Mallee communities step up and out

Member’s statement

April 6, 2022

Tania MAXWELL (Northern Victoria) (09:52):

You cannot travel the Mallee without marvelling at the three things these big-hearted north-west communities do so well—turning vast salt lakes into visitor destinations where you wonder at the awesome arc of earth and sky day or night, transforming concrete grain silos into breathtaking portraits of rural life and making award-winning vanilla slice at Sharp’s Bakery, Birchip.

Recently at the first Mali Heart Street Art Festival the people of Birchip and Watchem created another destination experience. Across the Labour Day weekend I joined these communities, artists and school students to celebrate a collaboration that has produced seven work of art on hotel, garage, local store and portable grain silo walls—wonderful additions to northern Victoria’s art trail. Congratulations to the Birchip Community Forum’s Jak Goldsmith, John Richmond and Ed Rickard; Blender Studios; Buloke Shire’s Kerrie Mulholland; festival artists led by Adrian Doyle; and the many people and organisations who made Mali Heart happen.

I also enjoyed Sea Lake’s Royal Hotel’s fine hospitality, got my rev fix at Wycheproof Lions’ Show and Shine and heard about the upcoming Wide Open Spaces weekend in Beulah, home of the film The Dry.

These small communities are not waiting. Using collaboration and creativity, they are stepping up and out into the future.