Here’s my Cunnamulla update – thought I’d write this out because this week has been beyond profound. We’re a step closer to creating our visionary plan! So exciting!
This was my third trip back to Cunnamulla and I can only describe it as a ‘cultural explosion!’ I’ve met so many passionate people with a purpose – every one of them has expanded my appreciation of remote Queensland.
If I had to point to one highlight, it was the delivery of a youth motivational session alongside my good friend, Trevor Tim. In total, 60 year 7 to 12 students from Cunnamulla State School gathered for a full-day session called: Your Voice Matters.
Their curiosity and engagement was nothing short of impressive. Together, they created wishlists and set goals for the future of their community. Several students even took the time to thank me before they left… I thought this was incredibly thoughtful and considerate. To hear the hopes and dreams of the younger generation always movies me. Here’s a great snapshot.
I learnt to remember my values…. No shame.. be game.. Have a plan… Take action… Be a leader!
I learnt about my culture… Never give up on what you want to accomplish.
I can do anything instead of saying ‘I can’t… thanks so much for this workshop!
On Friday and Saturday, I set out on the road to engage the people of Yowah, Eulo and Wyandra in the lead-up to the creation of ‘our’ Community Plan. The essence of OUR plan is that it’s community owned and driven with the intention to see a big shift from welfare dependency to wealth creation and community ownership.
Yowah can only be described as a real gem and is known as the ‘friendly’ opalfield. It got its name from a creek that runs through it. From its natural hot spas to its freshly brewed coffee and cakes. Meanwhile, the Bluff lookout is breathtaking with manmade rock towers present through the bush. This truly is an ancient land. It’s deeply spiritual and profound.
Back at the local café, 30 or so community people gathered to talk about the future development of their community. It can only be described as a kind, friendly and welcoming community. I loved my time here! Check out the oldest house in the town.
It even has a tree growing inside it (I’m not pulling your leg). And would you believe that this place doesn’t have a postcode! Continuing to build community identity and raising the profile of this amazing town is the big takeaway from this week’s engagement.
Then, I was off to Eulo… the unique, quaint and distinctly private place. Eulo is an opal-mining town and is about 60kms west of Cunnamulla. The town’s only pub is called the Eulo Queen – I met some great people including this local beekeeper.
Eulo is known for its rich, flavoursome honey obtained from the blossom of the native Yapunyah tree. It’s also known for its ancient artesian springs where water oozes to the surface as milky grey mud. Estimated to be 20,000 years old, its silky feeling mud comes from shales deep beneath the surface of the earth.
This place is a cultural explosion! Everywhere l looked was an eye opener. Old relics, antique treasures in every corner. The pride of the community really showed. lnbetween engagement discussions about hopes for the community, l found time to visit the local leather shop where the craftsman made me a belt to measure with a really groovy buckle. The big take away here is to preserve the uniqueness of this precious town and to boost the younger generation population.
I was then of to Wyandra. There’s sooooo much potential to raise the profile of this historical town. The museum is a real treasure. The camping grounds are beautifully maintained. Many of the community members volunteer their time to contribute to tourism projects that benefit everyone. One word sums up my time here: passion! The town folk are totally dedicated to seeing growth and their determination and passion was powerful to say the least. A real takeaway here is to utilize the existing skill and resources and grow the community from within.
Every gathering in every township is a step closer to creating a collective community plan that creates a sense of connectedness and community ownership. All led by Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health (CACH)… well done to CACH for taking the lead to create a visionary plan that takes care of the wellbeing of the ‘whole’.
Fellowship at Sunday’s service with reverend Sunil completed my stay in Cunnamulla before I headed out to Charleville to catch my connecting flight to Brisbane. This group of community people and visitors delivered a simple and profound message for the future of our Shire…. Unity, connectedness and hope.
We spoke about our connection to the mother country and the creator spirit and we reminded ourselves of those age old questions… Who AM I and what is my purpose?
Thank-you everyone for your insight and thought leadership as we continue to create OUR ‘Whole of Community Change’ visionary plan. Thank you also for your warm welcome. I really am overwhelmed.