26 May 2023

High and mighty popular: Rocky Hill top site on new Goulburn Monopoly board game

| John Thistleton
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People most identify with Rocky Hill, whether living here or just arriving, which is why it is topping the voting for iconic places on Goulburn’s Monopoly board. Photo: DTC Photography.

Rocky Hill is Goulburn’s most-prized landmark. Voting on landmark sites for a new Goulburn Monopoly board game, more than 600 people have clicked on the World War I stone monument with a searchlight on top. Establishing the Goulburn Monopoly board is a forerunner for a self-sustaining foundation that will stand for as long as the memorial.

The Rail Heritage Centre, Goulburn Court House and Belmore Park are prominent too as voting continues until the end of this month.

Innovative charity Community Plus is establishing the Goulburn Monopoly board game.

“We are trying to reflect community views, and engaging them by getting them voting is one way of testing the waters,” Community Plus spokeswoman Ursula Stephens said.

READ ALSO When it comes to heritage, Goulburn has it all over Canberra

“When we saw some of the other (towns’) boards, they are pretty cluttered, they have weird and wonderful business logos.

“We decided we wanted to make this board a celebration of Goulburn’s heritage culture, the natural environment that is so special and community spaces.”

Profits from creating the board will be seed money for the Southern Tablelands Community Foundation. Similar to the Upper Lachlan Foundation and GreaterGood Foundation Canberra, the community foundation’s focus will be on social and economic wellbeing. The first step, though, is updating Goulburn’s story on a Monopoly board framed with the city’s unique heritage.

Community Plus chair Dick Kearins said: “Goulburn hasn’t sat still because of its heritage. Goulburn has progressed because of its heritage.”

He cited repurposed heritage buildings in Verner and Bourke streets and examples of progress in the city’s march forward with new technologies including wind and solar farms and leading-edge Aviagen’s chicken-breeding enterprises.

Ursula said NSW Tourism had identified heritage tourism as the growth area.

“As you see the development coming out of Sydney, we are the first spot where there is preserved heritage in a concerted way and it’s the thing that people talk about, visitors talk about it all the time,” she said. “It’s not just the big iconic buildings, it’s the houses and streetscapes.”

Once the Goulburn icons have been settled on, work will begin creating the boards in partnership with Winning Moves Australia under licence from Monopoly company Hasbro. The board maintains the fundamentals of Monopoly, including having a jail, which neatly fits Goulburn’s heritage story.

Community Plus aims to produce a limited edition of 3000 permanent boards that should become a collector’s item.

Organisations such as Goulburn schools will be invited to use the boards to raise money from commission on sales. Sponsors will also be distributors, as will the Visitors Information Centre.

“It’s hard to say how sales will go,” Dick said. ”I think they will be good because in Braidwood 1500 boards sold in two weeks. They sponsored Braidwood’s board with Bendigo Bank and the hospital auxiliary approached businesses around town who bought each spot on the board for a set price.”

two people sitting at table

Community Plus chair Dick Kearins and group member Ursula Stephens have been mulling over voting and ideas for Goulburn’s very own Monopoly board. Photo: John Thistleton.

Accompanying the board will be a booklet in which sponsors of landmark places will tell their stories and inform people about the city. While Goulburn had played a leading role in developing southern NSW, plenty of things remained unknown about the first inland city, Dick said.

READ ALSO For a crackling good time trot out to Laggan for annual pig races

Ultimately, Goulburn Monopoly will raise seed money for Community Plus’s long-term goal to create a local philanthropic organisation.

Established in 2004 to support refugees coming to Goulburn, Community Plus organised language classes, a food bank and advocacy for the new arrivals. It has since been engaged in social development projects, facilitating consultation on council amalgamations, establishing an updated community college and WorkSpace 2580.

“We have always been conscious that there is no philanthropic vehicle in Goulburn to leave anything,” Ursula said.

This became glaringly apparent when a woman wanted to bequeath her home to support other women fleeing domestic violence. When she died, her solicitor tried to find a place to leave her home. In the end, it went to helping women fleeing domestic violence, but that organisation was outside of Goulburn.

“The earnings of the foundation are not targeted at any particular charity,” Dick said. “There is an open fund where people donate money and there’s the distributions of the earnings of those investments, which is really determined by groups in the community.”

To vote for your favourite Goulburn landmark, or sponsor a place on the Goulburn Monopoly board, click here.

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