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Community & Business

15 March, 2023

CHC’s expanding horizons

Artists, volunteers, stockists, councillors, staff and locals joined Minister Ben Franklin last Friday to cele- brate a major milestone in the Gilgandra Cultural Precinct project.

The upgrades to the Coo-ee Heritage Centre were ‘officially’ opened and celebrated in good company, surrounded with live music by Clancy Pye, and tasty local food prepared by Megan O’Connor.

Council’s activation and communications manager, Kathryn Larkin, says there’s even more on the horizon, calling visitors and locals to visit in the near future.

“Excitingly, there are still gallery spaces to open in the Coo-ee Heritage Centre; with the Allan Wise Gallery to follow as well as the Joy Trudgett Gallery soon to commence construction,” she said.

The Allan Wise Gallery focusses on Gilgandra’s his- tory and the local story of mateship and spirit that remains the backbone of our region. Curated by the Gilgandra Museum and Historical Society, the town’s history will be brought to life in this gallery.

The Joy Trudgett Gallery will host the local Aboriginal experience, The Meeting Place project.

“Gilgandra is known as a “meeting place” between three Aboriginal nations - Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi and Wailwan. Developed in collaboration with the local Aboriginal stakeholder group, The Meeting Place cele- brates the stories, past and present, of our community,” said Mrs Larkin.

“Designed with digital engagement, audio stories, a wheel through display, 3D artwork, story wall and an education and meeting place, the gallery will immerse, inspire and educate.”

This aspect of the project was co-funded by the shire council, investing more than $1.46 million, with addi- tional investment from NSW government Regional Cultural Fund ($1 million), Regional Tourism Activation Fund ($305,450) and Australian government - Local Roads and Community Infrastructure ($302,000).

Mayor Doug Batten has said that without the finan- cial support of the state and federal governments this project would not have come to fruition.

“Gilgandra now has a Coo-ee Heritage and Visitor Information Centre that in itself is a tourist attraction that celebrates our diverse history in a unique building that continues to attract positive comments from near and far.

“A project like this is not something that is devel- oped alone, there is a whole team of people that has come together to realise something that makes it so special.” 

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