Community stories: 6 July 2023
It has been over 20 years since the rural town of Marama has had an active committee. In past generations of the committee, Marama Community Incorporated has been extremely social, connected and dedicated to keeping the town together. The main purpose of the committee was to bring people and community together with sport, dances, weddings, social events and church services. All of these events were usually held at the community-owned hall.
Now with a newly elected committee, the current generation was keen to foster a sense of belonging by renewing and improving the hall and providing a central place for activities to be held once again, however the space had fallen into disrepair after years of no use.
During the time the new committee was being elected, the district was also experiencing severe drought. A lot of the local farming community were feeling the effects on their mental health from prolonged drought. This added another layer of importance to the renewal of the hall; the community needed somewhere to come together and support one another.
With a $150,000 grant from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund’s Networks to Build Drought Resilience the committee was able to fund the underpinning, roof replacement, ceiling replacement, stone work, paint the interior, electrical work (including air-conditioning), and new toilet facilities.
The project relied on a big commitment from the community to get involved through volunteer work, local contractors and working bees to get the job done. But there was never any doubt they wouldn’t pull through!
Since completing the renovations on the hall the community has seen a dramatic shift in the attitudes of residents. Not only did the project give them a reason to meet throughout construction, but they now have a shared space to use that they can be proud of.
“Overall, the finished project is something we as a community are very proud of, and it has helped bring us together to work as a team to achieve a better, more user-friendly outcome.”
The hall has been host to a number of important community events since its completion and is booked in to host future events held by key industry groups that will benefit the community by improving abilities to adapt, reorganise or transform in response to a changing climate, increasing variability and scarcity of rainfall and changed seasonality of rainfall.