Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Bendigo, 14 October 2019: The Wee Waa Rotary Club will build a Community Arts Hub and fund a Cultural Trail as part of the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready (DR:FR) Get Ready NSW Pilot, thanks to a grant of $40,000 from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).

The DR:FR program enables communities to receive support for projects they identify as important initiatives to help them withstand and recover from any future disaster.

Wee Waa is one of three communities in the state, along with North Richmond and Ocean Shores, that is participating in the program to better prepare them for disasters. Through community consultation over the last 18 months, Wee Waa residents identified that building social connectedness and community resilience as well as fostering a deeper connection with the local environment will enable them to better withstand and recover from disasters.

The Wee Waa Local Aboriginal Lands Council (WWLALC) will pilot Cultural Trail Tours, beginning in October. WWLALC CEO Robyn Keeffe said that the tours would focus on providing traditional knowledge about the land and country while the creation of an Arts and Cultural Hub plays a vital role strengthening in Wee Waa’s social fabric.

“As traditional custodians of the local lands, the Kamilaroi people can share unique insights into the country, helping community members to understand how local environmental factors influence impacts by natural disasters, like drought and flood. The tours will take in the Tulladunna Reserve, a culturally significant site containing a Bora Ring, and Scarred Trees. 

“WWLALC has completed restoration at Tulladunna Reserve and manages the land in partnership with Corrective Services, providing meaningful work for their participants instead of being incarcerated. Tulladunna Reserve is also a meeting place for knowledge sharing not only for the Aboriginal Community but for the community at large. We have had a number of events at the site and will continue to do so.

“Partnering with Wee Waa Chamber of Commerce and Rotary to establish the Arts and Cultural Hub encourages local Aboriginal artists to display their art and culture. This brings the local Aboriginal community closer to the wider Wee Waa community and provides important alternative income streams, especially as the current drought has reduced employment opportunities.”

Anne-Maree Galagher, President of the Wee Waa Chamber of Commerce, said that the grant is a demonstration of community groups working together for the common goal of showcasing the town’s cultural heritage and arts, for locals and visitors alike.

“We are grateful that Wee Waa was selected for the Disaster Resilient: Future Ready Get Ready NSW pilot and we believe that our community’s resilience and ability to work together in times of need, such as during the current drought, has been greatly enhanced as a result. We thank FRRR and its partners for their assistance and generous grant to our community.”

FRRR has been able to develop and implement the DR:FR program with the generous support of partners including The Maple-Brown Family Foundation, Doc Ross Family Foundation, a number of private donors and the NSW Government.