mayor, Liz Innes and Deputy Mayor, Anthony Mayne.
One of the Shire’s Federal MP’s was also taking notes – Member for Gilmore, Anne Sudmalis.
Courtney Fryer from Carroll College used the opportunity to advocate for young people living with physical and mental disability.
Harrison O’Keefe from Batemans Bay High, made a great point around youth engagement –“show them what they are missing out on” and he has an idea to do just that.
While Pippi Sparrius from St Peter’s presented some surprising stats around teenage pregnancy in the Eurobodalla.
Keen to give the students a ‘real council meeting’ experience, Cr Innes was watching the clock, with Courtney, Harrison, and Pippi all given five minutes each.
Soil collected from sixty-five war memorials across South East New South Wales will be featured in a new state memorial honouring First World War veterans and their hometowns.
The Office of Veterans Affairs is overseeing the program, which is collecting soil from almost 1,700 WW1 enlistment locations for an art installation in what will be known as the Hall of Service at the revamped Hyde Park memorial in the centre of Sydney.
Narooma is one of 15 Eurobodalla locations identified for the program, and one of the first local spots where soil has been collected. NSW Governor, His Excellency the Honourable David Hurley who visited the Shire this week was the one to do the honours.
Other South East locations include:
When complete, memorial visitors will be able to learn about each location via their personal digital devices.
The information presented will include details on the soil collection, the names of enlistees who gave that location as their home address, and maps showing the local area and its surrounding memorials and schools.
The simple soil collection program forms part of a $40 million enhancement of the memorial marking the centenary of World War 1.
Works are on track for opening on Remembrance Day 2018, which will bring to life the original 1930’s vision for the space and include a second water feature and new educational areas.
NSW Governor, David Hurley told About Regional, war memorials like this are a reminder of the strength of service and sacrifice for current day service women and men and of the history they are a part of.
His Excellency believes the new Hall of Service will be stunning and emotional…
This story was made with the assistance of About Regional members Wendy and Pete Gorton, Amanda Dalziel, Phil Martin, and Olwen Morris – thank you for supporting local story telling.
Cooma’s annual busking festival is going national.
For the last five years, the Australian National Busking Championships have been based on the Monaro. And while talent from across the nation has been drawn to the streets of Cooma to compete and take part, that claim of being a ‘national championship’ didn’t carry the weight the name implies.
That changes in 2017.
With the backing of Rotary Clubs along the East Coast, the Busking Championships will cover three states and at least six regional centres.
Cooma based Championship Founder, Allan Spencer is delighted as he rattles off communities that have picked up the idea and run with it, including Stanthorpe and Noosa Heads in Queensland, Ballarat and Wangaratta in Victoria, Narooma and Berry in New South Wales.
Most of the towns taking part are combining the Championships with an existing festival that needs a bit of ‘sparkling up’ according to Allan.
“I think that works well, because busking won’t work unless you’ve got a lot of people,” he says.
“In Stanthorpe for instance, they’ve got an apple and grape festival that’s in it’s fiftieth year and it’s tremendously well attended, they have sixty thousand visitors, so the busking was quite an easy fit.”
Surrounded by the instruments and sheet music of his long-running business, Allan becomes emotional talking about the success of the Busking Championships.
“Yeah we’ve got some wonderful stories,” Allan says.
“There’s Guy Lilleyman, who’s a Canberra based musician, he won the title – Open Champion in 2013 and 2014. And on the strength of 2013, he was picked up by an agent and he had a tour of South Africa.
“He’s just come back from a 10-week tour of Afghanistan, entertaining Australian and NATO troops,” he says.
Allan’s connection with the Cooma community goes back 30 plus years, his connection with music even longer – around 40 years.
“It’s always been a bit of a crusade of mine to try and promote talent,” Allan says.
Over 2200 motorcycle riders took part in this year’s Snowy Ride, adding a whopping $250,000 to the $6 million that has been collected since 2001. The Australian National Busking Championships that were created to serve the Ride are now very much a part of the whole weekend each November, covering 28 locations around the Cooma CBD with over 160 acts.
“I’ve been talking to businesses after this year’s event,” Allan says.
“A lot of them are saying it’s their best trading day of the year.
“The proof is that every year all our wonderful local businesses put up their hand to sponsor the event.”
Ten thousand dollars was shared among the winners this year adding a serious edge to a craft some see as worth nothing more than loose change.
“There are buskers that do it as their career,” Alan says.
“It’s not an easy career, but they really enjoy the freedom.”
Allan says the prize money is key in attracting artists to play but he believes that local talent needs to be looked after as that stiff competition lands.
Matilda Rose, a 15-year-old country singer won the local category this year, scoring return plane tickets between Cooma and Sydney from Rex Airlines.
“They marched down Vale Street, straight to our war memorial, and they gave their first set there.
“It was a ‘hairs standing on the back of your neck’ kind of situation, it was really a moment to treasure.
“Then they played outside various pubs, they were busking, and they raised $500 for their group, they were over the moon,” Allan says.
Allan believes we should celebrate our buskers and the contribution they make to life and culture in regional towns especially, he’s hoping more country towns come on board with the Championships.
“We’ve kept this a regional festival,” Allan says.
“We think this is a great opportunity for regional centers to add something to their town.”
The program for the expanded format in 2017 is still being finalised, with Allan keen to speak with his partners Cooma Rotary.
At this stage, however, his thinking is that the South East Regional Final will be held on the first Saturday in November, followed by the National Final the next day – both held in Cooma not Canberra or another capital city where national finals are normally held.
Cooma – the town that built the Snowy Scheme is influencing Australia yet again.