Coolah isn’t unlike most Australian small rural communities. It’s full of wonderful, generous people who volunteer tirelessly for the greater community, people who are always there to help each other out and lend a hand to anyone in need of help. Coolah people rally together when times are tough or when someone is in need, it’s a community that tries hard to make sure that no one feels or battles alone.
Coolah is situated in a picturesque valley, with the Coolaburragundy River meandering its way down through it. The scenery and the backdrop to the town are beautiful to see and just a hint of the natural beauty that can be found high up in the Coolah Tops National Park, an often hidden wonder of the central-west.
I love rural Australia, and the country communities that call it home, but to me there are a couple of things that make Coolah extra special and why I love it so much. Its strength and its vision. In particular, its vision despite adversity.
Coolah is a town that takes pride in its history, celebrates its victories and looks with positivity to the future, even after being dealt some big natural blows in recent years with the Sir Ivan Fire, damaging storms and the unrelenting drought.
The strength of character and a vision for the future found in many community members is certainly the way I would describe the Coolah community as a whole. A community with a strong sense of character, a will to go on and a proactive and vibrant vision for Coolah’s future.
Even after the Sir Ivan Fire burnt through so many farms, the homes of families in the Coolah community, the vision for the future is as strong as ever, a strong focus on rebuilding and recovery, and ongoing support has been paramount for the community. Many of these farms rallied through some extensive storm damage not long after the fire and amidst re-building and now along with much of the state, the community is experiencing one of its toughest droughts.
These character traits of our people, our community, together with a beautiful landscape, diverse agricultural industries and a growing tourism sector – make Coolah the town I love so much.
Its time now, even in the face of drought, to find ways to act on this wonderful vision for the future, the projects we have identified – but not yet accomplished, the plans we have made and so very much want to deliver. Our town would be ever so grateful to receive the help of Rural Aid and would have many projects that could be brought to life given the opportunity.
Back L – R: Peter Camilleri – Farmer, Business owner member of the Coolah Chamber of commerce; Anne-Louise Capel – valued local Warrumbungle Shire Council Councillor who is Member of the CDDG, Coolah Chamber Commerce, Landcare, Coolah Pest Management group incorporated, Orana Art board, and Bowen Oval Committee; Alli Mudford local Farmer, CDDG member, Hunter LLS Local land services board, National Parks advisory committee – Northern Inland, Secretary Central School P & C, volunteer swim coach Coolah Swimming Club, and FRRR program manager; Margaret Camilleri – Farmer, Business owner, Treasurer of the Coolah Chamber Commerce, member the CDDG executive; Rodney Parker-Wright – Men’s Shed Deputy Chair & Charity Officer, local frog expert, Drum muster, CDDG member, Landcare and Driver reviver volunteer;
Front L – R: Sal Edwards – CDDG Coordinator, Business Owner, Coolah Chamber of Commerce member, Farmer, Treasurer of the Youth & Community Centre and member of the Warrumbungle Shire Council Economic Development & Tourism committee; Greg piper – CDDG and Landcare Chairman, Farmer, retired teacher, Blaze aid volunteer; Dick Tanner – CDDG Treasurer & Public Officer, former farmer. Behind the camera – Eleanor Cook Rural women of the Year 2007, farmer and member of the CDDG.
Coolah – it’s Tops!
The forth coming funding from Rural Aid
Hope has been instilled into the Coolah community with news of being one of the successful recipients of the forth coming Rural Aid Top 10 Town Community Makeover – $100k. The Coolah District Development Group (CDDG) has been working tirelessly to keep their community thriving. The CDDG group established in 1996, is made up of individuals, who are town residents, working people, farmers, business owners and individuals all as volunteer members of numerous committees. Over these years through the ebbs and flows of rural living; tackling challenges firsthand, planning and implementing projects with a mission, “to foster a safe, healthy, cultural and heritage environment for our community. To preserve our town’s services and character. To continue to encourage growth and development of the district with productive and sustainable industries” and to improve the quality of life for the people of Coolah and surrounding districts.
Greg Piper CDDG Chairman said “This rural aid funding is a wonderful opportunity to focus on the community, build the resilience and a cooperative, inclusive community; as we know, resilience is built from adversity and our district certainly has had its fair share of challenges such as the Sir Ivan bush fire in 2017 and the subsequent ongoing drought.”
Sal Edwards Community Coordinator said, “We are looking forward to making the connection of both our local volunteers with the 60 Rural Aid volunteers to work together to make great things happen in our community”.
“We make good things happen”
The Community evening workshop (pics above) was held at the Coolah Bowling Club with Rural Aid and Peter Kenyon hosting an open interactive workshop night to capture community ideas and priorities for their 10 Towns makeover.
We will be working in the town on community projects and on farms in the area from 19th – 25th April