26 November 2021

Ladies of Murrumbateman to unite through bingo and a boogie

| Max O'Driscoll
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Ladies of Murrumbateman group at social event

The Ladies of Murrumbateman at the group’s first social event: (from left) Alana Mitchell, Mikayla Cruz, Kristin Butler, Shannon Lyttle, Les May, Caitlin Fillingham, Dominique Mumberson, Lisa Tilyard, Jourdan Colvin and Sarah Watson. Photo: Supplied.

The time has come for the Ladies of Murrumbateman to take matters into their own hands. Starved of any semblance of local entertainment or recreation outside of the town’s local pub, Jourdan Colvin and Kristin Butler are putting their organising abilities to the test to put on events for the women of Murrumbateman.

Having formed Ladies of Murrumbateman, the group’s next event is ‘Bingo and Boogie’ on Saturday, 11 December.

For Jourdan and Kristin, their goal is very simple.

“Bringing together women from Murrumbateman, especially new women to the area who haven’t had an opportunity to meet other women,” says Kristen.

“I had a lady message me today and she said she is really keen to come, but she’s been here for five years and she’s not had a chance to meet any other women. She was wondering if other people were coming alone and I messaged back to say this is exactly why we made this [event].”

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The first Ladies of Murrumbateman event was themed ‘Pretty in Pink’ and featured presents from many of the local winemakers. However, the second theme is taking the ladies down a little bit of a different path.

“It’s an ’80s dress-up theme with a bingo night where we’ll have proper bingo callers and all that kind of stuff,” says Kristin. “We’ve got coffee businesses that have already offered some of their goods to raffle off on the night.”

While the Ladies of Murrumbateman events are designed to fill a void for local women, Kristin says there are still gaping holes when it comes to recreation in the village, 30km northwest of Canberra.

“There is really nothing to do for families with children here,” she says. “The only thing we have is equestrian and if you don’t have a horse then you can’t go there – that rules out a lot of people.”

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One of the biggest issues in Murrumbateman is a lack of playground facilities. With a booming population estimated to reach 10,000 in future years, the widely held view is that the small playground at Jones Park is inadequate.

That obviously lets down the children, but also leads many parents in the community to struggle to find local friends as there is no place to gather, especially with many of their children heading in different directions in Canberra for their schooling.

Ladies of Murrumbateman organisers plan to run four events a year.

There are 60 tickets available for ‘Bingo and Boogie’ on Saturday, 11 December, 2021 with a sell-out expected after the first event sold out earlier in the year. Tickets are available here.

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